Do You Know Differences Between a Website and Web App?
For many folks, the expression website is synonymous with every URL that they’ve ever visited. They’re under the impression that anything entered into the address bar of their favorite browser will result in visiting the desired website.
The thing is, not each URL which you visit can be classified as a website. A number of them are more accurately known as web applications. It seems like we’re dealing with a case of semantics, but we are not. While the terminology may not make much difference to the end user, it makes a difference to your business concerning understanding your requirements, planning for the future, and communicating with prospective web development agencies.
To be able that will assist you to differentiate between websites and internet applications; we are going to discuss a few of the things which set them apart. We are also likely to pay for the significance of preparation for the long term. Though your company might be needing a website initially, that doesn’t necessarily signify a site is capable of fulfilling your needs down the road.
Websites vs. Web Programs: What is the Difference?
The fact of the matter is this: For the end user, there’s not any difference. I just type your institution’s URL in my browser and believe nothing of it. You may call it whatever you want, the only thing which matters to the end user is that your”website” does what it is supposed to perform. End of story.
However, from a more technical perspective, there are some distinct differences between sites and web applications. Keep in mind that here, you are going to come across some contradictory opinions among professionals. As a general rule, you can use the following guidelines:
Websites are typically informational in character. Consider your favorite site or news based site.
As a general rule, there’s little if any discussion on the part of the visitor, other than possibly submitting an email address to be given a monthly newsletter or performing a search. So the real question is, how does this apply to you personally?
Well, if you’re a local charity who wishes to communicate information only — a homepage, an about page, contact info, upcoming events, and perhaps a description of the way you’ve helped your cause — a site may be everything that you want.
In contrast, internet applications are often accountable for some kind of interaction with your customers. Yes, they’ll still be providing advice, but your customers may want to do something with that info. Or, through discussion, your customers may request a different type of information or even manipulate information.
A specific example of a web application could be the local library website that permits you to search their catalog of publications and make a reservation. Your online banking is an internet application as well — it exhibits information and performs actions based on your input. Let us refer back to our local charity as an example. Only this time the require that visitors can register, place bids, and cover things at a charitable online auction. Need an example of some useful web app that makes clients lives easier?
Combining Websites and Applications
Differentiating between a site and web application isn’t always a cut and dried process. For example, consider WordPress. In its native country, it’s designed to display information to visitors. From this standpoint, it’s clearly a website. So is your WordPress site just a site, or is it a web application?
You also should consider that many websites are actually website/web application hybrids.
Be Clear About Your Requirements
Where it can really help to understand the differences between a site and web software is when it is time to hire a programmer or agency. Having a clear long-term vision can assist in ensuring you’re selecting the ideal agency. Not every programmer has the very same skillsets or areas of specialty. If you anticipate having an internet program now or in the future, it’s always easier to bring the ideal team on board from the beginning.
A couple of weeks back we published an article titled”How Your Website Must Grow as Your Startup Can “. In that article, we spent some time analyzing the different stages a typical startup goes through.
Your startup might only need a simple, informational website for the near future. But in case your long-term needs certainly indicate that a web application is going to be required, that is something you’ll be able to start looking for today. Doing so will ensure the procedure flows more easily.
Additional Web Application Factors
When contemplating a web application or site, also, it is important to see that there are frequently additional responsibilities that have web applications. Especially if you’re dealing with information that’s supplied by clients, visitors, or members.
While sites are mostly information based, a net application often requires input from the end user. Anytime your customers are entering personal information or payment details, you are faced with the responsibility of protecting that information.
Sites aren’t immune to hackers, but the inherent nature of internet applications means they are faced with an elevated risk of security breaches. Your programmer is probably already aware of this, but customers rarely are. So, make sure you discuss potential risks with your programmer.
For instance, payment or registration forms on your site open up the prospect of SQL injection attacks. Hackers may use automated tools to scan every form on your site searching for vulnerabilities. Using a seasoned agency or programmer means that this risk has been dealt with dozens of occasions before.
But it’s not just a case of needing to protect your users. In almost all scenarios, you have a responsibility to do so in addition to a liability in case you don’t. If customers are required to register to utilize your internet program, it becomes your duty to safeguard their private information. If you’re accepting credit cards or payment information on the internet, you will also face additional requirement like PCI compliance.
Finding an agency that will develop a website is a comparatively straightforward process. Creating a web application, however, requires more knowledge, more experience, and more planning.
Now that you have a clear comprehension of the differences between websites and internet applications, you also have a better understanding of what you actually need.
As you are launching your startup, there is a fantastic chance that, at least initially, a simple information-based site is all that is required. But try to think longer term, as though that is all you need now, you’re still laying the initial foundation for what your website will become months or years down the road.
It is always easier to employ an agency who will grow with your startup. Meeting your growth needs as your website transitions from 1 stage to another is easier and less costly if you hire the right group on day one.