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Web Apps Vs. Websites. Which One Should You Aim for?

Should you develop a web app or website?

What’s a website for most people?

It’s quite simple, it’s any and every URL that they’ve visited, ever, when searching for something on the web.

They believe that any address or words entered into the address bar of their browser will lead them to a website.

It’s Not That Simple

Now, this may be a plausible definition for them but we, as marketing and internet professionals know that there’s more to it than that.

Not all URLs will lead an internet user to a website. Some of the URLs will take the users to web applications as well. It may just seem like semantic differences but websites and web applications are very different from each other.

That difference might just be the difference between a casual browser and a lead for many websites and the companies behind them.

What’s the Difference between Websites and Web Apps?

As an end user, there is no particular difference. The end goal for you and for the customer is that the website should perform as intended. They should, generate leads, get the user to opt-in to the services, and buy the products being shown after they click on your URL.

The difference arises when we talk technicalities. There are disagreements from experts in the industry as to the exact classifications of a website and a web application, but there are some general guidelines to follow as well.


A website provides information and little to no interactivity. Think of one of the blogs that you regularly visit. There is content there that is regularly updated and informs you about a certain topic. It helps you out with solving a problem, but there is no interactivity. You’re just receiving and not inputting anything into the website.

The primary purpose of a web”site” is to disseminate and spread information whether it is that fitness or tech blog that you follow or whether it is a news website like Fox News, CNN, BBC, NBC or Channel 6.

There is little interaction and input from the user’s end for a website. In most cases, there will be just an opt-in for a monthly newsletter or the option to search.

If your primary purpose is to convey information only such as awareness about bullying or cancer, a website that has a contact page, about page, upcoming events information page and a blog will more than suffice. However, to sell something, you need something more than a website.

Web Applications

Web Applications, or simply, web apps have the primary objective of getting the user to interact with the platform, and with you (the business). Your website visitors would be doing something with the information you give to them, for instance, buy a product. You can use different interactive tools to even gather data.

Almost Everyone Hybridizes It

In the real world, it’s hard to distinguish between a web app and a website, because there is hybridization.

A mortgage website is a perfect example. You may see a blog on there, but you may also notice a mortgage calculator. That means you can give input and receive customized data that is relevant to you, or you can have readymade blogs disseminating useful information to you.

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