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Web App vs. Website: Which One is Better for Your Business?

Websites and web apps both streamline your business and give you a competitive advantage. But what are the separate benefits and drawbacks that each one has?

 

Before we answer that, it’s important to ask the question, “why does your business need a website or web application?”

 

Then, think about the fundamental difference between a web app and a website. A web app pushes the limits on design aesthetics, usability, and value. A web app opens up a whole new world of possibilities for a business.

 

Choosing the right option for your business is a crucial business decision. In fact, in recent years, we’ve seen many business owners discuss what is the best way to build their online presence, by building a website, web app, or both.

 

Websites and web apps are not the same thing. The subtle differences between the two are important, and knowing what those differences are can help you choose the right option.

 

The decision should be mostly based on the unique needs of your business and other factors, such as:

 

      • Mandatory features
      • The purpose of the website
      • Your target audience(s)
      • Your total budget

 

If you aren’t sure what your website will be for, then you’ll develop unrealistic expectations for yourself or your web development services company.

 

Have no fear because we’ve got all the important information laid out here. We’ll be showing you the major aspects of web applications and regular websites and their key differences.

 

As I’m sure you can relate, web applications and websites are an irreplaceable part of our lives. Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Wikipedia are used by billions of people, and all of these people know the differences between these websites.

 

What is a Website?

Let’s start with the basics. What is a website? Since the birth of the internet, its goal has been to disseminate information to the masses.

 

With this simple goal in mind, we started with classic HTML, which was just static pages with content and media accessed via a URL address. These websites lived on servers that were connected to the web network. Even back then, these sites were cable of sending information around the world 24/7.

 

These days though, modern sites utilize more than HTML. They are far more intuitive and utilize languages like JavaScript and CSS in their design. This is why the modern website is more feature-rich. But in the end, the goal is still the same – to provide information to people and function as a tool for marketers.

 

Now, what about web applications? These are another type of web tool that tend to be more action-oriented. They work just like any other software. They can utilize augmented rich internet application technology (RIA), which is what Silverlight, Flash, and JavaFX are.

 

Web applications are usually hosted over the internet and utilized in web browsers. They also offer a great range of features and functions than a website. Some high-quality web applications are Slack, Gmail, Trello, and Google Drive.

 

A woman browses a website on her laptop

The Main Differences Between a Website and Web App

Here are the main differences between the two:

Integrations

Web apps are better than websites at integrating with other online tools and software. These third-party integrations let the website app collect, process, and store data. These integrations also elevate UX (user experience) by helping create a more personalized experience with the content.

 

When it comes to integration, the difference between the two can be summed up this way: with websites, integrations are optional. For web apps, it’s the main function. Your web development services company will understand this and design it accordingly.

 

Authenticating

Authentication is a necessity if you’re handling sensitive information – after all, you must prevent unauthorized access, thus protecting you and your customers. Authentication means having a login procedure frequently in the form of a password and username. Only authenticated users can access the data on the website.

 

Of course, not every website needs authentication. Most information websites don’t require it.

 

On the other hand, for web applications, it’s much more common. While Wikipedia doesn’t ask for authentication to access its information, most pages on Facebook ask you for your password and login ID to view them.

 

Interaction

Consider the level of interaction involved with a single page on a website. For example, an About Us page is designed for users to read it and be informed that way. Its job is to provide information and usually doesn’t require any further interaction from users.

 

On the other hand, a web app requires interaction and input from users. This interaction can occur in numerous ways, including form submissions, responses to those forms, Live Chat, or electronic payments.

 

Other Web Apps

There are also even more actions that a web app can perform, including online shopping, hotel booking, and even ordering food.

 

With the increase in actions and functions, the line between a web app and a website is becoming more and more blurred. This is largely thanks to the emergence of cutting-edge “hybrid” frameworks, such as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Single-Page Apps (SPA).

 

Should You Choose a Web App or a Website?

A website is useful if you’re trying to inform users about your product or offer. A website works if you’ve just got a landing page with a simple form for subscribing.

 

A web app will provide more opportunities for interaction. If you’re looking for deeper user involvement, then a web app can be the best option.

 

For example, when looking at work apps (most of the Google ones), they are update-able and dynamic, meaning that everyone who has access to a Google project can update and access the essential files.

 

Examples of interactions in real estate apps are:

 

      • Viewing accommodations
      • Archiving them
      • Setting up meetings with agents
      • Making appointments for viewings

 

Conclusion: Web App or Website?

It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Go for a web app if you want to:

 

      • Solve specific problems that businesses are having
      • Do more than just brand your business online
      • Create a robust communication channel
      • Maximize your customer service and thereby increase revenue and sales

 

A web development services company like Salt Rank can assist you in whichever direction you decide to go into. If you need personalized advice for your business, feel free to get in touch with us! 

