Web Apps & Websites

Web applications and websites are in essence the same thing. They run on a web server somewhere, whether it be on your on-site infrastructure or somewhere in the cloud and tend to have a database serving the data behind the scenes.
The distinction comes in when it comes to their use case. Below is a description of the general differences between a Web App and a Web Site but sometimes they can cross over and incorporate features of both. Generally speaking, a web app offers user login and deeper functionality, a website offers a landing page for a companies customers (after they have found them on a search engine) and contains contact details etc.

Web App

Log In / Register Page

Before the user can start using the features of the web app they are normally invited to register/log in with a username and password. This way the web app creator can keep data safe and provide a personalised experience to the user.

Payment Gateway

This is normally incorporated into the registration process described above and allows an app to put up a paywall and ask users for payment to use the web app. With this also comes the account management screens to change billing details etc.

Account Management

An area within the web app normally for logged in users where they can update their contact details etc. Sometimes users have several settings they can use to personalise the app to them, these are often found in this section.

Web Site

Contact Us Page

This will be a page that contains details of how customers can contact the company and normally includes a contact form, address, phone number and email address.

Services / Products Page

Companies nearly always have a section where they can display their products or services and sometimes link this to a web shop.

Web Shop

If a particular customer has products and services they can sell directly online then they will have a webshop component to their website. There is some cross over with a web app here as this will require users to log in and pay online.

The lists above are by in no means exhaustive but hopefully enough to give you an idea of the differences between the two and give you a clearer idea of what you need.

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