How To Build A Web App In 2024 – The Ultimate Guide To Making A Web App

Wondering how to build a web app?

Let’s move one step ahead from just wondering.

In this post, we will be talking about the sound benefits of building web applications and a step-by-step procedure for how to build a web app.

So before you scroll down, let us save the hustle. Here is a procedure for how to build a web app:

Stage 1 – Ideation stage: The sole motive of this stage is to find a valuable idea.

  • Sourcing an idea.
  • Competitive Analysis / Research Your Competition.
  • Identify Functionalities.

Stage 2 – Designing stage: The sole purpose is to design amazing UI and UX.

  • Follow the golden rules of UI Design.
  • Creating a wireframe.
  • Designing a prototype.

Stage 3 – Development stage: Choose a tech stack

  • LAMP
  • Python-Django
  • MEAN
  • MERN

Then you’ll move to the 4th and final stage of building a web app, which is the deployment of your web app.

Stage 4 – Deployment stage: Deploying your web app

Here are 4 cloud hosting services. Choose as per your preference and deploy your web app so everyone around the world can use it!

  • Google Cloud Web Hosting.
  • HostGator Cloud Hosting.
  • Amazon Web Services.
  • Alibaba Cloud.

Now that you have been given highlights of how to make a web app process, we’ll start by discussing three practically sound benefits of using web applications.

If you want your web application to stand the test of time without going through all the details below, you can directly send us a message, get a free 30-minute consultation call, and let’s discuss your ideas!

Also, be sure to check this out if you’re looking for Mobile App Developers in the United States by DesignRush

Before we start discussing the benefits of using web applications, let’s first discuss what is a web application.

What is A Web App?

In layman’s terms, a web app is a type of application stored on a remote server that can be accessed through a web browser.  Its interface and user experience may resemble the mobile app – but it’s different.

A web application is a combination of both a website and a mobile app.

A web app can only be accessed through a browser and its features and functionalities are more akin to those found in native mobile apps.  

Learn about web apps in detail here: What is Web Application (Web Apps) and its Benefits

Why Do Most Companies Choose Web Apps Over Websites And Mobile Apps?

  • Web applications are compatible with all operating systems.
  • A web app offers an engaging and smooth experience as a native mobile app.
  • Web apps don’t use up memory on a computer’s hard drive   
  • Web apps can be easily accessed from almost any computer and mobile device.
  • Web apps typically use a single codebase written in languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

5 Different Types of Web Applications With Examples

E-Commerce Web Applications: eCommerce web apps allow businesses and brands to sell their products over the Internet. Some examples of eCommerce web apps are Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Shopify.

Content Management Systems (CMS): Website owners and managers can use CMS web apps to publish, manage, change, and delete content on their websites. Some examples of Content Management Systems web apps are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

Static Web Application: The simplest among the many web applications is the static web application. They are also called stationary web apps because they just show the information stored on a web server. These apps usually don’t allow for personalization and will change only after the page is fully loaded. Some notable examples of Static Web Applications are Personal Blogs, Documentation Sites, Portfolio Web apps, and Event Web apps.

Gaming and Entertainment Platforms: Gaming and Entertainment web apps are getting all the love and appreciation they deserve. Using such web apps one can play games, streaming services, and multimedia content. some notable examples of Gaming and Entertainment web apps are Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Steam. 

Collaboration and Productivity Applications: Collaboration and Productivity Applications have become one of the most popular and widely used web apps in recent times. After companies started hiring people for remote positions these tools started getting popular. With the help of these platforms, companies can improve collaboration, facilitate teamwork, and manage work like never before. Some examples of Collaboration and Productivity Applications are Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Trello.

5 Popular Examples of Web Applications

The term “web app” may be relatively new for many people.

As we’re surrounded by mobile apps and websites.

Moreover, sometimes it can be a bit tricky to figure out the difference between a website, mobile app, and web app.

Here we’ve listed down 5 popular web apps that everyone is using nowadays.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is one of the most professional social media platforms exclusively created for employees and employers. A person can use this platform for multiple purposes like getting a job, HR managers can hire new talent, finding a project, and many more. Apart from the web app, they also developed a mobile app for mobile users.

 

Gmail

Almost everyone has used Gmail in their lives. Gmail is a product of Google built and supported by them. Gmail is used for various purposes like Email Communication, File Attachments, viewing emails, displaying contacts, access to calendar information, and many more. 

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime is a widely used streaming and video-on-demand service. Cinephiles use this service to have prompt access to hundreds of TV shows, films, documentaries, etc. Some of the most watched shows on Amazon Prime Video are Good Omens, Outlander, The Meg, The Boys, and many more.

