The internet has revolutionized the lifestyle of humans to a great extent.
A British computer scientist named Sir Tim Berners-Lee paved the next step in internet technology. His invention, popularly known as the WWW (World Wide Web) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language) transformed the usage of the internet to a whole new level.
The last couple of years have seen many improvements in internet technology. The invention of the WWW led to the development of web pages. Later it developed into the combination of web pages known as a website.
Web applications or web apps is the most recent advancement in this field.
Websites and web apps have made tasks such as booking tickets and buying commodities much easier.
But what is a web app?
What is a web app or web application?
A web app uses a remote server to store data and has functions and interface similar to a native app. Users can access a web app through the internet. It is done with the help of a compatible web browser which is already installed on the device.
A web app is different from mobile applications installed on mobile phones.
Web apps are popular among individual users and business firms due to its easy access through mobile phones. eCommerce shops, webmails, social networking sites such as Facebook are some of the businesses that use web apps. As the majority of people use mobile phones, business firms hire web application developers to change their websites into a more interactive web app. Offering their services and products through a more user-friendly and preferred platform helps these business firms to widen their reach.
There are two types of web applications- static web apps and dynamic web apps
- A static web app is a basic type of web app. Interactivity features are less as compared to a dynamic web app.
- A dynamic web is much more complex than a static web app. Updations are easily done in dynamic web apps.
What’s a website?
A website is a collection of related web pages.
The interlinked web pages of the website have a single domain name. Website is publicly accessible. Individuals or business firms create websites to carry out many functions such as business branding, to showcase and sell their products etc.
Now, a question may arise.
If a web app and websites are using the same basic structure, what is the difference between the two?
Difference between a web app and a website
- Web apps differ from websites in terms of features and functions. Web apps have interactive elements while a website has static content.
- Web apps offer more features and options than a website.
- Regular updations are necessary for websites to keep the content authentic.
- The user can control and use the features of the web app.
- Storing and accessing customized data, according to the needs of the user is possible in a web app. But websites do not have this option.
Is web app and mobile app the same?
Difference between a web app and a mobile app
Native mobile apps are those developed for a particular platform such as Android or iOS.
Some of the difference between a web app and a native mobile app is as follows:
- The development cost of native mobile apps is higher than that of developing a web app. This is because native apps use platform-specific designs for development.
- Templates are available for the web app developers but do not have access to any development kits as available for native mobile apps. Web apps are easier to build than a native mobile app.
- Native mobile apps have more advanced features than a web app.
- There is no need to download the web app as other mobile apps. You only need a compatible web browser to interact with a web app.
- The loading time of a web app is slower when compared to a native mobile app.
‘Progressive web app’ is another type of web application that is widely used nowadays as it is having the qualities of both native and web-based apps. Progressive web apps can work in low connectivity and load faster as a native app.
Why do businesses now prefer to hire web application developers over websites developers?
There are many advantages of using a web app.
Advantages of web apps
- As web apps use a supported internet browser to function, there is no need to download the web app. Thus, a web app does not affect the external or internal storage of the mobile phone.
- A user always has access to the updated version of a web app. This is because changes made in the server get reflected in the web app. The user does not need to update a web app as compared to a native mobile app.
- A business firm using a web app can easily change the contents according to their growth and change in demand when they hire web app developers who are having the required expertise in this field. Web apps are easily customizable and scalable, so a business can add or remove functions from the app within a short time.
- As mentioned earlier, web apps store information in a remote server. So if the device gets stolen, the user can retrieve his/her personalized data from another device with the help of a supported web browser.
- Many types of mobile phones with different screen sizes are available in the market. When you hire a web app development company with the right talent, it makes a web app equally functional and customizable for a wide range of devices.
Websites and web apps are both cost-efficient ways to deliver your content to the users.
But which is a better option for your company- website or a web app?
Which is better: a website or web app?
There are some factors to keep in mind while choosing a website or web app for your business. To an extent, cost and features have a role in deciding whether to go for a web app or a website.
Websites, compared to web apps, do not integrate well with other online tools or third-party apps. Integrating with other software is one of the basic functions of a web app. Web apps provide a better user experience than websites by combining with third-party applications.
All websites need a good internet connection to function. But web apps have offline compatibility. This is a function which most users prefer while browsing the internet.
