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Web Application: The development of web applications has been a standard solution in recent years due to the different possibilities for accessibility and compatibility. Moreover, they require a lower price and time for their creation and maintenance. However, once we have chosen to develop one, it is convenient to know the different types of web applications to select the one that best suits our needs. Therefore, in this post, we will analyze the five most common types of web application development with some examples: static, dynamic web applications, CMS, e-commerce and web portal apps.
What are Web Applications?
Web applications are computer programs that run on a web server, which users access through the internet, using a browser. All the data you work with is stored on the web and is processed there, so, unlike desktop applications, they don’t need to install on your computer, but they do require a network connection.
Examples of Web Applications
Google web apps and Microsoft 365 are some of the best-known examples. They offer, among other options, word processors, spreadsheets, email programs and online storage.
Google’s suite of web apps also makes teamwork easier by allowing you to share documents and your calendar and allow multiple members to access the same version simultaneously, regardless of location and device. But we use many applications every day to interact with our friends and family perform banking or online shopping.
Characteristics of a Web Application
However, all web applications have several characteristics in common:
- They do not need to download and installed on the device; and also they are hosted on the server and can be accessed from any browser, avoiding space limitations.
- They are exceptionally compatible and accessible. However, a single development requires them to run on different operating systems and be accessible from any device with an internet connection.
- Its maintenance and updating are simple. Moreover, there is no incompatibility between versions because all users use the same one.
Website Vs. Web Application
The main differences between a website and a web application are that, as we will see with the following types of applications, these are focused on user interaction, are oriented to fulfil a specific task and are more complex. Web applications have a backend, database, authentication, etc.
Types of Web Applications
Here are five of the main types of web application development that exist today:
Static Web Application
A static web application is what we usually understand as a website and is characterized by the following:
- It does not have many functionalities, and the user cannot modify it by himself. Moreover, they offer little or no interactivity.
- Its update is complex and a slow, tedious and manual process.
- Changing the contents is also complicated; you need to modify the HTML (re-encode the page) and update it on the server.
- They are often used to provide concise and permanent information.
Some examples of static web applications are portfolios, digital resumes, company presentation pages, WebQuest, etc.
Dynamic Web Application
Dynamic web applications have the following features:
- Greater technical complexity.
- They use databases to load the information, and the contents are updated each time the user accesses the application.
- Updating content is easy; most of it manages through a CMS. No need to go to the server.
- For its development, there are numerous languages, such as PHP or ASP.
- They allow the implementation of numerous functionalities, such as forums or databases.
- It supports many layout and presentation possibilities.
- There is interaction in them. For example, the user can make changes.
Some examples of dynamic web applications are personal and corporate blogs, news and current affairs pages, and digital magazines and newspapers.
Web Applications with the Content Manager (CMS)
Content management systems or CMS allow administrator users to create and manage the web application’s content. It is the most recommended option when the application content must be updated continuously, as in the application examples mentioned in the previous section. For this reason, many dynamic web applications usually have a content manager.
Three of the most common CMS are:
- It the best known and most extensive of all. It stands out for being more affordable for beginners than other options, for the community around it and for the infinity of options it provides.
- Free software content manager with a long history like WordPress. Although recommended experienced web designers or developers than for beginners, it provides excellent flexibility. Although it also has a large community to lean on.
- Another open-source CMS. Its modular architecture allows for customization for building social publishing platforms and communities.
E-commerce the type of web application use for electronic commerce, which continues to grow in Spain. However, its development is more complex than the previous ones since it must allow online transactions through different payment methods (credit and debit cards, PayPal, etc.).
Likewise, an effective management panel must create for the administrator to add, update and delete products and manage orders and payments, which must be in sync with the stock. And all this without neglecting usability to provide a good user experience.
Portal Web App
The web app portal is a web application that allows access to the various sections, categories or sections through a home page. For example, you can have a user profile and access forums, chats, email, search engines, recent content, etc. In short, it allows access to all the information you want to provide to the user from a single point.
It is the most exciting option to offer an interface adapted to the needs of users, who must register to access the portal. Some examples of web portal apps are government, educational or health portals for access by citizens, students, teachers and patients, respectively.
There are many types of web application development, each with different features and utilities. From these application examples, you can get an idea about the other options currently available. And when choosing, assess all the alternatives to opt for the web application that best meets your requirements or those of your customers.