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Web Application Development – Everything You Need To Know!

Web application development enables web-based projects to perform like mobile applications. Web applications interact with users and prioritize responsive engagements working through the internet. 

You can say that web application development is a subset of web development. Both are equally significant. However, knowing more about web application development will help you decide whether it is effective for your business. 

In this article we will closely cover:

Difference between a Web App and a Website

What are Progressive Web Apps?

Web App vs. Mobile App

Advantages and Disadvantages of Web App Development 

Types of Web Apps  

Best Examples of Web Applications

Cost of Web Application Development

What is the Difference between a Web App and a Website? 

We’re increasingly hearing terms like Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Responsive Web Design (RWD). The difference between a web application and a website lies in how you can engage with each. Web applications are well-defined by their participatory nature. You can produce, deliver, apprise and remove data within a web application. For instance, Google Applications, Amazon, or YouTube.

Websites are well-defined by their output. You can read articles, promotional material, and service or product information on websites. Like a hotel’s website where you can browse the menu, time of operation and room pricing details.

Furthermore, one significant technical difference is that you don’t require a website portal to have precompilation. However, a web application needs precompiling before deployment.

What are Progressive Web Apps? 

Progressive web apps are an innovative category of web applications that works like and often outclasses inherent applications. They are web apps that follow a diverse touch practice and encompass an added set of technologies like service workers, alerts or push notifications. 

Progressive web apps (PWA) can be precisely downloaded to a device and kept on your home screen, making them manageable. They can be accessed effortlessly at any time and even leveraged offline. You can explore PWA Frameworks to build progressive web apps.

On the other hand, responsive web design enhances user behavior and settings. So, you must be clear about what is best as per your precise needs and then decide to follow PWA or Responsive Web Design.

Web App vs. Mobile App 

Web apps are accessed through an online browser and adjust to most devices on which you view them. They don’t require to be downloaded or confined to a platform. Owing to their responsive landscape, they look and work similarly on mobile applications.

While you develop native mobile applications for a precise platform, like iOS or Android, they are enabled through an app store and have access to advanced features. Furthermore, mobile applications operate on the device itself. 

Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Google Maps are some instances of prevalent mobile applications.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Web App Development 

Web applications eventually simplify the development procedure. Companies can offer their customers and users interactivity without developing a precise mobile application. 

Advantages of Web App Development

Web apps are a resourceful choice for augmenting the user experience and engagement with their explicit online browsing. 

  • Simpler Development  

Mobile application developers and web app developers work differently. That leads to doubling the number of developers you require to build both for a similar application. 

Even if you want your mobile application to work on both iOS and Android platforms, you will need two different apps and more resources if you go for a native solution.

However, web app development sidesteps these hindrances. There is firmly one codebase to perform for them.

  • Superior Portability 

Users can leverage web applications from different devices. You can use a web app on a tablet, mobile phone, and even a laptop.

Essentially, web apps are entirely multi-platform. They deliver to users a pleasurable interaction, whether the platform is Android or iOS, so long as users sustain an online connection. 

  • More Accessibility 

Web apps do not need to be installed or downloaded. When using progressive web apps, downloading or installation won’t lead to the application taking space on the user’s device.  

While smartphones today have boosted their storage space, most people don’t like having numerous apps. This liberates consumers from the compulsion of getting continuous updates.

In addition, with progressive web apps, you can get many of the advantages of mobile applications with less complexities. 

Disadvantages of Web Apps

Unsurprisingly, web app development has disadvantages too. 

  • Condensed Speed

Despite all the admiration, web apps cannot substitute mobile applications and will work comparatively slower than an app-enabled one on a local server. 

Progressive web apps attempt to lessen this effect, but there is no authentic sign that they have completely removed this drawback. 

  • Diminished Access

Commonly, web apps require online access to perform well. Nevertheless, progressive web apps prevent this, but the most engaging web apps don’t respond if you don’t have an online connection. 

  • Restricted Functionality 

Native technologies will at all times get an edge over non-native technologies. Subsequently, web apps are not native, and they don’t have similar dimensions to team up efficiently with the hardware and operating system of your device. 

System settings vary from one device to the other, and web apps are, by classification, multi-platform, so programmers don’t code applications to work with such provisions. 

Diverse Types of Web Apps  

We have listed the top 4 web application development categories and their benefits for relevant industries. Choose the one which fits your business demands the most.

