One way or another, web applications have significantly changed our lives, as they have penetrated into all spheres of life: from buying goods to receiving government services online. In our article, we would like to dwell on what web applications are, what they are. Then we will touch on the mechanisms according to which web applications work and what nuances exist when they work.

What is a web application

A web application is software or a program that can be opened using any browser. The external interface of the web application is developed using the following programming languages: HTML, CSS, Javascript, which are supported on any browser (Opera, Chrome, Mozilla, Yandex). While any other programming language or framework can be used to write the back-end (Back-end), be it Python, PhP, Ruby, Java.

The main advantages of web applications:

  • web applications can be used on any operating system (Linux, Mac, Windows) since they all support modern browsers;
  • due to the fact that the web application uses the same code compared to desktop applications, they are much easier to maintain;
  • web applications are easier to program because they do not involve much work with PC elements (core, processor, video card);
  • Unlike mobile applications, web applications do not require the approval of any platform in order to release their application;
  • web applications are a more economical option for any enterprise
    because web applications do not require a subscription or purchase of licenses, but can be used as a SaaS service, which is much cheaper.

How is a web application different from a website?

Web application and website seem to be two completely identical concepts, however, it is worth noting that they have different functions and development components. As you already understood, a web application is what runs in a browser, but it includes more elements with which we can interact:

You can see a more detailed description of the difference between a web application and a website in the table:

ParameterWeb ApplicationWeb site
Main purposeDesigned to interact with the userAssumes only the presence of articles, without any possible impact on the reader
User interactionThe user can manipulate the data, but with limited accessThe user can read informational content, but cannot change it in any way
AuthenticationMost web applications require authentication in order for the user to use the application.These sites do not require mandatory authentication. The site can only have a password sent by the resource administrator
Challenge and difficultyThe web application has many features and solves many problems.The website displays only a static page that displays textual information.
Project changeTo make any changes to the project, you need to review the entire code and then enter what you want to change.It’s pretty easy to make changes, just making a couple of changes in the html code of the page.

How the web application works

Let’s take a closer look at how the web application itself works. The user creates a request, which will have to be sent to the web server using a request in the Internet browser or in the web application itself.

Further, this request should be sent to the web server assigned to this web application. After the server has received the request, it goes to the database to generate a response to the user’s request. The final stage is sending the necessary data to the Front-part of the application, and then displaying it to the user.

And so it repeats over and over again while the user creates requests in the web application. I would like to note that the more and more complex the request will be, the longer the response from the server will be sent.

Types of web applications

  • SPA
    (Single Page Application) is a one-page interactive application. It is important that it is not only on one page, but, like a full-fledged program, is interactive. So an informational website may be one page long, but not essentially a SPA. In a single page application, the user stays on the same page when switching between tabs. Moreover, only the necessary parts of the content are loaded and updated, which plays in favor of the speed of the SPA.
    An example of a one-page program is Gmail. Please note that when you switch between message lists, the page address does not change. This is the hallmark of a SPA.
    The main language for creating SPAs is JavaScript. A small single page application can be made using the jQuery library. However, this option is not the best for large projects. It is better to use Vue, React or Angular frameworks.
  • MPA
    MPA (Multi Page Application) are traditional multi-page web applications. When a user interacts with a website, new HTTP pages are loaded. Therefore, data exchange is slower than in SPA. Especially if there are problems with the Internet connection or with the hosting of the website.
    Examples of MPAs are online stores such as Rozetka and Amazon.
    A progressive application is close in its capabilities, functions and quality of user experience to native computer and mobile applications.
    There is no clear line between non-PWA and PWA app. But a number of characteristics can be distinguished.
    In particular, the PWA must contain a proxy layer (Service Worker) and a Web App manifest. In essence, the browser acts as a virtual machine for running web applications, similar to how Windows runs exe files and Android runs apk files.
    Service Worker is a proxy layer between the server and client side. It resides in the browser, all requests go through it. Thus, there are two front-end layers – the interface is written in one, the logic is in the other. This allows you to make full-fledged programs for the web. Service Worker is usually written in clean.
Application typeSPAMPAWEIGHT
AdvantagesGreat site speed is achieved due to the fact that content that does not change does not need to be reloaded.
caching. SPA is more efficient in dealing with the cache.
Ability to use ready-made solutions such as OpenCart and WordPress with its WooCommerce plugin.
SEO. Search engines are adapted for indexing multi-page applications.
Work on any device. The PWA interface adapts to the width of the screen of a computer or phone of any brand.
You can pin an icon to your phone’s home screen.
FlawsUsers can disable JavaScript on their browsers. In this case, the application may not work partially.
Safety problems. SPAs are more vulnerable to attacks (XSS).
Interaction speed. MPAs reload content when the user interacts with it.
Complexity of development. You need to separately write the front and a full-fledged back.
Unlike mobile apps, PWAs are not available in the AppStore and Google Play stores.
Energy consumption is higher than a simple website.

