Isomorphic Web Apps and what Digital Marketers should know about them

Isomorphic Web Apps
Isomorphic Web Apps

Back in the day all marketers wanted from their frontend developers were nice websites, which worked in any browser. Frontend developers managed to get the job done with some CSS and sprinkle it with some JavaScript magic. Overtime other aspects gained importance like delivering websites that looked good on any devices (responsive design), sophisticated one page websites (parallax scrolling) and other creative requirements. This resulted in websites nowadays being larger than cult video games.

This got some developers thinking and going back to the drawing board to create a sustainable solution: isomorphic web apps.

What are isomorphic web apps?

The term Isomorphic derives from Greek origin and can be split in to the following words; ‘isos’ meaning ‘equal’ and ‘morph’ meaning ‘shape’. With the help of NodeJS, JavaScript code is executed on the server and client side. This leads to numerous advantages and is a major move away from the way websites are currently built. We hope these benefits whet your appetite:

Native SEO

While Single Page Applications and generally JavaScript heavy websites can deliver beautiful dynamic websites, SEO is often its first victim. Due to jQuery being executed on the client side, search engine robots often don’t get the full picture because they cannot crawl the dynamically generated content. With isomorphic web apps this isn’t the case. We are now able to render the same code on the server and on the client side. Thus search engine robots see the same code as the users see in their browsers.

High performance

A fast responding website can make more money in the long run. Look at this blog for more information. One of the most effective ways to build a website which responds quickly, is to convey the majority of business logic to the client side. Due to a design pattern called “Optimistic UI” a fully latency free feeling can be delivered to the end user. This increases the user experience of your website, which translates into end to user satisfaction and better conversion rates. More on the architecture that enables this will be covered in a future blog post.

Faster time to market

One programming language for client and server, one codebase and one team and skillset. Say good-bye to tedious integration of frontend web components into the backend and hello to a substantially faster development process. If this isn’t a concern in your current setup, imagine gaining time to focus on other aspects you sometimes have to compromise on.

Offline support

Another benefit of the architecture is that isomorphic web apps don’t depend on a constant connection to a server. Hence they are rather robust when users enter a dead zone on the go with their smartphone. Adding the required handling is a piece of cake and the corresponding parameters can easily be configured.

Smartphone apps with a few commands

Want to test the user acceptance with a public POC, but don’t want to break the bank for native app development? The isomorphic web app framework Meteor offers, out of the box native support for creating smartphone apps (iOS, Android & Windows Phone). If it goes well you’ve got a bullet prove business case for your app and already have a working example for your app development team. Isn’t that amazing?

Dedicated community and extensions

Isomorphic apps are growing in demand and so is its community. The dedicated community is constantly developing and maintaining extension packages. Need Facebook Support? There’s a package for that. Want Paypal support? There’s a package for that. Geolocation? I guess you know the answer.

Conclusion

Using this technology gives you a modern feeling web application that can be used offline. It increases User Experience with no compromise as SEO is fully supported. It is cost effective and allows you to build a native mobile app with practically no extra effort. Basically, it is a new way of browsing the Internet, where the focus is on the end user. And as marketer that should be important to you.

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Summary
Isomorphic Web Apps and what Digital Marketers should know about them
Article Name
Isomorphic Web Apps and what Digital Marketers should know about them
Description
The architecture of modern websites is not really sustainable. This inspired a rethink and a new approach: Isomorphic Web Apps.
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Atos Consulting CH
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