What is the difference between Website and Web Application

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Back to early year 2000, the word Website is a common term that describes World Wide Web content. It’s quite broad and can describe quite a number of things. For example, a website can be a personal blog, or it can be huge content based website such as news website with thousands of articles.

Besides of those informative based web pages, website can also be a tool. For example, Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Those websites do much more than just content, it allows user to create, publish, share and connect. It allows interactions between users and data. This type of “website” is called as Web Application.

Web Application

Web Application is almost like a software that are created with web technologies. For example, Microsoft Word is software application, and Google Doc is Web Application. Both serving the same purpose, but the way it was developed are different.

Cross Platform

Unlike software which is platform dependent, Web Application can run as long as you have a modern browser. That means, you only require to develop using web languages and it will work across different platform. Software in the other hand, you will need different languages, for example, we use Native C for iOS apps but Java for Android app.

No Installation

Web Application doesn’t require any installation, if it’s being optimised, it can load much faster and more efficient than software application.

Cloud Based

Web application is usually  cloud based. Data is stored in database server. For example, if you use Google Doc,  your documents are being uploaded into Google’s cloud server. This is great for data access, you can edit and work on the same document or invite team collaboration in any places as long as you have a computer and Internet access.

The difference

I guess you should have noticed the main difference by now, there’s one distinctive difference between Website and Web Application.

  • A website is informational
  • A web application is interactive

Nowsadays, website can have the interactive component as well. Such as Google map store locator, user can use it to search for nearest stores. Or perhaps, loan and repayment calculators that allow user to estimate loan payment. Those are additional functionality to present information better. It’s categorised as website.

Also, the development of web application are usually more time consuming and higher cost. Due to its complexities, it requires more times in planning, scoping, developing and testing. Sometimes it involves the integration of other systems. Therefore, for those companies that lack of such department, they prefer to use third party web application development services for the project.

So, next time, when someone asks you how to differentiate them, you should know the answer by now.

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