Web development is growing at an aggressive rate. Better and user-friendly interfaces are also in demand. But when it comes to developing a more successful web application, key factors are defining that success. Customers are so eager to know the different aspects of your product such as its cost, look and feel, the value for money. However, to know about the company’s details, customers may likely visit the company’s website, mobile apps and also their social media pages. Thus, it is essential how you interact and respond to the customers.
I have heard whispers from clients and talks from my fellow techies about their clients also, I have understood some of the problems being faced in developing Web Applications. So, I have highlighted a few of them below to focus on challenging the problems any web developer is facing.
User Interface and User Experience
Think about a decade ago, where the web was a completely different place. Smartphones didn’t exist then. More straightforward and customer oriented web applications are highly expected now. However, sometimes it is the small UI (user interface) elements that make the most significant impact.
In the ear of smartphones, websites should be responsive enough even on the smallest screens. If your web applications frustrate or confuse its users, then it will be difficult to maintain your customer’s loyalty for your website. Website navigation is another crucial part so very often neglected by developers. Intuitive navigation brings about better user experience for the website visitor.
Intuitive navigation is directing your audience to the information that they are seeking without a learning curve. And when the navigation of the website is intuitive, visitors can find out information without pain, creating a flawless experience stopping them from visiting the competitors.
Scalability is neither performance, nor it is about making good use of the computing power and bandwidth. It is all about load balance between the servers, hence, when the load of the servers increases (that is more traffic on the page) additional servers can be added to balance it. You should take note not to throw all the load on a single server, but you should also design the software in such a way that it can work on a cluster of servers.
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) can help in improving the scalability when more and more servers are added. SOA gives you the flexibility to change quickly. The SOA is a design where application components provide services to other components through the communication protocol, primarily over a network.
Generally, it is much accepted that the speed of a website has the vital importance for a successful website. When your business is online every second count. So technically slow web applications are a failure. And as a result, customers run away from visiting your website thus, damaging the revenue as well as the reputation of the website.
It is said that thinking about the performance first before developing the web application. Some of the performance issues are poorly written codes, un-optimised databases, the unmanaged growth of data, traffic spikes, poor load distribution, default configuration, troublesome third-party services etc. a content distribution network (CDN) is globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centres.
It means that instead of using a single web server for the website, you can use a network of servers. Some of the benefits associated with CDN are that the requests on the server will be routed to different servers to balance the traffic, the files are then divided on different CDNs so that there will be no queuing and wait for downloading different files like images, videos, text, etc.
Knowledge of Framework and Platforms
Frameworks are the beginning for development of languages; they boost performance, offer libraries for coding and also extend capabilities, so developers need to make hand-coding web applications from the ground up. Frameworks offer features like models, APIs (application programming interface), snippets of code and other elements to help develop dynamic web applications.
Some of the frameworks have a stiff approach to development, and some are flexible. Typical examples of web frameworks are PHP, Django, Laravel, Ruby on Rails and J2EE. Web platforms provide client libraries built on existing frameworks required to develop a web application or website. New functionality can be added via an external API. Developers and small business owners should have a clear understanding of their company needs related to website and application development.
Information delivery and online presence would require a simple web platform such as WordPress or Squarespace, but a selling product requires an e-commerce platform such as Shopify, Magneto, WooCommerce or BigCommerce. But while choosing the perfect platform, one should also consider technical skills, learning curve, pricing, customisation options and analytics.
In the middle of the design and user experience, web application security is often left out. But data security should be considered throughout the software development life cycle, especially when the application is dealing with vital information such as payment details, contact information and confidential data. There are so many things to take into consideration when it comes to web application security such as database malfunctioning, denial of service attacks, the safety of user data, Cross-Site Request Forgery, Shell Injection, unauthorized access to restricted parts of the website, etc. some of the security threats are Cross-Site Scripting, Phishing, Session Hijacking, SQL Injection, Buffer Overflow and so on. The website should be carefully coded to able to face these security concerns.
We all know how web development can be intentionally tricky as it involves creating a final product which should build the brand, be pleasing and it is technically up to date with sound visuals.