Personalizing web apps based on user needs is a comparatively easy process. Different users see different content while using a web app that gets personalized to his/ her needs. A website hosts content that is publicly accessible by any viewers. As usually, personalization is not possible, every user sees the same information on a website.
A variety of functions are available in web apps and they are more responsive to customer choices. Users can manipulate data while using a web app and receive information based on their request. Websites are usually not that responsive to a user’s request.
A website is a good choice while looking for cost, cutting strategies. If you are looking for developing more interactive, secure and personalized content for your business, opt to hire web app developers. Also, a web app is a feasible option in the long run.
But what are the important points to keep in mind when you hire web app developers?
How to hire web app developers?
It is a simple task to hire web app developers if you have a correct and detailed analysis of your business challenges and purpose.
While hiring web app developers, you should give preferences to the one that uses modern technology and development methods. Hire web app developers who know and follow the latest trends in the industry.
Hire web app developers who are having experience and expertise in their field of work. This will help in ensuring that the app will meet all the industry standards.
Checking skills and qualifications is important when you hire a web app developer. There are mainly three types of web app developers.
- Front-end web app developer
- Back-end web app developer
- Full-stack web app developer
Each of them has different job roles.
1. Front-end web app developer
Front-end is the part of the web app where the users directly interact with.
Front-end web development is also known as client-side development. The tools required to develop web front-end constantly changes. This is the main challenge faced by front-end web developers.
Front-end web app developers develop the design and layout features of the web app. Hire web app developers who have exceptional working skills at the front-end to make the interface of the web app an eye-catching one.
The main duties of a front-end web developer include the following
- Front-end web app developers analyse the UI/UX designs and make sure if it is technically feasible.
- Client-side development also finds suitable ways to optimize web application for peak speed and performance.
- Front-end web app developers confirm all user input and submit it to the back-end for further actions
2. Back-end web app developer
The back-end is what determines how a web app works. This part of the website is responsible for the structure of the application.
Back-end development is also called server-side development. The back-end web developers write the code that helps the front-end communicate with the database.
Some of the responsibilities of back-end web app developer are as follows:
- The back-end web app developer creates and maintains the server-side of the application or website. Back-end web app developer is also responsible for checking and resolving errors at the back-end.
- The back-end web app developer makes sure that data and other services are delivered promptly when requested by the front-end.
- The creation and integration of the database are managed by the back-end web developers.
3. Full-stack web app developer
Web app developers who have expertise in developing both front-end and back-end are called full-stack developers.
You will get a full package when you hire web app developers who have very good knowledge about front-end and the back-end. Which means that hiring full-stack web app developers is the most suitable option for startups.
The main objectives of a full-stack web developer are as follows:
- As they are well-versed in the client-side and server-side languages, they can analyse and provide solutions to problems in the server, network or hosting environments.
- Hiring full-stack web developers help to cut costs and improve efficiency. Since you hire web app developers who have the expertise to handle both the front-end and back-end, the cost of hiring separate web developers can be reduced.
- The workflow of the team improves when you hire full-stack web app developers as there is no need to collaborate with more members of a team and there is no chance for error due to a flaw in the communication.
There are three choices you can opt for when you hire web application developers for your business. You can pick any one of the following according to your requirements and budget:
- Hire a web app development company
- Hire a freelance web app developer
- Hire a dedicated web app development team
But, which is the best option?
Hiring web app development company vs freelancer vs dedicated development team?
To choose the most suitable option for your company, you need to get a clear understanding of these three choices.
Let’s start with hiring a web app development company.
1. Hiring a web app development company
Mobile phone users are increasing day-by-day. Major companies have turned to concentrate more on developing web apps as it will generate a wide market and reach.
The growing demand for web apps has produced more web app development companies. You will get exceptional web app developers to work on your project when you hire a web app development company.
1.1 Advantages of hiring a web app development company
1.1.1 Hiring a web app development company is time-saving
Hiring a web app development company that has the required experience and expertise in the field of web app development significantly reduces the development time. Understanding and fixing errors become easy or there is no scope for errors while hiring an expert web app development company.
1.1.2 Hiring web app development company helps in developing a more reliable web application
An experienced web development team will help you in creating a perfect web app with the right structure and code. Crashing and breaking issues of a web app is least while hiring a web app development company.
