Website vs Web App: A Clear Explanation
As web technologies become more powerful, new ways of creating and delivering content have emerged. One of the most confusing distinctions that many people face is the difference between a website and a web app. Both can be accessed through a web browser, but they are fundamentally different in terms of functionality, user experience, and development.
In this article, we will delve into the key differences between websites and web apps, and explore the benefits and limitations of each. We will also look at some examples of popular websites and web apps, and examine how they are built and what makes them unique.
Websites are typically created to provide information to visitors. They can be used to share news, promote products or services, or simply provide information about a particular topic. They usually consist of multiple pages, and visitors navigate through them by clicking on links or using a menu. Websites are typically designed to be viewed on a desktop or laptop computer, but they can also be viewed on mobile devices.
Web apps, on the other hand, are designed to provide a specific functionality or service to users. They can be used to perform tasks, such as sending emails, editing documents, or creating art. They usually have a single page, with the content changing dynamically as the user interacts with the app.
In the next sections of this article, we will take a more in-depth look at the key differences between websites and web apps, and explore the benefits and limitations of each.
What is a website?
A website is a collection of web pages that are connected together and accessed through the internet. Websites typically include a variety of multimedia elements, such as text, images, videos, and audio, and are often used to provide information, sell products, or offer services. They can be created and maintained by individuals, organizations, or businesses, and can range in size from a single page to thousands of pages.
Websites are accessed through a web browser, such as Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, by typing in the website's address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The URL is the unique address that identifies a website on the internet, and is made up of several parts, including the domain name (e.g., www.example.com) and the protocol (e.g., http or https).
Websites can also be accessed through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In this case, the website is optimized for smaller screens and touch-based navigation. The website will automatically adjust its layout and functionality to provide an optimal viewing experience on the device being used.
What is a web app?
One of the main differences between a website and a web app is that web apps are designed to perform specific tasks, such as online banking, social media, and e-commerce. They often have a more robust user interface and can provide features such as push notifications, offline access, and geolocation.
Web apps can also be designed to work across different platforms, such as desktop and mobile devices, and can be accessed through a web browser.
Web apps can also be designed to work offline, allowing users to access the app and its features even when they don't have an internet connection. This is achieved through the use of service workers, a web technology that allows for offline access and caching of web pages.
Another key difference between a website and a web app is that web apps can be downloaded from an app store and installed on a device, just like a native app. This is known as a Progressive Web App (PWA) which is a web app that has been optimized to work offline and provide a native app-like experience.
| Typically designed to provide information and resources
|| Typically designed to provide interactive experiences and perform specific tasks
| Can be accessed through a web browser by typing in the website's URL
|| Can be accessed through a web browser or through an app store or marketplace
| Often has a static layout and structure
|| Often has a dynamic layout and structure that adapts to the user's actions
| Often provides a one-way flow of information, from the website to the user
|| Often provides a two-way flow of information, allowing the user to input data and interact with the app
| May have limited offline functionality
|| Can have offline functionality through the use of service workers and local storage
Comparison between Web App and Native App: Why Native is the way to go with MCSS
While web apps can provide a similar experience to native apps, they are not as performant and lack access to certain device features. Additionally, web apps are limited by the capabilities of the web browser, whereas native apps can take full advantage of the device's hardware and software. Web apps can be less secure than native apps as they are subject to the same vulnerabilities as a website.
On the other hand, with the MCSS Framework, it's now easy to create and design native mobile apps without having to be an expert in iOS and Android development. MCSS allows you to use a single codebase to create both iOS and Android apps and it has a variety of cool app themes that you can use and adapt to your app to save you even more time. With MCSS, you can create a high-performance and highly responsive native app that can access all the device's capabilities and features. In terms of performance, security, and access to device features, it's best to opt for building native apps instead of Progressive Web Apps.