Building a Website vs WebApp, Not The Same Thing.

Building a Website vs WebApp, Not The Same Thing.

This is a question I often get asked all the time, what is the difference between a website and a web app. Non-techies and dev/ designer newbies use it interchangeably. It’s usually fine for me until when it is time to negotiate value and price or when the new guy has mistaken them too much a time that it gets on your nerves. This post is actually for my new recruits but it would be great if it helps you too.

Intro

This is a question I often get asked all the time, what is the difference between a website and a web app. Non-techies and dev/ designer newbies use it interchangeably. It’s usually fine for me until when it is time to negotiate value and price or when the new guy has mistaken them too much a time that it gets on your nerves. This post is actually for my new recruits but it would be great if it helps you too.

Here are some of the reasons why you need to know the difference:

Why you need to know the difference

  1. Because they are different and so entails different requirements in terms of time, budget, manpower, brainpower, technology.
  2. You need to know the difference so you don't short change yourself when negotiating with a client.
  3. So you know when a website is beginning to evolve into a web app and you can adjust appropriately in terms of time, budget, price, manpower, technology, etc.
  4. To educate your client or employer about the implications of both
  5. Finally, so you know which one you want to focus on.

I had to clearly outline the reasons why you need to know the difference as a new dev or designer even if your client or employer doesn't because I had made some crazy mistakes in the past merging them together and I don't want you to make the same.

The Difference

  1. Definition: There is no one definite way to define these 2 concepts but you need to combine the various requirements of a project to be able to tell the difference. A website is a collection of documents (webpages) that is set up mainly to establish a digital presence for the owner of the website, while a web app is set up mainly to solve a particular problem or many by providing an interface for its visitor or users to provide input and get processed data amongst several other benefits. We could say a website is more informative and a web app is more functional. we could also say that website that requires you to log in is actually a web app, although not all the time. I could try to define it excellently here, but I yet to come up with such a definition, but I assure you that you read on you will begin to see the difference.
  2. Uses:
  3. Website: They mostly serves to give information about the services or achievements of the owner. Visitors come to a website to get more information about the owner so they can make a decision whether to patronize the website owner or to take the next step from call to action provided on a website.
  4. *Web App: *They are designed to serve the user with a bundle of features or functions. While a user engages a web app, they provide sensitive or reoccurring data, most of which require storage and web apps to provide a secure interface for only authorized users to access data stored by the web app. Some of the uses of web apps include file storage, data management, data sharing, social networking, handling financial transactions, and records.
  5. Examples:
  6. *Website Categories: *Blogs, Portfolio, Company website, eCommerce website, institutional websites, online documentation, wikis.
  7. *More Website Examples: *Olorunsheyi.comTraversy Media WebsiteGoogle’s Mother Company Website
  8. *Web Apps Category: *Saas applications, Data storage services, Social Media Government institution portals.
  9. *MoreWeb Apps Examples: *Gmail, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Zoom, Facebook

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