Your Beginners’ Guide to Web Application Architecture

In this short beginner’s guide to web application architecture, we briefly go through what web application actually is, its main components and the types of web application architecture.

What is web application architecture?

Web application architecture is the structure that contains different interacting features to bring out a great web experience.

In a nutshell, it involves how one types in a URL into the browser, view the feedback displayed on your screen and interacting with the features of the website. All this time, your browser communicates with the server.

A properly built web application architecture:

  • Enables high-level automation
  • Scales down or up easily
  • Displays requested content in an appealing way
  • Provides security features
  • Enables A/B testing system
  • Solves business problems

What constitutes Web Application Architecture?

The Web Application Architecture involves a number of interacting components.

User Experience/User Interface Components

These are what constitute the visual elements of a web page. These are the features which inform how easily navigable and visually appealing a website can get.

The elements in this section are the webpage layout, dashboard, notification elements, statistical representations and other elements as activity tracking features.

Structural Components

Here, there are the web application server and the database server whose duty is to store, protect and grant access to information which is searched on the web.

To create these elements you will need the knowledge of CSS, Python, and Ruby, among other programming languages.

In the development of these components, you could either choose to have one web server and one database, two web servers and one database or even more of web servers and several databases.

One server/One Database:

This is the simplest of web application architectures. The efficiency of this model relies on its server. When the server is strong, the user experience is much more likely to be without glitches.

One database/ Two web servers:

Here, you have an additional back-up server. It happens to be a little more stable than the first model. The only major consideration to be made is to secure the databases.

Several database/Several web servers:

These are the most efficient of the three models. They are also more reliable because they have more capabilities and space to execute complex interactions. This model is a great choice for enterprise web application.

Web application Architecture types

Legacy HTML web app:

This architecture is a good fit for static web pages. It works on the simple principle that a user receives full HTML on request. Both the webpage and overarching business logic react to the full reload of the webpage.

Widget Web App:

This type of web app architecture is more suitable for mobile apps. It comes across as more efficient than the first option in that it allows for reloading of data even without requesting page reload. Here, widgets send AJAX queries and receive chunks of data in HTML and JSON.

Single-page web app architecture:

This type of web application architecture type depends on server requests in JavaScript or HTML as opposed to exchanging data in JSON. The user’s task is simply making a request on the page.


Web application architecture majorly involves the intricate interaction of various components of the web app and the user doing the browsing. The more developed the web servers and the more secure the databases, the better the user experience.