Web Application Vs Website: Difference Between A Web App And Website

A Web Application or Web-based applications serve immense value for online users, business owners, and developers. One of the primary benefits of web-based applications is to engage visitors.

Can you guess what comes along with higher visitor engagement? Well, better rankings are the answer. That way, your business enjoys greater brand awareness and better sales by letting users buy premium application plans. 

But, most people tend to confuse web-based applications with a website, whereas both are very different. But, you don’t have to worry about it as we have covered everything that you’ll be asking about the topic.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the discussion!

What Is The Difference Between A Web Application And A Website?

difference between a web application and a website
In a nutshell: A website is designed and developed to display information. On the other hand, a website application interacts with the user. Interactivity is one of the core purposes of Web-based applications.

Recommended Reading: Difference Between Web Application and Website by GeeksForGeeks.Org

What is a Web-Based Application?

A web application is a software that is accessed online. Take Google Docs as an example. It’s a wholesome application that lets users create and edit documents on the web.

They are autosaved and can be accessed through any device, either mobile, tablet, laptop, or computer. All you need is an internet connection.

But now, Google Docs help users create documents offline. However, such documents remain on the device. Once the internet is connected, Google Docs syncs the data across all devices. After that, you can access your document from any device.

Another robust example of web-based application development is Canva. It’s an online web application accessed on a phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. You can design pretty much anything using Canva, from Social Media posts to Blog Post Banners, your Resume, and everything in between.

Web-based applications are much easier to maintain for developers. They don’t spend a considerable amount of effort updating the application.

Plus, developers save the hassle of releasing updates and waiting for the users to install them to enjoy new features.

Instead, web app developers update the application, and users enjoy a much better experience right off the bat.

5 Notable Characteristics Of a Web App

  1. Provide an interface and user experience similar to native mobile apps
  2. A web app can be accessed via desktop, mobile devices, laptop, and tablet
  3. Some functions are operational even during no or unstable internet connection
  4. Web apps are designed to work across different operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux).
  5. Changes, updates, and new features are typically implemented on the server side.

3 Conditions When Building A Web App Is a Better Option Than A Website?

We’ve been asked several times about which is better for my business; a website or a web app.

Every time our reply remains the same.

It depends!

Website and web apps are both different things.

In a few conditions, a web app can be a better option than a traditional website and vice versa.

If you want to know which is a better option, you can keep your business nature and the goals you want to achieve.

Then you can compare it with the features and functionalities offered by both platforms.

Here are 3 conditions when building a web app is more advantageous:

1. Personalized User Experiences

Personalized user experience is the easiest way to find success in 2023.

If your goal is to provide a real-life experience to your users, then you should invest in web applications. 

Web apps are built with help of the technologies and tools which can store user data, remember settings, and dynamically display content relevant to each user.

Websites on the other hand don’t have such strong features which can store data and insight. And then use the data to offer a personalized experience.

2. Real-Time Collaboration

If you want to create something similar to Slack or Trello, building a web app will be the finest option.

Such a project involves features like real-time collaboration, document editing, messaging, and project management.

Therefore, a web app can facilitate synchronous interactions and data sharing which are necessary for building such a project.

3. Data Management and Processing

If you’re looking to build an ecommerce platform or something that involves managing and processing large amounts of data, then you should go with a web app.

Also read: Java Web Application Development For Beginners | Get Started Today

What is a Website?

Displaying information is one of the core objectives of a website. Unlike a web application, a website is static.

That means opening tabs and visiting sub-pages, viewing images & videos, and signing for the newsletter, Sign in or logging out are a few of the basic interactions that you can do on a website.

But when it comes to web applications, you can create, develop, and design things. Simply put, you can interact with the elements on the website on a much broader scale.

Today, most website owners use their website to increase their brand awareness or make sales. It is one of the key differences between a web-based application and a website.

While web applications increase brand awareness and generate sales, that is not their primary focus. That is why web applications generally allow free use to all visitors except for some pro features or it may not let an ID use the application for more than a certain number of days.

But up until that point, a user can enjoy using a web application. On the other hand, a website directly offers services that have separate landing pages.