1. Static Web Apps

A static web app is an application that can enable a user’s browser without any server-side changes to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

At the same time, static web apps can be flat, invariable websites such as a corporate web portal that leverages technologies in the browser as a substitute on the server to provide dynamic content.

Industry: Book publishing firm


  • Works well with offline means
  • No need to enable third-party software to support the web app 

2. Dynamic Web Apps

Dynamic web apps rely on a framework that regulates web page development and enables maintenance. The approach, such as web apps showcased on a user screen, is not pre-arranged but facilitated with dynamism and application logic. You can further simplify this logic on the server side or the application’s client side.

Dynamic web apps are dissimilar with regard to how they perform, and their use cases comprehend their programming approach and the set architecture.

Industry: Social media publishing, Software industry, Medical, Retail, Transport, and On-demand businesses.


  • Deals with the site straight to alter the information
  • Simple user management and safeguarding the server

3. E-commerce Apps     

E-commerce applications refer to online shopping stores, digital auctioning sites, e-banking portals, online booking websites, etc. Secondly, they include applications such as Amazon, eBay or Groupon. 

It may be a web or mobile app, also called a mobile commerce application. Mobile e-commerce apps are a precise extension of e-commerce portals. E-commerce apps are the driving force behind today’s popular on-demand apps like Uber or a DoorDash mobile application.

Industry: E-commerce and digital businesses


  • Enable companies to sell products online, leveraging a single platform
  • Expand your business worldwide by reaching more consumers 

4. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Progressive web apps aren’t about new ideologies in explicit architecture but are about functionalities that enhance the performance and mobility of web apps. Precise cashing and improved data transmission over HTTP/2 are significant improvements.

Static web applications lag behind progressive web apps in terms of advancements. One of the progressive web apps principles involve refining mobile web-based experience and making it obtainable for users with sluggish online connections. 

Industry: On-demand, Retail, Transportation, Logistics, Media, Medical, and Software


  • Enable browser-based compatibility
  • Simple to work in online and offline approaches
  • Update itself without any user base engagement

Best Examples of Web Applications

Web applications empower businesses. They let us get work done swiftly and effectively, ranging from supply chain software to promotional and client support tools. 

Here are the best examples to demonstrate the strength of these software tools.

A. Gmail

One of the best examples of web applications we use is Gmail. When we explore            Gmail in the browser and tap on the inbox, outbox or some email, the content alters, and the URL also varies, but you do not view that a page is reloading.

Furthermore, all this occurs instantaneously, which is the prime advantage of a web app. The   Gmail web application is approachable for any device, and they have developed allied native applications for Android and iOS platforms as well. It is a practical and easy-to-use application with Email, Calendar, Google Drive, a Live Chatting Module, etc.

B. Facebook

Facebook is a single-page application, and Google leverages it for its services. Individuals spend time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; therefore, these web apps need to be as swift as possible.

Because of their swiftness, they offer a compelling user experience, which is the most significant aspect of the world of business.

For practical user experience, web apps are great as they never refresh, thus saving the user time.

Blended with the speediness of new loading data and web pages, they don’t require reloading, making them exclusively attractive.

C. Notion

Notion is a web app that is gaining popularity speedily. It is a web application that meets many requirements and objectives. You can leverage Notion as a specific calendar, forward-thinking to-do list, flexible notepad, etc.

The web app runs utilizing elements that you can supplement and make variations as per the ease of your current web browser. 

D. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a marketing and promotional platform enabling marketers to send mass emails. Its user interface is effortlessly navigable for anyone who desires to set up a planned email marketing and promotional campaign.

You can leverage automation and personalization to send targeted emails through this web app.

E. Salesforce

Salesforce is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that works on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. 

Companies leverage precise customer services from the Salesforce web app and even blend Salesforce into modern-day technologies such as HubSpot CMS and other platforms.

Cost of Web Application Development

When bearing in mind the cost of developing a web app, you should understand that there are numerous categories of web applications and that prices will differ depending on your app’s category and intricacy. 

For instance, a Rapid Application Development is an effective web development model that enables quick prototyping and feedback. It highlights the usage of an application and avoids inflexible development methodologies. This development model is the best option for a strict project deadline, and here you can better control the cost parameters.

Let us look at the most popular categories of web apps and try to figure out how much their customized development would cost.

