Web application development is one of the crucial things that a company needs to focus on in the pandemic year 2021. Normal website development is fine but having a web application has its own specialties and benefits for every business. First thing first, an application is always more attractive and feature-rich than a website. A company with the vision to scale up and provide a better user experience takes a step in the right direction with web application development.
A website gives a different experience as compared to a web application to visitors. Because of this reason only, a lot of businesses have opted for a mobile or web app development company. Web applications are websites that behave as applications. They provide a lot of benefits to their users and well as the businesses they are made for. In the article we will discuss:
- What are web applications?
- How are they important to a business?
- What are the benefits of having a web application?
- What are the factors that influence the cost of web app development?
- Is developing a web app better than a website?
All the questions asked above will be answered in the article below. Every business needs to understand that there is no standard answer to questions like “are web apps better or websites”. The answer to these types of questions varies with your requirements, and this is the same case with cost. Development cost varies in different mobile application development services. The development cost will be different when you hire an in-house team compared to hiring a company that does the job for you. The factors and not the final cost of developing a web application will be discussed in this article. This cost can be different when the company developing your web application is changed or on reducing or increasing your requirements.
What Are Web Applications ?
Web applications are just the applications that run on a web browser built by a PWA development company. This means they do not need a specific operating system to run on. They just need a browser that runs on any operating system. There is a web address associated with these applications similar to a website but they open and behave like a native application. Though their performance might feel a tad slow to the native applications, the applications still are great for business purposes. The way the development industry is growing, soon web applications will perform better than native applications. One way to make it happen is by improving the base of the browsers and making them stronger to handle these applications. Google Chrome is improving itself to support web applications in a better way. The web application has many benefits for businesses which you can read about in the later sections.
How are they important to a business?
What does a business want? To improve the efficiency when work happens and to attract more customers/clients. Both these goals can be fulfilled by web applications. Web applications are applications that the company employees and the customers and clients can use. There are no limits as they can be used over any device and also on multiple devices. This increases the possibilities as the customer can connect to your web app even if they don't have the device. This is possible since the application only needs a web address related to it to be entered in a web browser. More users would give it a look because they can avoid looking at another static-looking website with basic features. Built through a team of mobile application development services, it will give a better experience.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Web Application?
There are many benefits of web applications. We will discuss a few of them that are really important. Web applications are not accepted because businesses cannot understand why they are beneficial for them. Most think that they are just another website with some extra features that are not important. Let’s have a look at the benefits that business will get if they opt for web application development:
- Pocket Friendly:
Unlike native applications, web applications are pocket-friendly. They are built over the base of a website by every PWA development company, they are relatively light on the complexity and cost. These applications just have the feel and interface of an application with some traits and the home of a website. For a business, this can be a great investment as this serves the purpose for both things. It can be searched when the customer types something in Google search and will still behave like an application. A normal application can also be searched if it is installed on the device before it can be used. These applications directly open in the browser itself. The budget that the company has to spend on these applications is really small as compared to what they get in return. A website and an application are both developed at a really cheap cost and will have great quality.
- Can be accessed from any device:
One thing that can be beneficial to the companies is that the application can be used from any device. Any device means from a smartphone, a laptop, or a desktop. The reason is that it runs on a web browser and can run on any device irrespective of its operating system. They behave just the same way as websites. Web applications are also optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile views. This makes it more flexible for the users. Users can’t get the same experience when they have to use the native application of a brand. They don’t even have to download this application, hence it doesn’t take up any space on the device. Users just have to save the website or bookmark it and they can just open it again without much effort.
- Easy to customize:
The developers can easily customize the applications as per the requirements of the company. It is not possible with native applications. It is possible to customize the native applications as well, but it is not easy. The developers have to struggle a lot when they have to make even a small change in the code of a native application. This is not the case with web applications. They can make changes and customize the applications in some time. This is important as it can help them in scaling up their business at any time they want. On the other hand, native applications that are not developed properly might never give a possibility of scaling up the application. The business will have to go for an expensive framework and an expensive developer to make it possible. This can be done very easily and at less cost by a progressive web app development company.
- Easy to maintain:
Web applications are easy to maintain. For the same reason as customization, it is easy to make changes in the backend. Also, they are web applications, and websites are easily maintainable and hence the web apps can be maintained easily. If compared to native applications, they take less time and cost in maintenance. This is a great benefit that a company can ask for.
What Are The Factors That Influence The Cost Of Web App Development?
- FInding developers or a web app development company:
The geographical location affects the cost of development to a higher level. Different countries have different cost structures regarding developers or even a web or mobile app development company. For example, project outsourcing in Europe is way costlier than that in India. But the difference in skill is minimal. One must always look for a skillful development team or company that can fulfill the requirements at an affordable rate. Middle and south Asian countries charge less while American countries have way higher charges.
Once the business idea is available and accepted by the whole team, the next step leads to research. It is impossible to move further without proper research of the market, products, target audience, and future prospects of the product. It has to be done on whether the company needs hybrid app development services or only web apps will do the job. Research also gives major information about the scale of development already done to that field and how the application will benefit that industry.
- Finding requirements:
The list of requirements starts popping up when the research will be on the verge of ending. This list will usually consist of the features that can be integrated into the web app. Decisions made at this stage include decisions on the number of icons present, the kind of buttons that will be present, and whether there will be a social media integration or not. Requirements impact the final cost of development, as an increase in number and complexity will lead to a price increase.
- Prototype Building:
Prototype building is a part of application and website development. Before beginning the development process the team of mobile application development services creates a prototype for the same. It depicts what the final product looks like in the end. This gives an overview of how it will impact the audience.
