Our world is increasingly becoming digital. As customers lie at the heart of any business’s growth strategy, intelligent companies are trying to put their foot in the digital landscape.
But wait a minute, plunging into anything new without having appropriate knowledge can be dangerous. There are many ways to build an online presence for your brand and market your products/services.
Which one should you choose?
Most people would say you need a website and a mobile application to complete your digital footprint. But what about a web application? Is it necessary?
There is no one answer to this question, as it varies for businesses. However, we will guide you on what channels of digital marketing you should pursue to ace your industry.
This piece explains the difference between a website and a web application, their pros, cons, and characteristics. Let's start:
What is A Website?
You are reading this blog on a search engine, probably Google.com. You buy products on Amazon.com. These are examples of famous websites. Wikipedia.org is another site that offers information on nearly every subject.
A website is a set of web pages interlinked and available worldwide with a single URL.
A person, company, or brand can build and manage a website. It has a variety of purposes. A website is a communal app that usually aims at improving user experience. Programmers or organizations should focus on building something presentable and user-friendly.
Public and Private Websites
Websites can be public or private. Public sites combinedly make World Wide Web. You can only access a private website on the private area network, such as a firm’s on-premises website for its employees. Usually, websites have a specific purpose or niche, like commerce, social networking, education, news, or entertainment.
The site’s navigation usually starts with the home page, which links to other pages of the website.
How Do Users Access A Website?
Visitors can open your site on different machines like laptops, PCs, mobile phones, and tablets. These devices use a web browser and a software application to open a site.
A site is located on one or more web servers. Netizens can access it through a network such as the internet or a private LAN through an IP address.
Must-have Features of An Excellent Website
1- Browser Steadiness
As a business owner or marketer, you might not know the subtle technicalities of web development that lead to nuances. Your app developers will tell you that different browsers use different approaches to display a website’s content, so ensure your site looks and behaves consistently on all major browsers like Google, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. Simple steps like these can help your site outperform its competitors.
2- Well-Organized Data Pattern
Imagine you visit a website with a specific intent but can’t see what you need or how to get there after navigating from here to there for a while.
This scenario frustrates the visitor, and they may abandon your site altogether because let's be honest, they have tons of other options on the web which are a click away.
So what can you do to avoid this situation?
Keep your site’s navigation pattern as simple as possible. Strategically categorize content, keeping in mind users’ convenience.
3- Mobile Responsiveness
Chances are most of your target audience access the internet via their mobile devices. In that case, your website should look appealing on those gadgets as well.
Smartphones and tablets have different screen sizes, so your software developers should keep your site mobile responsive.
4- Well-Formatted Content
Content is king. It ruins a king’s reputation if they can’t keep their people happy. But how can your site’s content win your visitors’ hearts?
It's simple. Netizens skim through the content to find out what they need. For example, blogs and web copies should be divided into sections and be readable.
Consistent formatting throughout the site can showcase your brand as a professional one, leading to conversions.
5- Functional Navigation
You might spend a fortune on your site’s design and web development, creating content, but it is doomed to fail without a proper navigation strategy.
6- Speedy Loading of Content
Time for some eye-opening statistics. 53% of visitors leave a site if it loads in more than three seconds. Abandonment rates can soar to 87% if your web takes two seconds more to load.
How do you feel while looking at the loading sign when a site is taking time to open? If you are like most people, you feel an awkward anxiety in your whole body.
Why do you feel that way? Our minds are hardwired to get instant results on the internet. So, anything that delays even seconds is painful for most users.
For a business, a visitor that abandons their site means losing one potential customer. Your site should ideally load in 4 to 6 seconds to maintain reasonable usability. The bonus point is the higher search engine visibility and faster load times it offers you.
Pros and Cons of A Website
|Your consumers can access your website any time of the day and night for 365 days round the year
|Your business gets tons of futile junk emails from the online space through the contact form feature
|A website earns you more buyers
|Websites collapse due to heavy traffic or a technical issue and sometimes stay completely down until you activate them
|It nurtures loyalty and reputation
|Data scrapers can breach your site’s content to use it for malicious purposes
|It magnifies your reach
|It elevates your visibility
|It speeds up your growth
Categories of Websites
Your firm needs to choose what type of website will be best suited to your needs.
Here are the two types of websites:
A static site captures and shows data to the visitor but doesn't allow interaction directly. These sites have fixed information and are built using HTML. Even people with basic programming skills can develop these websites as they are super basic. Go for them if your content will only cover three to five pages.
What Do You Get with A Static Website?
Static websites bring a handful of benefits which are:
- Enable web pages to load faster
- Lower maintenance expenses
- Pocket-friendly hosting
- More security than dynamic websites
A dynamic website exhibits content that alters, based on the visitor, the time of the day, the users’ language, the time zone and other aspects. For example, some web pages change daily to supply users with new information, such pages are dynamic pages.
Dynamic websites may contain back-end or front-end scripting to create the altering information or a blend of both sorts of scripting.
Interactive websites are a chunk of the Web 2.0 community and allow engagement between users and the site owner.
What Do You Get with A Dynamic Website?
Dynamic websites bring a handful of benefits including
- Convenient maintenance
- More professional appearance
- Enhanced user interaction
- Super scalable
How Do You Define A Web App?
