Websites and Web Apps. What’s the difference? They are both accessed through a browser using the internet, so aren’t they the same thing? The answer is a bit more complicated than you might think. Understanding the difference can be vital to your business; you need to decide which option will be most beneficial to you. So let’s break it down into a few different areas.

Most business sites you visit can be classified as a website. A website displays static information, meaning there is no user interactivity. You are on a website right now. Any page you visit on won’t change in any way no matter how many times you click. With the exception of the contact form. That form is the extent of our interactivity. However the number of static pages and information far outweigh that single form so is still classified as a website. In addition most websites are built using front-end languages like CSS and HTML, with a little Javascript sprinkled in, because of the focus on static content there is usually no need to add in heavier, back-end languages.

Web Apps
What about companies like Zillow? is the company’s domain and you would get to it the same way you would, but it is classified as a web app. There are of course pages you can visit that are static, but the main purpose of the site is to allow the user to search houses and apartments for sale or rent. The big bulk of the page content is directly decided by the user. Even after content is loaded, a user is able to adjust that content to their preferences. Another example is Right from logging in, everything you see is chosen specifically for the user and they are able to change what they see anytime they want. Similar to websites, web apps also use HTML, CSS, and Javascript, but their level of complexity includes the need for additional programming languages such as ASP.NET, AngularJS, PHP, Ruby, Python, etc.

Combining Websites and Web Apps
There is almost always overlap in these two types of web displays. If a web app has a dozen static pages can it really be considered a pure web app? Likewise if a website includes a contact form, or the ability to comment on a blog post, or even a little Google maps widget to find their location, can it really be considered strictly a website? At the end of the day it all comes down to balance. What is there more of and what is the purpose? Interactivity or static content?

When you are thinking about developing your own website or web app the purpose of it is important to consider. A website is possible to build on your own with services like WordPress, but if your vision includes engaging the user in your content, or developing a web hosted task management system for your employees, a web app is the direction you’ll want to take and you’ll want to consider how feasible it is for you to create it yourself. You’ll need to decide if you or your employees have the time and talent it takes to create a complex system, or whether you should hire a third party to help (Don’t worry we have a nifty guide to help you through that decision).

Website or Web App we are here to help you figure out what best suits your needs. Give us a call to get started today.

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