A client or a visitor can only place an order to purchase the service or the product. Or they can interact with the website in the ways mentioned above. It’s a limited movement with minimal interaction.

Don’t worry if it is getting a little confusing for you. We will list websites and web-based applications. It will help you understand the difference between the two more clearly.

5 Characteristics Of a Website

  1. Websites allow businesses to deliver their message.
  2. Websites can be easily searched by using a web browser.
  3. Websites are a great source of information as it contains options like blogs, articles, service pages, news, tutorials, and many more.
  4. Websites contain text, images, videos, audio, and other multimedia elements to convey information.
  5. Users can jump from one page to another on a website by using the search bar, menus, and links.

3 Conditions Where Building A Website Is A Better Option Than A Web App

If you found yourself stuck in any of these situations, then you must choose a website.

1. Build a Digital Presence

A brand can never prosper without a digital presence.

When it comes to showing your customers that you’re an authority and reliable place to consider a product or service, you must need a solid landmark on digital presence.

Moreover, if you entering a startup, the first place where customers will look out for and check out your product and service is a website.

Website is the most necessary thing you need today to build a solid digital presence.

2. Informational or Static Content

If you want your customers to read information, then building a website will be a great option.

Websites contain many options that provide information like portfolios, articles, blogs, or online brochures.

In such a case, building a web app won’t be a better option as it might not be the greatest option when delivering information.

Not just it won’t be effective but it’ll consume lots of time and effort – which can be achieved in less time and less effort with a website.

3. Limited Interactivity Requirements

If you want to build something with very limited user interaction like contact forms, comment sections, or simple user feedback, then you should go with a website.

What Are Progressive Web Applications?

As the name suggests, Progressive Web Applications are applications that run on the web. However, PWAs use web-platform features such as service workers. it helps users enjoy an experience as good as a native application.

Progressive Web Applications are apps delivered through the web. Generally, HTML, JavaScript, WebAssembly, and CSS are used to develop PWAs. These apps integrate the native app experience with the web. That way, users don’t have to install an application.

Read: Progressive Web Apps by Web.Dev

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Web Applications and Websites

Advantages Of Web-Based Applications

Web Applications do not require any installment. A user can save internal space and enjoy using the application.

In addition to that, developers do not face a hard time when customizing and modifying app developments. You can try asking a web-based application developer yourself.

But on the client’s end, we have a much more significant advantage than that. Not only do they save data, but they can enjoy using the application across platforms.

Here’re the 3 more advantages of a web application.

  1. A user only needs a browser to access the web app which offers a user experience similar to a native mobile app.
  2. A web app can be accessed through any operating system. You just need a web browser and you’re good to go.
  3. Data stored in the web application is protected from external threats. As they are stored in external storage.

Disadvantages Of Web-Based Applications

One of the considerable disadvantages of using web-based applications is that they need the internet for access.

Without the internet, you cannot interact with web-based applications. Plus, they are directly linked to your browser, which may increase their size. Consequently, a user experiences slow functionality.

In addition to that, web-based applications heavily depend on the website itself. So in case of website failure, the application will suffer too.

Here’re the 5 more disadvantages of a web application.

  1. A Web app is costly to build. You’ll need a few thousand dollars even for a simple web app. For a complex web app, it can be really expensive.
  2. To create a simple web app with basic features you’ll need at least 1-2 months. For a complex web app, it can be more than 6 months. Simply put, a web app is a time taking process
  3. To build a web app you’ll need web app developers with long-standing experience in the field. 
  4. In some cases, a web app may not offer a smooth experience on every web browser.
  5. Restricted scope to leverage the device’s features.

Advantages of a Website

  1. Having a website helps you in building your brand authority and reliability in the market.
  2. Developing a website helps you in winning your customer trust.
  3. You can showcase your product and service on your website.
  4. The website can help you to deliver essential information about your business, products, and services.
  5. Helps you in branding your business.

Disadvantages of a Website

  1. Most websites are not mobile-friendly. This means when mobile users access a website they may not have a smooth experience.
  2. The website Interface and layout aren’t as good as web apps and mobile apps. 
  3. You need a stable internet connection to access a website.
  4. Website crash rate is more than a web app which can severely damage your user experience and business reputation.

