Dev

What is the Best Platform to Develop Web Applications? (2021)

3 minutes to read
Dominic Halvorson
February 19, 2021

In the ever-changing tech landscape, businesses have to keep their finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

With web applications permeating every industry, savvy companies have been looking for ways to secure their slice of the pie. And when it comes to building a web application -- no matter how complex or large -- picking a development platform is a decision with far-fetching consequences as it makes up the backbone, the linchpin that holds your application together.

To help you choose wisely, in this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Already know exactly what you want and just want to review the top web app platforms? Jump straight to our expert review.

The Main Challenges of Picking the Right Web Development Platform

Choosing the right platform for your web app project may be being quite challenging as developers face the following stumbling blocks:

Framework Expertise

Frameworks are the foundation of all development languages, providing  web devs with collections of coding  functionalities. A framework solves the problem of having to code everything from scratch and reinvent the wheel each time, saving up a lot of time as well as boosting the application's performance.

However, developers need to have extensive knowledge of a given web developing platform to be capable of using it and maximizing its potential. 

User Experience

The platform has to strike the perfect balance between coding sophistication and user experience. There are instances when developers get carried away and focus too much on the coding part while completely ignoring UX/UI.

Find a platform that would help you walk the tightrope between functionality and 

Security

According to a CDN report, cyberattacks on web applications rose by 800% in the first half of 2020. With this rise in cyber attacks, developers have to choose a platform that meets the set security standards and gets regularly updated.

Scalability

Developers have to choose web application platforms that can scale up to meet the needs of a growing enterprise without compromising on performance and speed. 

How to Choose a Web Development Framework

Choosing is hard. Trying to pick the right web developing framework can turn out to be quite overwhelming with so many options available. 

To make sure you make the right decision, focus on the following three key components while exploring what the market has to offer:

Your Goals

Identify what exactly you're trying to achieve with your web app as your goals are your North star, guiding you through the process of setting up and navigating the development process. 

For that reason, make sure your vision is a common thread running through your vision for the app during the planning stage, the key requirements, and the impact it  will have on its user base. 

Your goals also shape the core design features along with the technical functionality.

Your Technology Stack

The tech stack you pick should have a handful of tools in the kit to tackle the specific problems you're trying to solve with your web app. 

For example, if there's no chance of the users scaling up, then there's no need to optimize your app for that. Comply with industry-standard regulations and keep the documentation for future troubleshooting.

Your Team

Finding the right team for your project is half the battle won. For in-house projects, find out early on your development team's qualifications and choose a framework they are comfortable working with. 

When you outsource the project, you should go for a team with a broad range of coding competencies. With this approach, whichever framework you choose,  your contractors are more likely to have an expert on the team who can handle it. 

Having that in mind, let’s review some of the best web application development platforms to choose from. 

Web App Development Platforms: Pros and Cons

1. Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is an open-source application framework written in the Ruby programming language. It's also an MVC (model-view-controller) framework ( model-view-controller) and comes with default structures for a web service, a web page, and a database.

Since Ruby on Rails  has an actively engaged user community you can easily access case studies, guides, and resources for developing apps. 

Popular applications built with this framework: Twitch, GitHub, Airbnb, Hulu, Shopify, Zendesk, and thousands more. 

Pros

  • Easy to learn
  • Open source
  • Extensive libraries
  • Easy to scale
  • Object-oriented
  • Minimal coding required

Cons

  • Slow boot speed
  • Supports multithreading

2. AngularJS

This framework was released by Google in 2009 but was substantially revamped in 2016. AngularJS is a javascript-based, open-source framework and has been one of the go-toplatforms for building out web-based applications. 

AngularJS is perfect for travel apps, mobile Ecommerce, video streaming, and review applications. 

Popular applications built with this framework: Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Upwork, PayPal.

Pros

  • You can easily turn HTML based documents into dynamic content
  • Great business support
  • Responsive web applications
  • Data analysis
  • Two-way data binding

Cons

  • Difficult to learn
  • Difficult to render on old devices
  • Unsuitable for developers unfamiliar with MVC. 

3. ASP.NET

This framework was built by Microsoft and was released in 2002. It's perfect for mobile and desktop app development and stands out from the pack by being highly dynamic and scalable. 

Popular applications built with this framework: Microsoft, Ancestry.com, GoDaddy, StackOverflow, Diply.com.

Pros

  • Easy to deploy
  • Deep integrations with the Azure  cloud
  • Impressive language support
  • Third-party control features
  • Suitable for cross-platform development
  • Two modes of compilation
  • Follows the MVC design pattern
  • Easy to update

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited server selection options (nothing except the IIS server)

4. React.js

React.js is is an open-source framework with a JavaScript library  known for its speed and SEO friendliness 

If you're creating a single-page application, the framework should be the first platform to think of. 

Popular applications built with this framework: Facebook Ads Manager, Airbnb, Instagram, Discord

Pros

  • Reusable components
  • Easy to learn
  • Comes with a ReactJS Toolkit
  • Performance and testing

Cons

  • Poor documentation
  • Only covers the UI aspects of the app.

Are You Ready to Have Your Web Application Developed?

Building a responsive web application that meets the needs of your business without compromising on user experience is often challenging, especially when your internal team lacks the expertise to work with your preferred framework. 

If you're experiencing challenges having your web app developed on any of the above frameworks, that’s when we come into play, offering our custom web application development solutions! Contact us today for a consultation.


Dominic Halvorson

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