Web Application vs Website: which to choose?
Performance, security, user experience. There are plenty of differences to consider
when comparing web application vs website. These are the most important.
Every company needs a web presence, whatever the business venture, industry or size. What business cards, flyers or printouts did in the old days, websites do today: they offer credibility, showcase the brand and reach more potential customers. Web Applications, however, are a different breed entirely, offering a bespoke experience, where users can interact with the company in meaningful, digital ways. From a business and technical perspectives, the two could not be more different.
What is a Website, really?
What is a Web Application?
A web application (or web app) is a piece of software accessible via a browser, using a URL just like a website, that runs on a web server. Unlike websites, a web application is dynamic and interactive. End users can manipulate or modify information. In essence, a web application helps a user complete a task.
There are some specific types of web apps. Portals, for example, integrate diverse applications and content. A bank’s web portal allows users to pay bills, check account balance, or wire money. Online stores are another type of web app, obviously used to browse, save products to a shopping cart, and purchase. Web applications are usually built on scripting languages like PHP or Java and rely on SQL databases. They often make use of augmented rich Internet application (RIA) technologies, such as JavaFX or Silverlight.
Some very popular web applications are Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube, and Amazon. Web apps often have mobile app versions – which, by the way, are not the same thing.
Web Application vs Website: what’s right for your business?
And now, the million-dollar question: should your business have a website and a web application? Well, the answer depends on many factors. See below a side-to-side comparison of web application vs website.
Web Application vs Website: verdict
Websites are a great starting point for any business. They offer criticial information, answer frequently asked questions (FAQ), troubleshooting guidance, and can possess simple interactions with users, such as on-page purchases or an automated online chat feature.
A web application, on the other hand, is a fantastic way to offer mobile experiences while bypassing app store approval. Both web applications and websites allow push notifications via browser, can be used in any platform – Linux, MacOS, Windows – and device, don’t need to be installed, and need only a browser and internet connection to be accessed.
So, the question of web application vs website comes down to:
- What service or product does your business provide?
- What is the purpose of your web solution?
- How do you expect your customers to interact with it?
- How many resources can your business invest in its development?
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Take a look at the Software Development solutions we offer, or just get in touch if you are unsure of how we can help your business. Get in touch with Near Partner, and let our talented team help you materialise your vision.