Modern interactive web development capabilities have made the website vs. web application question more difficult to answer. Generally, your typical end-user won’t be able to distinguish between a website and a web application. After all, websites and web applications are very similar to one another. They both require Internet access, are accessed through a browser, and are responsive to the device being used.
However, websites and web applications are very different from a development and design standpoint. This post will explain what websites and web applications are, the main differences between them, and how to determine which digital product is suitable for your business needs.
What Is a Website?
A website is a collection of public interlinked web pages connected through a domain name. Web pages can contain text, audio, video, documents, or other Internet-accessible content. Traditionally, informational websites are associated with static visual and text content. However, modern web technologies have helped web developers create interactive news websites that are more app-like and contain more than static pages.
Static websites display the same content for all users. On the other hand, dynamic websites use modern web design tools to display different content to users depending on various factors such as time, location, date, etc. No matter what kind of website you create for your business, you need to ensure that you populate it with quality content because the content is why people visit your website.
What Is a Web Application?
A web app is a software that is accessed through a web browser. Web applications differ from mobile and desktop software in that they don’t have to be downloaded. Typically, users access web apps in the same way they access websites through a URL. Web applications are built using many of the same programming languages and technologies used to build websites. However, web application development tends to be more complex because web apps need to store and manipulate data based on user input. A typical example of a web app is a web portal.
A distinguishing feature of web applications is that they help users complete a task. Web apps are capable of performing a wide variety of different jobs. For example, you might use a web app to track expenses, register for classes, create advertisements, scan and convert files, and so much more. Almost all web apps require server-side processing. Apps that require server-side processing are dynamic, and apps that don’t are static. Although, static web applications are uncommon.
If you want to create a web application for your business, ensure that it performs a task users will find valuable. Apps that don’t provide value to users won’t get used. Web applications are a popular choice for businesses because they are scalable, don’t require mobile app store approval, support all modern browsers, and are cross-platform compatible.
The Differences Between Websites and Web Applications
There are many similarities between websites and web apps. Many people would argue that web apps are the next stage of evolution for websites. Still, there are critical differences between these two technologies that should be considered. Essential differences between web applications and websites include: