Web Applications Vs Websites: What IS The Difference?

Web Applications Vs Websites: What IS The Difference?

Web Applications Vs Websites: What IS The Difference?

Today, the internet is an integral part of our daily lives. The current generation find it difficult to remember a time when they were not connected to the web, first through desktop computers, then portable laptop devices and now with the smart phone offering constant connectivity. Using a website for information or any other purpose is a simple process, supporting thousands of businesses at both ends of the process. When it comes to Web Application Development Edinburgh and other Scottish cities are coming into their own in the marketplace. But what truly is the difference between a website and a web app?

In the days before smartphones and the arrival of the ‘app store’ onto devices, a Web Application was typically a site which allowed more advanced interaction between the service and the user, often replicating a service or capability which had usually only been available through separate software. The best examples of these include the web based email services, enabling users to manipulate their messages and files from within a browser rather than in their own programme. More recently, Google Docs and Google Maps operations also show presentations of the web app system over and above the conventional website. Typically, a web application has a deeper user experience than a website: a web app page has something done with it, rather than being a point of information for use elsewhere. A web app is dedicated to a particular task, in the same way as a smartphone or tablet computer has apps dedicated to various different goals.

Some people have defined a website as being a read-only page and a web app as something which has the additional capability of writing as well, or an input from the user which expands the experience. In technical terms, developers have their own definition of the difference between the two formats. A web app has certain characteristics: it is self-contained, has an interactivity to its user interface, makes use of the more advanced capabilities of the device such as integrating the camera or enabling geo-location, is action-focussed rather than information orientated, and does not rely on the web browser for its functionality but rather has its own inbuilt structures.

For those who are less technically minded, the distinction can be harder to pin down. Generally, there is no reason for a website to be prevented from referring to itself as a web application – if the end user engages with it in the same way as they would an installed app on a smartphone. For instance, the use of the Google Mail web app within a browser is closely related to the use of the service within its own downloadable app. Again, others have taken this definition further, incorporating elements of visual style, link generation and creation into their distinction between the two classes. However, for most people, the definition of web apps as being interactive whilst a website is designed to present information works well enough. As always, the format of a website is defined by its end use: a web app can be the perfect solution for those with interactive requirements, but websites remain the core informational resource of the internet today.

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