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Website vs web application

Read the differences between a website and a web application. When should you have one or the other. Learn the important features and use cases for both.
An illustrated computer screen with text on the right side 'Differences between website and web application'.

Some of my clients asked me what the differences are between a website and a web application. After giving the same answer, I decided to create this blog to help readers understand the differences. However, it is important to mention the 2 common properties first before we proceed with the differences: both are accessible via a web browser, e.g. Chrome, Firefox and both are considered as 'software'.


A website (or site) is a collection of various web pages typically used to convey information to the public through a web browser such as Google Chrome and Firefox. They can be used to share information about a company, organization, or individual, often allowing users to learn more about a particular subject. It typically has a homepage, which is the initial point of contact to the website and other pages such as informational pages, contact pages, blogs.

A website is generally static, meaning the content displayed on each page does not change unless someone modifies the source code of the site and thus manipulates the content. They are usually built using programming languages and markup tools like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The content you see on a website is typically not stored anywhere else.

Web Application

A web application, also known as a web app, is software that, like a website, is accessible via a web browser. However, unlike websites, web applications are dynamic and interactive for changes and user inputs (user input). In other words, web apps do something based on user input, for example: storing the entered fields in a database, sending data somewhere as SMS or email, etc. Therefore, they are often used for specific tasks such as online banking, social networks, and webshops. Databases are often used to store and retrieve data in web apps developed using programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and PHP.

Complexity is also an important aspect. Websites are generally less complex because they are focused on providing information. They do not require extensive programming or database work and knowledge. Web apps, on the other hand, are usually more complex because they are designed for something else and often require a lot of programming and database work. Content management systems, also known as CMS, like WordPress, Joomla, etc. are widely used in designing and developing websites as they enable a non-technical user to create and/or update their website. Web applications are usually written by experienced software developers using frameworks and programming languages.


Websites are usually hosted on web servers. A web server is an internet-connected computer where website files are hosted while for web apps, it usually happens on web application servers. They are servers specifically intended for hosting web applications online. It is often cheaper to develop and maintain sites. Hosting web applications, on the other hand, can be more expensive and generally requires the services of an experienced software developer.


Do you have any questions or would you like to request a free quote for a website, logo, or anything else? Feel free to contact me, and I'll be happy to assist you.

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