1.1.3 Hiring web app development company gives an insight into the latest technologies
A good web app development company equips itself with the latest technology and tools. So hiring a web app development company also helps you in bringing innovations to your web app that a user would like.
To hire a web app development company that suits your business challenges, consider the following aspects.
1.1.2 Consider these points before hiring a web app development company
- Conducting a proper search on the internet helps you in hiring a web app development company which is the best according to your requirements.
- After searching the internet, compile a list of the best web app development companies based on their years of experience and expertise, ratings and reviews of past clients, awards and other recognition etc. Hire a web app development company, which is the best according to this evaluation.
- Contacting the past clients will help you in knowing more about the web app development company, you chose to hire. Enquiring about the work satisfaction of the former clients will help you in your decision.
- Hire a web app development company according to your budget. Pricing is always the deciding factor. Price is decided mainly by three factors
- The experience of the company
- The expertise of the employers
- Technology used
- A right-minded web app development company follows all coding standards and guidelines. So hire a web development company that writes clean and consistent codes.
2. Hiring freelance web app developers
Hiring freelance web app developers is the best option if yours is a startup business and if you are looking for cost-cutting strategies.
Searching the internet helps you hire freelance web app developers with the required skill set. Some of the search platforms and coding communities that help you in hiring exceptional freelance web app developers include DevTeam.Space, Upwork, Hired, StackOverflow etc.
Your professional contacts from the industry can help you to hire web app developers who do freelancing. Compare their rate and quality of work before hiring a freelance web app developer.
Some of the advantages of hiring a freelance web app developer are as follows
2.1 Advantages of hiring a freelance web app developer
2.1.1 Less project turnaround time
An experienced freelance web app developer is always working on one or another project. This makes him/her more experienced than a fresher. Freelance web app developers do not need to spend time on routine tasks such as documentation and communication like employees in a company. This helps in the significant reduction of project turnaround time.
2.1.2 Knows the latest trends in web app development
Due to their continuous exposure in the field of web app development, freelance web app developers are up-to-date with the latest trends. This will help in providing a good user experience to users.
2.1.3 A good contact with expert web designers and testers
Experienced freelance web app developers will have contact with many web designers and application testers who are exceptional in their work. Freelance web app developers can team up with web designers and testers to develop the perfect web app for your business.
2.2 Consider these points before hiring freelance web app developers
- Always conduct initial screening and tests before hiring a freelance web app developer. There are many freshers who take up freelancing and poses as an expert. Hire web app developers with the necessary skill-set. Also, check their previous works before hiring a freelance web app developer.
- While hiring a freelance web app developer through the internet, closely examine the ratings and reviews of the previous employers. The rate of hiring freelance web app developers also differs based on the geographical location. So consider the geographical location as well.
- Freelance web app developers work hourly or per the project basis. Hire web app developers according to your project needs.
- Hire freelance web app developers who provide proper support and maintenance after the deployment of the web app.
3. Hiring a dedicated web app development team
Hiring a dedicated web app development team is the best choice for developing a quality web application at a low cost.
Opt for hiring a dedicated web app development team if the project needs to be started soon. As a dedicated web app development team is equipped with a workspace, the project can start the next moment an agreement is signed.
Hiring a dedicated web app development team have some of the following advantages.
3.1 Advantages of hiring dedicated web app development team
3.1.1 Flexible and transparent hiring process
You can directly take part in the selection of the team members while hiring a dedicated web app development team. You can also increase or decrease the number of team members at any stage of development.
3.1.2 You will have total control of the dedicated web app development team
You have direct control over the team members. A project manager is always available for proper communication. This helps in delivering proper updates and project status. You can also make changes in the requirements of the project at any time.
3.1.3 Security is not compromised
A chance for data breach is minimal as you are directly involved in every stage of development. Hiring a dedicated web app development team that follows strong data encryption protocols ensures better security.
3.1.4 Hiring dedicated web app development team is highly economical
If you hire the dedicated web app development team for a project, he/ she needs to pay only for that individual project. You do not need to spend money on bonus and other perks of the employees.
A dedicated web app development team also updates themselves with the most modern tools, technology and training. So there is no need to spend money on these aspects.
