Websites and web applications – are these concepts different, or are they two different names for the same thing? If you are a person with no background in web development or computer science, such a question may arise in your mind. These are two related but different concepts. This article will bring out the differences between these two for a layperson.
Website is nothing but a collection of webpages hosted on a single domain. However, a web application is a program or software located on some remote server and delivered to you with the help of the Internet. While the main focus of websites is the dissemination of data, web applications focus on user interaction. Most of the modern-day web pages you visit are actually are not websites and belong to the web application sphere.
Key Differences between a Website and a Web Application
|It has mostly static content. The users can mostly read the data. If the website of a shop looks the same to everyone and if it only shows a static map from a fixed location, that is a website.||The contents are more or less dynamic and vary with user interaction. If a shop’s website is showing the map from your home to the shop, or the delivery time to your location, you need to consider it as an application.|
|The focus is on sharing information.||The focus is on user interaction.|
|The user cannot affect the functioning of the site.||The functioning of even a simple java web application will depend on the user.|
|A website usually doesn’t need any authentication.||Applications usually ask for user authentication.|
|The website development procedure is relatively simple.||The development of a Web Application Framework is a complicated task.|
|A website is complete in itself.||The Web Applications are dependent on websites and exist in association with websites.|
|It needs to be precompiled before deploying.||It is not required.|
|To make any change, you have to recompile the whole program.||A full recompilation is not required, and you can make the necessary modifications as and where needed.|
|The security risk to your data is low.||There is a higher risk to your data.|
Advantages of Web Applications
- Compared to other apps, they don’t require downloading, installation, or updates. You can use them directly from the web browser.
- You can use these apps on any device or platform. It is created for cross-platform usage. So, if you are accessing it from your Mac, PC or smartphone, the apps will work smoothly.
- They are usually cheaper than desktop apps and don’t ask for upfront payments. Most of them rely on a pay-as-you-go policy.
- One of the main advantages of web apps is their scalability. It is effortless to add features to an existing application.
- Web Service Applications are best suited for mobile devices.
Disadvantages of Web Applications
- They possess relatively higher security risks as they have more ability to access and process user data.
- The development of a web application is a sophisticated task, much harder than developing a website, and it is costlier to develop one.
How to Create a Web Application?
The following are the necessary steps involved in the creation of any web application:
- Choose an idea for your web app
- Decide on the core functions it should perform.
- Design your app – its layout, user interface, etc.
- Decide on the UI flow of your app. You can make use of a flow chart to make it easy.
- Plan the database management.
- Design the UI.
- Select the suitable tools to design your web app.
- Build the app, test it and debug it.
- Deploy the app.