We are living in interesting times, where technology rules. And among the many areas it has affected is marketing where businesses are beginning to shift their focus from traditional advertising methods to digital marketing. Basically, digital marketing entails using digital tools to improve service delivery, customer engagement, and brand’s presence.
With that said, not all tools work. However, web apps built on Ruby on Rails have emerged as worthy competitors in digital marketing that entrepreneurs deploy to improve their bottom line. In this article, we are going to share our views on how to choose the best technologies for web application development, their effect on your project, and the trends to expect in 2019. At the end of it all, you will be able to hire Ruby on Rails developer from an informed position.
What is a web app?
Web applications are software applications that utilize dynamic server-side programming to provide various functionalities like user interaction, back-end database connection, and browser results generation.
Examples of web apps include Social Networking, Online Banking, Online Reservations, Interactive Games, e-commerce application, Content Management Systems, Online Training, Online Polls, Online Forums, etc..
Is there a difference between a web app and a mobile app?
If you’re an entrepreneur planning to establish digital presence using an app, one of the biggest and most pressing considerations is probably choosing the right type of tools to deploy. Basically, you can choose between a mobile application or a mobile website. At first, the two are almost synonymously but they do have their respective distinctions. However, the most conspicuous and apparent difference is the fact that web apps run on the browser while mobile apps run on the device itself.
Advantages of web applications
Reduces development cost
When using web-based applications, the users are able to access the system through a uniform environment which is the web browser. On the other side of the scale, user interaction is thoroughly tested using different systems although the development team only need to build it for a single operating system. As such, all the unnecessary testing on multiple OS versions and configurations is averted which makes development and troubleshooting super-easy. All these factors put together significantly save development time and costs.
Accessible through multiple devices
On top of the reduced development costs, content on web applications can be customized to match different user niches like mobile phones, PDAs, and tablets. As a result, the users are able to receive and interact with the available information irrespective of the device they use.
Unlike conventional apps, their web-based counterparts are accessible anywhere, anytime as long as there is internet connectivity. This gives the user the freedom to travels anywhere without having to worry about missing out. And with the possibility of global teams and remote work, the idea of working in a fixed location is slowly being antiquated by web-based applications.
Compared to desktop applications, the web-based application’s user interface is easy to customize. This makes it easier to revamp and step up different elements of the app or even customize how information is relayed to different users groups. Therefore, the idea of one-size-fits-all is eliminated. Instead, as a business owner, you can customize the perfect look to match the specific needs of your customers depending on their tastes and preferences.
Easy to scale
Increased usage of an app means that the processor capacity should follow suit. With a web-based app, this becomes a fairly simple operation as the software can be run on multiple servers simultaneously. This process can be scaled up as the workload increases without affecting the overall app’s performance.
Web-based apps are typically deployed and installed on dedicated servers. This makes it easier to monitor and maintain security. With such close monitoring, potential breaches are easy to detect and necessary action is taken.
5 Best frameworks to build a web app
Web application frameworks are tools, programs, libraries, and components that are organized in an architecture system to allow a web developer to build and maintain web application projects in a fast and efficient manner.
So, what is a web development framework for? Basically, these tools are used to optimize programming and promote code-reuse through establishing efficient folder structure, organization, documentation, guidelines, and libraries, to run an app. It’s important to mention that some are open-source while others are licensed. This means that the performance and cost you are looking for in an app should give you the bearing as to which framework to choose.
Here are 5 technologies to choose from;
Ruby on rails
Ruby on Rails is an open-source framework that is used by notable websites like Basecamp, Twitter, and Airbnb. One of the unique selling points of Ruby is the elegant syntax which makes its super-easy to write and read. One of the uniques selling points of Ruby on Rails framework is the simplification of repetitive tasks which means that the development team spends less time in files configuration to get set up.
Moreover, the framework emphasizes on RESTful application design. This encourages a logical structure within which applications can be exposed as an Application Programming Interface(API). The readable and self-documenting nature of Ruby on rails also means that you can increase productivity because it eliminates the need to write separate documentation.
When it comes to the best framework for web application development, Laravel is another biggest contender. Right from inception, developers have been using it to build modern web applications that are mostly based on the MVC architecture. As a business or web application owner, you need to ensure the authenticity of the app’s users to prevent any unauthorized access to secured resources. To counter this, Laravel helps you implement security measures using out of the box configurations. Additionally, the framework also supports some of the commonly used cache backends such as Memcached and Redis to be used for large applications. Even better, the default configuration uses the file cache driver where cached items can be stored in the file system.
In recent years, Node.js has seen skyrocketing popularity. As such, Express has been riding on this common thread to become one of the most sought after frameworks. It has and is still being used by large corporations like IBM, Accenture, Uber, and many others to build their apps and websites. Being a server-side web application framework, Express provides the development teams minimalistic interfaces to build application thanks to the numerous modules on npm. Moreover, unlike its peers like Django and Rails, the developers have an opinionated way to build apps given its flexibility and pluggability.
This is one of the super-light frontend frameworks to build rich Single-Page apps. The framework seeks inspiration from simplicity to build apps with excellent MVC design. The biggest selling point of Backbone lies in the Underscore library, which when paired with Mustache and Marionette, allows developers to build complete client-side applications.
Vue.js is the proverbial new kid on the block. Initially, the framework started as a small individual project before blasting to fame and becoming one of the best JS frameworks on the market.
Although relatively new, there are many things to love about Vue. For starters, it’s a progressive framework that allows you to merge or plug existing projects into it without crippling it. That notwithstanding, the rich Vue ecosystem also facilitates component architecture when building complete frontend applications.
2019 web app development trends
The success of your web app is entirely dependent on how apt you are in keeping up with current app design trends. As time moves and technology changes, what looks like a polished design could be rendered derelict in a snap. As a result, it’s important to differentiate between trends and a passing fad. Here are the web development trends set to make headlines in 2019 and beyond;
AI or Bots
As we progress into the future machines are slowly becoming intelligence all thanks to Artificial intelligence (AI). Their intelligence is displayed through mimicking human intelligence and even performing cognitive functions such as learning, data collection, information analysis, and solving challenging problems. The need to automate communication, repetitive tasks, and data analytics will become prevalent ins 2019 and beyond.
And we are already seeing AI-enabled chatbots, virtual assistants and voice bots helping businesses transform customer engagement and interactions in a consistent manner across voice, chat, messaging, apps, and websites.
Progressive web apps
Progressive Web Apps will continue dominating the airwaves as we progress into the second half of 2019. PWAs mimics the regular web pages loading capability without compromising on speed and functionality. They are capable of loading instantaneously irrespective of the network or browser you are using making them the first choice for users. To avoid data tampering and content snooping, PWAs are served using HTTPS, meaning that the safety of web apps can only continue to get stronger.
Static images are being phased out as technologies advance. More and more businesses are creating professional websites and apps by replacing these static and boring images with intuitive animations for a more interactive user engagement approach. Additionally, you will start seeing the seeing animations being integrated into the scrolling and navigation aspects of web apps.
The world of web app development is constantly mutating which makes it almost impossible to keep tabs on everything that is going on. What programming language suits your app? What is the most relevant framework? All these are some of the questions you have to keep on dealing with…
With the above 5 techniques, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding your footing. The future of app development is bright and exciting things will continue coming up. The better positioned you are, the higher your chances of having a front-row seat when the action starts.
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