Evolution and Types of Web Applications: Mobile Versions, PWA, and More

Web applications have significantly changed our lives, as they have penetrated all spheres of our being: from buying goods to receiving government services online. In our article, we would like to explain what web applications are and their types by telling their story.

A web app is a piece of software or a program that can be opened using any browser. The external interface of the product is developed using the following programming languages: HTML, CSS, and Javascript, which are supported in any browser (Chrome, Safari, Mozilla, etc.). Meanwhile, any other programming language or framework can be used to write the back-end (Python, PHP, Ruby, Java). You can learn the details from the professional web application development company while we will focus on the key differences between different solutions below.

Evolution of Sites to Web Applications

First, let’s learn some history to understand how and why websites evolved into web apps:

1. Mobile Version

15 years ago, in the days of the first models of iPhones and other smartphones, when mobile traffic did not account for 55% of the world’s volume, but less than 4%, the first mobile versions of sites began to be created. They solved the most important problem — giving mobile device users access to services. Now, when many people have smartphones that are more powerful than PCs, no one makes mobile versions anymore, but this was the beginning.

2. Responsive Site

Then the mobile-first principle appeared, according to which the site was first designed for mobile viewing, and secondly for the browser. Such template solutions based on various CMS are still used today, for example, for small business sites and landing pages.

3. Adaptive Layout

Since 2011, all simple sites worth paying attention to are built with a responsive design by default. They have multiple layout options for different devices that provide a good user experience. Now it is the basic solution for all projects with light and medium loads.

However, the above-described functionality is not enough anymore. This is how they have transformed into PWA, HTML-5, and SPA.

Modern Solutions

Modern web programs differ from everything described above. In fact, there are three types of web apps designed today:

1. PWA

A progressive web app is almost like a native one. It works everywhere, but the newer version of the OS is better because it can improve in proportion to the technology. A convenient user interface works like a full-fledged program. At the same time, it is indexed in search networks and allows you to save the quick access icon on the screen. Web PWAs can send push notifications and detect geolocation if the user allows it. It requires a secure HTTPS connection, but can partially work without the Internet.

2. HTML-5

A web page that simulates the operation of the program is also available in any browser. It cannot be launched without the Internet, and it is not suitable for super-complex projects. However, it is ideal when you need to quickly create a high-quality web application that meets user expectations.

3. SPA

This technology is used both for responsive sites and PWA. Single Page Application is the one with dynamic updates. The static basis remains unchanged, and the data with which the user interacts changes.

At the very beginning, you, as the owner of a business or a startup, must decide what goals you are pursuing when developing an app, and what business problems it should solve. The team of programmers creates all the web pages of your site, as well as the logic that must be performed in the application (displaying prices, product location, discounts, etc.). After all the code is written, it is important to check that each element of the system works stably and correctly, because the slightest mistake can cost the company a lot of money.

Closing Remarks

Regardless of the type of business, the development of a web app can significantly change its main KPIs. The main goal is the complete automation of all client business processes. If you want to create or modify your web application – approach professionals. This is because only modern solutions will allow you to achieve the business goals that you have initially set.