Websites and web applications are two terms which are often mistaken with the other. In this article, we'd look at them differently and compare to see the similarities and differences.
A website is a collection of related web pages which are hosted on the internet and can be displayed by a web browser.
It websites generally, the user is only fed with informations - to consume. He works with whatever information he receives on the website. There is no room for manipulating or adding more informations as everything is controlled by the website designer. It's more like reading a book on the internet.
In shorter words, a website provides information.
e.g Online Newspapers - you go online, read the news, learn from it and you're done.
Web applications (apps) arose with invention of Software as a Service (SAAS) model - in which an application is available on the internet for users. An application is a computer program which helps users to perform activity(ies).
As the name implies, web applications are similar to application softwares which serve the user. For a software to serve a user, it means the user has control over the software, right?
Unlike a website, a user can do more than reading on a web app. The user controls the application with respect to what it was built for. Web apps are more about performing functions. They are applications (similar to the ones downloaded on your services) which are placed on the internet.
In shorter words, a web application is interactive
e.g Online Social Media - you go can add friends, create accounts, and so on.
- Web applications may also web pages like websites.
- Also, as seen in the explanations above, a web application can also be called a website, because it is displayed by a web browser. But technically, they differ.
- A website is characterized by the contents it offers while a web app is by the interactivity.
- Everything about a website is controlled by the develop. The user only consumes what he sees on it. But, while all functions of a web app are created by the developer, user inputs or decisions are required for the functions to be performed.
Athough these terms are generally used interchangeably (especially as everything on the web is called a website), these are the technical differences you need to know between them.
If you have any questions or contributions regarding this article, kindly reach Dillion Megida (@iamdillion) or visit us on twitter - @thewebfor5