3.2 Consider these points before hiring dedicated web app development team
- Always verify the quality and expertise of the dedicated web app development team by contacting past clients. An initial screening that consists of tests and interviews of the team members help you to check whether they are the right candidate for your project.
- While hiring a dedicated web app development team from another country, consider the difference in the time zone. It is better to confirm the availability of the team according to the time zone you prefer. Also, make sure that the dedicated web app development team is having proper communication skills.
- From the very initial stage itself, you should make clear the requirements and intended results of the project to the team members. This will reduce confusions and help with developing a perfect development roadmap for the project.
Best place to hire web app developers
When you hire web application developers of your choice, you should have a clear-cut idea about your project- size, scope, intended results and future developments.
The internet can help you hire web app developers who are having the skill-set and experience you are looking for. When you want to hire web app development companies and dedicated web app development teams, you can also search B2B directories such as Clutch and GoodFirms.
Before you choose to search and hire web application developers from B2B directories, you can create a framework which includes all the relevant details. This can include budget, salary, required skill-set etc. This will help you to cross-check your requirements while searching for hiring a suitable web app developer.
Always double-check the reviews and ratings before hiring a web app developer considering that there are web app developers with fake reviews. Reliability and quality should be your prime concerns while hiring web app developers.
To hire a web app developer, you can also seek help from your professional contacts. This is a more reliable option than the internet because your contacts might have worked with a web app developer in the past and know the quality of their work.
Hire web app developers who have the perfect knowledge of programming languages and understand UI/UX and design principles.
You can hire a web app development company from another country or can develop your own in-house team. There are many advantages and disadvantages when you opt to hire web app developers from another country and when you develop your web app through your in-house team.
Developing web app: in-house vs offshore team
An in-house team is your internal team, where you hire web app developers and other team members such as project manager, UI/UX designer, QA analyst etc. to work for your company.
When you hire web app developers for working on your project from another country, it is offshoring. India and China are some examples of Asian countries that are famous for offshoring.
There are many merits and demerits for an in-house team and offshore web app development team.
1. Benefits of in-house web app development teams
- Your internal team devotes all their working time towards the development of your web application. This will ensure that the web app is completed under the specified time.
- You are in direct control of the in-house app development team. You have total control of the workflow and will have an insight into the daily status of the work. There are no focus issues for your employees as they work only for you.
- You can individually give salary to your team members according to their performance, expertise and experience.
- An in-house web app development team will understand the target audience, goals, brand voice and competitors in the field of work better than an offshore web app development team.
- In-house web app development team does everything promptly. As everyone is working in the same office, approvals and reviews happen in a time-bound manner and at a faster rate.
- While developing a project with your in-house team, you can have any number of revision checks that increases the quality of the web app. But when hiring a web app development company, you are having limitations of the budget, so you can have only a certain number of revisions.
2. Disadvantages of in-house web app development
The main disadvantage of an in-house app development team is that it takes time for the recruitment process.
To hire web app developers and other team members, you need to have an initial screening such as tests and interviews. After hiring the right team members, you need to give them proper training for the execution of the project. This increases time and budget.
Hiring in-house web app development teams are more expensive than hiring web app development companies and hiring dedicated web app development teams.
You will need infrastructure and office space. You will also incur extra expenses like taxes, rent etc. You also need to pay for various types of software and hardware that are essential for work. There are also expenses for maintaining an in-house development team.
2.3 The team
When an important member of the in-house team resigns, you may need to put the project on hold.
You can only resume the project only after finding a replacement. You may also need to train the employee, which further increases time.
If you hire web app developers without the proper knowledge or expertise, it will have negative impacts on the project.
You may not deliver a quality web app if the employees are not up to the mark. Costs could also go up unexpectedly as you may need to give more training to the employees who are not up to the mark.
Hiring an offshore web app development team makes up for some of the disadvantages posed by in-house web app development teams. The advantages of an offshore web app development team are as follows.
3. Advantages of offshore web app development team
- You get access to a good number of talents while hiring offshore web app development teams. You can hire web app developers who can build quality web applications at a low cost.
- The vendor company will take care of project management activities such as human resource management, hiring and onboarding employees etc.
- There is no need to spend money on office rents, recruitment and training, insurance benefits, provident funds etc. while hiring an offshore web app development team. This will drastically reduce the cost and time needed to develop a web app for you.
