Learn what a web app is and create one that gets more downloads than WhatsApp!

do you know what a web application or web app is? Surely before you sat down in front of your computer to read this post, your cell phone vibrated. It is likely that you received a notification from a web application.

You may have been offered discounts on ice cream, a new plan for your cell phone or, maybe, you got lucky and made a date tonight. Whatever it is, right now, you have a row of icons on the top left of your phone. what do they do? They tell you that you have app notifications.

do you want to create a web app that will become the users’ favorite, but you don’t know how to start? Well, in this article we will tell you what a web application is, how it works, what types of web applications exist and the benefits it can provide you if you decide to develop one. In addition, we will share some examples of web applications that can serve as a reference point for your web application to be a success.

Definition of web application

Basically, it is a website that after being treated by a programmer has been adapted so that users can access through a web server using the Internet via a browser, whether Chrome, Mozilla, Microsoft Edge, etc..

In simple words, TechTarget mentions that “a web application is an application program that is stored on a remote server and delivered through the browser interface.”

Nowadays, the vast majority of the time you access a web application is through your cell phone. It is a common misconception that a web application is the one on your mobile screen, when, in fact, they are shortcuts: you reach web apps through a browser.

You may be wondering what is the difference between a web page and a web application, and a good way to continue with the concept of web application is to define its difference from a web page.

Difference between web page and web application

When it comes to establishing the difference between a web page and a web application, it is important to know the main characteristics of each.

Inactivity vs. Dynamism

A web page is a platform that contains static electronic information. It can contain text, images, sounds, videos, links, etc. It does not have many functionalities, since its main function is to show the information it contains, although you may find calls to action, such as forms or newsletter subscriptions.

Meanwhile, a web application is a set of dynamic pages whose content is determined after a user has interacted with it. The main objective of the web app is to enable the user to perform one or more tasks. In addition, web applications can be found in banks and government institutions as well as in social networks or shopping carts.

Multimedia content vs. interaction

If you enter a website and you can only see information, you are most likely in front of a web page, because that information is the same that will be displayed for everyone, whether you, a friend or a family member enters. Usually, they are photo galleries, blogs or any page whose purpose is to share content.

Now, if you enter a website and you can interact with it, create a profile, add products to a cart or put items in favorites, it is a sign that you are in front of a web application.

Let’s think about an example of a web app: Instagram. If you log into your account, what you’re going to see is going to depend on the people you follow. Their photos will appear and you will be able to like, save or comment on them. Therefore, someone else’s Instagram startup will be different from yours, because the interaction with the web app will be different.

iconos de aplicaciones webSource: Burst

what is a web app for?

what are the benefits of using web apps and implementing them in your work? Here is a list:

1. Internal management

Some businesses can use them to control their stock or some companies can use them to keep track of their economy. There are even web applications to split expenses in case you go on vacation with friends.

2.User service

As we have already said, web apps record the activity of the user. It will be in the hands of whoever manages the app, to use that data responsibly and analyze it to offer a better service.

3. Communication with users

Another advantage of web apps is that you can add a chat function so they can ask you questions, which improves the quality of service. You can also make offers through notifications or offer a discount after making the first purchase through the app. In case you are selling a product, it is a good way to build user loyalty.

4.Universally known languages

Among the benefits of web apps named above, this one stands out, as they can be opened using any device or operating system, hence the importance of having a Wireframe UX template for iOS and Android and designing a web application that adapts to all digital interfaces.

how does a web app work?

remember we mentioned that web apps are user-oriented and show them content to interact with? That’s because web apps have a database in the cloud installed that is responsible for processing any activity you do within them in order to show you the content that most interests you.

But is that database on your phone? The answer is no. Web apps are designed to store data in a cloud storage outside your device, so it doesn’t take up space in your phone’s memory.

When you request the data from the web application, your computer or cell phone connects to this cloud and it takes care of passing all the required information to it. As you can see, the operation of web applications is a huge process that occurs in just a few seconds. That is why, you can only access web apps through a device connected to the Internet.

funcionamiento de las aplicaciones webSource: Hipertextual

Types of web applications

Now that you know what a web application is and how it works, it is time to see what web applications are and their different types:

1. Progressive web application

You may also know it by the acronym PWA (progressive web app). But beyond the name, what is a progressive web app and what are its characteristics?


The main feature is that it is designed for mobile devices. unlike web applications that are extensions of websites that adapt to cell phones, these apps were born with smartphones in mind. Some examples of progressive web applications are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

They can use the native features of cell phones.

They work without Internet access. Another notable difference with respect to web apps.

They progressively incorporate functions such as, for example, the notifications that appear on the upper left-hand side of cell phones.

They are updated very often. But that does not mean that they become heavy, if they did it would be a problem, since they use the phone’s functions, unlike web apps that store user data in the cloud. In fact, another feature is that they are lighter than the others.

aplicaciones web progresivaSource: Freepik

2. Native web application

Native apps are also created with cell phones in mind, but they are heavier than progressive web apps. Another difference it maintains with web apps is that they cannot be accessed through a browser. It needs to be downloaded and installed on the mobile device for it to work.


They are found in the app stores to be downloaded later by users. Among the most popular ones are Spotify, Amazon and Uber.

As they are heavier, some users prefer to disable updates because they do not have much space on their cell phone.

Theyare not designed for all operating systems (iOS or Android). This is a difference it maintains with web applications that can work on any device.

app nativa de SpotifySource: El Español

how to create a web application?

