Website vs Web Application

What is the difference between a website vs web application? While the two terms are often used simultaneously, there is a big difference. On a daily basis, people use various websites and web applications including Google, Facebook, and YouTube among others. Nevertheless, a large number of these individuals do not know the difference between the two. Knowing exactly each one of them is so important especially to someone who intends to hire a web development company to design his or her own. In such a case, a clear knowledge of the two will help in establishing the scope along with the requirements of the task, skills and the proficiency necessary, not to forget the technology needed.

To the end users, a clear difference between these two concepts may not important. In fact, most of the can call them whatever names they prefer because what is important to them is whatever thing they want. Whether it is a website or web application, it is not necessary provided it accomplishes what it is expected of it. However, from a technical standpoint, there are some distinctions between the two concepts. Do not be surprised to come across conflicting perceptions among experts though.

Know the Difference:

In this section, we shall discuss what a website is, what a website application is, and clear differences between the two.  So let us begin with a website.

a) Website:


What is a website? Simply put, a website is a section on the internet with various interconnected pages from a particular web address. It is accessible via a local area network, or through the internet. Collectively, all the websites constitute the World Wide Web, commonly initialized as WWW.  In order to transcribe web page documents, the two languages, HTML and XHTML are needed. There other basic website elements that are also used. It is important to note that access to some websites may be free, while in others a subscription fee may be required, especially the ones designed for business purposes. Examples of free websites include:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Wikipedia
  • News site

On the other hand, paid websites include:

  • Gaming sites
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Securities market sites

Websites are basically informational in nature. You do well to think of your best blog or news site. What it’s the main purpose?  No doubt to pass information to the final users, irrespective of the form it may take. The only thing a visitor is required to do is to submit an email address in order to receive updates but there is no much interaction. In case you need to convey information, for instance, an about page or contact information, then all you need is a website.

b) Web Application:

Web Application

And now what is a web application? Well, this is a software that operates within a browser. It is usually created in various languages such as CSS, HTML, and Java because the browser supports these languages. A web application is a very convenient program and allow users to update their data without interfering with their websites’ users. Examples of web applications included Google account, Adobe color CC, and Wikipedia. Unlike websites, web applications involve interactions, offering more functionalities as well as useful features. Among the most important benefit of the web application is the fact that there is no need for installation. The apps simply run in a browser. In addition, web applications can run in various OS. They are also very accessible. The following three features differentiate a web application from a website:

  • Web applications are basically utilitarian. The applications are designed to offer utility to the users or solve a problem. They provide utility like entertainment and communication among others.
  • There is more user interaction. Unlike websites where there is only minimum or no interaction, web applications are specifically designed for user input along with interaction.
  • Web applications go beyond HTML. They are more complex than websites. For instance, a web application may have a database and a backend among others.

The Bottom-line:

What are the key differences between a website and a web application? It is our hope that you are in a better position to answer this question now. However, let us summarize the key differences as follows:

  1. While a website is a complete product, a web application is an incomplete product, or rather, it is part of a website.
  2. A web application executes complex tasks compared to a website. While a website only displays collected data on a page, a web application sustains the entire website.
  3. While a web application operates interactively, a website is a genesis of information.
  4. A website runs on a web browser while a web application operates distinctly on a computer.
  5. Designing a web application is complex and costly than developing a website. Developing a web application demands various platforms.

If you run a web-based project, for instance, an on-demand app or an e-commerce store, a web product, which is, a web application is all you need. On the other hand, an offline venture such as an eatery, a website will cater to your needs.

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