Facebook Messenger

If you’re a Facebook user you must be because there are 2.989 billion account holders are there. Facebook Messenger is a product of Facebook created by them to enable users to send messages. Images and videos to friends and family, no matter where they are. 

Trello 

If you’ve worked in a team, you must have used Trello. Trello is simply a project manager tool utilized by several offices to manage their work properly. Some of the prominent features of Trello are Task Management, Collaboration, Due Dates and Reminders, Attachments, and Links, Search and Filters, and many more.

6 Sound Benefits Of Using Web Applications

If you are serious about creating a web app, then let’s start with the benefits of a web application first.

1. Web Apps Are Easily Accessed Without Installations

Web applications help users enjoy using applications without installing the application on their mobile or other respective devices.

This is one of the amazing benefits of web app programming. A marketing Study conducted by Heady highlights that some users don’t complete the transactions that require them to install an app.

So the first thing we need to know in how to create a web app lesson is to avoid requiring users to download the app.

77.9% of Mobile Users showed their distaste for such applications. They said that the mandatory app installation to complete their transaction made them abandon their transaction at least once.

However, internet applications or web apps eliminate this problem because they do not require users to download them. Instead, they are easily accessible through any device having an internet connection, easily letting users complete their transactions.

Helpful Reading: 91% Of Us Hate Being Forced To Install Apps To Do Business

Bottom Line: Create your web app easily useable and don’t require people to download it. It’s the first thing we should understand in web app building. To further understand this clearly, let’s look at some apps that let you complete the transaction without any downloads and installations.

5 E-Commerce Progressive Web Application Examples | Easily Complete Transaction Without Installing The App

  1. AliExpress 
  2. Alibaba
  3. Flipkart
  4. Eleganza.
  5. UKMeds
  6. Lancome.

Helpful Resource: 10 Progressive Web Apps For E-Commerce 2022

2. Web Apps Are Better Than Native Apps

…So if you are searching for how to create web apps, you are on the right track!

This was long predicted when Pew Research Center published an article named Future of Apps and Web. It was written by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie on 23rd March 2012.

In the article, they quoted Hal Varian, chief economist at Google as saying “HTML5 is going to make the web very attractive. ” to which, Nokia‘s Cheif Technology Officer Rob Scott added, “Once HTML5 browsers and fully capable Web runtimes are in place on the common Kindle through iPhone, the Web app will begin replacing native apps.”

But the more important question is, did that turn out to be true? Well, yes. On the 5th of April 2019, Victoria Gollins (now a former contributor at Forbes) wrote the article The Decline Of The Native App And The Rise Of The Web App.

In the article, she refers to Lancome, an American Cosmetics company that launched its Progressive Web Application and Won.

It was in the Summer of 2016 when Lancome launched their PWA and drove massive traffic.

Although Lancome was receiving much traffic on mobile their conversion rate was only 15% and 38% on desktop.

After it launched its Progressive Web Application, its conversion rate went up by 17% whereas its Bounce Rates decreased by 35% year-on-year. Plus, its average order went up by 11%.

3. Web Apps Have Cheap Development Costs

Yes. That means that you can learn to make a web app but earn more money by building native applications.

Mobile applications have high development costs. It is more costly to develop a native application than it is to build a web app.

It can take up to about $5,000 to build a web application. On the other hand, Mobile apps can cost around $40,000. The prices go higher with the complexity of the application.

While web app development usually costs too much for many businesses to afford, Quanrio is committed to offering Web Design & Development services at a competitive price that lets you enjoy the absolute bang for your buck. Try requesting a quote using our Contact Us page.

4. Unrivaled Porting Capability

A web app can be accessed through any electronic device you have at your home.

Doesn’t have a smartphone? Use tablet! 

Doesn’t have a tablet too? Use laptop!

Doesn’t have any of them? Use Desktop!

Is such a level of convenience and probability can be found in any other application?

We believe not!

Interestingly, a web app offers a similar type of user experience in all operating systems, whether that be Android, iOS, PC, etc. 

All you need is a stable internet connection to get access to web applications.

5. Uncomplicated Development  

A web app is easier, simpler, and less time-consuming to build than a mobile app.

3 reasons support the above statement

  1. To create a web application you just need a web app developer. On the other side, to build a website and a mobile app you need to hire two teams consisting of website developers and mobile app developers.
  2. Building a mobile app becomes even more tedious and demands a lot of time if you choose to go native. If you want your app to be platform-oriented you need to hire both Android and iOS app developers.
  3.  A single codebase is required to create a web app written in languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This reduces development time and complexity compared to maintaining multiple codebases for different platforms.

6. Web Apps work offline Too 

Web apps somewhat work better than traditional websites during unstable or no internet connection.

This is all possible because of cutting-edge technologies like Service Workers and caching mechanisms.

Generally, web apps require an internet connection to operate properly as they need to fetch data and resources from the server.

However, technologies like Service Workers, Data Synchronization, Offline Data Storage, and Background Sync make it possible for a web app to function even when the user’s device is offline or experiencing a weak network connection.

 

Advantages of a Web App over a Mobile App

1. Accessibility Through a Web Browser

To access a web app you just need a functional and updated version of a web browser. That means if you have a web browser like Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, or Safari you can gain access to any web app.

2. Hosted on Web Servers

Unlike mobile apps which are stored in mobile devices that take up memory, web apps are hosted on remote servers.  That means customers don’t have to worry about their mobile memory space.

3. No Installation Required

To use a mobile app, users are forced to download the app on their mobile devices which itself is a very time-consuming process. On the other hand, web apps can easily be accessed through a web browser within seconds. 

4. Lower Development and Maintenance Costs

Web app creation can be more cost-effective than creating multiple native apps for different platforms. Maintaining a single codebase simplifies updates and reduces ongoing maintenance efforts.

 

5. No App Store Approval Process

Mobile apps are deployed on multiple app stores like Google Play and Apple App Store. But this deployment process isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. An app has to go through different stages to get deployed successfully. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Web apps don’t require submission to app stores, avoiding the app review and approval process.

How To Build A Web App? A Step-By-Step Guide

Step #1 in creating web apps is ideation. There are many ideation techniques that you can use to find a sparkling idea. Just be sure to give your best, don’t shy away, and don’t hold back anything.
Helpful Resource: Take a comprehensive look at Ideation

How To Build A Web App Stage 1: Ideation

Behind every successful product, there is a comprehensive ideation stage.

The ideation stage is where the application’s concept gets evaluated. It involves critical assessment with the aim of finding the right idea. The idea that actually works.

There are many ideation techniques that are used to develop processes that work. Ideation helps developers execute in a very defined direction. Therefore, the use of ideation is central to building a web app.

Here is a list of ideation techniques that can help you find the right idea, which is the core idea of how to build a web app.

10 Ideation Techniques | Indeed

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Worst Possible Idea
  3. Storyboarding
  4. Mind mapping
  5. Brainwriting
  6. Questioning assumptions
  7. Sketching
  8. Analogies
  9. S.C.A.M.P.E.R. (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse)
  10. Bodystorm

Sourcing An Idea

Sourcing an idea is crucial for learning how to build a web app. But, what comes to your mind when you read “Source An Idea”?

It is all about spilling all that your brain is thinking about the task at hand. What do you think are the client’s requirements? What do you think the project will be about? There are tons of brainstorming techniques that you can try, including brainwriting and brainwalking.

Also, don’t forget to come up with the worst possible ideas too. It’s a useful brainstorming technique as it lets people communicate an idea that they think can be the worst, but it doesn’t mean that it really is.

Remember, A comprehensive brainstorming session is a must for how to build a web application.

Now once you complete the first step of ideation, it’s time for the next step in building a web application process, which is researching what the competition has for you.

Competition Research

It is highly important to research the current competition.

First of all, you will get an insight into how valuable your idea can be for your target audience.  Competitive analyses will also help you understand your target audience’s tastes and preferences, helping you create your own web application. Ultimately, it will help you understand how to build a web application that would appeal to your target audience.

But more importantly, do you know why ideation and market research are so important?

Because…

“It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want”

– Steve Jobs

So…

“Whoever gets closer to the customer, wins”

– Bernadette Jiwa

Bottom Line: Conduct thorough market research and see what the competitors are up to. Do they have better web apps?

Well, it might be because they know how to build web apps better than everybody else in the market.

So, how do you plan to outperform them?

P.S. You might find yourself jumping back and forth between the first two steps of how to build a web app.

Once you get an idea, you do the market research.

But then you find out that your idea does not serve the purpose or it lacks features of importance.

In both cases, you go back to the ideation process and come back with something more valuable.

Then you do a little bit of market research again to explore something much better or equally important.

Formulating Functionalities

Developed the idea and it’s validated too? Well, don’t rush in champ. We have got some work to do.

Let’s talk about functionalities. It’s because that’s how to build a web app that’s functional.

It’s time to lay out all the possible functionalities that you think will be helpful in your application.

