Uncategorized Feb, 2022
5 Web Applications That Made Millions [Examples]
Apps have changed the way we live and do business. Very few things from our lives are left unaffected by it.
Mobile apps have become something we use in everyday life. Most people are familiar with them and use them regularly, but what about web applications?
Web apps are present in our lives almost as much as mobile apps. The trick is that we often can't recognize them.
A large number of online services and functions are a product of web applications.
Even the simplest thing like filling out a contact form on a website requires the use of a web application. So common and yet so important.
In this article we’ll talk about some slightly more complex web apps that have brought millions to their creators.
But first you will need an in-depth analysis of:
- what web applications are?
- how they work ?
- what are their advantages and disadvantages?
What is a Web Application?
Web apps are something similar to computer programs. They use web browsers to perform various tasks.
It would be more accurate to say that people can perform various tasks through them.
The main function of a web application is to allow users to interact with software or a program and thus be able to perform some actions.
Businesses use the internet to get in touch, share information and close deals with their clients. Web applications provide a way to capture and store all the necessary data.
Thanks to that, customers or users can interact with the business using web apps such as shopping carts, spreadsheets, word processors, online forms etc.
To some extent it can also be said that WordPress is a web application since it’s a content management system (CMS).
Businesses use web applications all the time for different purposes. They often use web apps for internal communication.
Employees can chat, collaborate together on common projects and share documents and files through certain web apps their management choosed.
People often get web applications and websites confused. This is a common mistake even for ones who are in the industry for years.
We will try to clarify the difference below.
Website vs Web Application
Website and web application have a lot in common. More or less they use the same frameworks and languages for front-end and back-end development.
But it should be noted that web applications are many times more complex than websites. In addition, there are many other key differences.
This is especially noticeable in terms of interactivity and authentication. But let’s start with the most basic. What is a website?
A website is a group of web pages that are connected with hyperlinks. Those pages are tied to a single domain name and they are accessible to everyone around the globe.
A website has multiple purposes but its main function is presentation. It needs to inform visitors about a company or organization and their work, services, offers and things like that.
On the other hand, web apps are software or programs which are also accessible via the internet.
Web applications allow users not only to be informed but also to interact with a program or software.
If a user clicks an on-screen button he will get a specific response. This is what is meant when a web application is said to be interactive.
Nowadays websites also have interactive elements so it has become quite difficult to distinguish them from web applications.
But several key differences can still help us do it. We mentioned interactivity, authentication and complexity, but there’s also the use of CRM systems.
Websites rarely use authentication while that’s normal for web apps. Online payments are much more likely to be made through web applications rather than websites.
All the stuff that requires sharing some sensitive data will go through web apps.
Next is interactivity. Even though a website can have some interactive element it’s still static. A user can see and read content but can’t affect it.
When a user sees a content in a web application he can manipulate it by interacting with some of its properties.
Regarding the complexity. Web applications have more complex processes and they integrate more programs and systems than websites.
The final difference is the use of CRM systems. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.
CRM is a technology by which companies manage relationships with current and potential customers. The goal is to grow business by improving relationships.
Websites can be integrated with a CRM system but it can only show the user a personalized content.
Web application uses CRM system to store personal data of the customers. Employees can access that data so a company can track customer habits and to adjust marketing strategies.
Hope this solves a “website vs web application” issue that has bothered many.
How do web apps work?
First and foremost, if you want to access a web application you need an internet connection.
Then you need a web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari etc., so you can connect to an app.
Web application requires 3 elements to function properly:
- a web server (for handling client requests)
- an application server (for task execution)
- a database (to store information)
We already said that web applications and websites share the same front-end frameworks and languages. We also said that websites are usually static.
Websites are mainly informational so they only need front-end languages. On the other hand, web apps are dynamic and besides front-end, they use back-end languages as well. They even undergo much more testing.
To break it down. This is how a web application works.
- You create a request through the application's UI or a web browser. The request goes to the web server, via the internet of course.
- The web server forwards that request to the web application server.
- Then the app's server does what he does best. It executes the requested task and generates the results.
- Next, a web application server sends those results back to the web server.
- In the final step, the web server makes sure that these results (the product of the submitted request from the first step) are displayed to the user on his tablet, laptop or smartphone.
That’s it. It looks very simple but that’s only because hardworking developers make it that way.
Web application and its advantages
There are many advantages that using web applications has for both businesses and individual users. We will mention a few of them.
