I want a web application – where should I host it?

by Andy Jones ,
April 25, 2022
Web Application Development

A web app is a software that you access over the internet using a browser or other clients.

A web application aims to provide services and functions to users, like Uber or Netflix. Developers access Web applications via the ‘backend.’ The user never sees or interacts with the data but sees its effects.

How are web apps hosted?

One of the essential components for running a web app is having a server. A server is a computer designed to handle requests for web pages, files, and other content made by clients over the internet or a network.

A server usually works with a set of programmes to process these requests. These programmes can take many forms — they can be as simple as displaying a web page or as complex as processing credit card orders and sending confirmation emails.

A server often hosts multiple apps simultaneously, each running on its programme instance.

A server allows anyone in any location to run your application in their browser without installing anything (think Gmail). Perhaps the most significant contrast between web apps and standard software is that a web app runs on a remote server.

It’s not something you download to your computer, but rather a service you access from the internet. You can think of it as renting someone else’s computer resources to do your work.

Types of hosting for web apps

When selecting a hosting service for your web app, your first consideration is whether you want shared hosting or a dedicated server.

Shared hosting is when multiple websites share a single server. A dedicated server means that your site has its server, which is more expensive but more secure.

There are still further distinctions concerning how you’d like your website hosted within these two categories, shared and dedicated servers. If you’re going with shared hosting, you choose between cloud hosting or VPS (virtual private server) hosting.

VPS (virtual private server) hosting

This type of hosting provides a virtual server with its operating system, disk space, and bandwidth. It can be a more affordable option than dedicated hosting if you expect a lot of traffic to your site and want more control over your server. However, you must have some technical know-how to set this up and maintain it.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is one of the more popular ways to host a web app. Cloud hosting provides the infrastructure necessary to run a web application without the need for you to own or manage the hardware required to do so. Instead, you pay only for what you need, when you need it.

Cloud hosting is a variation on an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model instead of buying physical hardware and setting up data centres.

It offers a scalable, cost-effective alternative to traditional dedicated server hosting. It’s sometimes called virtualised cloud computing or utility computing because vendors make available resources on-demand and charge accordingly.

The primary Cloud Providers – AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud

You’ll most likely choose between these three because they are the most prominent players, each with distinct strengths and weaknesses.

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is the world leader in cloud computing. It’s a good, general-purpose solution for various scenarios. It’s also the most mature and has the largest community.

Still, it can be pretty pricey if you’re hosting one or two web apps, and it has a much higher learning curve than the other providers on this list.


Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform offering. It’s well suited for developers who already use Microsoft products and want to continue using them in the cloud.

The most significant drawbacks are that it doesn’t offer as much flexibility as AWS and has less support for open source projects. This means it can take longer to get up and running than with AWS.

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform is much more limiting than AWS for web apps that run on Linux servers, but it has a built-in advantage for users of Google’s app development platform Firebase. It does have less functionality overall, but it’s easy to use and doesn’t require as much maintenance as AWS does.

Serverless Hosting

Serverless Hosting is a cloud computing execution model where the company offering the cloud-service provider synchronously manages the designation of machine resources.

Pricing depends on the actual amount of resources an application consumes rather than on pre-purchased capacity units. It can be a form of utility computing.

Serverless Hosting is typically used to build and run applications that don’t require server management. They are primarily event-driven and fully managed by a third party. It means you write code to handle events and notifications from other services and upload it to a Serverless provider for execution.

Developers use AWS Lambda (Amazon Web Services Lambda) to run web applications, another type of Serverless Hosting (specifically FaaS).

Finding the right web host

If you’re building a web application, you’ll need to find the right home for your code. The serverless revolution has brought a lot of flexibility in how you can host, apps-whether it’s on virtual machines, containers, or functions-as-a-service. But when it comes to cloud services, how do you know which one will work best?

An easy rule is to keep front-end code in a content delivery network (CDN). An easy practice is to keep front-end code in a content delivery network (CDN). That way, the CDN can take care of moving all of your site’s assets around for easier access worldwide.

For back-end code, however, things can get more complex. You can choose to host it on Lambda or Docker as they both run with scalability in mind. If your backend needs more memory or computing than Lambda allows, you can run containers on AWS’ Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) or Azure’s AKS.

The benefits of this hosting model primarily have to do with scalability, availability, and cost savings. When done well, event-driven architectures enable your app to automatically scale when resources are needed so that performance is consistent for all users without overspending on unused capacity.

Continuous delivery also means less time wasted waiting for builds and deploys and consequently more time spent building features and fixing bugs quickly.

Get started on a new journey of web development

Have you decided to build a web app? Congratulations! You’re in for an exciting journey.

Web app development is a lengthy and multifaceted process that takes the developer’s time and effort. However, once you have your app up and running, it can be a great way to generate revenue for your business or get your ideas out there in the wider world.

While it’s easy to find developers with the right skills, finding one who suits you or your business is another matter. At Make IT Simple, we offer expert web app development UK-based teams can rely on – so why not contact us today and see how we can help?

Laptop screen

Let’s Talk

If you are looking for a bespoke software development company, please get in touch by phone by calling +44 (0) 1905 700 050 or filling out the form below.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.