Web Application vs Website

Web Application vs Website

To most, there may seem no different when choosing between a website or a web application. But if you are considering taking your business online you need to know what works better for you. The definitions of websites and web applications may appear the same with basic similarity points of running on the internet, opening the browser, etc. But at the core of it there is a difference between them. Through this article, we will help you understand web application vs website and web application vs mobile application so that you know what to choose when deciding to go online with your business.

Web Application vs Website

Web Application Vs Website

The differences between Website and Web Application are tabulated below.

Basis Web Application Website
Purpose The purpose of web app is to interact with users The main aim of a website is to provide information about the business to the users
Interaction There is a lot of user interaction as it is built to attract customers with an engaging interface It gives a little scope of interaction die a lot of visual content
Authentication Web application has sensitive features thus authentication is important. Its not necessary as website is information based.
Programming Languages PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, etc are used to build web applications. HTML, CSS and JavaScript are the most used languages to code a website.
Complexity Web Applications are quite complex. Websites are less complex that web applications.
User Interaction Restricted Data in Web applications can be manipulated easily by the users. A website’s visual & text content can only be viewed and read by the users, but they can’t affect its functioning.
Maintenance Managing and maintaining a web application is important as it needs a regular upgrades. Websites are easy to maintain as once the code is up and running only minute changes are made once in a while.
Accessibility Web applications can be accessed by downloading and installing them Websites can be accessed directly through web browsers.
Cost The cost incurred on building a web application depends on how complex the application project is. Websites are usually less expensive as most of the software used to build a website is free too.
Examples Web application examples for beginners are Amazon, Netflix, Zoom, etc. Website examples for beginners are Google, Wikipedia, etc.

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What is a Web Application?

A web application or web app is a computer program or software that can be accessed by downloading and installing the application or through the web browser too. It is like a website but with interactive elements to engage users. Web application examples for beginners are Pinterest, Gmail, Udemy, etc

Web Application Types

There are 2 types of web applications

  • Single-page application: SPA is a static web page, it integrates interactive, engaging, and updatable elements. The best example is your email inbox where the sidebar remains static while you navigate the page. You can read emails, send new emails and get notifications all on one page.
  • Progressive Web Apps: PWA is a framework that runs on the web, but is typically used for mobile apps because of the features. PWAs can work offline and push notifications. You can add the PWA on your home screen, which is not a common feature in websites.

What is a Website?

A website is a collection of interlinked web pages accessible on the internet under a domain name. The website shares a standard interface and design. A user can access a website using a URL, that can be searched in a web browser. Website examples for beginners are Walmart, eBay, WordPress, etc

Types of websites

There are 2 classifications in websites, namely:

  • Dynamic websites: These are complex websites. They provide back-end interactions with the user. Advanced languages and databases are used to build these websites. It is essential to remember that various factors may affect the content that they display.
  • Static websites: These are coded using simple languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, the lack of a database makes it impossible for users to interact. They display the same content for all the user who accesses them.3

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Characteristics of Web Application

When selecting a web application for your business you must know what characteristics make you opt for a web application:

  • Web App needs to be user-friendly so that the users can easily grasp the in and out of the site.
  • Web apps should be easy to access and should run smoothly across all devices.
  • It should be attractive and engaging. Choosing good and creative design templates and colors that represent your brand or for what you are making the web app is important.
  • To attract users to a site or web application, it should load quickly. Smooth and quick functioning of your site helps the users to interact easily.
  • Web apps should provide data security. If there is some error in the user’s device, the data Should be saved and stored on an external server so that there is no data loss.
  • Unlike the applications on the phone, web apps do not require an update. Web apps auto-update.

Characteristics of Websites

If you think your brand/ business needs a website to make an online presence you must keep in mind the following characteristics:

  • Easy navigation can really improve user interaction, if the web app provides easy-to-locate navigation to switch from one page to another, it can really boost the performance of the site.
  • Website needs to be responsive. A website must work properly across all devices.
  • Users only need a URL to open the website. They provide ease of access to the users.
  • Websites are easy and quick to implement as they are coded in simple languages thus, not requiring a lot of effort and coders
  • It is simple to edit and update websites as the code is simple and can be amended.

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When to opt for a Website?

The difference between a website and a web application is something most users tend to take lightly, because of how synonymous they are. But for those who are uninformed, a website is what makes your brand shine online. It helps you promote your brand, gain potential clients, build authenticity, and emerge as one of a kind. A website is cost-effective and simple to use access and implement. Often, they even help you attain credibility.

When to pick a Web Application over a Website?

Web Apps have become quite popular because of digitalization since users want everything in comfort; web applications help them retain this comfort. If your business works along the lines of making a user’s life easier, then web application is for you. Web apps are easy to access, maintain and update. They run on almost all browsers and thus are more user-friendly. Users don’t have to worry about data loss and data once stored is saved and can be retrieved at any point. Web apps are quite interactive in nature and thus, might give you or your brand the fast-paced growth you are striving to achieve.

Web Application Vs Mobile Application

Mobile application, also known as native application, is slightly different from web apps,. The table given below explains the basic web application vs mobile application differences.

Mobile Applications Web Applications
They can work without the internet They cannot work without the internet
They are expensive They are cheaper than mobile apps
They can only be accessed after download & successful installation They can be accessed through any web browser, without the need for downloading or installation.
Mobile Apps are comparatively faster. Web Apps are slower.
They may be developed for specific platforms They run on most browsers.
Mobile apps are more secure as data loss can only happen in case of deletion of app or crashing of the mobile. Web apps are a little less secure as they can incur major data losses even with improper network connectivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is Facebook a website or web application?

Ans. Facebook is a Web application, it has an app and it works on the web version too.

Q2. Is Chrome a web application?

Ans. Google Chrome App is a Web application

Q3. How to Convert Your Website Into an App?

Ans. The Steps to convert your website to a web app are listed below:

  • Recognise if you need a mobile app or not
  • Identify the features you need in the mobile app
  • Get a development team on board
  • Set the cost quotes for app development
  • Design a user-friendly app interface
  • Run app tests & beta tests.
  • Register your app to App store/Play store

Q4. What are the types of Web Applications?

Ans. There are 8 types of web apps, namely:

  • Static web application such as resume websites, portfolio websites, brochure websites etc.
  • Dynamic web application like Blogs, Calendars etc.
  • E-Commerce web application like Amazon, eBay etc.
  • Single-page web application such as Google Maps, Airbnb etc.
  • Portal web application namely Intranet portals, Financial portals etc.
  • Content management system web application which include Joomla, Drupal etc.
  • Animated web applications along the lines of CSS animations, Motion graphics etc.
  • Rich Internet web applications; some of commonly used ones being Adobe Flash & Google Gears.

Recommended:

Both a website and web app are amazing tools to take your business online and make a presence there. The only criteria the user may need to consider when choosing between the two is the brand you are trying to build. It is important to know the differences for Web Application vs Website vs Mobile Application to choose what best suits your brand and what will make your brand outshine online.

Posted by

Pete Mitchell

Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.

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