Remember, it’s the third stage of your brainstorming process. Therefore, Identify the following:

  • What will be the core features of your web application?
  • What are some of the features that will be nice to have?
  • Figure features that could possibly add value to your web application.
  • Figure out features that are a complete waste of time and you shouldn’t spend time worrying about them.

If you have answers to these questions, then you have figured out how to build a web app that is functional.

Once you formulate the functionalities of your web app correctly, it will become easier for you to develop something of value. Something that will really pull in the visitors and keep them engaged with the product.

Here are the Characteristics of Modern Web Applications

How To Build A Web App Stage 2: Designing The App

According to UX Statistics put together by Truelist, the Return-On-Investment on UX Investments is estimated to be around 9,900%. On the other hand, a well-designed User Interface raises a website’s conversion rate by as much as 200%.

That just tells us how important designing good Web Apps is. That’s because 90% of the visitors will bounce off of the website just because of the ad design.

Remember, putting together a sound User Interface & Experience is how to build a web app that lures in visitors and converts them into users.

That said, here are 4 Golden Rules of UI Design that are put together by Adobe XD.

1. Let Users Control The Interface

  • Make actions reversible.
  • Make User Interface easily navigable.
  1. Add visual clues such as a dialogue box & step-by-step guide tours
  2. Try to make the entire process as predictable as possible.
  • Make your app interactive. Let the user know that their action has been acknowledged.
  • Keep your user updated with the app’s status: Let them know how long it’ll take to upload the file, or why the system is not working at the moment.
  • Make it inclusive: Your app should have instructions, demos, tutorials, and much more to make your app for people with all skill levels.

Bottom Line: Let users take control of the interface. That’s how to make web apps that serve the purpose of all the information and CTA’s that are laid out in your web app.

2. Make your web app comfortable for use.

  • Remove unnecessary elements.
  • Don’t ask your users to repeat the steps they’ve already taken. For example: Repeatedly asking to insert the information that they previously entered.
  • Use simple language. Make it easy to understand.
  • Use Fitt’s law for designing a web app’s interactive elements. Create big buttons. They are easier to interact with. (Read more about it on Adobe XD’s Blog Post: 4 Golden Rules Of UI Design)
  • Be inclusive of people with disabilities as well. For example, don’t use colors as the only means to convey the info. And when you do, also add some text or cues. It’ll help the color blind people follow the instructions as well.
  • Be sure to use real-world representations for clear communication. For example: If you have a storage-cleaning app, then a user should see things like files being thrown into a trash can when they touch the “Clear Storage” button.
  • There will be some errors. But if you communicate them well, visitors will smile and convert. Learn how to compose user-friendly messages.
  • Protect your users’ efforts. Google Docs has tackled the problem like no other. The autosave feature helps you when you suffer from a power outage.

Bottom Line: Do everything it takes to deliver a smooth experience to the end-user, that’s how to build a web app that befriends the user.

3. Keep your web application easy-to-understand

  • Break down complex pieces of information: If you are using numbers, then break them down into chunks, just like you write down a phone number. 
  • Keep the process short. Don’t make it hard for your audience to go down a long road to take action. If they want to make a transaction, keep it to 4 steps ideally.
  • Keep your actions recognizable. Pair Icons and designs along with the text so they clearly communicate their purpose.
  • Let your designs and content breathe. Use Grid systems to ensure visual clarity.

Bottom Line: Use easy words, break down complex pieces of info, and keep the process short. Those are some important pieces of info to note when learning how to build a web app.

4. Keep Web App’s User Interface Uniform

  • Make sure to keep all elements of your app consistent, having the same colors and other properties.
  • Keep your app’s functionality the same as well. Otherwise, it frustrates the user and results in an increased bounce rate or uninstallation of the app.
  • Stick to conventions when you are designing and using terms. 

When we are talking about the best way to create web application, it is important to remember the technicalities involved in the process.

So for now, we are going to be looking at two things:

  1. How to create a wireframe.
  2. How to build a clickable prototype.

Let’s see how you can create a wireframe.

How To Build A Web App: Creating A Wireframe
To Understand How To Build A Web App, One Must Know How To Create A Web Wireframe

Now let’s see what the clickable prototype looks like.

How To Build A Web App
Learning How To Build A Web App Requires One To Understand Web Wireframe Creation & Clickable Prototypes

How To Build A Web App Stage 3: Development

You started with the ideation stage.

You designed the User Interface and User Experience.

Now, it’s time to move toward the development stage. This is a crucial stage in the process of creating a web app. It’s where the big decisions are made.

First of all, let’s briefly discuss the two most important concepts used when learning about how to create a website app.

