Web App vs Website – What does Your Business Need?

Web App Vs Website Which One to Choose

Web applications and websites are both found in abundance on the Internet. Every single site you log onto is either of these.

Wikipedia is a website. Twitter is a web app.

Again, CNN is a website. YouTube is a web application.

The term ‘website’ has been around for decades now, but the term ‘web application’ is a more recent phenomenon. With time, however, these two seem to have become synonymous and are used interchangeably on a daily basis.

But are websites and web apps the same?

What is the difference between a website and a web app?

In this article, we aim to differentiate between the two most conversely used terms of web development and lay down the differentiators so that you can choose your pick:

What is a website?

A website is a collection of interlinked web pages which have a single domain name and can be accessed on the Internet using any browser. It generally contains content in any format – text, images, video, or audio – for the visitor to consume.

Types of websites:

1. Blogs

Blogs can be used for branding, spreading awareness, pulling attention to businesses, or simply to document someone’s life. It is suitable for individuals, small businesses, and freelancers, too, as they can even be created for free using CMS like WordPress or Magento.

Examples: Mixergy, Women on Business, Radixweb blog

2. Non-Profit websites

These are used to spread awareness about the particular issue the NGO is helping with and documenting all the work it is doing. A website is the best way for future donors to gauge the work done by the organization and track how far they have come.

Examples: Archewell, Britweb

3. Portfolio websites

In recent years, several people have been changing from the black and white resume document to the more visually appealing resume website. It need not be much, simply a one-page static website with all your achievements and experiences jotted down.

This is especially useful for professionals like designers and web developers who can demonstrate their practical skills through the portfolio website itself.

Example: Hank Green (YouTuber) and John Green (bestselling author of The Fault in our Stars)

4. Corporate websites

These are used purely for branding and are very important in demonstrating one of the key differences between a website and a web application. A business may choose to have both a website and a web application. In this case, the job of the web application is running the real business. The website will be showcasing the business benefits to the world.

Examples: IBM, Oracle

Other types of websites include entertainment and educational websites, among others.

5. E-commerce websites

E-commerce websites are online storefronts (similar to physical retail outlets) where the business is conducted. People can buy or sell just as they would in a physical marketplace with the exception that an eCommerce website operates digitally. From books to gadgets to apparel and even pets, almost everything that is sold in physical stores is now readily available online.

Examples: Amazon, eBay

6. CMS websites

CMS, also known as a Content Management System is a software that is used to create websites and content that is to be published on the Internet. CMS allows you to create a website without having to write any code.

CMS eliminates the need to create web pages and storage for images by handling basic infrastructure allowing for a greater focus on forward-facing components of the website.

Examples: WordPress, Joomla

Other types of websites include entertainment and educational websites, among others.

What is a web application?

A web application is a software program that carries out certain functionalities and has to be accessed via a web browser. Common frontend languages are HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Common backend languages are Java, Python, and Javascript- the language of use has to be decided based on software functionality. This software runs code on both the client-side and server-side to complete the user-given tasks.

Types of web applications

1. E-commerce app

E-commerce web applications have myriad components, starting from choosing for purchase to e-payment. This is a major point to note when pitting websites vs. web apps – websites are usually for users to consume content and know about the business. Web apps, on the other hand, are for doing business and hence it contains all the functionalities.

Examples: eBay, Amazon

2. Social networking app

Probably the most used kind of web app, with Facebook having 1.3 billion users and Instagram not far behind with a mind-boggling 1.221 billion. Most of these social networking sites initially started as web applications and are now mostly used as mobile apps.

Examples: Facebook, Instagram, WeChat

3. Web Portal

A web portal is a useful web-based platform that pulls data from different parts of the net and presents the most relevant areas to the user for his benefit. These were initially started to present users with the requested information but have since evolved and integrated several other services.

Example: Government portals, Student examination portals

If you want to learn more about web application, you can explore the difference between single-page and multi-page applications for better understanding.

Why does your business need a website?

“Your website is the center of your digital ecosystem, like a brick and mortar location, the experience matters once a customer enters, just as much as the perception they have of you before they walk through the door.”

― Leland Dieno, author of Face The Book With Your Small Business

It’s 2021.

If you do not have a website, it is high time you get in touch with a web development or web design company and get one. There are a plethora of reasons why any credible business DEFINITELY needs to have a website.

