Flutter

Flutter for Web – The Detail Guide to Develop Flutter Web App

Google initially launched its UI library, Flutter, for creating native functional mobile apps that ensure smooth performance. The attractive features and characteristics...

Avatar Written by Ghanshyam Bhesaniya · 6 min read >
Flutter for web

Google initially launched its UI library, Flutter, for creating native functional mobile apps that ensure smooth performance. The attractive features and characteristics of Flutter have attracted many developers to explore it for building apps.

Although Flutter initially focused on creating cross-platform Android and iOS apps, it no longer has restrictions to build mobile apps only. Desktop and web apps are something now you can try making with Flutter.

If you want to try Flutter for Web, this is the right guide for you. Without further discussion, let’s read on!

A Brief Introduction of Flutter

Flutter is Google’s UI library that helps build native performant apps across all devices, such as desktop, web, and mobile, via a single codebase. It uses Dart programming and combines Cupertino and Material Design to create an attractive user interface. The intriguing UI not just feels native but also can resemble the platform to perform naturally on any device.

How Does Flutter Web Function?

Flutter renders website apps similarly like it renders mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms. Flutter Web can turn a project into native code when you need to deploy it. It builds single-page web apps. However, you can have multi-pages, but if Flutter changes a web app to the native language, there will be a single index.html HTML file.

Flutter web architecture

So, how can you create multi-pages web apps? The Navigator works on the Stack data structure. Although Flutter Web is a single page, it can push many pages on a similar single native page.

Measuring Flutter for Web’s Performance

The Flutter developer community actively makes enhancements and changes to improve Flutter Web’s performance and bring it to a fixed release. Mainly two things can measure Flutter Web’s performance: first, it can render and manipulate massive amounts of data, and secondly, it features effects, transitions, and animations.

Flutter developers have following two options of rendering engines to select from:

  1. DomCanvas
  2. CanvasKit

These engines produce Dart code that turns to CSS and HTML for the execution of widgets. Apps built with DomCanvas have a lesser payload than the ones made with CanvasKit. The extra massive size for CanvasKit improves its performance by radical changes. So, it would help if you decided whether you want your users to wait a bit more to enjoy a better user experience.

In a nutshell, in terms of performance, Flutter Web needs to improve more to meet the level of the performance of modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries like Vue, Angular, and ReactJS.

When Does Flutter for Web Development Bring Benefits for Businesses?

When it comes to building a web app, Flutter may be the right solution. Learn when it’s worthwhile to use the Flutter web for business.

Mobile and Web Development at the Same Time

Flutter is the right solution in case of building an app for the web and mobile at the same time. With Flutter, now it’s possible to create the entire product from a single codebase using a team of Flutter developers.

Developers need to create responsive UIs, as the web and mobile apps will work on various screen resolutions and sizes. When a screen’s web version might require being entirely other than the mobile version, Flutter can support platform checks. It helps you render various screens on the web and mobile.

It saves time, as web and mobile apps share standard translations, styles, logic, UI elements, and more.

Reuse Code from an Already Built Mobile Application

Flutter brings business value if you already have a mobile app and go for Flutter for Web development. In this matter, you can use current UI elements and logic to build web apps quicker than other web platforms. Your app’s web version does not need to execute every feature the mobile version has.

Companion Applications

Flutter Web also works as a companion to mobile applications. For instance, a demo application, your mobile app’s admin panel, or proof of concept uses standard code with a broader system made with Flutter.

Should You Use Flutter Web When Mobile Apps Are Not in the Picture?

Flutter helps you create engaging and performant web apps. But, it’s not ideal for static website pages. It is perfect for single-page interactive applications with heavy UI elements and animations.

In terms of static website pages with lots of text, a higher standard website development process may result in better outcomes, quicker load times, and more feasible maintenance.

Pros of Flutter Web

Here are a few benefits of using Flutter for Web for your business:

  • Flutter web can render animations, transitions, and graphical effects.
  • It can manage massive amounts of data.
  • Flutter provides excellent assistance for both Cupertino and Material design UI elements.
  • It can execute a game engine for specific products with better physics and animations.
  • Flutter offers PWA support.
  • It renders animations in up to 60 frames/second.
  • You can run JavaScript code from within Flutter Web. It’s a fantastic option if there is an SDK or JS library you have to explore.
  • Flutter Web can integrate with current web apps as an embedded element.
  • It provides a massive amount of commercial and open-source libraries on pub.dev.

