Blog 6
Part Two: How to describe web application architecture of an e-commerce website?
As mentioned in part one, web application architecture is the framework that allows multiple components of a web application to work together simultaneously. Using the accommodation booking site, Airbnb, I will explain web application architecture in greater detail.

What components are found in web application architecture and why is it important?
Most web applications are divided into layers and tiers. Not only does it create structure it also allows the developer to replace and upgrade each layer independently. See image below. Looking at the server side of the architecture, it contains many layers and sub layers;
Presentation layer: Although it is included in the server section, this layer is accessible to users as it consists of UI components including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. For instance, this layer would look after the presentation of Airbnb’s website, the organisation of search results, the breakdown of information and imagery etc.
Business/Application layer: Assesses the client’s request and determines the route that the data will flow. This layer would be responsible for the sequence of events a user will go through when booking accommodation on the Airbnb site. From presenting accommodation search results right down to the last step of payment and confirmation.
Persistent storage layer:  Also known as the storage or data access layer, it is the central area that processes the data and determines what subcomponents are required. 
a)  Data storage: As the name suggest, this component holds all the data of the website 
b)  Cross-cutting code: This component looks after additional applications including security,       communications and operational management. For example, Airbnb requires the user to log in or register their details before they make a reservation. In addition, the user must accept terms and conditions before proceeding to payment. 
c)  3rd party integration: Looks after communications/connection with external sources including payment gateways, social logins and GDSs in travel websites. In Airbnb’s’ case, users can register their account by connecting it to their social media or make payment through a connected online payment system such as Paypal.

Image source

Using Airbnb as an example, I have broken down the many parts of Web Application Architecture into digestible bites. To find out more about Web Application Architecture and how to build your own, visit
Unknown) (2019), Web Application Architecture: How the Web Works. Available at: (Accessed: 8 Mar 2021)
(Wilson, C.) (2020), How to Design a Web Application: Software Architecture 101. Available at: (Accessed: 8 Mar 2021)
Back to Top