Client-Side: Client simply means the user of the application. It has nothing to do with business concepts or commerce’s terminologies.

Server’s Side: It is also called the back-end. It relates to the parts of the code that aren’t and can’t be used by a user. This is where the data is stored in a scattered form.

When a user inserts a query, all the relevant pieces of data are put together and displayed on the client side or screen.

Now that we have got two core concepts involved in how to build a web app covered, let’s take a look at some tech stacks.

How To Build A Web App? 8 Tech Stacks You Need To Build A Web Application.

Choose a tech stack. There are multiple tech stacks to choose from.

LAMP

L = Linux / Windows / MacOS (operating system)

A = Apache (HTTP Server)

M = MySQL (Relational Database Management)

P = PHP / Perl / Python (programming language)

Python-Django

Python (programming language)

Django (web app framework)

Apache (webserver)

MySQL (database)

MEAN stack

M = MongoDB (Database)

E = Express.js (back-end web app framework)

A = Angular.js (front-end web framework)

N = Node.js (JavaScript Runtime Environment, developed on Chrome’s V8 Javascript Engine)

MERN Stack

M = MongoDB (Database)

E = Express.js (back-end web app framework)

R = React.js (front-end JavaScript Library)

N = Node.js (JavaScript Runtime Environment, developed on Chrome’s V8 Javascript Engine)

How to build a web app is a subject that can be expanded upon for days. There is a lot of technology to talk about, tips, and tricks to cover.

We are touching on every important step but briefly. Stay tuned to catch the topic-specific posts.

How To Build A Web App Stage 4: Deploying Your Website Application

Now comes the final stage of building a web application.

The first step is to find an application hosting. Finding a good server cloud will help your website app run smoothly.

Below are some cloud hosting services to choose from:

  1. Google Cloud Web Hosting
  2. HostGator Cloud Hosting
  3. Amazon Web Services
  4. Alibaba Cloud

After choosing a hosting platform, deploy your website application to the cloud server.

Is Creating A Web App Easy?

Creating a web app is easier than building a mobile app. 

As to develop a mobile app you need vast knowledge of different technologies and tools.

Moreover, if you’re an Android app developer you can’t make an iOS app.

And if you’re an iOS app developer it wouldn’t be possible for you to create an Android app because you’re not familiar with iOS android app development technologies.

However, in the case of a web app developer that’s not the case.

If you’re well-informed and have hands-on experience with web app development technologies, languages, and tools; you won’t have a problem building a web app.

3 Reasons Why Is It Easy To Build  A Web App That A Mobile App

  • Web apps are built with the help of programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These languages are easy to learn compared to mobile app development programming languages. Moreover, it’s easy to write codes while using web app languages.
  • Unlike mobile apps, which require separate coding for iOS and Android, web apps offer a consistent experience across platforms. 
  • Testing a mobile app after development is a very complicated process. Sometimes it takes weeks to test a mobile app completely. However, testing the web app for quality is a very straightforward process. In most cases, it takes a few hours to test a web app.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is The Difference Between Mobile Apps And Web Apps?

The biggest difference between mobile apps and web apps is that, unlike mobile apps where the apps are installed and stored on a mobile device. Web apps are stored on a remote server. 

How Long Does It Take To Build A Simple Web App?

Building web apps with a simple interface and basic features takes 1-2 months to be built. creating a web app with a high-end interface and complex features and functionalities can take more than 4-6 months to be completed.

What Is The Difference Between A Website And a Web Application?

The biggest difference between a website and a web application is that a website usually doesn’t have an attractive and engaging interface. Contrastingly, a web application is well known for its user-friendly interface that resembles a native mobile app.  However, both websites and web apps are accessed through a web browser.

Can I Build My Own Web Application?

Yes, you can definitely make a web app yourself if you know coding and programming languages like Javascript, Python, and Java.

What Framework Should I Use To Develop A Web App?

To create an engaging web application you should use frameworks like Angular Js, Flask, Django, Symfony, Express, etc.  

Does A Web App Need To Be Installed?

No, a web app doesn’t need to be downloaded as it is hosted on a remote server that can be accessed through a web browser

Do You Need An API for A Web App?

It’s not necessary to have API (Application Programming Interface) as it solely depends on the functionality and interactions you want the web app to have. However, the use of API while building a web app can really save time and effort as it automates several tasks.

How Can I Create Web Applications For Free Without Coding?

Yes, you can build web apps for free without coding with the help of a free web app builder. However, they might not be as good and result-oriented as the custom web apps. Also, to have access to the premium features you need to pay a fee.