Please note: To evaluate the ballpark cost of web application development, we will take $45 as a typical hourly rate.

How much Does a SaaS Web Application Development Cost?

There is a cluster of web apps you can develop leveraging a SaaS model. These include promotional tools, project management tools, digital marketing software, CRM applications, etc. 

Every web application has various features and functionalities that affect the web application development costs. Let us consider the elements of a social media post scheduling application to evaluate the cost of building such a web application. The significant features of such an application comprise:

  • Blended with various social sites: The post-scheduling web applications need to link with social media platforms. The number of social media platform integrations decides the cost of such web application development
  • Validation and verification: They are features that almost any application requires. Substantiation is a must as a post-scheduling application works with various profiles on social media platforms
  • Post-planning and scheduling: They are the essential functionalities of such web apps, and you must enable them in a minimum viable product (MVP)  version
  • Reports and analytics: You need them in promotional software that assists users in monitoring performance levels of their marketing campaigns and healthier planning of their efforts
  • Data encryption: It is one of the central functionalities of web applications. Safety and security are obligations in web application development for two reasons. First, application users need their data sets to be secure. Second, application owners don’t need to accumulate and process the information they don’t require

It would be best to execute the functionalities listed above in an MVP of a post-scheduling web application. 

To develop such a SaaS product, you will have to hire a complete team, starting with industry analysis and crafting the app’s interface and features. 

The cost may hover around $45,000 for an MVP model and around $100,000 or more for a wholly featured web application development.

How much Does an ERP Web Application Development Cost?

The complication of a web enterprise resource planning (ERP) app relies on the number of company divisions leveraging it. This scenario impacts the cost as well.

An ERP MVP that comprises the core modules for efficient company management can cost between $45,000 and $90,000. However, there is no limit to a fixed quotation when it comes to the cost of a comprehensive ERP solution. You can count on around $150,000 or higher for a medium-sized organization. 

However, the cost may increase if you deal with an enterprise company with thousands of staff, numerous offices, and multiple subdivisions.

The significant features of a fundamental ERP web application development comprise the following modules:

  • System integrations: ERP web applications aim to modernize business processes. They blend with internal systems and third-party services to stay linked to diverse sources of data they need to process
  • Data analysis: ERP systems use data analysis as a powerful functionality that enables users to enhance their procedures by making data-steered decisions
  • Reporting: It is a common feature, without which data analysis is incomplete. Reporting enables users to envision analyzed data sets
  • Finance: It offers assistance to streamline financial and accounting procedures in a company
  • HR module: It processes data and information attached to organization divisions, subdivisions, employees, and careers
  • CRM: It is an ERP module that assists businesses in understanding their customers, monitoring their activities, and analyzing them to enhance sales

For your further read:

How much does it cost to develop an app in 2022?

How much Does a Marketplace Web Application Development Cost?

All marketplaces have similar features, so the cost range is not as extensive as for other categories of applications.

Examples of such marketplace projects include eBay, Airbnb, and Uber. Here are the diverse functionalities you will require to implement in an MVP of marketplace web application development. 

  • User profiles: It is a function that allows marketplace users to offer insights about themselves and their services or products. They are also required to update this data, if needed
  • Product listings: It is a functionality that allows marketplace users to showcase their products and services for sale
  • Checkout page: It is where users make a procurement or order a specific service
  • Payment: The feature offers marketplace users the capability to select diverse payment choices. You can blend external payment services into a marketplace web application
  • Reviews: It facilitates marketplace users to offer their feedback about products and services they place orders for
  • Notifications: It comprises alerts, in-app messaging, push notifications, email or SMS announcements to improve the user experience

For a marketplace web application development with such features, developers will have to spend around 1500+ hours on your project, so the cost will be pegged at $67,500. However, depending on your needs, this amount can vary.

Wrapping Up

Web application development plays a significant role for businesses across industries, from building the simplest app to putting out the most significant invention. 

We also saw that web application development involves a blend of technologies. So, now you know everything about web applications and you can frequently leverage it across the web. 

So, whether it is Progressive Web Apps (PWA) or Responsive Web Design (RWD), enabling user interactions, or custom experiences across various devices, Zuci has a proven track record in developing these for the clients. Partner with us to bring your vision to life.

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Sharon Mariam Koshy

Loves getting creative with mundane topics in addition to geeking out over books and movies.

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