Defining 5 Types Of Web Applications

5 types of a web application

Static Web Applications:

Static Web Applications do not require a user to have third-party software to access the web app.

Have you ever used SoundCloud? It is a perfect example of a static website. Vimeo and Flickr are also a few other examples of static websites.

Dynamic Web Applications:

Dynamic Web Applications make it easy to manage all the users on your website. In addition to that, dynamic web developers can directly make necessary changes to the information that is available on the application.

Some great examples of Dynamic Web Applications are Netflix, Quora, To-Do websites, Blogs, e-commerce websites, and Amazon.

Single Page Apps:

Single Page Apps are straightforward. Since they have a single page, the overall design is consistent and the website structure is easier to maintain.

Some of the best examples of single-page apps include PayPal, Gmail, and Google Maps.

Multiple Page Applications:

Having multiple pages creates better opportunities for an application to rank. By keeping a separate page for each section, Multiple Page Applications can draw more traffic by ranking each page separately.

Animated Web Applications:

Animated Web Applications draw a higher user engagement because of the uniqueness of their design. That’s why factors like color combinations, overall design, and ratio & proportion are prioritized.

In The End

Simply put, a web-based application is an app that exists on the web. Hence, it can be accessed and used by any device that has an internet connection. Even without the internet in some cases, such as creating a Google Doc.

You have used it a lot, right? Well, you are not alone. Web-based applications are popular across the globe, and there are some appealing reasons why they are a popular choice among developers, business owners, and users alike.

Web-based applications are highly interactive and entertaining. Both of those qualities make it a reliable option for users. Plus, it is easy to update and saves much hassle for developers.

Web Application Vs Website: 10 Big Differences 

 Web ApplicationsWebsite
Interface and Layout

Web-based apps come with a better interface and layout than a website. Whether accessing from a desktop or a mobile device, users have a better experience overall.


The website doesn’t have a good reputation because of its interface. When it comes to mobile, users hate accessing websites.
User Interaction

Web apps are exclusively designed to interact with users.

Compared to web apps, websites have low user interaction.

Web apps are relatively more tedious and time-consuming to build as they include various complicated things.


Websites are easy to build. However, if you want to build a complex website it can be difficult.

Web apps need to be compiled in advance before launching.


The website does not need to be compiled in advance.
Content Deliverance

When it comes to delivering a message or content, web apps may not be a good option.


Websites are quite effective and efficient when it comes to delivering content.

Web apps operate on quite complex functionality.


Websites work on simple functions.
User Accounts

In most cases, users should make an account.


Users can access the complete website features without making an account.
Offline Access

Due to the technologies like Service Workers and caching mechanisms; web apps work even with no or
limited internet connection.


Websites can’t perform without a proper internet connection.

Web apps offer more personalization as they offer content based on user preferences, history, and interactions.


Websites offer limited personalization.

Third-party Integration

Third-party Integration is complex in web apps because of its complicated design and functionality.

Integration is simple and effortless.


Is A Web Application The Same As An App?

A web app isn’t the same as a mobile app. To use a mobile app users should download the app on their mobile devices. On the other hand, you can access a web app through a web browser.

Why Are Web Applications Better?

Web applications are better because they offer a native mobile app-like experience from a web browser. 

Is Netflix A Website Or A Web App?

Netflix is one of the finest examples of a web app. Netflix is a streaming service that allows users to watch their favorite movies and tv shows. 

What Is Considered A Web App?

A web app is a type of application stored on a remote server that can be accessed through a web browser. A web app interface is more like a mobile app than a website – but it’s accessed via a web browser just like a website.

What Are The Type Of Web Applications?

There’re many types of web applications. A few of the most popular ones are E-Commerce Web Applications, Content Management Systems (CMS), Static Web Applications, Gaming and Entertainment Platforms, and Collaboration and Productivity Applications

Is Every Website a Web Application?

Absolutely Not! Not every website is a web app. Surely there can be many similarities between a website and a web app. However, they are both different. The biggest difference is that website is made with the purpose to inform. While a web app is built to help.