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Difference Between Web App and Website – A complete guide

In this era of modern technology, contents are everywhere. Just by hopping into the internet, you have the opportunity to explore thousands of website and web applications. While browsing them, you can think of opening your own one. Why shouldn’t you?

These web pages and applications are the best way to let your audiences know what your business is about. But without knowing the fundamentals you can be in a dilemma. In this article, we will unravel the differences between websites and web applications.

What is a website?

If you are reading this article, you are probably on a website right now. A website is a place where you can see all kinds of information. Mainly it is composed of several web pages conveying data to the audience. There can be videos, images, charts, you name it. The internet is crawling with websites.

To create a basic website, the first thing you need to know is HTML.  But the bummer about these websites is that you as an audience can’t exactly interact with them. This brings us to web applications

What is a web application?

For many years, there were only websites that came into the spotlight. But after the SaaS movement, web applications came into prominence.

Web applications are basically websites with interactive elements. Audiences can engage and interact with the web application. They are highly customizable. In contrast to websites, web applications have high functionality and scalability.

There is always a sleek user interface that is optimized to cater to the needs of the audience. As you might’ve guessed, making a web application is far more complicated than websites. You need a group of skilled and experienced programmers to create one.

Differences between website and web application

The outcome of both website and web application is the same. They both provide information to the audiences that seek them. But from a technical standpoint, there are quite a few differences. So, without further ado, let’s check them out.


Generally, for most websites, you don’t need to authorize anything. Sometimes the dreaded cache bar can pop up which you can easily ignore. The only time a website asks for authorization is when you look to get email notifications from them.

But the same can’t be said for web applications. In web applications, an audience has to always input something. It can be your name, email address, password, or any other form of credentials. This is required because a web application provides additional functionality to the users.


Suppose you have a flower shop. You are thinking of making a website for it. You don’t need to do much work. For a simple flower shop website, all you need are some web pages. A home page, about page, and a page for upcoming events will cut it. You don’t need to hire professionals to create a website. You can even create one with a bit of knowledge in programming languages.

But creating a web application is completely different. As it’s audience-based, it needs to be more intricate. A website will only display information that is searched by the users. But in a web application, audiences sometimes input data and get results according to it. A good example of a web application can be a bank account where you put your credit card number to authorize transactions.

User Interaction

A website has a one-way approach where it showcases the data but an audience can’t customize anything. On the other hand, in web applications, users can partake in customizing the web application. The audience can interact with one another and even manipulate the data of the application.

Technical issues

Imagine you are browsing through a website. You are reading a very interesting article. When you are about to go into the main part of the article, the website crashes. How awful you must feel.

This kind of technical issue always happens on websites. A website can crash at any time. That’s why heavy maintenance needs to be done every once in a while. A web application is more immune to crashes.


Audiences always demand up-to-date information. If your website or web application has backdated data, no one is going to visit them. As a result, the traffic will be low and it will take place in the online graveyard.

To make a small change in the website, you only need to update the HTML code. You don’t have to recompile or deploy the entire thing. But to make a change in web applications, you have to recompile or redeploy. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of web applications.

Cloud hosting

Most web applications are cloud-hosted. This means all the data of the web application is not deployed on a single server. A bunch of different virtual servers will carry the information. This ensures more flexibility. On the other hand, most websites run on traditional hosting.

Why do you need a website?

A website is the best strategy to increase the credibility of your business. A website will let the audiences know the goals of your business. It will gain their trust. They will keep coming back to it for more information.

Why do you need a web application?

A web application is necessary if you want to improve communication between you and your users. The best part is the security. Your user’s information will be safe at all times.

Final Thoughts

Your online presence is crucial to the success of your business. When people search for your business, the first thing that will come up is your website or web application. When it’s good, they will instantly get hooked on it. If it’s not, they will go to the next one. It all depends on how much effort you put into it. So, make sure you leave no stones unturned.