Go Web or Go Home: 5 Reasons to Take Your App to the Web

Go Web or Go Home: 5 Reasons to Take Your App to the Web

1) Testable Standards

Recently, Reflect7 has been doing some consulting work with a local trucking company. On our first install, we were blindsided by a hardware quirk on the customer’s desktop. The display side wasn’t working well with the software. On our next visit out, JP discovered that the text display had been ramped up to 120%. This had caused the software windows to unusually expand.

The problem here was that we had no testable standard before the install. There’s an endless amount of software/hardware configurations, types of computers, and devices. Having a web app reduces the risk of being tripped up by these unknowns because you can test your work on a standardized browser (besides IE). Firefox version 3.6 will work the same on my PC as it will on a customer’s Mac. Test all of the browsers and you’ll have no surprises come software rollout.

2) Centralization

When you have a web app, all of your code is in a central location - on the server. To update, all you have to do is update the one code base. No pesky versioning, no multiple installs, and no customers waiting for fixes.

With our sports apps, most of the data is filtered through our back-end. The UI (view) and calculations (controller) elements are handled within the app. If we would have wrapped the app in a webview, we could have updated without going through the tedious Apple review process. Bug fixes would have been updated instantly, not in two weeks.

Another benefit of centralization is that multiple users can update and exchange data quickly because it’s not stored on their desktop. Everything is in the cloud so everyone can access it quickly and at the same time.

3) Accessibility

When’s the last time you had to drag your bulky laptop along because it had software on it that you couldn’t access from anywhere else? In a world covered with wifi, I can write a blog from my phone, girlfriends’ apartment, or at my parents.

With the smart phone movement, it’s becoming more evident how much utility on-the-go-access provides. Ebay, Facebook, Banks, The NFL, etc. all sport mobile apps. With you go with a web app, that access is already there. Just wrap it up in a nice mobile view and your set. Not to mention all of the great location benefits that you can employ.

4) Anti-piracy

Pirating a web app is pretty much impossible due to the fact that nothing is local. It’s all on the software provider’s end.

5) Payment Model\

Web apps usually follow a subscription model. This is beneficial for both parties.

  1. The customer doesn’t have to pay an insane amount to try out the app. They can go at it for a month and decide to ditch if it doesn’t meet their needs.
  2. It keeps the software providers engaged. It’s easy to put out a desktop app and forget about it months or years later. With a web app, you have paying customers month over month. That’s a lot more incentive to constantly update and iron out the kinks.
  3. The software provider can make more money in the long run if their customers are happy. No matter how satisfied (or dissatisfied) my customers are, if I have a desktop app, I only get paid once. If I’m running a web app subscription, I can get paid month over month for years. The same satisfied customer can create much more revenue.

So there you have it. If you’re program is not too resource-intensive and doesn’t require lightning-fast speed under heavy processing, then go with a web app.

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