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A complete guide on how to expand your native app to a web app

  • July 01, 2022

Evolution is a crucial aspect of our lives. A person today isn’t the same as he was yesterday. Similarly, he won’t be the same tomorrow too. We are constantly evolving. Evolving is nothing but adaptation with the change.


And it’s a universal fact that you can’t survive if you don’t adapt. This theory is the same for all living beings and non-living beings including Native Apps. Yes! Native Apps. The apps are specifically written or coded for a platform. Twitter and Pokémon GO are some of its major examples.

In recent years we saw a trend where some startups which began as a native mobile apps expanded into Web apps. Instagram and Uber are its prime examples.

These Native Apps realized the need to change for the survival in the ever-changing market of IT. So, they decided to expand their native apps to the realm of Web. Moreover, they did achieve success in it.

So, if you own a Native app and are contemplating different methods to survive and improve then this article is for you. In this article, we’ll discuss all the aspects that you must consider for the expansion of Native Apps to a Web App.

Why you should expand your native app to the web app

As an owner of a Native Application, the first question hovering in your mind would be Why? Why should I expand my Native App to a Web App? Why do I need to build an app specifically for Web audiences?

According to the study made by smashing ideas, Companies that have switched to PWA have experienced a drastic increase in customer engagement from at least 20% by up to 250% often, translating into an increase in business revenue.

What’s the need for this exercise? The fact that huge start-ups like Instagram and Uber did, there got to be a strong reason behind it. So, let’s deep dive and find out what those reasons are.

The stakeholders involved in an on-demand laundry service are the rinser, delivery person and the user.

Some company that has noticed increased customer engagement are:

  • Twitter – 25% more pages per session
  • Trivago – 150% more repeat visits
  • OLX – 250% more repeat visits
  • MakeMyTrip- registered 160% more mobile sessions
  • Lancome – registered 53% more mobile sessions


The native app has reached the saturation point

Instagram and Uber are humungous Mobile Native Apps. Soon after their launch the number of downloads touched sky-highs. Instagram on June 2018 achieved the milestone of having 1 billion active users. Whereas, Uber became the world leader in Taxi-Hailing Services.

Under such circumstances there was a high possibility that both the apps reached a saturation point. A point from which it will witness a very low or no progress. In such a scenario the best thing is to find a new platform.

Web applications were a perfect remedy to this problem. Both Uber and Instagram could increase their reach by setting their foot in the Web world. And that’s what exactly happened.

In 2012, Instagram came up with their Web Application after a popular demand by their users.

However, this was a basic web app as the users could only view the photos on the web app. In 2017, Instagram refined its web app to attract users with slow mobile network.

Their main target were those users who were unable to download the native app due to slow network. Instagram was accompanied by many other big names such as:

Uber: Like Instagram Uber too launched its light web app “m.uber” for its users having slow connectivity.

WhatsApp: WhatsApp soon followed the footsteps of Instagram & Uber and came up with WhatsApp Web.

To capture better web experience

There’re a lot of differences between the native app development and the web app development.

You can either design your web app like the native counterpart or can experiment to create a different web application for web users, the choice is yours. Now let’s discuss about the differences.

The first obvious difference is the increase in the screen size. In web you’ve got more space to experiment with.

Read More: Which Mobile Framework is Perfect for Your Business?

You can add more features than that of your existing native app or you can totally redesign the web application keeping the enhanced screen space in mind.

You can add more visual elements and larger content in overall to utilise the screens space. While designing for Web application it becomes crucial to take key decisions.

The decision of making alterations. You’ve to decide which traits or features from the Native Apps you want to remove or modify according to the needs of web application.

Designing: web application vs native application

Over the year’s native and web applications have become similar. However, there are still many noticeable differences between the two. Let’s see what these differences from a spectacle of a designer are.


The first obvious difference is the increase in the screen space which gives designer so much scope of experimentation. We’ve already discussed this point above so let’s move to the next one.

Clicking vs. tapping

Another difference between the Native & Web applications is that in Native apps you tap and perform different gesture controls such as pinch, swipe, and long press. On the other hand, on web applications the user can only click through a mouse.

The user experience in Native apps is fluid and users expect instant reactions to their actions such as pinch for zoom, swipe to advance pages, and long press to avail more options.

To design a web application with such experience is a difficult task given the constraints of a wide variety of hardware and browsers.

User experience: native vs. web

Generally, the Native apps provide a variety of experiences like entertainment, navigation, music, and many more. On contrary, the web apps are utility-based and focusses mainly on the completion of a specific given task.

