What are some things people consider before entering into business with a company? Of course, having a big brand image helps. But what if you are just starting and haven’t got the correct branding yet? How do you think you can help your potential customers know about your work and what you have to offer them? That is where websites and web applications can come to your aid.
Most potential customers search your companies’ name on the web to form an initial picture of it. No one would visit your workspace to know your culture and your memoranda of operation. But they would look up your web pages. So, in other words, they are the face of your company.
Having an attractive web presence is one of the small steps you can take to retain the customer and improve your business. On the other hand, what happens when the search engine does not throw any results for your company? A potential opportunity might walk away. And we don’t want that, do we?
Web applications and types
The web application development process can seem complicated when you aren’t familiar with coding and computers. However, we shall be breaking down the process for your understanding. Before we start with the web application development process, let us understand what a web application means and its types.
A web application is a computer platform or program used to display, collect, store and manipulate data. A website and a web application differ in their function. We use a website to display content to the consumer. It cannot engage or collect information from a customer. But, web applications can display outputs and take inputs from the consumers.
The two basic types of web applications are static web applications and dynamic web applications. The user views static web applications in the same way they are stored in the server. They are difficult to update. But, they are easy to build and host.
Dynamic web applications are more complex and only show the user what he needs to know. The requests run through to application servers that turn out specific curated data.
Ten steps to building a web application
Frame an idea
Before developing a web app, you must be clear about what you are developing. Ponder over aspects like: “How would I help the end-user of this web application?” and “What are the problems I seek to resolve using this web application?”.
It is always advisable to check for products similar to yours that already exist in the market. It helps you understand the demand for your product and the actual benefits of web application development. You can also determine how to make your web application unique from the existing products.
Create a design plan and process flow
This process is a continuation of step 1. After step 2, you will be aware of the requirements of your web application. In this step, you note down the essential elements your web application would require.
You must be able to visualize the entire process in your mind with the conclusions you have made. You decide on the forms, the buttons, and the interactive elements your web application would have.
Adding more than what is necessary to the design makes the process complicated. It is better to keep it simple in the initial stages. You can always add to the web application’s functionality in the future.
Plan the workflow
In this step, you shall determine the entire workflow of the web application. You can start with tracking how the user would engage with the web application.
The workflow would eventually conclude with the user signing out or closing the web application. Having a detailed workflow planned will help you in the future stages of development.
Prototype and seek validation
The step is not mandatory, but it can save a lot of energy and effort. You create a working blueprint of the workflow you have arrived at. The more detailed it is, the more significant the prototype’s contribution to the development process can be.
After your prototype is ready, you run it through some valid users and seek their honest opinion. It would help in making alterations before the coding.
A collection of data stored and maintained for future use and backup is called a database. Different kinds of databases can be used based on the kind of data you manage.
You must decide the type of data you would collect from your users. Your prototype can help you arrive at these conclusions. Thereafter, you shall build the database such that it is secure and segregated.
Front end development
The front end of your web application is the interface that the user will contact. It is the index of your web application, and it is how the user will view your product.
Back end development
The entire mechanism that is hidden from the user is called the back-end. The back end must be continuously monitored to keep the front end functioning. The back end consists of your database, the servers, etc.
The storage retrieval of data is carried out at the back end. The back end would necessarily depend on the front end you have designed.
You can use languages like Java, Python, or PHP to develop your back end. The instructions are keyed into the computer in the form of codes.
If you are not aware of these coding languages, you can always take the help of a free-lancing full stack developer or a company that provides similar services.
Hosting the web application
In this step, you must run the web application you have developed on a server and check for errors and hiccups. For this purpose, you must buy a domain and choose a cloud space provider like AWS to keep your data stored.
Deployment would mean shifting your personal computer’s mechanisms to the server’s domain. You might want to use deployment tools for this purpose. There are plenty on the market.
You could choose to perform all the tasks explained above with an in-house team of program developers. However, you can seek web application development services from a web development company. There are plenty of web development companies in the market that can help you create and manage your web application.
You discuss your requirements with the outsourcing team, and they custom the most suitable web application for your business. In-house or outsourced, the benefits outweigh the web application development cost.