Web development: Four steps to a functional web app

by Meike Müller

A web app is a helpful and versatile tool that can be used in companies for internal administration or to process services for customers, for example. It can therefore be both the portal for your employees in the company, where they can find an email inbox or a chat program, as well as the application that passes on a service to your customers as software as a service. We would like to explain to you how you can carry out successful web development in four steps and obtain a web app that meets your requirements. But first you need to know what the difference is between web apps and a website.

Reading time 5 min

What you can expect
  1. What is the difference between a web app and a normal website?
  2. The steps of app programming
    1. Collect ideas
    2. Create a detailed web app concept
      1. Data transfer
      2. Consider offline mode in web development
      3. Account creation and login
      4. Presentation of the web app
    3. Development phase
    4. Completion
  3. Support for web development software
  4. FAQ: Questions and answers
    1. How important is the scalability of web apps and which technologies and techniques are best suited to ensure scalability?
    2. What are progressive web apps (PWA) and what advantages do they offer over traditional web apps?

What is the difference between a web app and a normal website?

Grafik Laptop Unterschied zwischen Web-App und normalen WebsiteA normal website and a web application are very similar, the boundaries between the two are blurred rather than being able to be drawn precisely. Both the website and the web application can be accessed via a browser. The end device is irrelevant. The main difference between websites and web apps is that a web app has a function that can be triggered by the user. Interaction is therefore required from the user. This is the case, for example, with an SEO tool that was developed as a web application. The user logs into the app to analyze a specific keyword, for example, before writing their text. They enter the keyword and receive the corresponding results. The web app therefore requires an action on the part of the user in order to access its full functionality. With a website, it is often just a matter of getting some information about a company, for example. Accordingly, the website mainly contains text and images.

The steps of app programming

You have probably already decided whether a simple website is enough for you or whether you want a proper web application. If you decide on a web application, you can follow the four steps below to quickly create your own functional web app.

1. collect ideas

The first step to your successful app is to collect ideas. First ask yourself why you want to program an individual web application and what functions it should have. As we have already mentioned, a web app can serve many purposes. Who should be able to use it and what is the focus? Once you have brainstormed, you can organize the ideas one by one and build a detailed concept from them. You can find out how to do this in the next step.

2. create a detailed web app concept

To create a good concept for your web app, you should identify which functions and aspects are most important to you. These form the center of your concept. You should base all other details on these aspects so that they support the main functions. Always try to focus on the user. How is the web application intuitive and easiest to use? You can also find ideas for your functional web app in our references of successfully implemented web apps.

There are also a few technical and organizational aspects to consider that you should work out in a concept. We would like to briefly introduce you to some of these aspects.

At its core, app programming is about receiving data from a server and how it can be displayed correctly so that the user can interact with it. In general, there are two different ways in which data can be received and displayed. These are synchronous or asynchronous data transmission. With synchronous data transmission, the current status is transmitted to the server with each input. The server reacts accordingly to this action and displays a result to the user. However, the web application must be reloaded each time. The asynchronous variant avoids the constant loading of pages by transmitting the input directly to the server. The server's response is incorporated directly into the HTML structure.

You also need to clarify whether the application should also be usable offline and how this can be implemented. In principle, it is also possible for the web app to function without an internet connection. However, further requirements must be met to ensure that all necessary data is also stored locally.

While you are planning your web application, you should also decide, for example, whether a login is necessary for your purposes. If these are internal processes, you should definitely include a login with an email. This also applies to software as a service, where it makes sense to have different users who create their own account.

During web development, you should bear in mind that the web app is accessed from different end devices. Accordingly, the view must be adapted to the screen size of the respective device without compromising functionality and readability.

Of course, these aspects are only a small part of what needs to be considered when creating a comprehensive concept. Depending on the project, use case and desired functions, there are many other aspects to consider.

3. development phase

Grafik Laptop Die Entwicklungsphase in der Webentwicklung SoftwareThe development phase is about putting your concept into practice. You or your employees can do this yourself or you can look for an app agency that specializes in this. Regardless of who programs the web application in the end, this is the phase that probably takes the longest. Your concept may also need to be revised here, as certain aspects may work better in a different way. Alternatives to the original plan must also be found and implemented during the development phase. The developers of the app application will gradually work through all the points of the concept until a complete web app has been created.

4. completion

For the final completion of the project, you will probably have to test the web application several times. The best way to do this is to ask other employees from your company to try out the app and give you feedback. Depending on the feedback from your employees, you may then need to make further adjustments before final completion. After this step, the app is finished and fully functional.

Support with web development software

Have you realized while reading our article that you would like support from a professional team in the development of your web app? Then you've come to the right place! At EXWE, we specialize in supporting customers from all sectors in the development of web apps and custom software. We are also happy to provide advice and take care of monitoring, adapting to new requirements or answering questions even after a project has been completed. Simply get in touch with us by phone!

FAQ: Questions and answers about web development and web apps

If you still have questions about web apps, you can find a few frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers and explanations here. Do you have a specific question or need help? Then don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help and advise you with your digital projects.

  • How important is the scalability of web apps and which technologies and techniques are best suited to ensure scalability?

    If you are active in the B2B sector, it is almost always worth running an online store. Especially if you offer products or services for both B2B and B2C business, it is worth running these areas separately. This is because the target groups differ significantly from one another. Most B2B buyers are already familiar with your products or at least require completely different advice. Also, the sum of purchases is often much higher, which is why you should adapt your products and inventory directly to the target group. To ensure scalability in web apps, various technologies and techniques can be used, e.g:

  • What are Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and what advantages do they offer over traditional web apps?

    Progressive web apps (PWA) are an evolution of traditional web applications, using modern web technologies to provide a better user experience and more functionality. Unlike traditional web applications, PWAs can work offline and be installed on the user's home screen. In addition, they offer app-like behavior, including the ability to display push notifications. By using Service Worker technology, PWAs can also load faster and offer better performance. PWAs are also platform agnostic and can run on different devices and operating systems. Overall, PWAs offer a seamless user experience and have the potential to revolutionize the way web applications are developed and delivered. As they offer many advantages over traditional web applications, it is important for developers to consider this technology if they want to develop high-quality and powerful web applications.

What is your project? If you want to tell us about it, we'll call you back!

from 15.09.2021

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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