 

What you Need to Start a Business Blog

A lot of businesses are at risk of being obsolete. One cause of this is their lack of presence online.
 
Now, this may seem a threat at first. But if we were to view this statement in a whole different light, we may notice that it is actually a call for us to make sure our businesses stay relevant in times where the internet is widely used.
 
One thing we notice in most successful businesses is that they make sure they dominate online content. Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Alibaba have marked their footprints in the roster of successful companies. The secret behind that may lie in how they were able to develop their presence and their brand name online.
 
By doing so, they have managed to have people talk about them online, keeping their names relevantly fresh even in the simplest of conversations.
 
What we have to understand about the internet is that it is now a major game-changer in terms of regulating fora, discussions, and other means for communicating – this is where you want to be.
 
Therefore, developing a Business Blog will be one of the best decisions you will ever make to bolster your business. Eventually, it will help you to get people talking about your business more. This will also help you widen your reach even further to other potential customers.
 
But first things first. What will you need to start a business blog?

 

The Gift of WordPress

WordPress is a good starter platform for setting up your Business Blog (at least, in its beginning parts). It has two options: the free domain and the paid domain.
 
A Free WordPress domain would look like this: www.yourwebsitename.wordpress.com
 
WordPress.com is best used if you are currently at the point where you have just begun introducing your company online. It helps to have a quick start-up for your business blog to get your business descriptions online as early as possible: what your business is about, what services you provide and offer, and other details. However, using WordPress’ free domain will have limits. For one thing, you will not be able to sell directly from the website.
 
Other platforms include Weebly, Drupal, and Joomla. Just like WordPress, they also provide free services for establishing your very own website to host your business blog.
 
In order to make an upgrade and enable monetization for your blog (aka, enabling your website for online sales), you will have to invest in a paid domain via an annual subscription.
 
A paid domain will look like this: www.yourwebsitename.org
 
WordPress.org is the best upgrade you will make for your business blog because, for one thing, you are now hosting your very own website compared to when you were using WordPress.com. Self-hosting your website also enables you to engage in online sales and open up your website for affiliate marketers and advertising companies.
 
Other paid web hosting platforms include NameCheap, 1&1, and GoDaddy. Explore their paid hosting programs to suit whatever needs you may have in terms of maintaining your website 24/7.
 
Now, let’s go to designing your website.

 

Choosing a Website Theme

WordPress provides its own set of themes for free, although some of them will require paid domain subscriptions before availing. WordPress Theme Directory and Theme Forest will aid you in choosing the right design that best represents your business blog.
 
However, you will need to pay attention to the following:

  • Does it fit well with my chosen audience?
  • Does the design represent the nature of my business?
  • Is the theme accessible to various devices (e.g., mobile phones, personal computers, laptops, tablets)?
  • Does the theme come with a public forum or any form of customer support to address various issues I might encounter?
  • Does the theme provide me with a comprehensive roster of options for customization purposes?

 
Person working on laptop with pieces of paper with wireframe and smartphone with wireframe

 

Developing Your Content

Now that you have a well-designed website for your business blog, it is now time for you to plan and develop content.
 
As the saying goes, the best way to make a sale is to love your product. Building on that premise, you need to be able to translate your own interests into something that will pique the interest of your potential customers. Providing a narrative for all the applications of the product you are trying to sell is basically what a business blog is all about: talking about your products and services.
 
Therefore it is essential to find your voice: you do not necessarily have to be a good writer to make good content. What is important is how you manage to stay genuine while writing.
 
Brainstorming your topics is a good approach for planning your content as well as scheduling their releases. You can write about the benefits of your product, or have someone review them and publish it directly onto your business blog. In that way, you will be able to widen your influence online and establish new connections along the way. The more people who buy from your online store, the more people would want to write about your products. The more people who wish to write about your products,  the more people would get attracted to buying it.
 
In the long run, you would eventually develop a community of loyal customers continuously talking about your product and encouraging other people to buy from you. At that point, you are already having your customers help you promote your business online.

 

Discoverability and Networks

Now comes the technical part.
 
To ensure that your content can be seen by more people online, you will have to pay attention to optimizing your website to make it more searchable online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) pays close attention to words you are using in your content. For example, if you are selling coffee beans, what other words can be tied up to that? And what would people most probably have to type in on their Google search bars to find you? Researching keywords is part of optimizing your website to rise in the ranks of Google search results.
 
Doing keyword research and integrating them in your title, some parts of the body, and the conclusion will prove essential (and by far the most laborious task you might do). You have the option to hire SEO experts and content writers to work on your content, or you could enroll yourself in SEO courses.
 
A good SEO strategy will increase the likeliness of your business blog to appear more often in Google searches. By doing so, you can meet people you would want to do partnerships with to grow and expand your business.

 

Let’s talk about your business

Please let us know how we can help your business. You can shoot us an email, call us, or connect with us via Social Media.