The growth of digitalization has made it mandatory for businesses to maintain an online presence and adopt novel technological innovations to help satisfy consumers’ unending demands. As business owners are stepping up to meet this demand, there appears to be a shift in adoption from websites to web applications. The preference change is not far from the numerous benefits of web applications.
The primary aim of all businesses is to maximize profit while ensuring that cost is kept at the barest minimum. With a web application, you can reach, engage and retain more clients without spending more money developing several apps for different operating systems. However, certain tricky challenges impede the progress that web applications can offer.
But before we delve into these tricky challenges, it would be great to comprehend the basics of these computer programs and see how they were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Meaning of Web application and web application development
✅A web app, just as the name implies, is a software program that carries out its operation on a web server rather than on a devices’ operating system. Unlike native apps that need to be downloaded and run based on the operating system of a particular device, web apps are not restricted to any single operating system.
They are a dynamic species of web program that anyone can access via any available browser. The only access requirement is strong internet connectivity, and you are good to go. Web applications are not alien stuff, and we all use them without even knowing. Some common examples include Gmail, Pinterest, NetFlix, Amazon, Udemy, etc
✅Web application development simply connotes the processes that define the birth of an application that operates on a web server. Developers achieve this by employing client-side and server-side programming to create apps optimized for web browsers.
In developing a web application, developers focus majorly on formulating a solution to an identified problem. Then proceed to design a novel web app to address the problems. They achieve this by selecting an appropriate development framework or tool; test the apps to ensure they meet users’ needs before deploying them.
Effects of COVID-19 on web application development
The Covid 19 pandemic spared no business sector in its wake in 2020. While most businesses worldwide were experiencing some setbacks, tech-related business niches like web development, design, mobile app development, and businesses built on digital products saw significant growth in revenue generation.
📈 For instance, global web page sales grew to 24.1% in 2020 compared to the 17.9% growth in 2019. Accordingly, while the rate of purchases from local stores declined, the online share of total sales smashed increased by over 20%.
📈 Interestingly, e-commerce was responsible for all growth and profits in the online sector. Aside from that, the increased demands for eCommerce web app development resulted in the cost of development moving from $5,000 to $10,000.
The developers in the video calling app sector were not left behind. Products like zoom, Google Meet, Duo saw significant patronage in the use of mobile and web app services. Aside from these, the demand for web app development products in the education sector, health sector, and entertainment industry grew significantly.
Web application development challenges during the planning of your app
As important as a web application is, there are certain challenges to be wary about. Identifying and putting measures to tackle these challenges will set you apart from your competitors and help you reach your goals within a short timeframe. This section will take you through some challenges to expect in the planning phase of your web application development.
Challenge 1: Defining your business goals
According to Simon Sinek, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” the process of web app development goes beyond putting together a bunch of code commands to carry out specific functions. The success or failure of your project is largely determined by the reason that fuels your web application development.
As a result, the most important aspect of developing your mobile app is to formulate a strong reason to back up your desire to build a web app. Your goals define every other challenge that may impact your software development.
When formulating your business goal, it is crucial to understand the need to tailor your goals to meet the specific market niche you hope to build your brand around. However, there are certain basic tips you could employ to get started. Let’s look at a few:
- Know and identify your potential users.
- Figure out the species of unique experiences you hope to introduce to your userbase.
- Identify the must-have features necessary to give your user base a unique experience.
- Formulate a technical requirement needed to accomplish your mapped- goals.
After you have exhausted your list of goals, you can commence the development processes.
Challenge 2: Choosing the right tech stack
A tech stack or application stack is simply a technology tool kit that a developer or development company employs to create and maintain an application. The toolkit comprises programming languages, framework, database, front end and backend tools, and other applications linked via APIs.
Before adopting a particular application solution, ensure your choice is informed by the issues you hope to address with your finished project. The wrong stack solution may make your development process difficult and less cost-efficient.
- Before choosing any tech stack, make sure to run background checks and ensure that your preferred stack is notorious in the industry. Finding developers to build and maintain your project won’t prove difficult if this is done.
- Also, do not fall victim to choosing an application stack that lacks thorough documentation. Avoiding this mistake could save you a lot of resources when you encounter troubleshooting issues in development. Some tech stacks you can research include PHP, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js.
Yes, selecting the right tech stack can be quite frustrating, but here is a catch: adopt the tech stack that best reflects your identified business goals.
Web application challenges during the implementation of your app
Now that we have taken out the challenges and threats you will likely face during the planning phase, let’s delve into the challenges you may encounter while putting your web application together.
Challenge 1: Gap of Skilled Web App Developers
With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) coming into effect in May 2018, businesses will need to rethink overall company objectives to ensure that their value delivery is in line with GDPR Policy.
However, regardless of the value for customers and individual data, this transition has forced important regulators to react and tilt further towards consistency and privacy management responsibilities like those of a chief data officer.
- The duties and obligations of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) were diluted. According to CyberEdge’s 2019 Cyberthreat Defense Report, nearly 80% of businesses are claimed to have been left unattended. Due to the absence of adequate regulation from relevant authorities, web app developers are left to fly blindly.
Challenge 2: UX/UI Design
As humans, we are generally drawn to beautiful things, and designs in web development are not the exception. As a result, if something aimed at the general public is made, it must be of excellent quality to capture the viewer’s attention, leave a lasting impression, and keep them engaged for an extended period.
