Website vs. Web App: What’s the Difference?
As you contemplate your shiny, new web future you may be wondering, “Do I need a website or a web application?”
Your end user probably doesn’t care, but you should. You want the right product at the right time and at the right price. If you’re clear about your short-term and long-term goals, we can help you navigate that webby mess and save money on costly iterations down the road.
So what’s the difference? Simply put, a website presents information in a read-only format for the user to consume. It’s like a digital brochure that lives on the big ole World Wide Web, thus allowing for massive distribution. A web application, on the other hand, offers task-centric interactivity for users at both the front and back end.
If your web need is for a purely marketing purpose (such as advertising goods and services), a snappy website will do the trick. However, if you need input or data processing and analysis, you’ll want a web application.
More often than not, the two collide as websites become increasingly “app-ified” to provide more functionality. If you need a searchable catalog, a shopping cart, a support and product request form or a customer relationship management system, you’ll want a web app. Web apps can also be created for internal operations and used as tools to perform daily, critical business tasks.