In addition to the technical classification, there is also a classification based on their purpose. Below we list the most popular types of web applications for business:

  • E-commerce systems . These systems are created so that customers can order and sell goods without third parties, only two people in the sales chain. The most striking types of e-commerce platforms are: marketplaces, online catalogs, online stores.
  • CRM systems. These systems are designed to automate the sales department and all incoming requests to your company. Due to the CRM system, you will be able to: see and track the entire sales funnel of the company, make appointments and see the history of interaction with all customers.
  • ERP systems. These are web systems that include not only the automation of the sales department, but also all the resources and departments of the company. Thanks to the ERP system, you can see the effectiveness of each department, as well as set appropriate tasks.
  • Corporate portals. These are web applications that act as a social module for your holding. Due to this web application, such problems as: quick informing of all employees of the company, corporate training, employee control (hr-module) can be solved.

Technical Features of Web Applications

Download speed is the first impression you make on your potential customers. A fast loading page signals that your business is trustworthy and encourages visitors to spend more time browsing it. A study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that users have a reasonable time to search for information of approximately 2 seconds, supporting the case for fast loading web pages. To optimize speed, work must be done on both the Front-end and Back-end parts.

Caching is a basic technique that can be applied to improve the performance of any web application. The cache is a software component that serves to store data that will be stored in the browser.

The main reason why caching was born is to get data from permanent memory, which takes a lot of time. Every time data is received or processed, it must be stored in more efficient memory.

The main goal of all application caching work is to make the need to retrieve data from slow storage layers as small as possible, so you can increase the speed of your application.

How to develop a web application

Web application development is divided into 6 stages. Each stage is important in its own way and you should not neglect each of them:

  • Goal setting. At the very beginning, you, as the owner of a business or a startup, must decide what goals you are pursuing when developing an application, what business problems it should solve.
  • Preparation of technical specifications. During this stage, the technical documentation for the project, the technology stack that will be used, as well as a list of all the technical elements that will be developed, are written.
  • Prototyping. A draft layout of the web application is created, which will show the interaction of the system with the user.
  • Design creation. The design is drawn according to the latest UX/UA trends. This contributes to the fact that the application will be more convenient to use, and it will also be more recognizable.
  • Programming. The team of programmers creates all the web pages of your site, as well as the logic that must be performed in the web application (displaying prices, product location, displaying discounts depending on the loyalty program).
  • Testing. After all the code is written, it is important to check that each element of the system works stably and correctly, because the slightest mistake can cost the company a lot of money. It is important to do both types of testing (Manual and Unit) in order to eliminate all possible bugs.

Web application example

Our sample web application is an ERP system for a logistics company. This application has a SPA-look, which means that users remain on the same page during various interactions with the system. As part of this ERP system, different personal accounts were developed for each employee of the company, the logistics company can control the location of all drivers, and the company’s logisticians can schedule employment and build routes for all drivers in this system.


Regardless of the type of business you are in, the development of a web application can significantly change the main KPIs of your business. The main goal in creating our products is the complete automation of all client business processes. If you want to create or modify your web application, then you can leave your details and our managers will contact you to answer all your questions.

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