App Development Vs Web Development: Which is the Best Career Option?

Looking for a career option in the IT industry?

Unable to decide whether to become an app developer or a web developer?

The market of these fields is evolving and making a choice between the two is difficult.

We understand that you might not want to make any wrong choices with your career. Therefore, it becomes difficult to choose between the two as each of them possesses different skills.

To help you with the right career path, we have made a quick guide of app development vs web development.

Let’s get started with the differences between web development vs app development.

App Development vs Web Development- 8 Key Comparison

There are certain factors that define a mobile developer and a web developer. In this section, we will discuss the 8 differences between both types of development. Whether you want to develop mobile applications or web applications, the following table will show you how they differ from each other.

FactorApp DevelopmentWeb Development
Definition

App development is developing mobile apps using mobile app programming languages like Kotlin and Swift.

The app development is classified under:

Web development refers to the developing website using programming languages like PHP and Python.

The web development is classified under:

  • Front-end web development – Graphical UI of the website.
  • Back-end web development – Backend of the website including database, and server.
RoleBeing an app developer is the ability to develop mobile apps on various platforms like Android, iOS, Flutter, and React Native to provide a better user interface and user experience.Being a web developer is the ability to develop websites. functional, responsive, and user-friendly websites using frameworks like Laravel, Angular, and RoR.
CompilerTo develop a mobile application, compilers like Android Studio, Xcode, Visual Studio Code, etc are needed before app deployment.Compilers like Atom, Eclipse, Sublime Text 3, Komodo Edit, etc are needed for web development. However, compiling is not needed before web deployment.
Technology Stacks Here is the technology stack that you need to know for mobile app development.

Android: Kotlin, Java

iOS: Swift, ObjectiveC

Hybrid: Flutter, ReactNative,

Backend: Node.js, PHP, RoR, MySQL

Here is the technology stack that you need to know for web development.

Front-end: React, Vue, HTML, JS, Angular

Back-end: Node, PHP, Java, Express

VersatilityWorking on a specific platform, mobile development is not versatile. They do not have the same flexibility as web development. For example, you can develop Android apps only on the Android platform. These apps will not work on the iOS platform.Web application development is flexible and a versatile domain that allows web developers to use their expertise for different sectors. For example, if you know C language you can use it for developing a website and for gaming development.
SalaryAccording to indeed.com, the average annual salary of mobile developers in the US is $93,124.According to indeed.com, the average annual salary of a web developer in the US is $67,996.
Latest Trends

With the evolving mobile devices and mobile applications, app developers need to stay updated with the latest trends like

  • Internet of Things
  • Machine Learning
  • Integration of Wearable Devices
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Chatbots

The Rise of business websites is increasing. It is equally important for web developers to keep updated with the trends like

  • Progressive Web Apps
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages
  • Responsive Websites
  • API Development
  • Voice Search Optimization
  • Motion UI
Learning CurveIs mobile app development hard? – you might want to know this. Well,mobile app development is challenging to learn as it involves tools and technologies as per the different mobile application and operating system. You need to be an expert of Android and iOS platforms to become an app developer.Web development is easy to learn as the tools and techniques as a web developer need to start with basics like HTML and CSS for basic design. They can also use templates from WordPress to develop a website.

Now that you are aware of the key differences between web development vs app development, let us give you more information on what skills are required to become mobile app developers or web developers.

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Which Skills are Needed to Become a Web and Mobile App Developer?

Are you confused with the roles of a web developer and an app developer? Though the roles are often similar, the skills needed to become a successful developer differ. You need to know about web and mobile app development strategy to develop apps as per requirements. Let us have a closer look at each of the fields.

5 Must-have Skills to Become Mobile App Developer

Not any computer savvy can become a mobile developer. You need these 5 important skills if you are looking to pursue mobile app development as your career.

