Differences between a website and web application

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Differences between a website and web application

#Both websites and web applications have their uses and each has specific advantages over the other.

Many people erroneously assume that every URL they visit is a website. The undeniable fact is that sometimes your browser takes you to web applications and not websites as you may presume. The difference, however, makes more sense to businesses that have an online component.

The decision to either launch a website or webpage primarily lies on the goals of your business. Both websites and web applications have their uses and each has specific advantages over the other. It thus is recommended that you work hand in hand with a reputable web development agency to find which of the two is best for your business. In the meantime, let’s see what sets websites and web applications apart.

 

Websites

Websites mainly serve as tools to relay information to a target audience. Your favorite blog, for instance, is purely informational. The information conveyed to end users through websites can take many forms such as recipes, DIY instructions, news articles and even training manuals among other things.

Visitor interactions on a website are minimal. Sure, one may subscribe to a newsletter via email or perform a search on the website. However, the main purpose of the content on a website is to show users how the content applies to them. The website has minimal intentions of interacting with visitors directly.

Consequently, a website is ideal when your business wants to send out some information. Take the example of a charity organization. Such an organization may only require a homepage to introduce themselves, an about page to describe their work, a contact information page and a page about the organization’s upcoming events.

 

Web Applications

Just like websites, web applications supply info to a target user group. On top of that, they offer an appreciable level of interaction with visitors. Web application not only give users the information they require, but they also allow the user to do something with the information they get. As they interact with the webpage, the visitors may even request further information that’s different from what is offered on the webpage.

Most online banking services are offered via web applications. That’s why the information displayed and the transactions performed are often based on the input from the online banker. An online library too could run as a web application where users search through the book catalogs and make any necessary reservations.

Firms running websites can easily switch to web applications. Take the charity organization we described as a website for example; the organization could use a web application. This time, visitors could register, request for more information about the charity, bid on and pay for charity items being auctioned off and connect with other visitors among doing many other things.

 

Website-Web Application Hybrids

Quite a large number of websites are in fact a combination of web applications and websites. WordPress, for example, displays information to the user. However, on its back-end, it’s both extensible and highly customizable. Similarly, a firm may have a website offering certain information that prompts visitors to register. After registration, the user can then be ushered into an integrated web application that has extended usability and functionality.

 

Conclusion

It all comes down the single fact that while websites simply convey info, web applications do much more than that based on input from users. Consequently, building a website is relatively simple, Web application development, on the hand, is quite complex. The knowledge, experience and technical expertise needed to create a formidable web application can thus only be offered by skilled professionals.