What's the difference between a web site and a web application?
I'm stumped trying to come up to a difference between a website and a web application for myself. As I see it, a web site points to a specific page and a web application is more of some sort of 'portal' to content and information.
But where I'm stuck is that a web application is still viewed through a browser (is it not?) and a website can still view content dynamically, making the line between web site and application pretty gray.
For instance, does a web site using ASP.NET or AJAX etc become a web application because it can retrieve data dynamically and asynchronously or would a website using PHP and a CMS be more of a web application because it forms the pages on request, based on the request of the client and its content in its databse?
Or maybe I'm totally wrong here - what differentiates between a web application and a website?
This is totally personal and subjective, but I'd say that a website is defined by its content, while a web application is defined by its interaction with the user. That is, a website can plausibly consist of a static content repository that's dealt out to all visitors, while a web application depends on interaction and requires programmatic user input and data processing.
For example, a news site would be a "website", but a spreadsheet or a collaborative calendar would be web "applications". The news site shows essentially the same information to all visitors, while the calendar processes individual data.
Practically, most websites with quickly changing content will also rely on a sophisticated programmatic (and/or database) backend, but at least in principle they're only defined by their output. The web application on the other hand is essentially a program that runs remotely, and it depends fundamentally on a processing and a data storage backend.
They are not entirely exclusive. A university website likely gives information such as location, tuition rates, programs available, etc; it will likely have web applications that allow teachers to manage grades and course materials, applications for students to register for and withdraw from courses, etc.
You can charge the customer more if you claim it's a web application :)
Seriously, the line is fine. Historically, web apps were the ones with code and/or scripts (in Perl/CGI, PHP, ASP, etc.) on the server, and sites were the ones with static pages. Currently, everyone and their uncle's cat are running forums, guestbooks, CMS - that's all server code.
Another distinction is along the subject matter lines. If it's a line-of-business solution, then it's an app. If it's consumer oriented - they call it a site. Although technology-wise, it's more or less the same.
There is no real "difference". Web site is a more anachronistic term that exists from the early days of the internet where the notion of a dynamic application that can respond to user input was much more limited and much less common. Commercial websites started out largely as interactive brochures (with the notable exception of hotel/airline reservation sites). Over time their functionality (and the supporting technologies) became more and more responsive and the line between an application that you install on your computer and one that exists in the cloud became more and more blurred.
If you're just looking to express yourself clearly when speaking about what you're building, I would continue to describe something that is an interactive brochure or business card as a "web site" and something that actually *does something that feels more like an application as a web app.
The most basic distinction would be if a website has a supporting database that stores user data and modifies what the user sees based on some user specified criteria, then it's probably an app of some sort (although I would be reluctant to describe Amazon.com as a web app, even though it has a lot of very user-specific functionality). If, on the other hand, it is mostly static .html files that link to one another, I would call that a web site.
The technical difference according to two features: 1. Where the "work" is done 2. What is being transferred to/from the server
Website 1. The "work" (most of it) is done at the server 2. Rendered pages (data + UI) are being transferred from the server In comparison: Easier SEO
It's like whisky and scotch, all web apps are web site, but not all web sites are web app.
A web application or Rich Internet Applications is a web site that does more than displaying content, it has a business logic. It’s intended for user interactions, performing actual business functions. Compared to web sites, i.e. blogs and news sites, web apps provide a richer user experience.
The use case of an application is always to DO something with it
-- Christian Heilmann (Principal Developer Evangelist at Mozilla Corporation)
Both are 'websites' ( sites on the web ). So I would suggest that the question is easier to answer if worded in a different way. "What is the difference between a web-site which transforms data or information in a significant way, according to the point of view of some specific 'user' or 'customer' and a web-site that does not?"
From that it's easier to see that what we call a web-application is a system at a site on the web which takes input, acts on that input in a way that transforms it and produces output of value to some particular customer or user.
The other thing is more like a poster or brochure. At least to most of its audience. In the same way that a brochure may have been created using DTP software, a brochure site may still be managed via some sort of CMS or blogging software. To the owner of that site, the CMS is the web-application, but to the general public the same site may be seen as a simple brochure ( or 'website' ).
A website might just be static content - a web application would have dynamic content. It is a very fuzzy line.