  • Branding
  • Gone are the days when customers would simply rush to stores if they heard anyone mentioning a good product or service. Of course, word of mouth is still good marketing, but the customer of 2021 will vet your credibility and brand before shelling out even a single penny. The first thing they will do is have a good look at your online presence – social media and, most importantly, your website – your digital home. Statistics say that 30% of customers don’t even consider a business without a website, and businesses that blog more than 16 times a month receive almost 5 times as many leads!

  • Accessibility
  • Your website is the customer’s sure-shot way of reading up on your services, feedback of past customers, and contacting you for queries or feedback.

    How can a website help you scale your business

  • Demonstrate services
  • First impressions last long.

    Thus, you need to woo your customer into thinking you might be their best solution. The easiest way to do it is with a well-designed, user-friendly website.

    Showcase your services and products in unique ways – videos or maybe testimonials from past customers.

    (Videos are generally the best option as they can spike interaction by 80%)

  • Track customers
  • Having a website is a good way to track prospects. You can check page visits and determine which areas of your website have garnered the most attention with heat maps. This will direct you to the product or service customers are most interested in, and you can promote that more aggressively.

Why does your business need a web application?

Have you seen the recent boom in web developers or web development firms?

Can you guess what caused that?

The recent boom in web apps, of course.

More and more companies are opting to create a web app for their services, and with different domains and different services, different programming languages and different frameworks are coming into prominence, such that there is now a suitable language and framework for you to implement for your custom web app, no matter what field you dabble in.

But let’s see a few more reasons as to why your business needs a web application for a bright and promising future!

  • Efficiency
  • Web apps bring in high efficiency and better performance for the business as a lot of processes can be automated through the software, thus making them free of human error. All the data is stored in the server, and the tasks are carried out with precision – making the job more efficient and less time-consuming.

  • Cybersecurity
  • Most retail stores keep their data, be it customer data or financial accounts, on a device – a laptop, a PC, or a simple hard disk. But what if any of these get stolen?

    Firstly, it will be a long and cumbersome affair to contact customer care and get the issue resolved.

    Secondly, and more importantly, this may be extremely harmful to your business and customers as all data will be leaked.

    You can be completely free of this fear if you opt to have a web app for your business. All the data will be stored safely in the cloud and you simply need to login into your account from any device on the planet to access the data.

Why Web Apps are Important for your Business

  • 24×7 Availability
  • Web apps are hosted on the web by hosting service providers who have a ton of extra hardware and troubleshooters at their disposal. This ensures your web app is up and running 24×7.

    If a user faces a problem, it will be rectified immediately.

    If the visitors on the site are more than the app can take, extra hardware will be deployed to make sure the app does not crash.

    These two factors make sure your business credibility is soaring at all times!

    You can be completely free of this fear if you opt to have a web app for your business. All the data will be stored safely in the cloud and you simply need to login into your account from any device on the planet to access the data.

  • Scalability
  • “Focusing on the long term and building a great product that is scalable ultimately leads to a great company.”

    – Craig Sherman, MD of Meritech

    Scalability is one of the main factors any entrepreneur would look at while launching his or her business; otherwise, the business will have a tough time surviving in the future.

    Using a simple purchased software will limit your business growth.

  • Maintenance
  • Most web apps are cross-platform – so you needn’t worry about the hardware incompatibility of users. Users need only a web browser and good internet connectivity to access the app.

    On top of that, a web application is divided into two distinct parts – the backend and the frontend. These can be built side by side and maintained easily by two web application developers.

    Easy development, easy maintenance, easy on the pocket for the user.

Difference between website and web application

Now that we have established what websites and web apps are and what importance they hold for a business, we can move right into the primary topic of discussion – what is the difference between a website and a web app?

In the table below, we track myriad parameters like integration and interaction and see what a website or a web app brings to the table for that particular parameter.

Let us have a look:

A quick comparison between website and web apps

Read More : Web App vs Cloud App: The future of app development

The difference between a website and a web app will not affect your user one bit, but it may have great ramifications for your business. As an entrepreneur, you need to understand what will aid the smooth growth and scalability of your business. If you currently have only a retail store, then you must get a website created. If you already have one, you should consult with a web app development company to either modify the website into a web app or create a web app parallelly if it suits your business agenda.

At Radixweb, we believe in web app development that will pump your business prospects and profits – something that will build a solid online presence for you and help actively in your revenue building.

For queries or help in building a crowd-pulling website, send us a mail or drop a call!

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Maitray Gadhavi is a senior business development manager with Radixweb who accelerates the growth of organizations through innovation-led custom software development. Balancing the long-term gains in an evolving industry, he brings the voice of the customers into the enterprise. Binge-watching favourite series is his idea of fun after work.