10 Types of Web Applications to Simplify your Business

types of web applications

In this article ,We go over the different types of web applications.


But first, lets understand what a web application is.


A web app is a website that designed to look and feel like a downloadable app.

And just like websites , some are static and rarely updated , while others are responsive and offer a great deal of interactivity .


The main advantage of web applications is that they are cheaper, quicker, easier to build and can be used offline  In addition they function on a desktop as well as mobile .


Their only downsides: they work only through the browser and do not have access to all the features on the phone.


Lets dive into the different types.



Static Web Applications

Users can only read the information.No other interaction is possible .Used only when the information requires no more modifications.


                                                                                                                                      [Source: Adobe.com]


Unless it is changed physically on the servers hard disk, content does not change.


Static web apps are loaded on the clients browser exactly how they are stored on the server.The content is not modified by an application server before the page is sent to a browser. 


Languages used to create them HTML,JavaScript,CSS etc


Advantages of a static web application :

  • Cost effective .
  • Takes less time to load .
  • Suitable for small website’s with no/very few content updates.


Dynamic Web Application

A dynamic web application generates the pages/data in real time, as per users request.


When the web server receives a request for a dynamic page, the page is passed to a software called the application server.


Databases are used at the server end , so the user gets the updated content.The application server reads the code ,customizes the page and passes it to the web server which then sends it to the browser.


They are used when the information changes often.And are much more complex to construct and design.


Tools used in the creation of dynamic web  application:  CGI (Common Gateway Interface), ASP (Active Server Pages), JSP (Java Server Pages), ASP.NET, PHP etc


Single Page Apps (SPA)

They are smooth and fast .Easy to develop, debug and deploy.


 Users don’t have to navigate to different pages ; all the content is loaded on one single page .


Here’s an example :

(Trello — Single Page Application)

SPAs are faster than traditional web applications because they execute the logic in the web browser itself rather than on the server.

Advantages of Single-Page Applications

  • Fast:  Most HTML/CSS/Scripts resources are only loaded once throughout the lifespan of an application. The content updates dynamically .And the page never reloads completely.

  • Caching: An SPA sends only one request to a server and then stores all the data it receives.And then is able to work offline.


Disadvantages of Single-Page Applications:


Multi-Page Apps (MPA)

Multi page applications are the traditional web applications that reload the entire page and displays the new one when a user moves to another page


 A new page is requested from the server to display in the web browser.


This process takes time to generate the pages on the server, which may affect the user experience.


 Technologies used for building multi-page websites include HTML CSS JavaScript and jQuery.


Advantages of Multi-Page Applications

  • SEO : Much better chance of ranking for diff keywords since each page is optimized for one keyword.
  • Scalability : With no page limitations you can include as much information about products or services.


Disadvantages of Multi-Page Applications

  • Slow Speed:When moving from page to page the browser has to completely reload the page’s HTML CSS and scripts .This affects speed .
  • Development, Maintenance and Updates:  MPA’s take longer to develop compared to SPA .The larger the website the longer it take to develop, maintain and update.

diagram differentiating Single page apps and multi page apps

If your business deals with a variety of products or  services ,it would be better to have them on different pages with a multi page application


Portal Web App

Portals enable enterprises to have personalised interfaces that serve their users needs.


Only members having access can see the content of web portal.


Once the user logs in, the service provider can track user’s website activity .Based on the  access assigned , certain features may be restricted for certain users.


Since web portals are websites that require you to login the languages used are similar to web design and development services .


Some of the languages include: Angular JS , Laravel ,React ,JS ,Node JS  ,Ruby on Rails, Asp.Net etc


Examples of portals 

  • Student & Faculty Portals 
  • Patient Portals ,
  • Employee Portals
  • Government Portals, 
  • Online Banking & Insurance Portals


 Animated Web Applications

Animations in web apps are useful in holding people’s attention longer and highlighting relevant information .Only add animations if it meaningfully enhances the user experience.


Technologies used for creating web animation include HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and SVG (scalable vector graphics)


Animations can be non-interactive like a GIF

                                                                                   [Loading animation. Image source: Dribbble]


OR be dynamic  where it changes based on how the user interacts  with it 

                                                                                          Event Website Design by Julien Renvoye


Web Applications with a Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is a software that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website without the need for technical knowledge of web programming or markup languages.


They are easy to use inexpensive .


Without a content management system, you would need to write the content in a static HTML file and upload it to your server.



  • Easy Editing and  plug-ins to extend existing functionality
  • They are easy to use inexpensive 
  • Multiple users can edit and make changes to the content and these changes can be tracked .Previous versions of the content can be easily retrieved.


Examples of content management systems include : WordPress,J oomla and Drupal.


Rich Internet Apps (RIA)

A Rich Internet Application (RIA) is a Web application that has all the features of  traditional browser applications but is faster , more engaging and has better data communication.


They can even be used offline.


RIAs generally split the processing across client side and the  application server side.The user interface and related activity are handled on the client machine, and the data manipulation and operation on the application server side


Basically the Data on the server , rest of the functions client side.


This makes the application more interactive than traditional browser applications


Using client machines for this kind of processing also improves server performance.


An RIA usually operates in a sandbox,  a designated desktop area in a client machine.Limiting visibility and access to the client machine’s file system and OS,reduces security vulnerabilities.This approach also lowers the amount of client-server bandwidth traffic and resource usage


Technologies used to build RIA’s include :AJAX,Java ,Java FX,Adobe Flash ,Adobe Flex and Adobe Integrated Runtime(AIR), Google gears, Microsoft Silverlight ,Curl.


Examples of RIA’s :Google Maps Google Docs  and Youtube 


JavaScript-Powered Web Apps

JavaScript is used to  make dynamic and interactive web pages.


Some of the JavaScript Frameworks available include: AngularJS, ReactJS, NodeJS etc. Using these frameworks, you can reduce the amount of time and effort required to develop JS based sites and apps.


Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

                                                                                                          [Image Source: Medium]


It is an app that works on any browser or mobile device.They have the look and feel of an app when used on mobile .


E-commerce Web apps

Majority of online shopping traffic comes from mobile; this makes web apps the perfect choice to drive engagement and revenue .


Any company that sells online would benefit from helping shoppers make a purchase quicker. 


Enter Progressive Web Apps.


These apps are not just faster,but more reliable, engaging  and high converting


Developing a Web Application?

Before investing your time and resources on developing a web app evaluate your needs ,and choose the type wisely.


Whatever the size of your business ,when you’re at a technological crossroad always choose what will best serve your audience


Not doing this could cost the whole project.


Need help building your web app?


Get in touch with us -the best web development company in Chennai.


We’d love to help .

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