What is the difference between an Web/Mobile App and a Website?

Mar 30, 2018

Whether you are on Mac or PC, Windows or iOS you have interacted with both websites and web applications – to the average user there is no difference between the two

To put it simply, a website is content-based with minimal interaction by the user, while a web application is interaction-based.

Think of your favorite blog. Your interaction with these sites is to simply click on to the next story. The main thing that differentiates a website from a web application is the collection and subsequent use of data collected.

A web application shall collect data and use that data in different ways to satisfy different requirements. This data can have one or many points of entry or exit.

Let’s touch on a few common examples of web applications and look at how they work:

A shopping cart e.g Amazon, Jumia

In the case of online banking, the data collected (transactions on an account) is used to inform the client on their account.

Online Banking 

The data collection avenues are pretty much endless and comprise of both in-application and off-application input.

Another cool aspect of web applications is data visualization and data sorting. Forget digging through your stacks of papers and dusty files while crunching numbers on your TI-89 (for the cool kids) to understand what’s happening. Simply choose your search parameters and BAM!! You have your data in front of you to consume. This data allows you to drill down and make informative decisions.

Example dashboard

Do you see how web applications can work for you from day to day?

Up next in the series…Part 2: Mobile Apps