From large enterprises to small and medium scale businesses – all are leaning towards building a web app to enable the target audience to access their online destination effortlessly. If you are looking to engage web application development services anytime soon, this blog is a must-read. Here, we will explore some of the crucial features your web app should have. We will divide the blog into two aspects: technical components and features. Let’s check them out.
Technical Components of a Web App
The service worker facilitates offline work mode and background syncing. It paves way for application shell or interface caching so that the app instantly loads during repeat visits. Relevant dynamic content like images, shopping cart, chat history, checkout, etc. can be loaded later when the connection is restored.
Web App Manifest
A web app manifest (a JSON file) gives the app a mobile app like interface appearance. With it, you can control the way your web application will be displayed to the visitor. Usually, the display features a full-screen mode without a visible URL bar. The file is a prime location for the web application’s metadata. You can also define a splash screen along with a theme colour for the address bar.
Transport Layer Security or TLS
Web apps leverage TLS or Transport Layer Security protocols. It is the standard of robust and secure data exchange between two apps. The integrity of the data demands installing an SSL certificate on the server and serving websites via HTTPS.
Must-Have Features in a Web App
1. Serverless Cloud Architecture
Serverless technology is bringing a revolution in the realm of software development. This enables accessing data with minimal or no hardware constraints. It has ample benefits over traditional on-premise systems. Therefore, an increasing number of businesses are using cloud technologies to build web applications.
Adopting a cloud-based architecture gives businesses a break from the complexity of setting up or dealing with complex servers. Further, it offers adequate security, flexibility, and scalability to a web app.
2. Mobile-First Interface
Gone are the days of the traditional belief that people access a website from a desktop or laptop. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices generated 54.8% of global website traffic (source: Statista).
A web app must be ready to welcome people coming from smartphones or tablets. A responsive UI design is no more a luxury but a necessity. With the rise of IoT, a web app can be accessed from other devices like wearables, refrigerators, or smart TVs. A dynamic web design built with a mobile-first interface is lightweight and can fit in any screen size.
3. Push Notification
Push notification is no more exclusive to mobile apps. This is great news for businesses as they need not launch a mobile app or wait for people to install it into the phone. The users can get push notifications from web apps as well. These greatly enhance user engagement.
Also, the process is fast and simple. With a one-click-opt-in feature, the users can enable push notifications. These seem just like from an installed mobile app and do not require the browser to run in the background.
These days, integrating a live chat or chatbot has become essential. People do not often call a business or drop an email. Should they fail to find something on the web app, they prefer to ask via the integrated chat feature.
Remember, if their queries remain unanswered, they may not interact with your business and simply bounce.
To avoid this, it’s better to integrate a chat feature on your web app. You can even integrate your business WhatsApp (or any other messenger that you use) so that people can instantly contact you.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Without search engine friendliness, your website will not be visible to a wider audience and it will affect the number of traffic you receive. If you don’t want that, ensure that your web app is optimized for the search engines. Here is a detailed guide to an effective SEO strategy.
- The site navigation should be logical and enable the search engines to crawl and index.
- Use schema.org metadata that is relevant to the web page content. It will enhance your appearance on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
- The web pages should not use fragmented identifiers since Google will simply ignore them.
- Block pages that you don’t want to be crawled or indexed.
- Implementing image alt attribute is a must.
- Provide canonical tags while serving content from different sources so as to avoid duplication.
- Follow the W3C standard that focuses on writing semantic markup. This is great for SEO.
You can also engage SEO services after the web app is built in order to enhance its ranking on the SERP.
In the fast-paced world of the internet where millions of websites compete with each other to reach out to their target audience, it is primarily the quality of your website (along with other factors such as ranking on SERPs, etc) that helps your business to stay relevant and competitive. Further, the quality of your website ultimately determines the Customer Experience (CX), the crucial factor that helps your website to garner customer traffic repeatedly. According to Forbes, companies that offer superior customer experiences outperform their rivals by 80%.
