In this internet age, it’s mad important for businesses and devs to make sure their sites load lightning fast and run smooth for users, feel me? But damn, there’s like a million different ways to build and launch websites, so it can really mess with your head trying to figure out the best approach for your project. Not to worry though, this guide is gonna break it all down for you – we’ll go over all the various methods for creating and putting websites out there. We’ll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly of each one so you can make that solid decision on which way to go.

One approach that’s getting a ton of hype lately is this whole packaging and containerization thing. Basically, instead of dealing with deploying code straight onto servers, you wrap up your whole app into a neat little portable package. Then you can ship that package out anywhere – dev laptops, staging servers, cloud platforms, you name it. It’s like your app comes pre-installed in its own separately contained environment, making it super consistent wherever you deploy it. We’ll dive into all the nitty-gritty details on how this packaging method works and why it’s becoming the go-to way for deploying web apps fast and reliably.

The Classic Website Served From a Server

This old school way of building websites has been kicking it for decades, but people still use it like crazy. With these server-rendered sites, the server is like the master chef, cooking up the entire HTML page and serving it piping hot to the user’s browser. This method is an absolute beast for websites packing tons of content that doesn’t change too often, like them news sites or blogs.


  • Super Easy to Build: Building websites this way is pretty darn easy and straightforward. Since the server handles most of the tough stuff, it makes things super simple for you.
  • Good for SEO: Search engines can easily understand and rank these pages because the server makes the whole page.
  • Works with Old Browsers: These apps can still be used on older web browsers.


  • Slow Performance: The server has to handle every request, which can make things slow, especially if lots of people are using the app.
  • Hard to Scale: Making the server handle more users can be tricky and expensive.
  • Not Very Interactive: These websites aren’t super interactive or engaging because the whole dang page has to reload whenever something changes, which isn’t as smooth and seamless as the newer ways of doing things.
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Single-Page Applications (SPAs)

Single-Page Applications (SPAs) are all the rage these days for building websites. Instead of loading a new page every time, the whole website loads into your browser at once. Then as you use the site and click around, it automatically updates with new content and stuff without having to refresh the entire page. 

The Pros:

  • Smooth Operator: SPAs provide a silky smooth, highly responsive user experience since content updates happen seamlessly without full page refreshes.
  • Need for Speed: After that initial load, SPAs typically require fewer server requests, resulting in faster load times and an overall snappier performance.
  • Offline Functionality: With the right setup, SPAs can harness browser caching and service workers to enable offline capabilities for users.

The Cons:

  • Complexity Overload: Building SPAs is often more complex than traditional server-rendered apps, requiring a deeper mastery of JavaScript and front-end frameworks.
  • SEO Struggles: Since SPAs render content on the user’s machine, search engines can have a tough time effectively indexing and ranking that content.
  • Sluggish Start: The initial load for an SPA can be slower than server-rendered counterparts, since the entire app needs to download and process before it can work its magic.

Progressive web application

As one of the emerging trends these days is the use of progressive web application development (PWAs). PWAs are basically the web applications that take advantage of modern browsing capabilities to provide a more native experience, including features like as offline functionality, push notifications, home screen installation and many more. 


  • Provide a seamless, app-like experience for users directly within the browser.
  • It can work offline and provide push notifications like native mobile apps.
  • It can be easily installed and accessible on the user’s home screen.
  • Another advantages of web technologies is that they are easier to build and maintain as compare to native applications.


  • It requires more development and configuration to take advantage of all the features of the PWA.
  • There may be some limitations depending on access to some hardware or OS specific features.
  • Adoption and support may vary across different browsers and devices.

Microservices and API-driven architecture

Instead of building an entire web application, developers break applications into smaller chunks, independent services that communicate with each other through well-defined APIs. This approach provides more flexibility, scalability, accessibility and maintainability.


  • It allows easy scaling and deployment of individual parts of the application.
  • It makes use of different technologies and languages in different parts of the application.
  • It promotes better code organization and modular design.
  • Easier and faster development and deployment cycles.


  • Multitasking in the way of increasing and coordinating many tasks.
  • Establishing and maintaining a higher infrastructure can be more challenging.
  • Requires a high level of technical expertise and understanding of distributed systems
  • This can increase network latency and communication overhead between services.

Edge Computing and CDNs

The concept of edge computing, where the process and content delivery is brought closer to the user, is also gaining importance. This includes technologies such as content delivery networks (CDNs), which store and serve stable content from servers located closer to the user, reducing latency and increasing performance.


  • Faster loading times and better user experience, especially for users located far from the origin server.
  • The load on the origin server is reduced, as the CDN handles most of the content delivery.
  • It increases availability and reliability, as content is served from multiple endpoints.
  • It can be cost effective, as CDN providers often offer competitively priced and scalable solutions.


  • It requires careful planning and configuration to store the right content in the mouth
  • Complexity can be increased in terms of managing a CDN and ensuring that content is properly updated and updated.
  • There are definitely some ongoing costs involved that you have to keep a close eye on. 

Static Site Hosting and the Jamstack

In recent years, Static site hosting – also called the Jamstack (JavaScript, APIs, and Markup) – has been blowing up in popularity with developers. This approach is becoming all the rage in the web dev world. It’s a simple and efficient way to create and share web apps. With this approach, the whole app is put together beforehand into static files and sent directly to the user, without needing the server to do anything extra.

The Pros:

  • Blazing Speed: Since static sites are pre-built and served directly, they can achieve lightning-fast load times that would leave The Flash himself eating dust.
  • Secure as a Vault: With no server processing, static sites have a smaller attack surface, making them way more secure than dynamic counterparts.
  • Scales Massively: Static sites can handle huge traffic volumes right out of the gate, making them highly scalable and cost-effective beasts.
  • Developer’s Delight: Static site generators and Jamstack let developers work with modern front-end tools for a more efficient, enjoyable workflow.

