Website vs. Web Application – What is the difference?

Web App vs Website


We have gotten familiar with the Internet and websites over the last 20 years, but web applications are a newer Internet buzzword and sometimes the difference between the two can seem a little cloudy. How do you differentiate between a website and a web application?

Web developers use similar programming languages such as PHP, ASP.NET and JavaScript when building either websites or web apps. Websites generally have a lower level of functionality and are built to display information and media; web applications are software programs that run within your browser.

Because web apps are extremely customizable and can perform a wide range of functionality, they generally are more difficult to build and require an experienced team of software developers. A website is simply a set of related web pages served from a single domain that may embed media. A web application is computer software accessed through a web browser via the Internet. Often both websites and web apps are connected to a database to provide an interactive experience specific to the individual using it. Data can be referenced and stored, and accessed through a customized interface to simplify the delivery of information to your customer.

Integrating a Content Management System (CMS) with your website is typically recommended as it allows you to quickly and easily update information and data on a regular basis. However with web applications, you may need to build a custom CMS or avoid it altogether – this is typically determined by the specific functionality your software is built to produce. At Essential Designs, we build everything from standard websites to large-scale web applications for your business. Our experienced software developers are able to effectively customize software to suit your website and business needs, and build a customized solution which is both beautiful and functional.


Mary is a popular Vancouver DJ and has been working in the high tech field since her inception as a web developer at Newbridge Networks in 1996.

By Mary MacPherson

Share this article

Related Posts