difference between website and web application
3 minutes read

We use the Internet daily. It has become one of the most vital tools for our job and daily life. However, have you ever wondered why some websites are just basic and standard “pages” that you can only read and see while some offer a plethora of features that help you do something, like Gmail or Canva? We have a term for these: web applications. So, what are the differences between website and web application? Let’s debunk this.   

What Is Website?

A website is a collection of public web pages interconnected through a domain name. The website display text, audio, files, documents, and many other accessible contents. Together, they created the World Wide Web we know today. Mostly all websites are public. On the other hand, some sites can only be visited by a limited number of users and are kept private.  

Traditional websites mainly displayed text content and stationary imagery. As technology constantly develops, websites have become more interactive and app-like. This progress is made thanks to the creation of web developers.   

1. Website
Modern websites today are interactive and responsive to many devices

These modern, interactive websites today are called dynamic websites. Besides using common coding languages like CSS and JavaScript, more sophisticated languages have been integrated to construct better user interactions. No matter what kind of website, businesses should ensure the supply of quality content to keep people visiting the site.

Detailed guide on Web Development: Types, Tools and How to do

When Do You Need A Website?

A website can fulfill the tasks of performing minimum features and uncomplicated processes. You can use a website for online presence for service showcase. Usually, Content Management System (CMS) development will meet the need. The process of creating a website also called Web Development.

What Is Web Application?

A web app, or web application, is the type of software accessible on a browser and can be stored directly on it without needing to download. An Internet connection is required if you want to access it.   

Web applications share the same languages and building technologies as typical websites. Some can be built from CSS and JavaScript. Browser-supported languages and frameworks, such as HTML, Laravel, and ReactJS, are also commonly used. Some other server languages are C#, Python, and Java. Yet, it is more complex and takes more time to develop than a standard website.  

Best-Web-Application-Development-Examples
Some examples of common web applications. Source: Space O Technologies

Web applications are ubiquitous and allow us to do tasks while surfing the Internet. Some prime examples are Gmail and Yahoo, where we can send and receive emails. Social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are also web applications. The web application can also be used for expense tracking, registering and managing classes, making and converting files, etc. The process of creating a Web Apps is Web Application Development.

When Do You Need A Web Application?

Web application is needed when you want to set up several complex processes for your customer, user or even your employees. This shall help monitor and allow multiple functions to operate simultaneously within a single system. 

Difference Between Web Application vs Website

Now you have known the definition, it’s time to learn about the difference between a website and a web application.   

  • The website is created for static content display and can be visited by everybody. The web application is designed for an interactive experience with certain users. 
  • Web content cannot be interfered with by readers. The web application doesn’t restrict users from what they can do with on-site data. 
  • The web application requires higher and more complex functions compared to a website that only displays collected information. 
  • Informational web doesn’t require authentication; readers can get additional registration for updates or more options. On the contrary, authentication is needed for web applications, and it offers a broader range of options.  
  • Many web apps are parts of the website. Which means you can switch between their web and web apps. For example, the Canva Homepage is a static web page that contains information, pictures and videos. Once you log into their Canva tools, you can access their web apps. So, the web is a complete structure with many elements in it and you can access it by a browser.  
  • The website requires a little amendment to the whole structure and only needs an update in the HTML code. Web application, however, requires a complete structure to be redeployed. 

Who To Hire: Web Developer Or Web Application Developer?

The next stage is choosing how you will brand your business and which types of developers to help you. You might want to build a unique, fascinating website for displaying information. Later, you can still decide to add in several cool web applications. It all depends on your vision and decision. 

Opt for Web Development Services if…

web developer
You can hire a freelance web developer to help build a website
  • To create social relevance: Most companies now use their website as proof of their social publicity and authentication. Customers reach out to these verified websites for reference before deciding to purchase something. The company’s website will contribute to the business’s reputation through customer reviews, badges, and performance reports. It isn’t easy to disseminate your business award information, positive reviews, and crucial data without a website;  
  • To showcase the range of products or services: This trait is shared by many businesses as it can give customers a deeper look into the products or services they sell. You can use the website to provide product information, instruct customers how to use it, and answer frequently asked questions relating to the products or services;  
  • To further brand your company: A website is one of the easiest and best ways to promote your business without spending too much marketing effort. You convey the brand’s message through the website, set up the coordinated visual, and establish a well-aligned and hierarchical content system.  
  • To provide customer support: As more customers prefer self-service online support, the website is where they visit to search for answers to their questions quickly. You can equip your website with frequently asked questions (FAQs), troubleshooting guidance, and virtual assistants that customers can contact to resolve their problems. 

Opt for Web Applications Development Services if…

  • To encourage information manipulation: For customers to enter and manipulate information, web applications will be needed to give your business the best data. The most common use is the submission of payment information and transaction. 
  • To earn more authentication: If your business wants customers to log in before proceeding, a web authenticating application is needed. This application can be developed and initiated right within the website;  
  • To create an app without app store approval: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications with the appearance and feel of mobile apps. It is being considered one of the ways to provide rich mobile experiences that can bypass the two biggest app stores’ approval processes. 
  • To monitor all the updates: Web applications can help businesses control and synchronize update schedules for all users. Users now don’t have to manually update by themselves as all has been done on the web server. Through this, your company can improve security and ensure every user has the same experience with a web application. 

Wrapping Up

Websites and web applications are two distinctive elements of the Internet today. Some of their characteristics make it confusing to identify the difference between website and web development. However, web application development will be the best option if you want something that can simultaneously process complex functions. A website is worth investing in for digital content establishment and social relevance. 

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author avatar

Anna Nguyen

A tech-savvy with 2 years of experiences in creating content on Data Analytics and Digital Transformation. I wish to share daily news, tips and ways to make businesses elevate in the data-driven age.

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  1. Awesome! Information. Great work thanks for sharing such useful information. keep it up all the best.

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