What is the Difference Between a Web Application and a Website?

To me, a web application is a practical section of software, driven by dynamic, communicating content. A website is more static and revealing in nature. When I think of a web application, I think of gmail. When I am considering a website, I think of time.com or indianexpress.com.

To me, from a design outlook, web applications function different purposes, and therefore must be designed differently than websites. Websites primary role is to update. Web application`s  main role is to do something. When the main objective of something you work on is different, the final result is going to be different.

Web application
In software development, a web application is an application that is accessed through a web browser over a network such as the Internet. The term may also mean a computer program that is hosted in a browser-controlled environment or coded in a supported language (such as JavaScript, combined with a markup language like HTML) and reliant on a common web browser to render the application executable.

Website
A website is a group of related web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that are addressed relative to a common Uniform Resource Locator, habitually involving of only the domain name. A website is presented on at least one web server, reachable via a network such as the Internet.

It’s All About Purpose & Usage
The best way to know about the difference between a web application and a website is to think yourself what is it being used for; or what is its aim. If the exclusive purpose is to promote a service or product, then we call those websites. If the purpose is useful in nature, intended to answer a problem or make your work easier, then it’s possibly an application.

For example:
news.cnet.com is a website not a web application because its primary purpose is to inform people about the services/ news on the web.

Gmail on the other hand is a web application because its prime purpose is to allow you to send & receive email. You could debate that GMail is marketing tool to users through their ads and links to other products, however, GMail it is an application.

Applications also tend to be intended, assembled and built from scratch using a variety of software encoding languages, whereas websites these days are usually built on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, Tumblr, or sometimes from a mixture of HTML, CSS and Javascript. It also gets puzzling when you talk about social sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Most all of these get considered as websites but the authenticity is that they are all very composite web applications whose main tenacity is to collect data from you and connect you with other people on their site.

When it comes to mobile improvement for iPhone, iPad and Android devices we categorize all of those as applications because even though some companies want to build something that advertises their products or services, you still have to shape an application to show that content. Most mobile applications we see are resolving difficulties or trying to make way more effective; whether it’s healthcare, learning, & manufacturing, But still they are web applications.

One thought on “What is the Difference Between a Web Application and a Website?

  1. Search engine ranker cracked says:

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

Get your free quote