Meanwhile, the server side may employ any tech stack such as MEAN, LAMP, etc. In contrast with mobile applications, web apps don't use a particular SDK.
Web apps gained traction after the inception of the SaaS (software as a service) frenzy.
Why Does Your Business Require A Web Application?
Web applications are popular due to these reasons:
- You can easily update and upkeep web apps compared to desktop applications because they utilize the same script in the entire software. It means zero support issues
- You can use the web app on any operating system like Windows, Mac, or Linux because they all are compatible with contemporary browsers
- You don't need to get your web app approved by an app store
- You can launch its new versions in any form and at any time without needing to remind people to upgrade their apps
- Users can open web apps 24/7/365 from any computer
- Users can access the required information on their PC, mobile phone or tablets
- They are a pocket-friendly choice for any brand. Seat Licenses for Desktop software costs you more money while users pay as they use SaaS applications
- They are internet-enabled software which users can open via their mobile’s web browser. So, you do not need to install or download them
Traits of A Web App
- Web applications are mostly hybrid apps
- They can be hosted on the cloud
- They can be easily scaled with a business
- They are loosely coupled and modular
- They can be readily tested with automated tests
- They are developed for engagement with the end user
- They allow a user not only read the page’s material but also manipulate the limited content
- Web apps require authentication because they supply a much larger spectrum of choices than websites
- Their functions are more complex than websites
- Their development is an element of the site, but it is not a full site
- Modifications demand the project to be reassembled and deployed
Pros and Cons of A Web App
Here are a few pros and cons of web application development.
|Offers a sustained and stable user experience across all platforms
|Doesn’t guarantee security making it susceptible to intruders
|Functions on numerous mediums and gadgets irrespective of the operating system if the browser supports them
|Limits users from accessing all device’s features
|Easily customizable and super scalable
|Doesn’t run well on several browsers with equal precedence
|Can be accessed from all over the world over the internet
|Designed solely for a specific platform which makes it tough to find it from the app store
What Makes A Website Extraordinary?
These qualities make a website extraordinary.
- Super performant and neat design
- more visible in search engines
- Clear CTAs
What Makes A Web App Extraordinary?
These qualities make a web app extraordinary.
- High speed
- Engaging user interface
- API factored
- Safe and stable
- Cloud hosted
So, who wins the competition — the web app vs the website? It boils down to your unique demands and niche.
Do You Need A Website or A Web App?
Use A Website:
When you can do well with minimum features and zero sophisticated processes. If your business only needs to make a digital footprint, a simple site would suffice that displays your products/services.
You can use Content management systems like WordPress or Drupal to create your company’s website.
Use A Web App:
When your brand plans to create a website that involves various intricate processes. Then, you should go for a tailored approach to web development.
For example, if you are opening an e-commerce store, a web app will do better than a website. The reason is that you could have many processes running together in one system.
Does Your Organization Need A Web Developer or A Web App Developer?
Of course, your business’s type, immediate and long-term goals, and needs will decide whether you want a web app or a website. To create a website, you can contact a web app development company with experience building an online presence for businesses like yours.
You may need to create web or mobile applications along with your site later to complete your digital footprint and compete with similar companies in your niche.
Web app development may ask for more skilled support. Web app developers can build your project with extensive prowess and apply a wider spectrum of features.
So, go for web app development agencies if your organization needs higher engagement, link with other business software, and unparalleled security.
Generally, software engineers and developers specialize in one programming language, framework, or type of development.
You want to create your web app using specific technologies and tools, but your chosen developer may not be a pro at using them. They might have skills in most technologies, but their recent experience may be in any other domain.
Web app development changes rapidly, and new trends and technologies keep emerging. Therefore, you may need more than one professional to fully carry out your project using their specific expertise and knowledge.
1- What is the difference between a website and a web app?
A web app is a software program that users can access on the browser, while a website is a group of relevant web pages.
2- Do we need to compile a website and a web app?
We don’t need to precompile a website before the deployment, but we need to compile a web application before deployment.
3- Which offers better integration — a website or a web application?
A website makes integration simpler, while a web app makes it complicated due to its complex functionality.
4- What are the categories of web apps?
Web applications can be divided into five general types, including dynamic web apps, static web apps, portal web apps, e-commerce apps, and Content Management Systems (CMS).
5- Are web applications a better option as compared to websites?
Websites and web applications both cater to different aims. A web app focuses on users and allows engagement, while a website attempts to offer information.
6- Is Facebook a web app?
Yes, Facebook is a web app.
7- Do we consider a website as software?
No, we don't consider a site as software, but a website can utilize software in its deployment.
8- Is Amazon a web app or a website?
Amazon is a web application that employs frontend script, HTML5, and web view in most components. It offers more control over the user interface, enables a software programmer to effortlessly alter the UI for all the users, and upgrades the application’s material, such as discounts, without modifying the application.
We hope you like our detailed comparison of a website and a web app. Your business needs a solid digital presence which you can achieve through a website, web app, or mobile app.
The choice is yours and depends on your unique needs. However, the quality of development remains of paramount importance in all of them.
Consider your company’s aims and objectives, products/services, target audience, and other aspects while deciding. Your chosen developers should be competent enough to customize your digital presence to your requirements.
Maven Digital is another name for quality software development. Our speciality is mobile app development, but our savvy developers and software engineers build websites and web apps with equal ease.
Contact us today to discuss your business’s problem!