- UI and UX Design:
The number of animations, quality of graphics also highly affect the total cost of development. The number of icons, their placements, social media integration and the overall look and feel of the web app has a lot to do with its audience interaction. UI/UX design is crucial for attracting the audience and must suit the theme of the product. To avoid extra cost one must go for the latest but minimal design themes that highlight the features more.
When everything from planning to UI and UX is decided, the next factor which affects cost is the development of the web application. It will be relatively high in the case of an in-house development team as they need extra resources, training, and also need to be paid a monthly salary. Development takes time and also a lot of effort. While on the other hand, giving the contract to a website development company seems to be an intelligent idea. Although both things have their own set of pros and cons, it totally depends on the company, its team and the complexity of the app whether it is done by an in-house team or a third-party service provider.
Once the application is developed it has to be tested for bugs and errors. This is an important task for which a separate team has to be deployed. The reason is not all developers are specialists in testing. If you are hiring a web application development company, they would already have separate teams and start the testing simultaneously with development. Testing if hired in-house might add up to the cost. The major cost here will be the hiring of testers. This is important as the application cannot be deployed with all the errors and bugs in it. Since development isn't error-free, testing is important.
- Bug Fixes:
After the development process and the testing process ends, the development team removes all the errors and bugs before the application is finally hosted live. Also, it is a good practice to get the application tested by some end users to know if they can use the app as part of the web application. This makes sure that the application is fit for development and would not gain any negative reviews when the end-users receive it. The cost will depend on the time taken to fix the bugs which are usually a time-consuming process. If the work is done by a PWA development company then the cost would not get too high even if it's not completed by the deadline. At the same time, if the in-house team is working on it, the longer they take, the more it would cost the company.
The development company needs to do some events and some marketing when they finally deploy their application. The cost of deployment on a store is not levied here as it is a web application. But, there are hosting and domain costs that are renewed every year. This cost cannot be reduced. The reputation and reach of the web application will be affected if the company doesn't choose good hosting and domain. Native, hybrid and cross-platform app development also have different costs. (this is also a reason companies are switching to web apps) Also, they might have to organize a deployment event. If the event is done virtually, then the cost can be reduced. Physical development events are costly but they offer better networking and branding opportunities.
This makes up for the cost after the deployment. The web app that is developed even by the best mobile app development company will need maintenance. If you have an in-house team of developers, their salary would add up to the cost. Web development companies hired might have maintenance packages or provide them on a pay-per-visit basis. This is important for companies as the web app might face functionality problems if it is not maintained from time to time. Maintenance of the website is also vital because some features might need updates or replacement. This is a cost that companies should not deny if they want their web app to perform well.
Developing A Web App Better Than A Website?
Like mentioned at the starting of the article, there is no standard answer for this question. This totally depends on the budget, requirements, and future plans of the organization. Some businesses might not have a budget that could even be suitable for a web application. In that scenario, it is always better to go with a website. A poorly made web application might be provided by a web development company at cheap rates but end up being an invitation to more losses. No customer would accept an application that doesn't match the international standards. If the competitors have great applications and you have a bad one, the loss is only yours. Web applications or hybrid app development services are great for businesses who want to have a feature-rich application that runs on a web browser. These are cheaper than native applications but expensive than a simple website. If a business just wants more reach and just wants to share content, it should go ahead with a website. Spending money on a web application without its requirement is not the smart thing to do. Analyze your requirements, your budget, and then what you want from that app or website. This will give you the points that will help you understand what you actually want and what you can actually have. If you want to keep your business profitable, take decisions after deep analysis and future predictions. You can take a risk only when you know that it will surely have a huge impact on the business shortly.
A lot of companies fail to do a future analysis and just go ahead with the wrong plans. And then, either they run out of money and then end the business or struggle for a longer time. The struggle is a part of business, but struggling for a longer time than expected, is the outcome of wrong decisions. This is why instead of being impulsive, you should first think about what you are going to do. Then it is good to think about how you can do it and what impact it will have if followed through. This takes time but is a great way to figure out if something is right or wrong for your business. There are no shortcuts to success, but there is no need to take the long route because of some mistake. Just understand what is right for your business and then take the decision. There are a lot of things that you need to look at before you finally reach a conclusion.
Summing It Up
Before concluding we have told you about the benefits of web application development, the factors that influence the cost, and how they are relevant to businesses. It is all on your personal analysis and conscience to decide if web applications are helpful to your business. Though web applications are costly than a website, they also have a lot more features. The cost of web application development also increases as you increase the number of advanced features in it. Most businesses want something that makes their web app different and uniques. It is important to note that it is not about having anything, but rather the features included in the application should fulfill a purpose. The features should be useful to the users. Features that look cool but are of no use to the customers or and don't generate leads are a waste of money. And, features increase the cost and also increase the complexity of the web application.
Web applications are a type of cross-platform app development that is great for businesses as they can improve the image of the brand and they can also give more business to them. Anything that is done for the betterment of the business or for the customers reflects back, it might take some time, but it will reflect back. There are a lot of web development companies that are working to improve the performance of web applications. In coming times, web applications would be better and they would also reduce the market of native applications.
As people are moving towards the web again and businesses also wish for more cross-platform solutions, web apps are thriving. Businesses will be getting more benefits in the coming time. The web developer community is working aggressively to make web apps fast, secure, and more attractive. These applications have the potential to make any business reach a lot more people in comparison to native apps. The reason is, they can be accessed from any device. Web application development can be the future.