  1. Skill of Using Programming Language like Java, Kotlin, and Swift

  2. An aspiring mobile developer should have knowledge of programming languages. Basic programming languages like HTML5, C++, JavaScript, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, iOS, Swift, and Objective-C will make a developer eligible and competitive candidate to create an application. Read our blog on top best app development languages to get an in-depth idea about the apps used for app development.

  3. Understanding of UI/UX Design for Visual Representation of Mobile App

  4. The most important aspect of developing a mobile application is designing as it helps to improve the interaction of the users with the business. However, designing tools like Adobe, Wix, Figma, Squarespace, Dreamweaver, will help in creating appealing designs. A developer helps in preparing a mockup or a wireframe that helps an app to run smoothly with an appealing visual front-end development.

    Ensure that the application runs with the least loading time and performs flawlessly. Employees who have knowledge of both front end and back end are known as full stack developers. If you want to become a full-stack developer, check how to become a full-stack developer.

  5. Cross-Platform App Development to Develop Applications Faster

  6. It is important to understand the different platforms of the industry where an application can be built. As per the market, there are three mobile platforms,

    • Android apps
    • iOS apps
    • Hybrid applications

    As an emerging mobile app developer, you should be well-versed with the above three platforms and their languages like Java, Kotlin, Dart, and React Native. Having cross-platform skills like reusability of codes, service support, and simple testing will help you become an efficient and skilled developer in the industry.

  7. Back-end Computing Skills to Solve System Issues

    Having back-end computing knowledge will give you an edge over identifying the system issues before deployment. There are certain back-end computing concepts to study for a developer. Let’s check them.

    • Database management– Database management is important to learn to store the information of the users. You need to be well versed in Oracle, PostgreSQL, and MySQL
    • App development framework– App developers can develop a functional app with the help of top app development frameworks like Ionic, Xamarin, React Native, Flutter, and many more.
    • Hardware integration– Recognizing how software development and hardware interact will help developers fix equipment bugs and errors.
  8. Knowledge of App Security to Secure Portable Applications

  9. Mobile app security is a measure to secure applications from threats and cyber attacks. You should be well-versed in mobile app testing security tools to track bugs and vulnerabilities in the source-code.

    Most mobile app development companies require the above skills to get the job.

Now, let’s understand the skills to become a web developer.

5 Must-have Skills to Become Web Developer

Do you think if you have the skills of an app developer you can also build websites? Well, you need in-depth knowledge to become a web developer. Here are 5 key skills to excel as a web developer.

  1. Skills of Programming Languages

    What do you need to create a website?

    You need to know about HTML to create web pages on the internet and CSS language to style elements on the website such as fonts, layout, themes, and color to give a unique look.

    Through knowledge of JavaScript you can add interactive elements to make the website engaging. Apart from these basic languages, a web developer should be aware of PHP and Python. These languages will be useful if you want to become a full-stack web developer.

  2. Version Control to Manage and Track the Various Changes Made

    A web developer should know how to control the changes made in the code. This is done through a control system software like Git. Using a software version control is essential as it helps to track, and fix changes or errors. With version control, if you have made any minor changes, you can revert to the last functional code of the work and start from there, instead of finding the mistake in the code.

  3. Through Knowledge on Libraries and Framework

    To become a skilled developer, you need to learn about frameworks and libraries that are used for web development. These are used to simplify and speed up the development process.

    You need not learn all the modern frameworks and libraries that are released. However, it all depends on what you are working on, for example, if you are a front-end developer, React and jQuery are the libraries widely used. Vue and Angular are the frameworks that you need to learn. On the back end, the popular frameworks include Express, Django, .Net, and Flask.

  4. Testing Skills to Prevent Bugs and Errors

    Web developers should have the ability to test the code. Verify to make the web bug-free. Testing is a time-consuming process but it is worth the process as the users will have a bug-free website to use.

  5. Responsive Design for the Users to View Web Pages From Any Device

    It is always the look and layout of the website that attracts a user no matter which device they use to open a website. Responsive design skills are to develop a website that adapts to different screens. If you create a website that is not responsive it won’t work on a mobile or tablet. This will reduce the number of visitors.