Having an outstanding web design with a streamlined, unique, and engaging user experience is critical during web development. This would ensure that the user has a good experience, with straightforward navigation, appealing images, and easy-to-read words.
This becomes a hurdle since building a unique design necessitates the developer’s creativity, developer experience, knowledge of specific coding languages, and UI/UX design expertise.
The user experience, like the design and user interface, goes hand in hand to provide users with an upgraded and unique experience.
The difficulty with having a perfect user experience arises when there are separate teams for frontend development and web design, resulting in a lack of context on the web’s UX design expectations.
To better understand what a user wants from a UX design, the company or developer must first conduct comprehensive research, produce responsive designs, meet all frontend standards, and ensure UI compatibility for various screen sizes across browsers and devices.
In conclusion, establishing a successful UI/UX design that offers enjoyment, overall emotional appeal, engages, and serves the deeper requirements of users helps the developer meet all of their web development goals by making the program a major part of the users’ everyday lives.
Challenge 3: Performance & speed issue
The growth of digitalization has created a plethora of choices for consumers, thus creating a competitive atmosphere for businesses that run on a web application. As a result, it is critical to ensure that your web app is built to eradicate all forms of performance and speed issues. To buttress the point, let’s look at the following stats:
- If it takes your web app more than 3 seconds to load, that will lead to 57% of your visitors abandoning your site without getting to see what you offer.
- 80% out of the 57% will not return to your site
- Nearly half of the people who abandon your webpage will certainly give a negative review of your page to their friends.
Now imagine if you were a start-up company or an entrepreneur seeking to penetrate the market? An experience of this magnitude would lead to a significant loss in resources or may even force you to give up on your dreams.
Poor performance and speed issues are among the fastest-growing challenges in website development. But there are certain steps you can employ to help you scale through these bottlenecks in your web app. Let’s outline a few basic ones.
- Avoid the use of haphazard or poorly written codes
- Do not use un-optimized databases
- Avoid spikes in traffic
- Avoid the use of problematic third-party integrations.
To prevent your users from abandoning your web app due to poor performance, you can adopt the following strategies.
- Get A profiler to help you sort out performance hiccups in your product
- Address any inconsistencies in your product. If possible, consider a total overhauling of your app’s infrastructure.
- Ensure your developer or team of developers use updated versions of both hardware, software, and other tools necessary for developing your app.
- Reduce the frequency and volume of requests from end-users.
In addition, carry your developers along throughout the development processes. Let them understand the vision and goal of the app in mind. Working with this knowledge will help your developers properly understand what needs to be done.
And of course, this has a way of impacting your app’s performance. For instance, where developers understand the nature of the web page they are building, they can easily make provisions for the right size of videos, images, and other content needed in the features. This way, the web app could be optimized for better performance and speed in loading.
Challenge 4: Scalability
Scalability relates to how systems and online applications expand and need to get bigger and faster, and there are numerous stories to be told about it. Also, there are multiple aspects to consider, some of which are purely human and others cultural and organizational. Implementing service-oriented architecture, cloud computing in the future, and building a system that runs well on cluster servers are just a few of these considerations.
✅ Scalability is a crucial challenge since an increase in an application’s user base necessitates a system that can handle it. To that end, scalability is an essential factor to consider when constructing and designing any system, whether it’s a powerful business platform or a little blog, and it’s also critical to have a codebase that can upgrade quickly and easily as the userbase changes.
Because of the tremendous development in the tech world, comprising many cloud movements, technical advancements, and microservices, organizations are now employing SaaS apps in conjunction with their data centres. It is critical to create a scalable application with fantastic design tools and principles.
✅ Maintaining a scalable and future-proof website ensures that users are not inconvenienced as the site changes or grows. This process should be a prerequisite during the website’s development and a frequent assessment as the user base grows.
Challenge 5: Web security threats
Web security threats have increased dramatically in recent years, making it increasingly difficult to construct or build secure apps. Cyberattacks, authorization and authentication, regulatory compliance, data security, and privacy are all difficulties that must be addressed when creating a secure web application.
📌 For you to counter the latest growing security risks, all application security protocols must be duly followed and embedded into the application from the ground up, beginning with guaranteeing secure coding methods, threat modelling, and testing.
Furthermore, special teams responsible for regularly monitoring all critical systems and securing production environments should be involved throughout an application’s lifecycle to reinforce its security further.
With common web threats like buffer overflow, phishing, cross-site scripting, SQL injection, session hijacking, cross-site request forgery, and shell injection, web security is a critical task that must be thoroughly completed using standard practices like those that ensure that communication between browsers is mainly encrypted. The usage of SSL encryption is an example of regular practice to improve web security.
📌 Remember that you must protect user data at all costs as a developer. All security measures, including proper coding with encryption, should be adopted from the start and regularly maintained because hackers and attackers/threats can exploit any tiny flaw found in an application.
The growth of digitalization has made it nearly impossible to perform business operations successfully without using web applications. But developing a good web application to scale your business and reach more potential clients won’t be an easy task. Because of this, we developed this article to give you an idea of how to overcome challenges you may likely encounter while building your app.
📩 Finally, if you have questions or need free consultations regarding web application development, please get in touch with us here. We are always happy to share our expertise and accumulated experience.