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Web Apps

What is a web app?

A web app is a piece of software that runs on a web browser that doesn’t need to be installed or downloaded to run. Web apps are usually responsive, meaning they work on all devices.

Web applications are usually developed using languages like JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS, as they can be easily executed by a web browser.

For example, Google Docs, YouTube, and Facebook are web apps. All of the features are accessible via a web browser, such as Google Chrome or Safari.

What is the difference between a web app and a website?

A web app is created to complete one or a series of tasks. When comparing the two, a web app is more dynamic (interactive).

On the other hand, a website is made up of interlinked pages under the same domain name. It provides information, including basic content like text, images, and videos. 

For example, a web-application like Google Docs allows you to read, edit, and view files using a browser. 

A news website provides the latest news and updates, and you can’t edit or make any changes on the page.

What is the difference between a web app and a mobile app?

Since web apps are used via a browser, being mobile-friendly is a must. The design of web apps is responsive, meaning it looks and functions well on all screen sizes. No installation is needed for web apps.

A mobile app or a native app is developed for mobile operating systems such as Android or iOS. In order to use a mobile app, it needs to be downloaded and installed on a corresponding mobile operating system.

Gmail and Facebook have web and native apps. Both versions look similar and function the same, with a slight difference in the layout and speed.

How do web apps work?

Web apps work by running client requests. It can be as simple as sending an email or shopping online.

Web apps are dynamic, meaning the changes depend on how the user interacts with the app. 

The processing of requests involves the user-side and server-side. Users make the requests on a web browser, the webserver processes it, and responds to the request.

  1. The user makes a request on the web application via a web browser to a web server (backend).
  2. The web server processes the requests of the user using server-side scripts (backend). 
  3. The web server responds to the request by sending the information back to the web browser (frontend).

The user sees the changes on the page in real-time.   

Benefits of developing a web app

Using web applications has quite a few benefits for both users and developers, some of which are:

  • No installation – web apps only need a web browser to run, no need to download and install it. This saves space on the hard drive.
  • Organized data – web apps help businesses collect, organize, and analyze data of customers.
  • Responsiveness – because it runs on a web browser, web apps adapt to any device.
  • Availability – easy to reach your audience anywhere in the world, 24/7.

Examples of web apps

Most online tools you use are web apps. Some examples are:

  • Google Docs – it’s similar to Microsoft Word application, but it’s free, and you don’t need to download it. 
  • Netflix – a streaming service for movies and popular shows. Has both web apps and native apps.

Online Invoice Generator – takes care of your invoices so you can create and download them using a browser only.

Written by

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Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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