Over the years, India has emerged as one of the most mature markets globally to outsource business processes including IT. According to a survey conducted by CBRE, a leading real estate consulting firm, more than 75 percent of multinational companies consider India as their preferred outsourcing market. Their confidence is based on India’s buoyant economy, growing talent pool, regulatory reforms, and cost advantage, among others. Let us discuss these in detail:
Cost advantage: In terms of the currency exchange rate, the currencies of the USA, Canada, European countries, Australia, and the Middle East (dollar, euro, pound-sterling, dirham, etc) have a much higher value than the Indian Rupee. It means if you happen to be from the above-mentioned countries and want to outsource your web development job to an Indian company, the cost would be significantly less. So, when it comes to choosing quality and savings, outsourcing the job to India would be in your best interest.
Quality: The attribute we just referred to in the above segment. A bad-quality website can mean disaster for your business. Forget getting traffic, you may end up with a bruised brand image and tattered reputation. In a world of growing incidences of cybercrime and shifting customer preferences, the presence of bugs, vulnerabilities, and glitches in your website can hit your business hard. This is where outsourcing the job to an experienced web development company in India matters. Thanks to their experience in developing websites for multiple domains and expertise in the latest web development trends and technologies, India-based developers can build a quality website for your business. In doing so, they consider factors such as business objectives, latest web design trends, responsiveness, usability, functionality, and security, among others. No wonder business enterprises from around the world continue to outsource their web development jobs to Indian developers.
Top-quality skill sets: When it comes to hiring developers offering web development services, clients often find developers not skilled in multiple technology stacks. However, this is not the case with experienced Indian web development companies as they have developers skilled in multiple web technologies. These include technologies such as Node JS, Angular, React, PHP, WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, Joomla, and others. So, an Indian software company can build your website on a platform that is most suitable to your budget and business objective.
Better time utilization: Due to the differences in time zone, you can utilize the services of an Indian website development company 24 x 7 including during non-working hours. Also, if your business remains open between say, 9 to 6, the web development companies in India can work round the clock. This can help improve the productivity and efficiency of your project.
Saving on infrastructure: By outsourcing the job to an Indian software company you can save money by not setting up an in-house infrastructure. Instead, the outsourced company in India takes care of everything in terms of making investments in software resources, training employees, and hardware infrastructure.
A talent pool of resources: Indian educational institutions churn out highly skilled human resources in various domains including Information Technology. India has a talent pool of 15 million skilled programmers categorized into areas such as web development, software development, and mobile app development, among others. Also, experienced web development companies in India offer customized web solutions based on your business needs. They have the right blend of talent pool comprising web developers, business analysts, quality analysts, designers, digital marketing experts, and project managers. So, by outsourcing your web development job to an experienced Indian software company you can be assured of high-quality work within agreed timelines.
Effective communication: Thanks to the availability of state-of-the-art infrastructure comprising high data bandwidth spread across cities, people working with Indian software companies can easily communicate (and exchange data) with their counterparts present in any part of the world. This means you can keep a track of the progress of your work in real-time on a daily basis and receive work-related documents and to-do lists as and when needed. Besides, India has arguably the largest English-speaking population in the world. This means you can easily communicate with the developers (and other stakeholders) on any business-related aspect.
Regulatory reforms: India is a signatory to most of the international covenants on protecting data privacy. Besides, India has reformed its laws to facilitate the setting up of SEZs (Special Economic Zones) where IT companies work for businesses based in the USA and other countries. This means you work with genuine IT companies with expertise and experience rather than deal with fly-by-night operators.
Ecommerce industry has witnessed a massive boom in the post-pandemic world. Several small businesses are bringing their stores online to boost their sales. In such a scenario, it’s important to pay attention to every small detail as a single mistake can throw you behind the competitors.
In this blog, we will explore some of the common mistakes in eCommerce website development that you can easily avoid. Check these out.
