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No-code Web2 and Web3 with Directual: a short guide

March 1, 2023

In the beginning…there wasn’t much to do. In this article, we’ll explore the journey of the internet to what it is today, and where it will be tomorrow. Learn how to make your own taking the best from Web2 and Web3 at the same time!

From boring read-only websites to true ownership. The internet has traveled quite the journey. Web3 is a fascinating idea that is now blooming into a whole myriad of different applications and services. The best bit is true democracy. There is no one person monopolizing the entire narrative and deciding if you can earn your blue checkmark or if you have to pay $8/mo for it.

This article will dive take you on an excursion through time; learn about the paleolithic age, the XIX century, and what future awaits, with a delicate addition of what you can build along the way with your own hands. 

Now, let’s go back a little…

What is Web2 (and Web1)

Millennials and older generations have all grown up to see the internet take root and grow into what we see in front of us today. It wasn’t always like this.

Web 1.0 (Read-only)

The first iteration of the internet originated in 1990 and lasted until 2004. Web 1.0 could only show you stuff, like a digital newspaper, and interaction was pretty much non-existent. Fun fact: ads were banned initially during that era. 

Simple formula: company owns a website hosted by the ISP or hosting service. The company publishes content. The user scrolls. That’s it.

The best example of what Web 1.0 was all about is an e-commerce website. No purchase buttons, just a list of items to sift through, and maybe an email to message.

Another prime example, Yahoo! Geocities. Look at the sick website design. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Anyway, the only place you can find old dinosaurs like these is the Wayback machine now. Let’s move on.

Web 2.0 (Read-write)

This era has begun its transition to Web3 now. Web 2.0 began in 2004, with the first social media platforms coming to life. On top of that, proper web fields have arrived! Yes, the annoying forms you need to fill out almost every time you want to register somewhere. 

This time, the formula is different: the company lets users generate content, instead of providing it on its own. Users begin to interact with one another. 

With interactivity, cloud services started to become more popular. A single company can’t hope to host the entire bulk of data its users generate. Storage is not cheap, never was! With cloud storage then comes the passing of another era: physical data storage is no longer in fashion all that much, not commercially anyway. How many CDs did you burn this year? Last year?...5 years ago? Yeah.

2007 in a nutshell. User-generated content - check. Ads - check. Memes - check. What a time to be alive!

However, this is where things start to get complicated. We are all enjoying our time, the year is 2007, rage comics are all over the place, and everyone is friends on Facebook. We can all get along without someone capitalizing on personal data like there’s no tomorrow, right?

Wrong. The more traffic you get, the more value you get out of it, and goodness me we can’t have anyone else have that! Enter the advertising-driven revenue model, the true scourge and blessing(!) of the modern internet. 

Google services, as wonderful as they are, come at a price. You are the price! Same with Facebook, YouTube, and every other major service you’re used to by now. And as you can witness today, the power is concentrated in hands of very few individuals.

Prime example of what we mean here. One person buys the company, uproots the very foundations of what it was, and you are powerless to stop it. Hell, even if you are a significant stakeholder, you still can’t do much, if anything at all. 

Thus, there happened to be an idea, that it could be all different. Decentralized.

What is Web3 (Read-write-own)

Web 3.0 is a term that first appeared in 2014. Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum, coined the term shortly after launching the blockchain. The sentiment between him and early crypto fans was shared: the modern web requires you to trust a handful of obscure individuals, leaving you with nothing but faith in their goodwill. 

Well, the idea behind Ethereum and other blockchains is to prevent that from happening again. That is why Web3 devs build dApps (decentralized applications). 

Ethereum dApps, for instance, come with a number of benefits:

  • Access to the service can’t be barred or denied 
  • Payments are provided via a native token - ether (ETH)
  • The blockchain allows to program just about anything on top of it
  • No permissions to use the service required

And a number of limitations:

  • Changes to state require processing and propagation throughout the network
  • To dive into the world of Web3, you need a Web3 browser. It’s not built-in yet.
  • Putting code on the blockchain is rather expensive
  • Web3 is confusing, and few can tell what it’s all about even today
  • Decentralization means things are safe but slower than usual

The world Web3 is taking shape and form before our very eyes. Now, let’s learn how to shape something ourselves—opting for the old or the new, or maybe something in between. 

How to build a bridge between Web2 and Web3 with no-code

With the help of Directual, of course! The platform is capable of helping you build a Web3 project with just about any centralized functionality you might require on top of it. It’s still useful to have - analytics, dashboards, etc.

If we are to look at how it’s done, here’s the gist:

There are two major components to an app: frontend and backend. 

Frontend, a-la the visuals, is based on an HTML or JavaScript web app hooked up to a blockchain of choice. The backend, a-la the gears under the hood, is connected to a blockchain as well via smart contracts. These connections are established with the help of plugins (MetaMask being one of them).

Example scenario of a wallet built on Directual. It’s far less complicated than the whole idea of making one sound.

Smart contracts are addresses controlled by pre-defined functionality that processes a transaction. Decentralization in this case is based on smart contracts processed by tons of nodes, and not a data center belonging to someone. Hence why it’s a peer-to-peer network.

First, figure out the tools you need for the job — it’s going to be your tech stack. If what you need is a simple wallet, then you don’t need anything other than Directual. If it’s something more complex, then it’s a different equation to tackle. Here are some hints:

  • Frontend (mobile, web? both?)
  • Blockchain
  • Feature set (game, an exchange, marketplace, etc?)
  • Backend tools (too many to count, Directual is one of them!)

The best approach is to just get started. Check out this example of building a marketplace on Polygon build in half an hour on Directual:

Afterword

Despite the fluctuation in the world (such as the crypto winter), it is clear that Web3 will only continue to grow in popularity. As a concept, it is still new. Everyone has heard of crypto and very few know how it actually works. The infrastructure supporting Web3 is evolving, and with Directual, you can follow its path with your product and clients. Give us a shout at hello@directual.com in case you’d like to know more!

FAQ

Who coined the term Web3 and why?
Who coined the term Web3 and why?

Hе was none other than Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum! He coined the term shortly after launching the blockchain, as he saw a problem with the modern web requiring individuals to trust just a few obscure individuals. He believed that this left people with nothing but faith in their goodwill. That's where Ethereum and other blockchains come in - they aim to prevent this from happening again.

What are the benefits of Ethereum dApps?
What are the benefits of Ethereum dApps?

dApps provide access to services that cannot be barred or denied, and payments are made through a native token - ether or ETH. Additionally, the ability to program just about anything on top of Ethereum is a major plus, and there are no permissions required to use the service.

What is Directual?
What is Directual?

Directual is a full-stack no-code platform that gives you the scalability and flexibility to launch your app's MVP and go beyond scaling it without limits!

How does Web3 differ from Web2 and Web1?
How does Web3 differ from Web2 and Web1?

Web1 was the first iteration of the internet, which only allowed users to view content. Web2 then allowed users to generate content and interact with one another. But Web3 takes it one step further by allowing users to own their data and interact with each other in a decentralized manner using blockchain technology. Its ultimate goal is to prevent a few obscure individuals from controlling the web and its users.

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