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A website and a web application (web app) are almost like each other as both are accessible from our web browsers. Since the website and web app are similar, how can we tell the critical difference between them?
This article will discuss the difference between a website and a web application.
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What is a Website?
A website is a page or set of pages on the World Wide Web (www) that contains detailed information about a topic. This collection of pages contains data from a single person or entity and links to a unified resource locator (URL).
Examples of websites are:
The home or index page is the first page of a website, followed by subpages such as the about and contact pages. Hyperlinks connect the website's home page with the subpages.
A hyperlink, also called a link or web link contains an address for a destination and acts as a reference to data. A user can easily follow, jump to, and be directed to the destination by either clicking, tapping on, or hovering over the link. What is a hyperlink?
A website's first homepage does not mean that it will be the first page we see when we visit it for the first time. We can begin from a different page on a website, like when we click on a blog article.
The internet enables us to access websites using devices like computers and cellphones. It has an IP address, and we can access it across a network such as an internet or a private local area network. A single or several web servers host the website.
Some websites feature specific content, such as sports and fashion news, while others cover a wide range of topics, such as blogs.
Features Of a Website
1. Quality Web Contents
Quality web content is the most crucial element of any website. Contents on a website should be clear and relevant to the needs of your users.
2. Easy to Use
A good website must be easy to use. It will be easier for users to find what they are looking for on our website if it is straightforward to navigate.
A website with a bad user experience makes it harder for visitors to find the information they want. As a result of the poor user experience, the user may decide to leave that website in favor of a better website.
3. Accessible to all users
A website should be accessible to everyone, including the blind, disabled, or elderly.
4. Fast load times
Websites should be able to load within 4-6 seconds for good usability. If it takes more than 4-6 seconds for our website to load, it is too slow and will drive users to other sites.
A good website should work on all screen sizes, including mobile and desktop PCs.
Benefits Of a Website?
1. Showcase your products and services to a broader audience
We can access a website anywhere if we have a good network connection. As a result, having a website allows everyone around the globe to find and patronize our business. We can reach and get more customers outside our regional area by selling online.
2. Around-the-clock availability
Our customers can access our products at any time or night if we have a Website. Customers can see our services, prices, and the location at any time by visiting our website.
3. Establish trust and credibility
People may question our business's validity if we don't have a website. Our company will gain trust if we have a website that gives the information our clients need.
What is a Web Application?
A web application is also known as a web app. It utilizes web browsers and web technologies to perform tasks over the internet. Web apps are becoming more popular since they do not require downloading. We use a web browser like Google Chrome to access them.
The following are some examples of web applications:
- Online calculators
- E-commerce shops
We can access the web apps listed above via a web link or a mobile app that we can download from online app stores. A web app is accessible to everyone because it is web-based.
Web apps are websites with functionality and interactive elements. Web applications like Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter are dynamic and user-engagement oriented.
Benefits of Using a Web App
Web apps let us show off our products without requiring our customers to download an app to their phones
Not limited: Web apps are not limited to only a few browsers because any browser can support opening the web app. We can access them through many web browsers regardless of the operating system
We do not need to remind users to update their applications due to central and automatic updates. They are always up to date
Web applications don’t need approval from the mobile app store to function
All users can access the same version, so it eliminates any compatibility issues
Features Of a Web Application
1. Web apps are cloud-based and scalable
Web apps like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are cloud-optimized and scalable. Scalability is the idea of a system in which we can expand every app to handle an increased workload. With scalable apps, our apps can take a spike in traffic from the web and not crash when it happens.
Web apps let us serve more clients on the same hardware, reducing the need for servers and hosting infrastructure.
People are wary of disclosing personal information. Thus a secure authentication system for a web app is essential. Examples of secure authentication systems include:
- Password encryptions
- SSL encryptions: It helps to secure credit card transactions
- Security questions: Asking the user security questions when they reset their passwords.
A web app like an e-commerce site is an ideal target for hackers since they manage sensitive information like credit card numbers. We must protect ourselves and our customers.
Our web application's data processing should be simple and fast. It should also not affect the loading space.
4. Compatible Across Platforms
All web apps should be able to work across any platform.
Differences Between a Website and a Web Application
- User Interaction
Users can view and read the website's visual and text content, but it doesn't affect how it functions.
In a web application, the user can read the page content and manipulate the data on the page.
Examples of web app interactivity are:
An online banking app that performs transactions based on a customer's input
Online e-commerce stores like Amazon. It allows visitors to search through the catalog and buy the items they are searching for on the website.
2. Created For
A website contains static information, which implies that it is open to all online users.
The purpose of a web app is to allow the user to interact with it. The user needs the required credentials to access any data on the web app.
Authentication is a security process that allows users to verify their identities. This process helps us gain access to our accounts on a website.
Authentication is not obligatory for informational websites like blogs, for example. Users may register to access extra information not available to unregistered web visitors. Reading articles online, for example, doesn't need registration. We only sign up when we want to leave comments on the post.
Authentication is necessary for web apps since they offer more functionality than websites.
Every web app user must go through authentication to confirm their identity. For example, when creating a Twitter account, we need a unique ID before joining. The system warns us if our login and password are weak and demands we change the password. Users must authenticate their web accounts to avoid unauthorized access and data leaks.
For websites, we need to update the HTML code to carry out minor changes on the website. It never requires a full re-compilation and deployment.
All changes for the web apps require the entire project to be re-compiled and deployed.
This article has taught us the difference between a website and a web app. It will be easy to grasp, which serves our business needs better when picking between a website and a web app.
Choose a website if we want our web page to display mostly some information. Choose a web app if we wish the website to interact with the users like we want the user to make transactions online.
That's all for today! 😁 You reached the end of the article 😍