Mistakes to Avoid in Ecommerce Web Development
Incompatibility with Mobile Devices
A study by The Drum finds that mobile devices account for 65% of all eCommerce traffic. This highlights the importance of a responsive web design that is seamlessly accessible on mobile devices.
Website developers always recommend using widely tested themes so as to ensure the responsiveness of a website. You can opt for Google’s mobile-friendly test to find out if your site is optimized for smartphones.
Also, frequently check your website manually. Many often, a shopping cart looks perfect on mobile devices but fails to work when the users place an order.
Always abide by navigation best practices as too much uniqueness is not a wise decision here. Here are a few points to remember:
- Anything clickable should be highlighted and large enough so that the users can tap on it using a mobile phone.
- Categories should be easily accessible from the top menu or hamburger menu.
- Allow the users to sort by important features like price, relevance, popularity, etc.
- Keep provision for multiple filters unique to your product inventory.
- Make sure that the users can save their cart or wishlist for a certain period. Usually, people don’t shop for something online in one go (except for essential items like medicines). They will browse multiple sites, compare prices, read reviews, and check out different products before making their mind. Ensure that their saved cart or wishlist is not lost.
- A search function with autocorrect and autocomplete features will instantly increase the users’ convenience.
To ensure streamlined navigation, we recommend you contact a professional website development company. The experts will focus on intuitive navigation and enhance user experience.
Without proper SEO practices in place, an ecommerce website cannot achieve success in this competitive landscape. Here are a few common issues to look out for and fix:
Duplicate page: Since an eCommerce website has lots of product pages, you need to make sure that a page doesn’t have a duplicate version. This is usually caused by URL variables. You can use a canonical tag (“rel canonical”) to inform the search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using this tag will prevent problems caused by duplicate or identical content appearing on multiple URLs. It will also highlight which version of a URL you want to feature in search results.
Broken links: It’s important to find and fix broken links. A broken link may imply that a webpage is no longer available, the page is moved without a redirect, or the URL structure of a page is changed. It’s important to resolve these with proper tags/redirects so as to increase the users’ convenience. There are two ways to fix the issue: replace the links with live links and remove the links.
Other than these technical SEO issues, you need to invest in comprehensive SEO services that help in promoting your site and drive organic traffic to your site. Since reputation is a crucial factor for eCommerce websites, winning the top rank on the search engine, building brand awareness, and promoting brand credibility play paramount roles in growing a business.
Too Much or Too Less Product Description
You know that product description is important to inform people more about the product and earn their trust. But it’s important to understand that a product description should provide adequate information without making people bored. They may be exhausted while reading a never-ending product description with irrelevant details.
Point out which information are central to your product and feature those. You can include a product video for the people to get a better insight.
No Upsell Opportunities
These days, upselling has proved immense merits in boosting sales. If you want your customers to add more products to their carts and checkout, upselling can be the right strategy.
Major eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, Woo Commerce, etc. offer functionality that can display products related to the individual product page. A feature like “customers who bought this item also bought” can offer amazing opportunities to improve transaction rates and thus enhance average revenue per order.
Failing to Define Unique Selling Proposition
Every business has a USP but many forget to flaunt it on their websites. This is one of the worst mistakes to make. With so many competitors around you, it’s important to underline your distinguishing feature so as to stand out in the market and appeal to your audience. Further, with large marketplaces like Amazon around the corner, you must give a compelling reason for the users to buy from your website.
For instance, do you offer a customization service? Can the users customize the products they are shopping for? Are you offering pan country free shipping? No matter whether you belong to B2B or B2C domain, highlight your USP on the site.
Of course, there are many other aspects that you can optimize on your e-store but these are the starting points that you cannot afford to overlook. We hope you have found the blog useful. Share your thoughts with us.
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s not enough to build a website, but you need to ensure that it is performing at its best. Consider your website to be an employer that works 24/7. Naturally, you have to prep it up to excellently perform at all times.