The Cons:

  • Dynamic Restrictions: While static sites can use APIs and serverless functions, implementing complex real-time functionality can be really challenging.
  • Content Chaos: Managing and updating content is often more complex compared to traditional CMSs, potentially causing major headaches.
  • Vendor Lock-In Fears: Relying heavily on specific static generators or hosting platforms can lead to being locked into a particular vendor, limiting flexibility.

Serverless and Cloud-Native

Fashionably late to the party are serverless and cloud-native architectures, making big waves as a cutting-edge approach for building and deploying web apps. With this trendy model, apps are broken into smaller functions or microservices deployed in response to specific events, no traditional server management required.

The Pros:

  • Automatic Scaling Superpowers: Serverless platforms have this uncanny ability to automatically scale resources based on demand for optimal performance and cost efficiency, no matter how much traffic comes knocking.
  • Reduced Ops Overhead: With serverless, developers can focus on coding and making their apps shine, rather than infrastructure management drudgery.
  • Pay-as-You-Go Pricing: You only pay for the resources you actually use, potentially leading to huge cost savings over traditional hosting.

The Cons:

  • Architectural Brain Bust: Designing and implementing serverless architectures is often way more complex than traditional approaches, especially for larger apps with intricate requirements.
  • Vendor Lock-In Trap: Serverless platforms are commonly tightly coupled to specific cloud providers, potentially locking you in and limiting future flexibility.
  • Cold Start Sluggishness: After periods of inactivity, serverless functions can experience delays firing up, temporarily impacting performance.

Choosing the Right Path

As you can see, each web development and deployment strategy has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, kind of like an ensemble of superheroes. The “easiest” approach will ultimately depend on your specific project needs, your dev team’s expertise, and your organization’s constraints and goals.

For smaller to medium projects with limited dynamic needs, and a big focus on performance and scalability, static hosting and Jamstack could be an excellent streamlined solution.

But for more complex apps demanding real-time features or frequent content updates, traditional server-rendered apps or SPAs may be better equipped to meet those needs with more flexibility for dynamic workloads.

Serverless and cloud-native offer a modern, highly scalable approach, but may also introduce extra complexity and potential vendor lock-in to carefully consider.

It’s a good idea to think about combining different methods to find the best fit for your project. For example, you could start with a simple setup for your website’s main content and then add more dynamic features using serverless functions or APIs. 

Keep in mind, there’s no one perfect answer in web development. It’s okay to test out different tools and be imaginative. Being able to change and think up new things is what will make your apps succeed now and later on.

The Takeaway:

Choosing the easiest way to deliver your web app really comes down to what best suits your project needs and team preferences. Don’t get hung up on finding a “perfect” solution – web development offers plenty of viable options, so have fun experimenting! Stay flexible, embrace variety, and enjoy the process of crafting your ideal approach.

Wrapping up, one of the easiest ways to get web applications out to users these days is by using a modern packaging approach. This method allows you to take all the different pieces that make up an application – the code, libraries, configuration files, and whatever else – and bundle them together into a single, portable unit. This packaged up application is way easier to move around and deploy in different environments. The big benefits of using this packaging technique are that the applications become very portable, efficient with machine resources, and super scalable. Since the entire app is bundled into one portable image file, you can run that image exactly the same whether on a developer’s laptop, a staging server, or a production cloud environment. This consistency solves the nightmare of the “works on my machine” problem that developers often run into.

These packaged apps are way lighter than traditional virtual machines. With VMs you have to run a whole guest operating system, but these packages just use the host machine’s OS. That smaller footprint means the apps start fast and don’t hog resources, making them more efficient and cost-effective for deployment. From a dev perspective, building these portable app packages is pretty straightforward. Devs just define what the app needs – code, configs, dependencies, etc. – in a simple text file. Tools read that file as a blueprint to automatically build the packaged app image file.

Once that image is built, it’s easy to share and deploy that consistent package anywhere – a dev’s local machine, staging environment, production cloud, you name it. The major cloud providers have services built-in to directly run and scale these packaged apps. The deployment flow is simple with this approach. Ops folks can just grab the pre-built app image from a central storage spot and run it, rather than complex manual setups. Since the app runs isolated in the package, there are fewer conflicts and more predictable behavior.

Scaling is also super easy. Because these packages are lean and fire up quickly, it’s efficient to rapidly duplicate the packaged app across tons of machines for high traffic. There are orchestration tools to automate a lot of the scaling and load balancing across clusters of these packages. Overall, this modern packaging approach streamlines deploying web apps compared to traditional methods. The bundled packages, isolation, portability, and efficient scaling are huge upgrades over bare-metal manual deployments.

The specific tools for this packaging approach vary, but the core concept is the same – package the full app into a shippable image file, then run that image consistently wherever via the package. This package-based deployment lets dev teams focus more on building great user experiences rather than deployment busy work. Apps packaged this way pretty much run reliably no matter where you deploy, out of the box.

As web apps get more complex, using this packaging helps teams ship faster with less operations overhead. The standardized approach simplifies getting apps deployed consistently across all environments for both devs and ops.

At the end of the day, this application packaging technique has emerged as one of the easiest ways to deliver robust, scalable, portable web apps. The streamlined packaging, distribution, and predictable operations are a big upgrade over old deployment models. Companies looking to get web apps out faster and more reliably would be wise to adopt this modern packaging approach.

Ultimately, this application packaging technique has emerged as one of the most convenient paths for delivering robust, scalable, portable web apps for today’s world. The streamlined packaging, distribution, and predictable operations that it enables are a big step up from managing deployments the old-fashioned way. Any company looking to get web apps out faster and easier would be wise to adopt this modern packaging approach.