Exploring The Difference Between Websites And Web Applications
Sometimes it seems like the internet works like magic. You click open your browser, type in what you’re looking for, and voila! The world is at your fingertips. As an end user, everything you access through your browser feels similar. An average end user probably can’t tell the difference between a website and a web application.
Out of public view, however, there are enormous differences. Developers and designers require varying skill sets while working on web apps or web applications. Before we jump in, let’s look at what exactly websites and web applications are and what the benefits are of each.
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What Is A Website?
You’re probably already familiar with what a website is. You’re reading this on a website right now! You can scroll to the top and click on something in the menu to visit a different web page. However, you will still be on the iTrobes website. But don’t click away just yet!
There are two basic categories of websites. Static websites always display the same content to all users, no matter what. On the other hand, dynamic websites can display different information to separate users. They use modern web design tools to vary what they present. For example, a website that gives you the weather may first access the location of your device to provide you with the most relevant information.
A website can act as a virtual storefront, where potential customers get a glimpse of what it is you have to offer. Websites are also excellent at providing social proof. You can display customer reviews, and any awards that your organization has won, but even just having a well-maintained website can take you a long way. The first impression visitors get when they visit your website is something that is going to stick with them forever.
What Is A Web Application?
From the outside, a web application looks very similar to a website. They both run in a browser and require a URL. Developers even use many of the same programming languages! However, web applications and websites cannot replace each other. They both serve different functions.
You would typically build a web application on top of your website, to help your users complete a specific task. Web applications are also far more complex than websites. This is because they typically allow users to input data that can then be manipulated.
Now that we have a basic idea about websites and web applications, let’s turn to the question at hand – what is the difference between a website and a web application?
A Breakdown Of The Differences Between A Website And A Web Application
|Websites are cheaper to host because the data you need to store is fairly static. Since you create all the content and data, it is easy to estimate how much server space you need.||It is more expensive to host web applications because you will need more server space. In addition to manipulating the data, you will constantly have new data being added to your database.|
|While you should follow good design practices to make sure that your website is attractive to visitors, you don’t particularly have to worry about UI/UX design.||In addition to visual design, UI/UX design is an integral part of web application development. Users have to be satisfied throughout their journey with the app.|
|A website’s main job is to give users access to information.||A web application’s main task is to provide customers with a service or help them complete a specific task.|
|Websites are publicly accessible. If you launch a website, anyone with an internet connection and the URL can view your content.||Web applications require users to register and then authenticate their information. This is so that they can ensure that every interaction is carefully tailored to the user.|
|Websites are fairly simple – not much more than a collection of web pages. Even with the advent of dynamic websites, this makes them much easier to build.||Web applications are far more complex. They require backend services, data processing capabilities, and more advanced security features. They take a longer time to build than websites.|
|While users can read, listen to, or watch content on a website, they cannot manipulate it or interact with it in any way.||Users can interact with the content on a web application instead of just viewing it. A simple example of this is a form.|
|The public nature of websites makes them less secure.||It is easier to keep data secure with a web application.|
There is a large difference between websites and web applications, even though they both have the word “web” in their names.
Considering The Differences Between A Website And A Web Application, Which One Is Right For You?
Your best bet is to start by creating a simple website – if you don’t have one already – and add more to it as your organization grows. Begin by putting up any information you think will be helpful for your customers. Some possible examples of this are customer reviews and product descriptions and images.
As your needs grow, integrate web apps into your website to provide specific services to your users. For example, if you sell a tangible product, you will need to collect information like phone numbers and addresses to fulfill your deliveries. This is, of course, sensitive data that you have to keep safe no matter what. In a case like this, you should make use of a web app so that you can keep your customers’ data private and secure.
iTrobes is a website development company with extensive experience in both website and web application development. Our team of expert engineers will assess your needs and use the differences between websites and web apps to your advantage. From landing pages to e-commerce websites, we’ve pretty much done it all, so you’re in safe hands. Contact us today to boost your internet presence!