For Internet users, it does not matter whether they use web applications or websites as long as they meet their needs. However, the difference between the two types of software is easy to point out. It lies primarily in the technology used and the degree of complexity of the application.
If you run your own business and would also like to be present online, answer the question: what is the main reason for your online presence? A simple website should be enough for uncomplicated and easy-to-solve issues. This is the recommended solution if you need a company website or blog, virtual portfolio, or Landing Page for collecting contact details. However, if your business requires more complex operations such as sales and order processing, data storage, customer accounts, or artificial intelligence, you will need to create a web application.
Web App development and Website development
As we mentioned above, the main differences lie in technology. Both cases require different programming languages, and they are created by programmers with different skill sets in differently built teams. Not only language, but the structure of web software and the number of platforms on which it can be used differ too.
Programing language & software architecture
Web apps are more complex and in addition to the front end, they also have a backend, i.e. the part that is responsible for all operations that happen in the background and that are not visible to users. Such application design requires the use of several different technologies such as Java or Python on the back end and React, Angular, or Vue.js on the front end. Usually in such software work two teams of developers with different specializations, but only proper cooperation between them is a guarantee of the project's success. Web app development usually costs more due to higher hourly rates in given technologies and a longer development process.
What are well-known websites and web applications?
Hundreds of thousands of users, including you, use the most popular websites and web apps every day. To better illustrate the difference between them, we will use examples.
This is a perfect example of a website. It is written in PHP and HTML and offers mainly text pages. It's the kind of information site that everyone knows. Its operation does not require complicated processes.
The most famous everyday web applications are e.g. Gmail, G drive, Facebook, and Netflix. As you know, each of them offers different functionalities and, as you can probably guess, this is the reason for their much more complex construction.
Facebook is not only a website with information but also a huge database of users and multimedia content created by them, which also works in real-time. An algorithm control what the user sees, and Facebook users can use the application as individuals, companies, or advertising agencies.
Apps within the industry:
Often the industry in which you operate is enough to determine whether you need a website or a web application. There are industries so highly competitive that the functionalities of an ordinary website are not enough to go to the market. A perfect example is the FinTech industry, where the security of user data and the speed of transactions are paramount, which require high-quality applications.
The same is true in the iGaming industry. If you want to enter this highly competitive market, your product should offer functionalities that are standard for this industry from day one. Therefore, in the beginning, establish cooperation with a sports betting software provider who has experience in creating this type of web application.
Do you already see the difference?
As you can see, the difference between a web application and a website is significant. Making a decision on this issue will be crucial if you intend to run an online business. Think through the requirements of your project, and then consult it with technical experts.