Cons of Flutter Web

Flutter Web has a few shortcomings also as it is still under development. Let’s have a look:

  • Flutter web is not SEO-friendly. Hence, in terms of product marketing on search engines, you may see better results on other web frameworks.
  • Flutter Web does not maximize its full support for plugins.
  • Since Flutter Web is still developing, you can see a slower app performance.
  • The Hot Reloading feature of Flutter Web is tricky. You can either type webdev serve –auto-restart in the command line or refresh the page manually.
  • Flutter web developers cannot modify produced JavaScript, CSS, and HTML code.
  • It has restrictions on the support of Flutter APIs.
  • Compared to classic web development, Flutter web’s load size may look poor. HTML’s minimum payload is 1.8 MB, and CanvasKit includes an extra 2MB to the payload providing better performance.

How to Run Your Current Project on Flutter Web?

Presently, Flutter Web is on a stable channel from Flutter 2.0. However, if you don’t operate on Flutter 2.0, you can still utilize it by running the commands mentioned below:

$ flutter channel stable
$ flutter upgrade
$ flutter config --enable-web
$ flutter create .

And if you are using Flutter 2.0 but haven’t ever operated your previous project on the web, run the set of commands mentioned below:

$ flutter config --enable-web
$ flutter create .

Once you implement these commands correctly, you can run your project using Flutter Web. You can find a web folder in the project directory. To operate that project on the Flutter Web, choose Edge or Chrome and click Run.

How to Build Your First Flutter Web App Project?

To build a Flutter app, you don’t need experience in Dart or other website programming languages. The official documentation will guide you with the basics of Flutter Web. Here is our detailed guide to help you create your first app project with Flutter Web:

To set up your first Flutter Web app project, ensure to have Flutter version 1.5.4 or more. Moreover, install Dart 2.3 for app development. You can type the commands given below:

$ flutter channel stable
$ flutter upgrade
$ flutter config --enable-web

To Make sure to update the correct version, type the following in your command line:

$ flutter doctor

It will provide the installation status. To obtain the development tools for Flutter Web, run the command given below:

$ flutter packages pub global activate webdev

Now make sure that the $HOME/.pub-cache/bin directory is in the path. It helps use the webdev command straight from the terminal. Type the commands given below for macOS:

$HOME/flutter/.pub-cache/bin

Next, restart your system.

Now choose an IDE for developing a Flutter web app. Here’s the options to select from:

  • IntelliJ
  • Android Studio
  • Visual Studio Code

These IDEs have various approaches. Based on your suitability, you can select your preferred one. Developers can use VS Code for web development. Open VS Code and type ctrl + shift + p for opening the command palette. After opening the command palette, type:

Flutter: New Web Project

Visual Studio Code will seek your permission for Stagehand installation. To install Stagehand, a Dart Project creator manually, type this:

pub global activate stagehand

You can develop a basic project demo by providing a location and name for your project.
pubget command will run through the project automatically to load essential packages for your project.

Now, Visual Studio Code will ask permission for automatic installation of webdev. Nonetheless, you can manually install it by typing this command:

pub global activate webdev

Type webdev serve in the command line to run your project. And then, your first demo project will be accessible in the supported Chrome window.

What to Consider While Using Flutter for Web?

Here are the key points to remember while using Flutter Web:

  • Flutter Web builds single-page applications.
  • A web developer can change the native code the same way they do it for iOS and Android.
  • It would help if you made your Flutter web app responsive so that users can open your site in any screen size.
  • To deploy your Flutter web app, run flutter build web command and you will find a folder web in the project directory that has native codes, incorporating index.html
  • Although several packages support the web, make sure to check the supported platforms before coding.

Bottom Lines

With its constant popularity and increased acceptance of business apps, Flutter has proved to bring more business values. If you have read this guide, you have more reasons to go for Flutter Web development.

MindInventory has a team of ardent, dedicated, and experienced Flutter developers knowledgeable in creating responsive apps using Flutter. If you seek to hire profound Flutter Web development services to complete a current project, contact us in no time!

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FAQs About Flutter for Web

What is Flutter for web?

Flutter for web is a code-compatible version of the open-source UI software development kit that uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to generate the user interface.

Is Flutter good for web development?

Yes. Flutter is great for both mobile and web app development as it is highly compatible with current-generation web rendering technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Using Flutter, you can easily compile the existing code into a client experience, embed it into the browser, and then deploy it to any web server.

Which web browsers are supported by Flutter?

Flutter web apps can run on almost all modern browsers like Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox. Chrome (on Windows, macOS, and Linux) and Edge (on Windows) are supported as the default browsers for debugging your app during development.

Written by Ghanshyam Bhesaniya
Ghanshyam Bhesaniya is a Sr. Mobile App developer at MindInventory with more than 6 years of experience. Building Large & Scalable Applications using Swift and Dart. Responsible for designing and building advanced applications for both iOS and Android platforms using Flutter. He has excellent knowledge in core concepts like Object Oriented Programming (OOP), Memory Management (Memory profiling and performance tuning). Profile