Web applications are tools that users can use by accessing a web server (thanks to the Internet or an intranet) through a browser, which will execute the task.
Web applications provide a very important added value to our ‘site’ and can help position us as a benchmark in the sector if they become viral.
Pros of web applications
- They are a quick and cheap solution since the investment for their development is less and less time is needed.
- There is no need to create different versions for different families of devices: a web application will be accessible to all users, whether they use iOS, Android, a tablet, or a PC.
- The web environment continues to be better when it comes to attracting users since they are usually reluctant at first to occupy the memory of their devices by downloading a tool that they do not know if it will be useful to them. However, if they only have to follow a URL link, they will be more willing to give it a try.
- It uses languages well known to programmers, such as HTML and CSS.
- There is no need for regular updates or user permission to implement changes. When any modification is made, Internet users will only have to open the website again to find a new version, dispensing with notifications and warnings.
- Although they are slower, web applications are less likely to hang and suffer ‘bugs’ because they avoid technical problems that arise from incompatibilities or software conflicts with other applications and the security protocols of the devices.
Cons of web applications
- As it is not a native app, they are not in the official ‘market’ of the predominant operating systems in mobile phones, such as the Apple Store or the Play Store. In this way, many users who look for an application in these stores will not find it.
- Native apps must be downloaded, so once this step has been taken, they are more likely to be used again, fostering loyalty. However, the web world is more volatile, and the user may turn to any other application they come across on the internet the next time they need it.
- Typically, the user needs greater connectivity in web applications than in mobile applications to use the tool.
- Performance is limited by the response of the browser from which the application is running.
- The user experience is worse, as it adapts less to the device used than a native app.
- Offline functionalities are ruled out in web applications.
As web applications are hosted on a server, any device can access them, so they must adapt to all screen sizes, to different mobile devices, and to the different browsers that the user may use.
Due to their intrinsic characteristics, web applications have a series of advantages and disadvantages compared to mobile applications, which need to be downloaded to a device.