Developing a web app: advantages and disadvantages
It’s pretty clear that the smartphone has become indispensable today. According to a statistical study by Megamarketing, until mid-2019, searches on mobile and desktop devices were mostly head to head, with mobile devices taking the lead every few months. The most recent statistics instead advance mobile devices with 54.86% of searches, while desktops drop to 42.65%. Hence, the mobile first mantra: if the search from mobile devices is not sufficiently fluid, the risk is to play more than half of the searches (and potential buyers) online.
The native apps are developed precisely to guarantee the user the best possible user experience. Over time, solutions have established themselves between the web and native apps, with the aim of exploiting the advantages of both areas. We are talking about web apps.
What is a web app?
A web app is a web page optimized for mobile devices. While a website includes static pages, more suitable for PC viewing, a web app is a software that generates dynamic pages for small screens.
We can say that web apps are a halfway-solution between websites and native apps, that is, those that can be downloaded from the app store. Rendering is pretty much the same as native apps, but no download is required. This is one of the reasons why they are very popular.
What are the pros of developing web apps?
1. They are easy to use
They adapt perfectly to mobile devices ensuring a simpler and smoother user experience. They are then easily found via URL, so they do not require a download, saving the smartphone’s internal memory.
2. They are accessible from any device
Mobile apps need to be developed for different operating systems; choosing one means cutting out entire slices of the market. Web apps, on the other hand, work with any system.
3. They do not require updates from the user
Once they are hosted by a site that works and is up to date, web apps work accordingly. The server on which the web app is installed is the only point from which the web app services are used, so it is immediate to make updates available to everyone.
4. They use widely known programming languages
Knowing HTML and CSS languages is enough to develop a web app, therefore it is easier to find programmers who can do the job without great difficulty.
5. They cost less than apps
The fact that the programming languages used are so accessible to most professionals in the sector makes the investment in developing web apps relatively low.
What are the cons of web apps?
1. They don’t work when you are offline
Being unable to access the network is increasingly difficult, but it is not impossible. The web apps are loaded only in the presence of the network, so they are unusable offline.
2. They must be displayed correctly by any operating system
While this is an advantage on the one hand, it requires the developer to work on many operating systems to ensure correct viewing and navigation on the other. This requires more time, effort and expertise.
3. They have no visibility on the App Store
App Stores are essential showcases for apps from a marketing point of view. It is in fact possible to set up campaigns and advertisements and the user can find them through category filters. The web apps are not collected in the stores and must compete with any other site present online. This requires more structured marketing strategies which, more often than not, require investment in SEO consulting.
4. The user experience can lose out in quality
To work at their best, web apps must have access to all the features of the device. However, if you think about how many types of devices exist on the market, it cannot be ruled out that some incompatibility may occur that affects navigation and interaction, effectively penalizing the user experience.
How is a web app developed?
Today there are numerous services that allow you to create a web app without writing a string of code. Anyone, therefore, can create one. If on the one hand the solution is attractive because it allows you to cut the initial investment in terms of time and costs, on the other hand it allows you to arrive at a standard product, that is to say a web app identical to many others. The fundamental question to ask in these cases is: why do I want to develop my web app? If it’s for fun, series solutions are fine; if, on the other hand, there are business choices behind it, our advice is to ask for the support of professionals who know how to translate your idea on a technological level, with all the necessary customizations and controls.
If you are looking for a technology partner for your web app, contact us without obligation!
If you are interested in web apps, do not miss the in-depth analysis: What is a progressive web app?