Website vs Web Application: 3 Key Differences

Website vs Web Application: 3 Key Differences

With this article, we continue our series of publications about popular web development questions. We have already discussed the difference between web page vs website, and now it’s time to see how website and web application differ. These two concepts have a lot in common and are often used as synonyms. Yet they aren’t the same. When you ask a web design company to develop a product, make sure you realize the difference between website and web application. This will save you from unnecessary confusion, expenditures, and delays.

We have formulated brief definitions that summarize the essence of website and web application to help you out.

What is a website?

A website is a set of web pages which are used mainly for information and marketing purposes. For example, this page is a website.

What is a web application?

A web app is any program accessed over the Internet and used to provide people with an interactive experience and different functions. The most well known web applications are Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, MailChimp, etc.

Let’s take a look at 3 main characteristics of website and web application.

Website vs Web Application

#1. Interactivity

Speaking of the difference between website and web application, we need to start from interactivity. Generally, this is the main characteristic that distinguishes these two concepts. Web apps are highly interactive. They include numerous buttons and dynamic elements to engage users. Also, web apps aim to support a continuous dialog with visitors. On the other hand, websites largely serve to for information purposes and to present content. People go to websites to find the necessary answers, whereas web applications help them to solve some practical issues.

#2. Diverse functionality

Since web apps boast of higher interactivity, they also have a greater variety of functions. An exact set of functions depends on the goal of a web app, such as financial operations, social interactions, information search, email newsletters, and more. Compared to web apps, websites are more predictable and standard. Yes, they may also have numerous themes and belong to different fields, but the functionality and sections are pretty much the same. Almost every website includes information about the company, its team or services, a blog, contacts, and a Q&A section.

#3. Authentication

In order to access the full functionality of most web applications, users need to complete an authentication procedure. It involves entering a username and password that forwards a person to their user account. Web apps often involve the use of personal information that must be highly protected. Authentication is one of the greatest ways to ensure better security.

As you may have already guessed, most websites are freely accessible. They don’t usually require authentication or personal information and only collect some general usage statistics.

Now that you know the key differences between website and web application, you can make an educated decision.  If you need further help with either website or web application, send us the message to

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