Usually, the Web applications have complicated functionality along with longer user sessions as compared to that of Native apps.

As the user-sessions are longer it becomes important to use proper colour patterns and font size which would prevent users from eye strain.

Read More: Looking to Develop a Cross-Platform Application?

Aspects to keep in mind while designing for a web application

To design a Web Application, you must identify several problems that might arise in the designing process. These problems can be grouped into various section. Let’s have a look at these sections.


It is essential to design an effective authentication blueprint for the security of your Web Application. Weak authentication may lead your Web Application to threats such as session hijacks, dictionary attacks, spoofing attacks, and all kind of other attacks.


The prime function of Authorization is to evaluate the tasks of an authenticated identity. It also identifies the accessible resources. Designing an effective and robust authorization is imperative for the security of your Web Application.

Weak authorization may lead to data tampering, leaked information, and elevation of privileges.


The first step in caching is to choose when you would like to load the data into the cache. Caching is used to optimize reference data lookups, and to avoid duplicate processing and network round trips.

To prevent the client delays you can load cache data by the batch process or by loading it asynchronously.


Excellent management

You can’t have a reliable and secure Web Application without an effective and excellent management strategy. You can prevent the revelation of confidential exception details with the help of proper exception handling in your Web pages.

It also improves your Web Application’s robustness. It makes your application durable enough to cope with any event of an error.

Logging and instrumentation

Logging and instrumentation is crucial for the security and credibility of your Web Application. These logs can identify any suspicious activity which usually is an early indicator of an attack on the system.

It also assists in addressing repudiation hazards where the users deny their actions.


As a designer you must ensure to isolate the navigation from the processing logic. You must design it in such a way that it allows your users to navigate rapidly through the screens.

The key advantage of a consistent navigation structure is that it reduces the complexity of the application along with minimising the confusion among the users.

Page layout

The first move is to identify who would work on page layout? The designers or the developers? If designers are making the layout then ensure that it doesn’t take much of the coding or usage of development-focussed tools.

You must design your application in such a way that the page layout can be detached from the UI components or processing.

75% of the consumers determine the company’s credibility based on its website /web app design.(source: Kinesis)

Session management

The factors to consider in session management are such as where to store, what to store, and how long is the information to be stored. An efficient session management helps in better performance and reliability of Web Application.


Practical validation solution is a crucial step. Weak validation can cause SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting, and buffer overflows.

Web app backend architecture and security

Developing a Web App has its own sets of challenges for the backend support. If you already have the backend architecture sorted for your Native App then you need to analyze the impact of Web App Development on those existing resources.

Going from Native Apps to Web Apps causes great scaling in the services. And due to which you might have to accommodate for the new needs. These needs include storage of any new records and encryption & security.

Security is a key aspect where you must focus real hard. You can use SSL certificates to make your web traffic secure. Always try to identify as many security vulnerabilities as you can during the development period. Be extra careful during the financial transactions.

It is imperative to ensure that the services are secured during all transaction. You can ensure this by following all the payment service’s protocol.

Moreover, if you want the users to subscribe or buy anything via your web app, then your payment service will have to pay a transaction fee. For example, Stripe takes 2.9% plus $0.30 for every successful card charge.

Read More: How Much Does It Cost to Make an App?

Don’t forget to conduct server load testing. Otherwise, your servers might go down due to lack of resources when it starts onboarding many users.

You can simulate 10,000 users on your web app before the launch to test its performance when subjected to such pressure.

Or else you can use services like Heroku which has auto scaling. This will add more resources only when it detects the increase in load over a predetermined limit.


Expanding your Native App to the realms of Web Application is not an easy task. There are so many things you must take in account for the web application development. Firstly, you’ve to consider different use cases.

Secondly, you must consider all the important aspects for Web Application designing. You must consider the changes made specifically for the web app considering its different requirements and top-grade web app user experience.

And at last you must consider the backend and security aspects of web application development too.

It may seem like a tedious job; however, it’s worth it. Web application development is a step ahead to expand your business. It gives you more audience and opens all new possibilities to scale your app by adding more features in your application.

Web application is a very crucial business move and you must hire a team of developers who can build a robust web application with all your requirements in it. So, what are you waiting for, contact a web app development firm and discuss the cost of app development to get started.



Ubaid Pisuwala

Co-founder of Peerbits and Entrepreneurship, Formulation of Business Strategies, Creation and Management of high-performance teams, Management of key corporate relationships.


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