What is a Web Application

A web application (or a web app) is software that can be used within a web browser via the Internet. Web applications are similar to traditional software applications (native applications) with a few differences.

Web Application vs Native Software

The main difference between a web app and a native software application is that a web application does not need to be installed on each computer or device and it can instead be accessed using a web browser connected to the Internet.

This means that there is less maintenance for a web application, because it only needs to be maintained and updated on the server that it is running on. This can save a lot of time and expense and also means that every user is using the exact same version of the web application at all times keeping a consistent user experience.

Custom Web Apps

Many companies are choosing web applications because they are more cost efficient, can be customised to each organisation, and are relatively fast to deploy. All maintenance is handled centrally at the server and if an emergency update is required, this can be implemented very fast to all users at the same time.


Security is an important aspect for any software, but there are advantages with a web application because it can be handled and performed centrally from the server. Revoking a user's access for example is very easy to do with a web application, something that is very difficult, if not impossible to do with traditional native software.

Unified Data

A web application benefits from unified data. Because the web app is run from a central server, the data is always up-to-date for all aspects of the application. Users can see updates that other users perform in real-time. Reports can be generated in real-time with up-to-the-minute results. So with a web app, you will always have access to the latest data and reports.


As a business grows, the systems in place also need to grow. App maintenance, app updates and server hardware upgrades can be handled efficiently with minimal to no downtime involved. Users do not need to worry about anything as it is all handled server-side. Once any work is complete, the new changes will apply to all users simultaneously.

Types of Web Applications

There are many types of web applications, each with a different purpose or set of purposes. Some are accessible publicly, some require payment, and others are private for an organisation or group of users.

You have most likely already used several web applications. Some examples of web applications include Internet Banking, Social Media Platforms, Google Docs, Online Email Systems, etc.

For businesses, web applications can come in many forms including a CMS (Content Management System), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Client Portal, Staff Portal, Business Process Management, and more.

View our page on Web App Uses for different examples of web applications and how they could work for your business.

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