Semantics.... generally a website contains static HTML pages and a web application performs some type of work. For example, a website for a realtor may give information about the realtor, where a web application for the realtor may list current properties and manage the contact information for the realtor themselves.
We know what is a "site" and "application", so all we got left is The Web
Now, a web application may be a part of a whole website. A website is comprehended of web applications. Though usually you'll see that a website has only one web application.
For instance, you have an iPhone device (compared to a website) which may include different applications: playing music, videos, web browser etc.
Web applications are dynamic websites.
According to wikipedia, website is the abstract term of this paradigm.
A website, also written as web site, or simply site, is a set of related web pages typically served from a single web domain. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address known as a uniform resource locator (URL). All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website)
Therefore, the Web Application is a type of website regardless of its purpose, in fact, a dynamic website, but the website is not indeed a web application.
In my point of view, all modern websites are web applications, including CMS's. Does anyone in the world still writes manual static html files, I don't think so. Even though, some websites have few static pages, but if they were created dynamically via a CMS, then it is definitely a CMS web application.
A web-application is an application that is hosted on the internet. It can have a front-end or user-interface on a web-site.
Hope that helps.
A web application is a software program which a user accesses over an internal network, or via the internet through a web browser. An example of one of the most widely used web applications is Google Docs, which facilitates most of the capabilities of Microsoft Word; it’s free and easy to use from any location.
A web site, on the other hand, is a collection of documents that are accessed via the internet through a web browser. Web sites can also contain web applications, which allow visitors to complete online tasks such as: Search, View, Buy, Checkout, and Pay.
I'm not sure if there's an absolute authoritative answer to this, but you may look upon it as a distinction of what happens when the request hits the webserver. The request may either be served by having the server return a file that's already been made (static content), or it can pass the request to an application that generates the respone sent back to the browser (dynamic content).
Both types will be called a website, but only the ones that have an application generate the contents will be called a web application.
A web application is a website in the same way that a square is a rectangle.
The application part is the model-controller combo. The web part (the view) is why it qualifies as a website.
Something that is only a website and not a web application is simply missing the dynamic aspect.
Of course, it can be difficult to decide on how much server-side processing is required to qualify it as a web application. Probably when it has a data store.
Thus, you have the primary role of webapps confused. A website's primary role is to inform. A web app's primary role is to inform using dynamic content (the do something part).
Web application is better in performance as you are publishing a precompiled code, the code is 100% compiled successfully.
Meanwhile web site is better in maintainability as you can change the code easily and the changes will take effect immediately without any build, in this case the page is going to be compiled when it is called for the first time which means it might cause compilation error or crashes in your page whenever it is being called. Each one has its own pros and cons
Check the difference here, it is helpful to understand more about both.
I say a website can be a web application, but more often a website has multiple web applications. the relationship between the two is one of composition: website composed of applications.
a dating site might have a photo upload web application, a calendar one so you can mark when you're dating who.
These applications are embedded throughout the website.
Based on a general research and understanding, "Almost" Everything that can be accessed via a browser is actually called a "Web application" now these days. Even your internet router at home is a web application that uses the HTTP protocol to access the application (i.e the one that "interacts" with you). Yes, there are lots of websites that do "Nothing" except showing you stuff. But the age we are living in, everything operates on the basis of web application. Natwest PLC bank has got a website where you can go and find out things that natwest offer as a consumer/high-street bank. However:
1) You can create your online banking account - Web application 2) View, amend details on your personal stuff - web application 3) Manage money - Web application 4) Deal shares/stocks - Web application
Another good example is Fidelity.com (as quoted in many other examples on the web).
I'm going to have to argue and say that there are two answers:
1) If your purpose is simply to inform your audience with some contents that will never demand any interaction whatsoever, website is your answer. Then it is not a web application.
2) If you are living in the current/modern world i.e. will have a personal site, allow people to see some/all/none of your special stuff, protect yourself from people/bots/etc., web application and websites are no different.
Both function and perform similarly, but still differ in following ways.
We can't include C# and VB page in single web application.
We can set up dependencies between multiple projects.
Can not edit individual files after deployment without recompiling.
Right choice for enterprise environments where multiple developers work unitedly for creating,testing and deployment.
- Can mix VB and C# page in single website.
- Can not establish dependencies.
- Edit individual files after deployment.
- Right choice when one developer will responsible for creating and managing entire website.