A web application often referred to as a web app, is an interactive computer program built with web technologies (HTML, CSS, JS), which stores (Database, Files) and manipulates data (CRUD), and is used by a team or a single user to perform tasks over the internet. CRUD is a popular acronym and is at the heart of web app development. It stands for Create, Read, Update, and Delete. Web apps are accessed via a web browser such as Google Chrome and often involve a login/signup mechanism.
You may have these questions when planning a new web application. These answers to these questions are important from a business point of view and allow you to learn more about the step-by-step process. There are many different processes involved with building a web application. Below, I have summarized the most followed web development process that contains crucial stages evolving to develop game-changing website applications
Businesses mostly begin with a set of ideas when they think of launching a web application. These ideas gradually develop into a detailed document that includes application goals, vision, features, technology, budget and future plans, etc. By studying this document, the development team gets a clear understanding of the application objectives, target audience, market section, milestones as well as other critical elements. This document is then followed by further discussion and questionnaires to help the development team have more clarity on the project goals. Business analysts work with key stakeholders to gain consensus on requirements, communicate the outcome of discussions, and track and manage the requirement.
When the development team has 100% clarity on the project requirement, the proposal is then prepared for everything that will be delivered.
After understanding the envisioned web application, the team now creates the roadmap to build the app. With the clear insights gathered in the previous stage of the web development process, the development team creates a blueprint that contains sitemaps and sketches that allows determining the overall structure of the web application. The development team also keeps clients in the loop during this stage to make sure that the core of the application comes out correctly. The time spent on this stage will vary, depending on the complexity of the project.
This stage is all about the design and perfecting the interactive elements of the web application. The work of this stage affects mostly the user's experience as users don’t know what happens behind the front-end of the app, they just interact with the design part of the application. The design team will work with color, themes, graphics, icons, hover, templates, user experience, style guides, transitions, buttons, and so on to complete the design aspect of the web application.
The initial mockups will be reviewed and feed-backed by clients. The design then is refined and changed until received approval on everything from clients. While the design team is busy with the mockups and refinement, the development team will engage with the programming part. So, stage 3 and stage 4 usually move ahead alongside each other.
If stage 3 is about the aesthetic aspect, stage 4 is about the work of developers to program the web. Stage 4 makes the envisioned features function and bring value to the customers. The work in this stage involves the development of the framework, app features, security layers, APIs deployment, payment gateway integration, and other capabilities.
Complex web application coding can be time-consuming, however, it depends a lot on the technologies chosen and the experience as well as the expertise of the developers. Some technology stacks can benefit from libraries that have capabilities that can be adjusted and integrated with ease.
The work of stage 5 is about finalizing the content, labeling, copying, and everything else that’s in the text form. It’s essential to have the collaboration of the designer, developer, and copywriter so that all the copy is executed in the right place.
Testing the application is the process of checking whether the actual web application matches expected requirements and ensuring that the application is defect free. This is the most important aspect of the web app development model, as there are hundreds of things that can go wrong even after you think every inch of the application has been executed correctly. Even after double testing everything, it is a good idea to launch the web application initially in the beta version.
Every digital product needs routine checkups and enhancements, even if it is a simple business website or complex web application. When time passes, the product may need to integrate new features and launch the application version 2, 3, etc. This is why application maintenance, after-delivery support, and future upgrade need to be included in an application development agreement.
In conclusion, web application development is the process involved in building a web application. Above are the major stages involved in the web app development process which is mostly used in web application development projects.