web application

A question we often get from our clients is: “What is the difference between a website and a web application?”

Websites are primarily informational and are defined by their content; web applications, on the other hand, are primarily focussed on allowing its users to perform actions. The content of a web application is dynamic, changes according to user interaction, and requires user input and subsequent data processing to fulfill its function. Through their dynamic approach, web applications represent the future compared to the traditional static content websites.

A blog or a company website, for example, classify as a “website,” for they display the same content to all of their visitors. However, a spreadsheet, a mail client, or a company dashboard all classify as a “web application,” for they processes individual data inputs and user’s permissions, and show information depending on a range of input criteria.

The main programming languages that are used for web applications are JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. These work together with other related frameworks for the front-end, because they rely on the user’s web browser to render the complete interface. Most applications are dynamic in nature and require additional server side processing. This is done through any of the back-end programming languages or frameworks such as PHP, Laravel, NodeJS, and ASP.NET.

The main advantages of web applications are:

  • Web applications can run on any hardware and on any operating system as long as it supports a web browser. The only option that has to be considered is whether to design a mobile version, or a mobile application via a hybrid app framework.
  • Complete elimination of compatibility issues because all users will use the same web-version. Hence, there are no user-related updates required because all updates are performed on the server.
  • There are no spacing limitations, because web applications are not installed on the user’s hardware. The only information that might be stored on the user’s hardware are cookies and cache files.
  • Increased safety against hackers and illegal cracks: The pirating of web applications is far more complicated than self-hosted applications.
  • Cost reduction for both the business and the user: A web app requires little maintenance and support and has low hardware requirements of the user’s device.

The steps for creating a web application go as follows:

  • 1

    Pre-project analysis

  • 2

    Writing of the technical analysis and proposition

    This will include the list of all the features that the application has to perform
  • 3

    Prototyping (wireframing)

  • 4

    Developing of the design concept

  • 5

    Layout

  • 6

    Front-end development

  • 7

    Interaction design

  • 8

    Back-end development and implementation of features

  • 9

    Testing

  • 10

    Launch of the application

  • 11

    Support and maintenance

Onze projecten

Rocket Minds IT implementaties: Websites, (mobiele) applicaties, webshops, prijswinnende designs en digitale marketing.