Poorly crafted or optimized websites are not user friendly, exhibit slow loading time, incompatible with cross devices & browsers, and so on. As a result, the site’s bounce rate increases and conversion rate decreases. Further, all these inspire a negative impression of your brand. Take a look at the following sections to find out how to enhance your website’s performance. And if you find these too much technical, consider engaging professional website design services instead of trying amateur hands. Anyway, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Key Steps to Improve Your Website Performance
Reduce HTTP Requests
HTTP requests are used by web browsers to fetch different elements of a page such as images, scripts, and stylesheets. Each request has some overhead while establishing a connection between the web server and the browser.
Further, browsers usually have a limited number of parallel network requests. Therefore, if you have many requests piled up, some of them may get blocked.
The first step is to remove unnecessary requests. Consider the minimum number of HTTP requests required for rendering a website. Then, load only the essential external resources.
After trimming everything irrelevant, it’s time to optimize the rest of the elements. We will get to this later in the blog.
Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Generally, while serving static files from your server, the loading time increases as the users are physically from the server. On using CDN, the loading time for images will remain the same regardless of wherever the user is connecting.
It supercharges your site’s performance. Other than offering a fast user experience, it also helps in anticipating site crashes in case of a traffic flood.
This blog will offer more insights into how to enhance website loading speed.
These days, the use of graphics has heavily increased as they convey ample information in an engaging manner.
For instance, websites sometimes use images of 2x or 3x resolution so that these can be exhibited well on high-density retina screen displays. However, if the users don’t use a HiDPI display (High Dots Per Inch display – the one that consists of more pixels per square inch than a regular display), then you are wasting your bandwidth and increasing the loading time. Many visitors browse websites using mobile data or from remote locations with poor internet connectivity. You can imagine how your website will perform!
Therefore, compress your images without affecting their quality. Further, use the right file type while optimizing image size. For example, use JPEG for images with lots of colours and PNG for simple graphics.
Leverage Preloading Techniques
There are various preloading and prefetching techniques that you may use to inform your browser about which resource is required for rendering the page before the browser really needs these resources.
Here are a few performance optimization techniques practised by the experts at any reputed website development company:
DNS Prefetching: It is the process of resolving a website’s IP address even before the visitor clicks on the link. It seeks to solve latency issues related to DNS resolution such as the time it takes for your site’s domain name to be resolved to an IP address. It can significantly improve your site’s performance because when the browser needs to make a request for a resource, the DNS lookup for the specific domain has already taken place.
TCP Preconnect: It helps the browser to set up an early connection before an HTTP request gets sent to the server. This includes TCP handshakes, TLS negotiation, and DNS lookups. This eliminates roundtrip latency and saves time.
Prefetching: It allows websites to maximize performance and minimize waiting time by preloading resources that users will need later before they make a request. The browser will request the resources beforehand and store them in the cache for future reference.
Check out this blog on how to optimize page speed to meet Google’s latest update.
Reduce Time to First Byte
TTFB or Time to First Byte is the time it takes for the browser to receive the first byte of data from a server. Though it is a server-side concern, it also plays a crucial role in the overall site performance.
When it comes to TTFB, the main element under your control is the server processing time. Here are a few tips recommended by Google to enhance TTFB:
- Optimize the server’s application logic to render pages faster.
- Optimize how your server queries databases or migrate a quicker database system.
- Upgrade your server hardware to have more CPU capability or memory.
Select the Right Hosting Plan
There are three options for hosting service:
Shared: Here you share the resources of the server with other customers. If someone’s website receives a rush of traffic, the resources will be limited for supporting your site and the site may experience downtime.
VPS: Here, your website is sharing the server with other sites but each site lives in a secure container with resources like memory, CPU cores, disk space etc.
Dedicated: This is the most expensive of the lot. Here, the entire server will power your website. Needless to say that this is the most secure of them all.
