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5 things to consider before developing a web application

tolustar profile image tolustar Originally published at tolustar.com Updated on ・4 min read

Before you begin developing that great web application, there are certain things you must consider in ensuring your application does not suddenly fail in the future.

  1. Database
  2. Performance
  3. Security
  4. Hosting Provider
  5. User Experience

1. Database

Choosing the right database can be very critical to the success of your app, it is a long term decision and making any changes later in the future can be quite difficult and expensive, you can not afford to get it wrong at the beginning stages of your application development. Here are some benefits of choosing the right database for your application.

  1. It will be easy to maintain
  2. Your application will be fast and it will have a good overall performance
  3. You will write fewer codes as opposed to choosing the wrong database
  4. You will save cost

There are two types of databases commonly used - SQL Databases (MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL) and NoSQL Databases (MongoDB, Cassandra DB, CouchDB). Before using any database for your web application you need to ask certain questions that will guide you in selecting the right database for your application.

  1. Would your data have a definite structure
  2. How often would your database schemas change as your application grows
  3. Would I need to make multiple and complex relationships in my database
  4. How many users do you expect to handle simultaneously when your application becomes really popular?
  5. Would your application process big data.

Answering the above questions will give you a cue to know which database type is best for you  

2. Performance

The performance of your web application is very critical to the success of your web application. No one will like to use your web application if it takes over a minute to load a page or portion of your web application. Every user wants a fast responsive web application and can still be accessible when their network is really poor. Ways to improve the performance of your web application

  1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for your static files - A CDN is a worldwide network of servers that allows you to duplicate and store your site’s static elements/files (e.g. CSS, Javascript, images, documents, videos, etc.). These elements are then delivered to visitors from a server closer to their physical location.
  2. Optimize your images
  3. Minify your Javascript and CSS files
  4. Combine CSS and JavaScript files to reduce HTTP requests
  5. Improve your database queries - Database queries with long response time will affect the performance of your web application. Indexing your database tables, refactoring and optimizing your database queries will boost the performance of your web application

3. Security

Having a data breach is detrimental to the growth of your application and company, and it can cost you more in user loss of trust in your product, loss of revenues and possible lawsuits, so it is very important you consider the security of your application at every development stage. The Open Web Application Security Project has written top 10 web application security risks and how you can prevent them read more  

4. Hosting Provider

Having the right hosting provider can play a huge role in the growth of your company and web application. A good hosting provider must be fast, secure, have good support, and provides the ability to scale up when there is an influx of users on your application due to certain events. There are so many factors involved in selecting the right hosting provider and it can be overwhelming. Here are a few points to go through before you pick up your new web hosting provider.

  1. Know your hosting needs
  2. How secure is the hosting provider
  3. Reliability and Availability
  4. Essential hosting features
  5. How effective is their customer service
  6. Do they provide interval backups
  7. Scalability

5. User Experience

User experience is how your users feel about every interaction with your web application at the moment they are using it. If you develop a web application that’s ugly, hard to use, and that doesn’t help your users achieve their goals, they’re going to leave feeling frustrated and probably angry. After all, by developing an awful site, you just wasted their time. UX is about creating a user interface that is intuitive and so well designed that users don’t even have to think, they just touch, read, scroll, and otherwise interact until they reach the conversion. Here are some benefits of good user experience

  1. User loyalty - If a user had a bad experience while using your web application, the chances of the user returning to your application are slim. On the other hand, if your web application wows your audience, you’ll begin to breed loyalty with just the first few site interactions. The longer you keep visitors on-site with UX best practices, the more loyal your customers will become, which represents the best-case scenario for long term business success.
  2. Return on Investment - The longer you keep a user on your web application the higher the chances of them making a purchase
  3. Happy users

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