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How Is a Web Application Different Than a Website?

If you search for the differences between a web application and a website online the definitions sound quite similar, don’t they?

Most people use the term website to describe just about anything that exists on the internet. However, there are distinct differences that should be explained.

Here are what we think are the major differences between a website and a web application.

General Definition

The general definition of a website can vary. However, we definite a website as something that is informational. A website is used to display static information, such as contact information, product/service details, and other information that does not change frequently. In short, you could say that a website is strictly for viewing information.

In the other hand, a web application is designed to be interactive. In web applications, users perform tasks, which can range from simple to a complex series of tasks. Users provide information and the web application responds by performing specific functions.

Clear Examples of Websites Versus Web Applications

To help you understand the differences between websites and web applications, we’ve put together a list of some clear examples of each.

Web Application Examples

The following sites are examples of web applications. Although the functionality of the web applications might not be apparent from visiting the home page of their sites, you are probably already familiar with the features that these popular web applications offer.

Mint (https://www.mint.com/)



Mint is a web-based personal financial management application that allows users in the US and Canada to track their investments, bank account balances, and much more.

Zillow (https://www.zillow.com/)



Zillow is an online real estate database company that allows consumers to obtain data about local real estate and connects them with real estate professionals. Zillow is considered to be a web application because there is a discussion board which allows users to interact with other members of the site.

In addition, there is also a backend for real estate professionals, allowing them to advertise on the site and utilize their Premier Agent App, which helps agents to connect with potential buyers and sellers.

Gmail (https://www.google.com/gmail/)



Gmail is the web’s leading email application .With more than 1 billion active monthly users around the world, Gmail offers a way for users to access their email messages securely along with access via POP4 or IMAP4 protocols.

Gmail is a great example of a web application because it does much more than display the contents of emails. Users can compose new emails and conduct chats with other Gmail users from within the application. It also allows users to customize their inboxes by filtering, labeling, and deleting emails, and much more.

Website Examples

Here are some website examples for you to review:

Five Guys (http://www.fiveguys.com/)



Five Guys is an international burger chain. Having started out in Washington D.C., there are now 1,500 locations worldwide. The chain is known for its freshly ground beef hamburgers that are only cooked in peanut oil.

The company’s website is a great example of web design because it was designed to display the company’s locations, menu, story, and corporate franchising details.

Hair Cuttery (http://www.haircuttery.com/)



Hair Cutter is a U.S.-based unisex hair salon. They offer haircuts and hairstyles, and professional haircare products at their salon locations. The company’s website serves as a place to share the company’s story, services offered, current promotions, and job openings. As a result, its primary function is the display of company information.

Smashburger (http://smashburger.com/)



Smashburger is one of America’s top burger chains with fresh made-to-order, never frozen, grilled burgers.

These sites are stellar examples of websites because they only serve to display information about the company, including franchise details, locations, and contact details. These companies, like most other local businesses, including restaurants and retail shops, have websites.

Development Requirements

The development requirements for a website are significantly different than a web application. The average website may take only a few weeks to build whereas a web application may take months or eve years to build.

Web applications generally require the expertise of web application developers and can involve a number of different technologies, which is commonly known as a technology stack. Websites only require basic programming languages, including HTML and CSS.

However, both websites and web applications require ongoing maintenance and upgrades so you should make sure to include these costs in your project budget.

Final Thoughts

Simply telling a web developer that you want to build a website is not enough to determine the actual cost of your project. In order to determine which specific elements are required to complete your project, you’ll need to undergo a consultation.

As the web development firm learns about your requirements, you may find that your project actually incorporates a combination of website and web application features.

At Achievion Solutions, our focus is solely on web applications and we’ve built some of the world’s best. If you are looking for developers to bring your next custom project to life, we can help. Click here to learn more about our web development process now.

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