Web App vs Website: Main Differences


Web Applications vs Websites

We live in a digital marketing world where most of the world’s population is addicted to browsing the internet daily. The world wide web is built on billions of websites and web applications. For many people, there is a confusion between the two. At Flamingo Agency, we often get mistaken for a web application development company when in fact we are a web design agency for small business. We have focused our business less in web application, and more in web design and development. Read on to learn about the difference between the two.

What Is A Website?

A website is a group of interlinked pages that exist on the same domain. The main goal of a website is to display information to visitors. A secondary goal would be to convert that information into a lead. Websites are very popular for small businesses and are often created with content management systems. WordPress is a very popular CMS and is used by many business owners to improve their online visibility or search engine optimization. There are many ways how to tell if a website is built with WordPress or any other CMS.

What is a web application?

Web apps are sites with advanced software-like functionality and interactive elements. They not only provide information, but offer a wider choice of functions and user engagement. Popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Gmail are all web applications that offer dynamic user interaction and are built to engage users. Note that software apps such as VPN  providers are not web apps. Perhaps the best example of an interactive web application is Google! To develop a web app, you may consider finding frontend specialists proficient in Backbone.js, Vue.js, Ember. js, etc. You will also need to hire Ruby on Rails developers for the backend as the mentioned frameworks are compatible with one another.

web application development

Web application vs Website - What is the difference?


Websites are static, whereas web applications are dynamic in nature and offer a greater level of connection with the user. Online banking is perhaps the most common example of a web application.  But not every small business owner needs a bank-like website. Many are satisfied with a simple website that serves their main purpose, which is to provide information with a clear message. 


Web applications offer a much greater level of customization compared to web pages. Experienced software development companies can build pretty much anything one can imagine. Web apps are very popular among big ecommerce companies that require a high level of customization for their products. If you are interested in flexible website maintenance, you definitely want a site.


There is no single answer to the question about a web app development cost as it can vary. However, one thing is for sure. Since web apps offer more advanced features and require more technical expertise, they are much more expensive compared to developing a website. The cost of designing a small business website is more reasonable. 


If you’re a small business owner, chances are you are looking for a business website with informational content to view in a web browser. Web applications are best suited for medium-sized or larger companies who have the means and time to develop a highly interactive and customized app for their business needs. Finding an agency that can make a website is a somewhat simpler process. Developing a web application, however, requires more planning and more knowledge about the software process. In conclusion, sites are informative and web applications are interactive. That is the main difference in a nutshell.

Picture of Chris Granat

Chris Granat

Chris is the founder and lead web designer at Flamingo Agency, a Chicago web design agency.

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