Flutter Web Development: All You Need to Know
Flutter is admittedly still a new concept in the development communities, so we put together a handy guide to help you navigate the process of using it.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
A Google offering, Flutter is a UI library that was initially offered as a tool to enable the development of functional cross-platform mobile apps with the capacity to offer seamless performance akin to that of a native app. An emerging framework used for crafting beautiful cross-platform mobile applications, Flutter allows development teams to target both iOS and Android platforms with a single code base. This helps save a significant amount of time and resources.
It now also includes the development of web apps for mobile as well as desktops. Further, Flutter’s web support even helps develop complex standalone web applications with graphically rich and interactive content to reach end-users on a broad variety of devices. Also, as part of web support, it even offers a delivery model based on browsers for the existing Flutter mobile applications.
It is admittedly still a new concept in the development circles, so we put together a handy guide to help you navigate the process of using Flutter for web app development.
How Flutter Works for Web
First, let us take a look at how Flutter for web works:
- Even though one can develop a Flutter web app with multiple pages, there will only be a single HTML file when the app is converted into the native programming language.
- Interestingly even though Flutter Web enables the development of single-page apps, it allows multiple pages to be made available on the same page in a SPA.
Now there may be some concerns about Flutter's web performance; nonetheless, you can rest assured this UI library is primed to deliver ace performance. Sure, it may not be at par with, say, ReactJS, Vue, Angular, etc., but the regular updates it receives seek to not only address bugs but also ensure top-notch performance at all times.
It must also be noted that Flutter Web enables installing a web app on the native platforms. Additionally, Flutter also allows developers to bring in platform-specific code without necessitating configuration updates.
Flutter Web: Pros and Cons
- Flutter can easily deal with humongous amounts of data.
- Enables development of PWAs.
- Flutter Web can, sometimes, offer a tad slow performance.
- It is not adapted for SEO.
- Flutter API support is restricted.
Key Considerations For Flutter Web Development
- Flutter Web is only meant to be used for SPAs.
- Do NOT forget to check which OS platforms are compatible before you start the development project.
- The web app should be responsive to ensure it can adapt to a variety of screen sizes.
Tips For Developing Flutter Web App For Beginners
Here are also some tips to remember when developing a Flutter web app for the first time:
- Use Flutter 1.5.4 or newer versions only
- After Dart 2.3 has been installed, use the following command to access Flutter Web’s development tools.
$ flutter packages pub global activate web dev
- Select the IDE based on your project’s unique requirements.
- Use the following code to manually install the webbed in Visual Studio Code:
pub global activate webdev
Executing Current Projects On Flutter Web
Wondering how to execute a current project on Flutter web without Flutter 2.0? Use these commands:
$ flutter channel stable $ flutter upgrade $ flutter config --enable-web $ flutter create
In case you do have Flutter 2.0 but are yet to execute the project on the web, use just the last two of the aforementioned commands. We understand that this is an extensive guide but one that will help you make more informed decisions.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.