App Development vs Web Development | Q90

Post by 
Christina Parker
January 16, 2023

App Development vs Web Development

Choosing a career is not always an easy task. Even when you have narrowed down the choice to app development vs web development, it can still be daunting to choose between the two.  Knowing what each path entails might help you know what would work better for you and help you make a better decision.

Follow along as we look at app development vs web development. We will define what each of the two entails, the skill you need for both, and answer some commonly asked questions. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to make a choice.

Let’s get started.

What is App Development?

App development is the process of creating a mobile application. As an app developer, your main role will be to create and maintain mobile applications that are simple, functional, informative, and easy to navigate. These apps are usually used on mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and digital assistants.

What Does an App Developer Do?

The main roles of an app developer are to conduct research, design, develop, and test a mobile application before it is released.  Once the application is published, the app developer provides support by evaluating the application, recognizing problems, and updating the application as needed.

Other responsibilities of an app developer include:

·   Consulting with clients or project managers on the requirements for the application

·   Creating a plan for the development of the mobile app

·   Collaborating with other developers to produce an application that meets the client’s stipulations

·   Writing code to create the mobile application, conducting thorough testing of the app to remove bugs, and ensuring the app works on a variety of devices

·   Creating reports to update the client or project manager on the application's progress

·   Testing the end product to ensure it meets all the predetermined requirements and it works as intended

·   Creating technical documentation to help team members understand how the application was created and make future maintenance easier.

·   Communicating with users to gather feedback on their needs, and experiences with the application

·   Assessing new and existing mobile apps to identify weaknesses, recommend improvements, and implement them

·   Maintaining existing mobile applications

·   Remaining up to date on mobile app development trends and best practices

Where Do App Developers Work?

Mobile app developers can work in any industry including retail, education, tourism, healthcare and finance just to mention a few. However, app developers are mostly employed by companies that are dedicated to developing mobile applications. They also have the option of being self-employed or working as freelance mobile app developers.

What Skills Are Needed for Mobile App Development?

To be a successful app developer, you need a combination of technical and non-technical skills. Some of the skills you need include:

·   An understanding of the principles of application design, user interface, and user experience

·   The ability to write, test and debug code in several programming languages such as C#, C++, Java, Python, and Kotlin

·   Knowledge of application programming interfaces and back-end computing

·   Time management, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills, and attention to details

·   An understanding of the latest mobile app development trends and how to use them in a commercial environment

·   The ability to design, create, launch and maintain mobile applications that satisfy customer requirements and user needs

·   The ability to work with a team, and communicate clearly

·   High adaptability

These are the basic skills you will need to be an app developer. Throughout your career, you will need to develop more skills as you move from one position to another.

Now that you know what app development is and what it entails, let’s look at web development and what it is all about.

What Is Web Development?

Web development is the use of code to develop and maintain a responsive, functional, and user-friendly website. 

The field of web development is divided into three categories:

 Front End Development

This is web development that focuses on the client side of the website. This includes everything that the website user will see and interact with.

Back-end Development

Back-end development focuses on the behind-the-scenes part of the website. This includes servers, databases, and applications.

Full stack development

Full stack development brings together elements of front-end and back-end development.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

What a web developer does on a day-to-day basis varies depending on their specialty. Some of the most common tasks a web developer has to perform include:

·   Working closely with stakeholders to determine how the website should look and the purpose it should serve

·   Developing website design on the front end

·   Making use of user interface and user experience principles

·   Creating and maintaining the overall website architecture including the servers, APIs, and databases.

·   Coding the back and front ends of the website and debugging any errors that occur

·   Creating, maintaining, and modifying user interfaces and menus

·   Ensuring that websites are accessible from different platforms and devices such as tablets, mobile phones, laptops, and desktops

·   Preparing technical documentation for the site

·   Implementing data protection protocols

·   Testing websites for speed, usability, and performance and making the necessary changes to ensure optimal performance

What Skills Are Needed for Web Development?

The skills you need to work as a web developer will vary depending on your specialty. However, to be a successful web designer, you have to have the following basic skills:

·   The ability use programming languages such as CSS, JavaScript, and HTML to write high-quality code

·   Time management, communication, collaboration, and organization skills.

·   The ability to test code, detect errors, resolve issues, and track changes made to the code

·   A high level of computer literacy

·   Attention to detail, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills

·   Knowledge of web development tools such as code versioning software, content management systems, libraries, bug tracking tools, and frameworks

·   A deep knowledge of how operating systems, databases, application programming interfaces, and hosting environments work


·   Ability to distinguish between essential and non-essential tasks

App development vs web development: pros and cons

Pros and Cons of App Development

Pros of app development include:

·   There are a lot of opportunities for mobile app developers since there is a high demand for mobile apps

·   App developers often command high salaries since they need to have specific skill sets to develop apps for different platforms

·   The development of mobile applications is easier because mobile apps have simple app acceptance

Cons of app development include:

·   Mobile app development is expensive and time-consuming since you need to use different tools and expertise on different platforms

·   When working with companies, mobile applications make it difficult to display the company brand due to limited space

·   The level of difficulty in developing mobile applications increases as the demand increases

·   It takes long hours and a lot of work to develop a mobile application


Pros and Cons of Web Development

Pros of web development include:

·   The web development market is continuously growing, creating more job opportunities for web developers

·   When compared to mobile apps, websites are less expensive and easier to develop

·   Web development gives you the flexibility to explore your interests and niche down on one area of expertise

Cons of web development include:

·   Web development is an ever-growing sector; you must keep learning the newest technologies to avoid being left behind

·   There is an influx of web developers on the internet, making the field highly competitive

Web Development vs App Development: Frequently Asked Questions

Who Earns More: App Developer or Web Developer?

Web and app development are two of the best-paying career paths in software development.

When it comes to compensation, mobile developers, especially android developers, earn more than web developers. This is mostly due to their general scarcity when compared to web developers.

 Freelance mobile developers often earn way more than their counterparts as they have the freedom to choose the jobs they take and they often quote high rates.

Which is Harder: App Development or Web Development?

In general, mobile development is harder than website app development.

When creating an application, a mobile app developer has to consider many different platforms and devices.  A mobile application has to work on different devices without their functionality being affected.

For example, when developing an app for android, an app developer has to consider the different smartphone brands in the market. They also have to consider the different phone models that each of these brands has in the market.

Mobile app development is also highly inflexible, time-consuming, and expensive.

Can a Web Developer Be an App Developer?

Yes, if they have the skills. While app developers and web developers have different career paths with different skill sets, roles, and responsibilities, some web developers choose to develop apps and vice versa. 

Web developers can learn the coding languages required to create a mobile application as well as learn how to use mobile application development frameworks such as Xamarin, React Native, Ionic Framework, and Cordova.

App Development vs Web Development: Which is Better?

Web and app development are equally important. App developers and web developers serve different markets. However, as a career choice, mobile app development requires a wider range of skills, pays better, and gives you a chance to work on a variety of tasks throughout the day.

App Development vs Web Development: Which Is Best for You?

Although app development and web development have a few similarities, they are separate career paths. The fields attract different people who differ in their interests and strengths. Since modern application development requires a broader range of skills, it is more suitable for people who prefer to have a variety of tasks to work on throughout their day.

Web development, on the other hand, is better for people who thrive in an environment that is both technical and creative, and prefer to have a narrower scope to having a wide range of activities lined up for the day.

If you’re needing a web or app developer for your next project, we can help. Contact us and we’ll figure out a plan that fits your unique needs.

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