Explore the 10 Different Types of Web Applications & Their Uses
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10 Different Types of Web Applications - Brief Explanation
In spite of increased mobile phone usage, every business needs a website that provides an online worthwhile experience. Websites have seen a significant rise in their standards, operation, and needs because of the rise in new technologies and evolving customer/visitor expectations. In this blog post, we are going to see the different types of web applications that are commonly present today.
Many people tend to confuse websites and web apps. Though from many angles, they are similar, whereas a website is only informative, a web application does some kind of work for the users who access the web app. Moreover, web apps are scalable and more robust and reliable when compared to a website.
Some More Characteristics of Web Apps:
- They offer better authentication, security, and interactivity when compared to a website.
- The web app program is usually stored on a server and can be accessed via any browser. It is a website that is programmed to perform a predetermined number of functions for its users.
In this blog post, we attempt to familiarise you with how many types of web applications are present and how they are used for different purposes. You can develop the one that suits your type of business the best. Hire dedicated web application developers from SayOne and get a feature-rich, reliable, and scalable web app developed.
1: Static Web Apps
These web apps have restricted content and are not flexible. These apps are generally the pages generated by a server that has little or no interactivity. With no room for personalization, any change occurs on the page only after it is fully loaded.
Advantages of Static Web Applications
- Can be built quickly and are easy to host
- Low development cost
- Search engines can easily index static web apps
- Easy to transfer even on a slow Internet connection
2: Dynamic Web Apps
With more technical complexity than static web apps, dynamic web apps help to fetch real-time data based on requests by the user. Building a web app, however, requires developers to follow a streamlined process.
When the web server receives a user request for a specific page, this reaches the application server software. This is constructed to understand the code of the request, it fetches the data from the database located on the server, and updated content is brought to the web server which sends it back to the web browser.
Therefore, a web app requires a database that stores data and where content is continually updated every time a user accesses the same. WordPress is a typical example that can achieve this state and it also has an administration panel. Users can update or change any information in the database as well as insert new functionalities/features as and when required.
Dynamic web apps can be created using Ruby on Rails, Node.js, CSS, HTML, jQuery, Python, etc. Developers can use web application frameworks to build dynamic web apps. Whereas it is easy to update information in a dynamic web app, it is not as easy to change the back-end coding because this depends on other factors such as the server. Some popular examples of dynamic web apps are Netflix, YouTube, etc.
Advantages of Dynamic Web Apps
- It is possible to fine-tune the user experience
- Can be made highly interactive
- Easy to update
- Professional look
- Quick and easy navigation
How to Develop a Web Application?
3: Single-page Apps (SPAs)
Single-page apps help users to interact with web pages without any hindrance. The amount of data involved is small and, therefore, requests and responses take place efficiently. These are quicker when compared to web apps and perform the logic on the web browser itself instead of the web server.
Any SPA can be updated as per future requirements. However, because of universal URLs, they are very favoured as per the latest SEO rules.
Advantages of SPA
- Easy to debug
- Easy to implement
- Better caching
Some of the more popular SPAs include Gmail, Google Maps, PayPal, Pinterest, etc.
4: Multi Page apps (MPAs)
These are web apps with multiple pages. The app reloads and displays a new page from the server according to the user input. Here, the logic resides in the backend server and user requests are sent here and answers are reverted.
Generating pages on the server, sending them to the client, and presenting them via the browser can harm the UI. This is overcome by using ‘AJAX technology, which helps to make sudden changes without completely reloading the page. MPAs with considerable responsiveness can blend well in the mobile environment.
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Advantages of MPAs
- Unlimited scalability (you can add any number of pages)
Popular MPAs include CNN, eBay, Amazon, etc.
5: Portal web apps
This is one of the web app types in which different categories/sections can be accessed on the home page. This page may have different details like forums, chats, user registration, emails, etc. These are best suited for businesses and enterprises wanting to create customized interfaces according to their client’s requirements.
Only registered users can access the portal. When a user signs in, the service provider will be able to check the user’s activity. Only some features may be available to specific users according to the access allocated. Student, real estate, government, and patient portals are types of portal web apps.
Advantages of Portal Web Apps
- Easy to integrate
- Easy to interact
- Omnichannel presence
- Easier customer retention
Portal web app examples are Domino’s Pizza, Stanford University web app, etc.
6: Animated web apps
Animated web apps are sometimes created with FLASH technology. You can display content by using animated effects. Highly creative UI/UX designers can use animations to represent ideas that are difficult to display/convey otherwise in different web apps.
Animations can be used to gain the user’s attention and also deliver valuable information. However, animated web applications do not help web positioning and SEO because search engines cannot fetch data from such apps. You may use CSS3, HTML5, JS, etc., to create animated web apps.
7: Rich Internet apps (RIAs)
Rich Internet apps are types of web apps that possess many functions of desktop apps but are different. They are used to resolve browser restrictions, and, for this, they depend on client-side plugins like Shockwave, Flash, etc.
These applications are built using Flash, etc., they are efficient, have attractive UI, have high interactivity and are engaging compared to traditional browser apps. However, they are vulnerable and inconvenient. With the release of HTML5, RIAs now can be transformed into various types of web applications.
Benefits of RIAs
- Quick mobile access
- Improved data visualization
- Integration across different systems
- Control item synchronization
Examples of RIAs include Adobe Flash, Google Gears, etc.
With the availability of leading front-end frameworks such as Node.js, Angular.js, React.js, Vue.js, etc., the web-app logic now resides on the client side, this providing higher adaptability as compared to AJAX technology. Here, client-side logic can be made to perform server-side tasks such as handling user requests and providing responses, etc.
JS-powered web apps offer enhanced performance, can present different levels of user interaction, and can be SEO optimized. Client portals, business-centric web apps, etc., are examples.
Advantages of JS-powered web apps
- Quick integration
- Fast, Responsive and highly interactive
- Offline support
JS-powered web apps include Yahoo, Netflix, Uber, Mozilla, etc.
9: Progressive web apps (PWAs)
PWAs are websites that look like mobile applications. Users can access any information and all of the features of the web app with the help of mobile browsers. Some experts opine that PWAs are modified versions of SPAs, though they are different theoretically.
PWAs are built in a manner that improves the mobile adaptability and speed of web apps. Improvements are in the areas of data transfer, caching, and home screen installation.
PWAs are built to also improve the mobile web experience and provide services to users even if the Internet connectivity is slow or bad. Popular examples of PWAs include OLX, Starbucks, MakeMyTrip, etc.
PWAs - Advantages
- Need not be downloaded from app stores
- Offline connectivity
- Access platform-specific features
- Improved performance
- No updates required
10. eCommerce Web Apps
This type of web application functions like an online store or like an eCommerce app. Building this type of app is a complex affair as it handles different types of currency transactions. With eCommerce web apps you can add new products to the store, remove old ones, handle payments and do a host of other actions. The app also requires an effective admin panel.
Pros of eCommerce Web Apps
- Brand recognition
- Boost conversion
- Increased engagement
- Smaller than mobile apps
Popular eCommerce web apps include Flipkart and Lancome, among others.
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There cannot be a single type of web application that suits every single business requirement. The type of web application that you have to create depends on the target audience's requirements and your future goals.
Some of the points that you have to keep in mind when developing a web application are the proper analysis of business requirements, its design and usability, choosing the appropriate framework, database design, security, and development approach.
Some of the necessary components of web applications are the client/web browser, database server, and web app server. These are responsible for the functions that decide user interactions within the application.
The three layers of a web application are the Presentation, Business, and Data layers.
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