Web application vs website: finally answered
Choosing among a web site and a web application, you may curiosity what the exact difference is? At one period, it may seem that there’s no exception through all. The definitions are controversial, and sometimes they overlap. Both websites and web applications work in browsers; both need a way to the internet, both have a front end and a back end recorded in the related programming languages. What is a more, Web site and web application credits as interactivity, union, and validation?
However, we believe that the ‘web application vs. website’ difference not only exists but also is important to explanations clearly when you are looking for a freelancer solution for your business. Web application development differs significantly from the event of a website. So let’s dot the I’s and find out what distinguishes these kinds of web software and which option is better for you.
Grasp the difference
There have Several points draw a line among a website and a web application.
Point 1. Interactivity
The first point to start ‘web application vs. website’ differentiation with is interactivity. A website gives visual like images and video and/or full-text content that the user can see and read, though not affect in any form. In the event of a web application, the user can not only get the page content but also manage the data on this page. The communication takes the design of a dialog: the user clicks a button or submits a form and gets a reply from the page. Users’ actions may take a kind of download documents, appear online chat, make an electronic payment, and many more.
A sample example of a web application interactivity is an online banking application that performs actions based on a customer’s data. Related functionality can be found in an online shop that allows visitors to search through the list and buy items directly. Social networks are another impressive example. Admin joins with users via chats or blog platforms, generates supplies content or data based on users’ choices, and allows for almost unlimited content sharing, not to speak of their built-in mini-applications for user entertaining.
The difficulty of today, one can rarely find a website without a hint of interactivity. Modern websites usually contain small web application elements. For example, a restaurant’s website may include a Google Maps widget showing a route to this restaurant. However, in the case of sites, the balance between the informational content and interactivity is shifted towards the former. A typical website delivers far fewer interactive parts than rather informational content, and the user usually consumes most of the time on a website viewing, reading, or listening. The site is the opposite of web applications, as its core functionality is based on its front end interactions.
Point 2. Integration
Integration means pulling together different components to build a more complete system. Both websites and web applications can be integrated with other software like (CRM, ERP, etc.). Still, integration is more representative of web applications because their complex functionality often requires interaction with other systems.
Take a combination of a business web application (say, an e-shop) with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) stores all customer data in one place, giving an easy view to there employees. The system will allow the automated collection of the data of web application users and putting it in the CRM. This way, your team will get access to a full set of data about customers, their inquiries, communication, and feedback. This allows to customer to exploring management and buying habits, Also a settle their claims faster. Besides, any change in customer data will be reflected in the CRM directly. Always staying up to date with your consumer preferences, you will reduce churn rates and improve sales.
A website also can be integrated with CRM. This allows providing users with more personalized content. However, for a website, it’s instead a rarely implemented feature than a part of the core functionality.
Point 3. Authentication
Authentication is the procedure that involves entering a user’s login and password to get access to the system. It is a must for web software that requires any personal information. User accounts must be secured to prevent unauthorized access and leakage of sensitive data.
Web applications mostly need verification, as they offer a much wider range of options of uses than websites. Consider an example of social networks. When you register, you create an account and get a unique identification number. The system warns you if your login and password are weak. If you leave them a poor password or unchanged, hackers may reach your account and steal your information, as well as irritate other users with junk emails under your name.
Authentication is not obligatory for informational websites. The user may be allowed to register to get access to extra options unavailable to unregistered website visitors. As an example, you may look through news and highlighted articles on a news website short of bothering to register. However, if you want to leave a comment, you will have to log in. This way, users verify their identity allowing the road to block spammers.
Some time both websites and web applications may need authentication. However, for web applications, it is necessary due to safety reasons.
Web applications with special names
There are web applications with unique names that may already be familiar to you:
A portal is an environment for integrating diverse applications and different content. It enables to configure content and offers a modified user experience, which means that the user gets only the content handmade to what he or she needs.
Consider a bank web portal as an example. It may provide links to account information, bill payments, and deposits. Each of them is a web application, but they are accessed from the central hub – the web portal.
An eCommerce site or an online store is an application used for selling goods or services over the internet. The process goes the following way: a customer chooses a product and clicks a button to order it; then, the system processes the order.
One of the features of an online store is the users’ ability to make online payments. To pay online, the user should indicate their credit card number and, in some cases, passport details, email, or telephone number. To make the transaction secure, the user has to be authorized.
What are you looking for? website developers or web application developers?
Deciding on which specialists to hire, you should consider your business needs first. If you need a small or big website for your business, not a web application, a web studio may be the fittest choice. Such a company can provide you with a unique and good-looking website, where you can display information about your company. However, later on, you may choose to add web applications to your website, and this may cause the need for adequate assistance.
If you want a web application, not a website, Hire application developers. These specialists usually have extensive development skills and can implement a broader range of functions. So, if you want intense interactivity, integration with other corporative systems, and top-notch security level, opt to the companies offering web application development.
Choosing Web application vs website developers keep in understanding your business goals, stocks, or the services you offer, your customers, and other factors. Make sure the specialists have the required competence to tailor your online presence to your needs.
Now, as you know the difference between ‘web application vs. website’, it is easier for you to decide which online solution suits your business. If you wish to your web page mostly to display some information — make a website. If you want to communicate with users and additional functionality, such as the ability to make transactions online, or you want to actively benefit from integration with other methods and high-security protection levels — I will prefer you to hire a web application developer. Just make sure you weigh up all the pros and cons first, not just blindly follow trends.