- There is no need to install a web application so it takes up no space on the user’s hard drive.
- No need for maintenance and support, so it reduces costs for a business. All the maintenance and support is done by the developers who created it.
- Web apps are always up to date because those same developers are taking care of it and they are doing updates regularly.
- Because of that all users can access the same version of the web app. All they need is a web browser.
- A user can access a web application via any operating system or device as long as the browser is compatible.
- Web applications reduce software piracy because there are web apps that have to be paid on a monthly or annual basis in order for the user to use them.
But what about disadvantages? There must be some.
Are there any disadvantages?
There are few of them but they are not that significant:
Web apps are linked to a web browser. So if a web application is very big then it can overload the cache and that influences a web browser speed.
This affects the performance of the web application which then becomes slower. This problem is easily solved by clearing the web browser cache.
Next thing is low awareness among the audience. While mobile apps are easily accessible on the Play store or App store this is not the case with web apps.
There is no specific store or place where web applications can be found. Only the part of the audience who knows exactly what they are looking for can find it on the respective websites.
Finally, there is a problem with websites and the Internet.
Since web applications are completely dependent on websites and the Internet, this means that if there is a malfunction on them, then the application will not work.
This is solved by enhancing web applications to become progressive web applications.
Besides these couple of problems we mentioned, there aren't any big disadvantages of having and using web applications.
And now, the reason you came here. Examples of web applications that have made millions.
Money-making Web Apps - Examples
There are thousands of web applications. Some of them succeeded, some did not. And some have experienced astronomical success and earned millions and billions of dollars.
These are web apps like:
Amazon is the biggest company in the world. They are focused on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.
Jeff Bezos founded this company in his garage on July 5, 1994. They started as an online book marketplace but they expanded so today they sell almost everything.
Initially a modest web application for selling books online, became a giant and the largest company in the world.
Amazon has over 300 million active users. They also have millions of users on their other products and services.
So many users are reflected best in the profit, which last year alone amounted to 21.33 billion U.S. dollars.
Amazon employs 1,468,000 people of which 810,000 are in America alone.
Current market cap is $1.874 Trillion. Not bad, is it?
Facebook - Web Application That Changed Our Lives
Mark Zuckerberg, his roommates and friends from Harvard College created Facebook (now Meta) in 2004 .
In the beginning only Harvard students could use it, but it soon spread to the rest of North America and then the whole world.
This app enabled its users to register, create profiles and post texts, photos and videos. These posts were shared with any other users who were previously added as “friends”.
There is no need to explain what Facebook is and how it works, as it is actively used by almost 3 billion users.
Facebook is now worth around $933 Billion. On june 28, Facebook reached the $1 Trillion market cap making it the 6th company ever to do so.
Netflix and a Chilling Profit
Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. Initially, a company was selling and renting DVDs by mail. Later that year they focused only on renting.
Their web application was based on providing an online subscription service.
Subscribers could choose a movie from Netflix's website and that movie would be sent to them in the form of a DVD via mail.
The success was solid but the game changer was when Netflix introduced streaming media and video on demand.
With over 214 million subscribers worldwide, subscription and streaming service proved to be a real money generator.
Current market capitalization of Netflix is $302.1 Billion.
Shopify is a platform that offers online retailers a lot of services including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools.
It was founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake. They used the open source web application framework Ruby on Rails.
Shopify has more than 1,700,000 businesses in 175 countries using its platform.
Such a large number of users has a positive effect on the annual revenue, which only last year amounted to $2.93 billion.
Shopify's market cap today is $210.9 Billion.
Spotify is an audio streaming and media services provider from Sweden. It was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.
Users need to register in order to use this web application. There is the option of a paid subscription which gives many additional perks.
Spotify is available in over 180 countries and it offers more than 70 million songs and podcasts.
Currently there’s more than 380 million users of which 172 million are paying subscribers.
The Spotify web application was primarily written using Python with some Java, C, and C++ components.
As of November this year, Spotify has a market cap of $50.44 Billion.
Creating a web application that can make millions of dollars is not easy.
First of all, you need an idea and then a lot of hard work for the application to succeed.
The giants we've listed all had humble beginnings and started right where you are now - finding the right idea.
There is no doubt that applications will have their place in the near and distant future. As technology advances, so will applications and demand for them.
If you think you have an idea and want to turn it into reality then Code Bears can help you. Our developers have years of experience in creating both web and mobile applications.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call.