When we think of applications that are user-friendly and have great flexibility in their process, we might think of a lot of phones and desktop-based applications. However, when it comes to true flexibility, an application is supposed to be able to draw and broadcast data to other devices rather than just confining the user to the limits of desktops and storage devices.

Today’s technological requirements, be it for any industry, require seamless connectivity and the ability to contribute to projects in real-time. This either requires the users to get together on one table or needs them to be connected to one server. Single-channel servers are used in office spaces where all desktops are connected to each other, and any kind of file extension can be shared readily to be developed and contributed.

However, ever since the pandemic made lockdowns look normal, it is essential to have applications that connect people on a single platform for real-time contribution this is where web-based applications development come in handy. Let’s understand their characteristics and benefits-

What is a web-based application?

There are generally two kinds of applications that can be used by a business to create files or work on them- desktop-based and web-based applications. A device or desktop-based application is a kind of software that runs on the user’s device without requiring any connectivity to the internet or a server.

This kind of application, however, limits the user’s file sharing and multiuser contribution capabilities. What the user requires, in that case, are web apps. If you ask what is a web application, a lot of newcomers in the tech business might not have a clue, even though they might be using one of the many web-based applications. For example, this blog will be written and then reviewed and then edited for typos on multiple devices being used by different employees of a company. All thanks to the web-based application for documents called Google Docs.

Similarly, there are many other web-based applications that are made to allow the person to benefit from the same features on a web browser as available on the device application. Web-based applications differ from basic web pages as they add a lot of functionality to a certain process than just reading a blog or seeing pictures.

One great example of this is Facebook. You can not only scroll to look at your favorite stories but also react to a picture, comment on a picture, reply to someone’s comment, and even have a separate window-in-window for receiving and sending messages.

A web-based application is designed to be connected to a web-based server and to connect users to each other while the app is in use. They differ from a regular website as they are made to be interactive to the user without the need for a native application on the device.

Do You Need An Estimate for Your Web App Development?

Contact Us

  • Strategy

  • Design

  • Development

  • Support

What are the types of web based apps?

While most individuals think of web based apps as a single type, there are actually several different types of web apps depending upon the type of development and function. They include:

Single Page Applications

Single Page Applications (SPA), as the name suggests, contain the entire application within a single webpage. Every feature and function is available to the user without the need for additional webpages. These apps are mainly written by using JavaScript and HTML5 and are supported by most modern web browsers.

Native Web Applications

Native web apps are made to run on a specific type of operating platform such as iOS or Android. These apps are developed in a way that they look, feel, and act like traditional native applications. However, they are written using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They offer the same performance as a native application while taking advantage of the web’s cross-platform capabilities.

Progressive Web Applications

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are websites that are designed to look and feel like an app. These apps can be accessed from any device that has an internet browser. PWAs are typically written in HTML5 and JavaScript. They offer several features such as providing users the ability to access their content offline, send push notifications, and use device features such as the camera. PWAs provide a faster and more reliable user experience than traditional web apps.

Further reading: PWA vs. Native Apps: A Detailed Comparison

How Does a Web Application Work?

A web-based application works on the same principles as a website but requires a few important elements to function. A web app requires an internet connection, a web browser, a web server, a server for the application, and the application’s cloud database.

Using these elements, the web-based app can be used on any device through a browser with the following process-

  • The visitor sends a request through the browser to the web app’s interface being run on the preferred browser. For example, searching for garage sale groups on Facebook can be a request.
  • The request is sent to the app’s server via the web server being used by the device. The requested files and results are then retrieved from the database of the application. In this case, a list of all garage sale groups active on Facebook.
  • The data is then transferred to the user’s device through the web server which then turns it into the interactive visual that the user sees.
  • The data is then converted into usable buttons and UI functions according to the web app’s requirements. In this case, buttons to like or follow the group appear to the user.

Just like any other device or desktop-based application, a web-based application requires a front-end and back-end script to function properly. However, for an application being run on the internet, the script is written only in the client-end or server-end language i.e., JavaScript, HTML, CSS or Python.

What are some of the competitive advantages of web apps for business?

In the current business environment, where the technological edge is important, there are competitive advantages of web apps for many businesses. Web-based applications can help with time constraints which weren’t possible at the time when all data had to be shared and monitored manually through storage devices.

Today, web apps can be used to draw forth contributions on a project from as many users as required from any location with reliable internet connectivity. Here are some of the most immediate effects on competitive productivity brought about by the use of web apps-


Web apps are the most flexible in terms of devices and software platforms. They can work on basically any operating system, unlike device apps that require updated OS as they improve themselves. Web apps only require a stable internet connection and a viable web browser like Chrome or Firefox. Data can be used, and the apps can be interacted with through a remote server and database managed by the web app.

Lower investment

Most web apps like Google Docs or Facebook are free to use and only require payment for certain services that include marketing or premium usage. Unlike native device-based apps, you don’t need to spend money to keep upgrading to the newest version. Web apps that are paid usually require a one-time payment or a reasonable subscription for lifetime use.

Cost-effective and fast

Web apps made for the users of a business can be cost-effective to create and deploy. A regular desktop or phone-based app has to be built differently for multiple platforms and operating systems. Whereas a web app can be run on any OS, given the user has a web browser compatible with the OS. Even if the app is being released on both desktop and web, it requires no additional UI changes and can be deployed faster.

Highly scalable

Scalability is one of the most important reasons why web apps work best for businesses. If your business starts getting more than expected users, a desktop or phone app might crack under pressure or simply make some users wait. Meanwhile, a web app uses servers like Cloudflare, which are capable of handling multiple users and don’t require regular updates according to the increase in usage. Given the cloud-based storage of these apps, unlimited amounts of data can be stored with an increase in the user database.


Web-based apps are highly secure compared to other types of apps as they use the same server and resources to manage user data and the flow of company data. This is not possible on some desktop apps which send the data to different sites through multiple servers, where one weak server might mean a security risk to the data. With a complete observability platform, you can holistically monitor and manage all aspects of a web app and its infrastructure, utilizing automation for enhanced security


What is the advantage of a web app, you ask? The simple answer would be the reliability and flexibility that it provides in connecting businesses and users. The scalability of web apps requires no regular upgrades, and their security is tightened through privatized servers and the exclusion of third-party sites. In any successful business, the increasing number of users would require any native device app to increase storage and upgrade servers. That cost and time are saved in web apps by using cloud tech to reduce cost and time consumption as the business scales.

You, too, can develop a web-based application for your business by discussing your operations with a reliable web development agency. They can assess the data requirements infrastructure of your organization to determine the user’s expectations. This will help you count your options on what kind of web app would fit your business operations and provide the perfect user experience and flexibility for your consent base.

    Join 30,000 + other readers

    To receive blog posts and new App and Web Tips.

    Ben Rizvi

    Ben Riz is a Business Analyst at Simpalm. With a flair for analyzing complex business requirements, he plays a pivotal role in crafting effective and innovative solutions for our clients. He is an avid technical writer and loves to share insightful articles on business analysis, software technologies, and industry trends, showcasing his thoughts and expertise.