- Hiring an offshore web app development company is very beneficial for a start-up. A startup has less workforce than an established firm. They can save a lot of time and money on hiring and managing manpower. Thus, they can concentrate more on the actual business.
- Hiring an offshore web app development company can help you analyse the competitors in the field. As an offshore web app development company will have an understanding of the global market, they can have a better evaluation of the competition. They have professionals who are working in the field for many years. With their help, you can develop one of the best web apps using the latest technology, market data and the newest trend among consumers.
4. Disadvantages of offshore web app development team
4.1 Time Zone
You and the offshore web app development company are in different time zones.
This is one of the major drawbacks of hiring an offshore web app development team. Reporting issues to the web app development team and getting them solved will take time.
While hiring an offshore web app development team, always give importance to communication. English is commonly used by offshore web app development companies to communicate with you. But there can be a communication barrier arising due to cultural influences and English being a second language to many.
There will also be issues related to phrases, usages, style of communication etc. For example, if a team member uses the sentence structure of his/her native language while communicating in English, you may have difficulty in deciphering it.
4.3 Geopolitical conditions
The geopolitical conditions of the offshore web app development team will affect their work and could increase the completion time. So you should have a proper understanding of the situations in the country to which the development team belongs. You should have a contingency plan if there is a probability of geopolitical unrest.
4.4 Cultural and social practices
While hiring offshore web app development teams, it is difficult to overcome the cultural barrier. The culture will have an influence on the attitude and behaviours of the people and can influence the product quality.
How much does it cost to hire web app developers?
There are many factors that determine the cost of hiring web app developers. Some of them includes the following:
1. Experience and expertise
When you hire web application developers, one of the prime factors that determine the cost is experience and expertise.
A project is divided based on its complexity level such as simple, advanced, complicated etc. It is always economical to hire web app developers with different seniority levels. This helps in dividing the payments and the project according to their expertise.
When you hire web app developers, always have a look into the geographical location.
There are web app developers from many countries such as India and Ukraine who develop quality web apps within a low budget. It is very expensive to hire web app developers from the U.S. You can hire web app developers from the US in the price range between $75-$115. If you are looking to hire web app developers from the Western European countries, they charge between $65-$80 for an hour.
Hiring web app developers from Asian countries such as India is the most suitable choice in terms of rate and quality. It is very economical when you hire a web app development company from India, as they only charge between $25-$40 per hour. The quality of web apps is also not compromised when you hire web app developers from Asian countries.
3. Billing models
There are two types of billing models which decide the cost when you hire a web app development company. They are
- Fixed price model
- Time and material model
3.1 Fixed price model
In the fixed-price model, the budget will be fixed before signing the contract with the web app development company you hire. You cannot modify the requirement once you sign the contract. Or a new contract or additional contract will be made if there is a change in the requirement.
This type of billing is most suitable for a short term project with a clear understanding of the requirements. You only need to pay the rate which was finalized before signing the contract. A development roadmap and date of delivery of the product will also be discussed prior to signing the contract.
3.2 Time and material model
In the time and materials model, you have to pay for the time and resources used. This type of billing guarantees a quality end product. It involves paying for the work completed. You can modify the requirements of the web app while using this model. It is suitable for developing a complex web app with more functionalities. So it is flexible compared to the fixed price model.
4. Features and functionality
The functionalities are another factor that determines the cost when you hire web app developers. Web apps with simple functions have a lower rate of development compared to a complex web app.
5. Other factors
- While developing a complex web app, there is a possibility for more bugs and errors. Fixing them also increases the cost of development.
- Using the latest technologies reduces time. But it increases the cost of development as money is needed to be spent on buying these technologies and training the team.
- Security is users’ top priority. To enhance the security features of the app, you need to invest some money and in most cases it is unavoidable.
Having a web app for your business is better than a website. But to develop one, you need the expertise and skill set of a remarkable web app developer. You can choose to hire dedicated web app developers or a web app development company. You might need inputs from the best web app development company to build a web app that will generate more revenues for your business.
AlignMinds Technologies is an award-winning mobile app development company with a decade of success stories. We offer digital product engineering services that include strategy and design, web and mobile app development, DevOps and cybersecurity. We can help your businesses to get an edge in the competition through innovative solutions. Contact us now!