The reality is that when thinking about the design of a web application you must have a clear idea of the objectives and demands to be met. There are websites to create free apps, but if you really want to stand out, you will have to hire a programmer to take data, develop processes and generate information.

In addition, you should know that there are different processes for building a web application, as this will vary depending on the type of programming you use.

According to David Pique, mobile programmer and teacher of the online course to create Android applications with Java, it is necessary to create applications that reach your audience through an effective user interface. In this regard, he mentions the following:

“The phases involved in the development of an application, from the creation of a user interface to the optimization of the code and performance of the application are fundamental to its effectiveness.”

To help you in this mission, here are the necessary steps in the development process of a web app. take note!

1. Define the type of web application

As with any new digital solution, the process of how to create a web application from scratch starts with choosing the type of web app you want to develop.

This will undoubtedly simplify the way to efficiently build a web application. And there is strong competition in all industries, which makes it difficult to find a unique idea.

For this, we recommend you to do the following:

Identify a specific solution to a problem.

Check the app stores, crawl through different keywords and check which ones users are searching for the most.

Check investor websites to find out what types of web applications they are funding.

After you find the winning idea, find out if you can monetize your web app, if so, then decide on ways to make money from it. If so, then decide on ways to make money from it. Don’t always rely on ads as a solid method of generating money, as they only work when you have a large user base.

Once the idea is final, you are ready for the next step of how to create a web application from scratch.

2. Plan the workflow

After knowing your solution inside out, map out the workflow of how it will work. what needs to happen inside your web application for it to solve the problem?

3. Design a prototype of your web application

Transform your workflow into a solid structure that allows you to communicate your solution to your target user. To do this, you can either take pencil and paper to draw and sketch the interface of your web app or use design software to make it realistic.

Keep in mind thatprototypes include all visual elements, such as color, transitions, graphics, images, shapes, effects, etc. The goal is to create a working solution of your web application without any coding.

In addition, within these working interfaces you should include the following processes:

Registration per user

Login sequence

Process of finding an item and placing an order (customer journey)

Download resources

Navigate through the application

Access user profile and change settings

Payment processing

Logout sequence

Cancel subscriptions

4. Start web app development

This step of how to create a web application from scratch involves dividing the process into three essential parts:


Here you must select the information you need to store in order to build a solid database.


You will probably build your frontend and backend at the same time. The frontend of your web app should reflect the structure or prototype you developed earlier.


Building your backend is one of the most indispensable parts of the web application development process, as it determines how the app will work. Therefore, programming languages for building backend components are necessary for developing interactive components. These are the ones you can use to create the backend operations of a web application:





5. Test the web application

Like all digital solutions, a web application must pass the testing stages. Therefore, present your wireframe to potential users of your new web application, record feedback and improve the aspects mentioned in the design until you and your potential users are happy.

Remember that testing your web application is an ongoing process and generally occurs during and after the build phase. You can automate testing or do it manually. During this phase, you should cover functionality, usability, compatibility, security and performance testing.

6. Host and deploy your web application

Once you complete testing, the last step in building a web application from scratch is to go live. Hosting involves running your web application on a server. To do this, you’ll need to purchase a domain and choose a cloud hosting provider. To get your web application from your local machine to your cloud provider and deploy it, you’ll need to use a CI tool.

Examples of web applications

Now, after diving into what a web application is and how to create one from scratch, here are some great web application examples to illustrate the power of these tools.

1. Google Web App

Within our list of examples of successful web applications we will start with Google, one of the most used web apps. Let’s face it, we can’t spend a single day of our lives without using it.

Who hasn’t been bailed out more than once. We are sure that you have used it to make the following queries: how the weather is going to be, how to get somewhere, see your location in real time, check opinions and reviews about places and even look up symptoms of an illness when you think you are sick.symptoms of an illness when you think you’re sick instead of going to the doctor (although the latter is wrong, go to the doctor).

Google Web AppSource: Freepik

2. Fifa Web App

This web app you might not know it if you never played the game, or just don’t like the sport. But the reality is that Fifa Web App 2021 has one of the highest search volumes. The same happened with Fifa Web App 18, Fifa Web App 19 and Fifa Web App 20. We are left with no doubt that the same will happen in 2022.

What makes this web app so sought after by users is that the game designers came up with the idea that you can manage your team through this app and follow the movement of the transfer market. There is a whole community around this web app on YouTube, dedicated to making videos to keep improving the experience with the use of the application.

Fifa Web AppSource: Electronic Arts

3.WhatsApp Web

This must be one of the most popular web applications worldwide and surely one of the ones you use most often. It is a very practical app, just by bringing your camera to scan the QR you have access to all your conversations and you can respond from your own computer.

In addition, you can send mp3, mp4 files or PDF documents. A very interesting option if you work from your computer and want to navigate comfortably.

WhatsApp Web Source: NextPt

4. Netflix

One of the main streaming platforms is also a web application. Netflix allows users to watch movies and TV shows on demand without limitations just by paying a monthly subscription.

And, as with other web apps, you can access it on all devices and operating systems. Without a doubt, Netflix illustrates how web apps are ideal as content platforms.

persona viendo NetflixSource: Freepik

and that’s it! Now you know what a web app is, how it works and how to design an interactive app. As you could see, web applications are easier to build than mobile apps and take up less space, which makes them an attractive alternative to catch the eye of your target user.

Remember that the key to developing a web app is to provide memorable experiences, so make informed decisions that revolve around improving web usability for web surfers.

see you soon!

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