Now by reading the skills, have you decided what to pursue? Still confused? Let’s understand the responsibilities of a web and mobile app developer.

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What Does a Web Developer Do?

A web developer’s tasks will vary from project to project but their tasks remain similar on a daily basis. Let’s find out.

  • Writing and reviewing the HTML code, CSS and JavaScript for websites.
  • Integrating media content on the site.
  • Testing web applications to free from bugs and errors before launch.
  • Troubleshooting issues in terms of user experience.
  • Coordinating with designers to design the user interface and navigation menu.

What Does a Mobile App Developer Do?

An app developer is responsible for the technical feasibility and consults the team to ensure the functionality of the application. Let’s find out the task requirements of a mobile app developer.

  • Coordinating with UI designers, UX designers, and programmers.
  • Integrating APIs to support mobile functionality.
  • Ensuring the connection between frontend and backend.
  • Having updates on the latest concepts, terminologies for coding modern mobile apps.
  • Working on customer needs to convert them into technical requirements.

These were the basic tasks allocated to developers. Let us now find out what are the advantages and disadvantages of mobile and web development as a developer.

What are the Advantages and Limitations of Web Development?

Let’s understand the 4 advantages and limitations of web development to get a clear idea.

Pros of Web DevelopmentCons of Web Development
  • The market of developing websites is continuously growing and creating new job opportunities for aspiring web developers.
  • An open-source platform that allows developers freedom to work with collaboration of coworkers.
  • Easy and less expensive to develop compared to mobile apps.
  • As a web developer, you need to be an expert in a niche. Web development is flexible to explore your interests.
  • Being a web developer is not a 9-5 fix job. To take up a web development project equally means to work for long hours.
  • With the update in technologies, web developers are required to learn new skills.
  • It becomes difficult to understand your clients when they are naive with the development.
  • With the increasing demand of web development in the market, the competition of developers is also high.

Since we understand the pros and cons of web development, let’s understand further about mobile app development.

What are the Advantages and Limitations of Mobile App Development?

Let’s understand the 4 advantages and limitations of mobile development to get a clear idea.

Pros of Mobile App DevelopmentCons of Mobile App Development
  • Every business wants to develop a mobile app. So there are a lot of opportunities for developers for app development.
  • App development is in trend much faster than web development technologies.
  • Mobile developers are paid better as they need more specific expertise on different platforms.
  • Mobile apps have simple app acceptance that makes the development easy.
  • In terms of Android and iOS, mobile app development takes time and is expensive as you need different tools and expertise on each platform.
  • The level of difficulty increases as the demand increases.
  • It becomes difficult to portray the company brand image due to lack of space.
  • Like web developers, even mobile app developers take long hours to develop an app.

So, after reading the above advantages and disadvantages of each, which field is the best suitable for you?

Do you still have a few questions unanswered? Let us help you answer them all.

Frequently Asked Questions About App Development Vs Web Development

Which is more difficult web or app development?

Mobile apps are platform specific, unlike web development. Although the difficulty level of developing a mobile app is higher than a website, it depends on your interest. If you like creativity and want to develop an application of your own, a career in mobile development is the right option.

Can a web designer create an app?

No, web designers cannot create a mobile app. Web designers and app developers are different profiles and have different roles, responsibilities, and skillset.

Can I do both web and app development?

Yes. If you think you are good at web development, you can also develop web apps. However, using JavaScript it is possible to develop both web and apps. Become a full-stack developer and you can enjoy creating appealing websites and innovative apps.

Choose the Best Career Path That’s Right for You

Web development and app development both share similar grounds but both the careers are different. Both require different skills, roles, and responsibilities.

With the above information, you have got an idea which is the right career choice for you.If you enjoy designing or UI/UX opt for app development and develop amazing apps for your clients. You can also develop an app of your own and launch it in the market. If you enjoy technical and also like to be creative at the same time, you can choose web development to create functional and dynamic websites.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.