These days, serverless computing or Cloud computing has given a break from all these. Here, the cloud provider allocates machine resources on demand and takes care of the servers. The best part of it is that it offers excellent scalability.
Browsers can receive a limited parallel network request. Therefore, if your site needs 4 requests to load, it will be faster than loading 25 requests. Developers use various tools to combine multiple files. That way, they can leverage the benefit of a single bundle while deploying.
These are some of the proven ways of boosting your website performance. Try these and you can see the difference these make!
With the rapid increase in cybercrime, security is no longer a feature in a mobile app. It is the bare minimum. Advanced features and high-end functionalities will not provide an out-of-the-box experience to your users if it fails to ensure their safety. Since most of the apps ask for access to the device features such as the gallery, location, and sensitive information like password, UPI/credit/debit card details, etc; a minor security breach will not only cost you bucks but ruin your reputation.
Here is a complete checklist of security best practices for your mobile app.
Proven Techniques to Enhance Mobile App Security
Write Secure Code
A code full of bugs and vulnerabilities allows the attackers to break in. The attackers can reverse engineer the code and tamper with it. A study by Infosecurity Magazine finds that malicious code affects over 11.6 million mobile devices at a certain point in time.
If you want to be an exception, start with a powerful code right from the beginning. For that, it’s always recommended that you engage professional mobile app development services. The developers will repeatedly test and fix bugs so as to minimize the risk.
It’s important to be extra careful and test the code thoroughly before using any third-party library in your app. While libraries are extremely useful, they can mess up your app security.
A single flaw in a library may enable the attackers to remotely install malicious code into an app and crash the entire system. Therefore, it’s better to use controlled internal repositories and follow policy controls during acquisition so as to protect the apps from vulnerabilities in a library.
Every unit of data exchanged over your app should be encrypted. It is the process of converting data into coded information or ciphertext so as to protect its confidentiality.
The ciphertext can be decoded with a unique decryption key. Therefore, other than the authorized users, any third party can not decrypt stolen data.
Whether you are investing in Android or iOS app development services, it’s important to ensure that the app has a strong authentication system.
Authentication refers to various identifiers (password, biometric, etc.) that create a barrier before entering into a system. While app usage is becoming more seamless than ever, a layer of authentication can add to the security of the app. For instance, a strong alphanumeric password, dynamic OTP, fingerprint verification, retina scan, etc. can be used as powerful authentication systems.
Implement Cryptography Tools and Techniques
Key management is an essential element should you seek to enhance your app security. The experts of iOS and Android app development services suggest not to hard code the keys since it will make the attackers’ job easy.
It’s important to store keys in secure containers instead of storing them locally on the device. Also, you should use the latest and reliable APIs like 256-bit AES encryption along with SHA-256 for hashing.
Use Authorized APIs
Unauthorized APIs are loosely coded and can pose threats to an app. The hackers can enjoy a privilege and attack the app. For instance, caching authorization information locally can help programmers easily reuse information while making API calls. Thus, it makes the developers’ tasks easy.
On the flip side, the attackers can find a loophole in it and hack the system. Therefore, it’s better to use APIS that are centrally authorized so as to ensure maximum security.
You can take a look at this blog to find out how to build RESTful APIs for mobile apps.
There’s no substitute for continuous testing. Repeated testing will help to find out new loopholes and deal with the emerging threats. Invest in emulators, threat modelling, and penetration testing so as to find out the vulnerabilities in your app. Fix these with each update and issue patches as required.
Further, if your app is built with outdated technology, it’s important to migrate to the latest technology. For example, if you have a cross-platform app built with Flutter, it’s time to hire Flutter developers and upgrade the app to Flutter 2.
Taking security as the fundamental element in app development is a necessity these days. And this trend will continue to grow with the rise of IoT in app development as it enhances connectivity and compatibility of an app with lots of devices. We hope that our guidelines have helped you to understand how to strengthen app security.