Web App or Web Site?

José Obregón · Tech Lead 2021-08-31 · 5 min read

Many times people use website and web app as synonyms, but what is actually the difference between them?

What is a Website?

A website (standard spelling) is one or more web pages under the same structure (same domain).

A web page is basically any HTML document (and CSS, JS, media files, etc.) in a network, like internet.

For example siblingssoftware.com is a Website.

A website in general is static. It means every time you access it, the information will remain the same. It’s main purpose is to provide information for users and as a marketing tool.

We could say, websites give support to business, but they are not the core of the business.

A lot of websites are created with CMS like Wordpress, Wix, or other tools to build a website easily.

What is a Web App?

Well, as you can imagine, technically a Web App is a Website. The term "web app" came from "web application" and is used to refer a more complex website. A website with more functionalities and features, allowing users to interact in a different and deeper way.

A few examples of web apps used everyday are Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn and Slack.

In general, web apps are an important part of the business. In a lot of cases, a web app is the software product (or service) that the company sell, like Netflix, Spotify or Dropbox.

Sometimes companies has a website to show information about a software product or service that they try to sell. Then, if you subscribe or buy a plan, they give you access and redirect you to the web app.

Although it is not necessary, the most web apps are build with frameworks and libraries like ReactJS, Angular, VueJS. They can be connected to an API running in the backend (server) and save data in a database.

Conclusions

Most of the cases it is easy to determinate if a web software product is a website or a web app, but sometimes it is very confused. At the end, it will be defined by the complexity and the propose.

Keywords: website, webapp, webpage, application