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The Difference between a Web App and a Website

by Ibukunoluwa Ogundare
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A web app and a website are both on the web, run on a browser, and are both called web ‘something’ after all. What then really is the difference you may ask? Though web apps and websites perform several similar functions, they are different in a lot of ways.

A quick definition before we go into their differences.

A website is a group of globally accessible, interlinked web pages containing text, images, videos, and other relevant content. All the web pages on a website have a single domain name. Websites can be developed and maintained by an individual or organization. The website serves a variety of purposes, for example, blogs.

A web application however is a software, program or application that is only accessible using a web browser. Its frontend is usually created using programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are supported by major browsers. While the backend could use any programming stack.

Web Applications came to prominence with the advent of the Software as a Service (SaaS) movement.

The Web app is designed for interaction with end users while the Website basically contains static content. As a web application user, you can read the content of a web application and also manipulate the data. For a website, on the other hand, you can only read the content of the website, you can’t manipulate it.

For instance, the piggy vest is a typical example of a web app. On signing up on the web app and completing the KYC (Know your customer) details, you are granted access to your dashboard. You will observe that the data you see is based on the information you have provided like your name, picture, and account balance. The web app has been manipulated based on the information you provided. The dashboard can be said to be at your beck and is based on the data you inputted. This can only be achieved with a web app and not with a website.

A web application is more complex in its function while the functions of a website are basic.

If you are looking to share information and get data, a website can easily perform this function but if you want a more personalized experience with the user and more user interaction, a web app is the best option. A web application is interactive for users. Websites are limited in their interactiveness for users.

Integrating a web application is complex because of its complex functionality while websites are easier to integrate. The web application also requires authentication while navigating but websites do not require authentication. An example of a website includes this blog post.

Which do you find easier to interact with? Let me know in the comment section.

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