So you’ve decided you want to reach your audience through the internet. While it may seem simple at first, there are several ways to create an online presence for yourself or your brand. You’ll need to decide which makes the most sense for you. 

The first thing (and most basic) decision you need to make is whether you want to create a website or a web app. You may not realize it, but you use both types practically every time you use the internet.

While their names are similar, a website and web app serve different purposes and can help you connect with your audience in distinct ways. So read on to find out what makes them different so you can figure out which best suits your business’s objectives.

What Is a Website?

A website is probably the first thing you think of when you think of the internet. They’ve been a staple since the first one launched in the early 90s. 

The first website, titled World Wide Web, was launched by CERN. It was a simple HTML page with hyperlinks to other pages. While they’ve gotten fancier and more involved throughout the years, the essential structure of websites has remained the same.  

A website is an interconnected group of pages accessed through the internet. These pages are constructed using one or a combination of web development languages.

Some of the most fundamental languages are:

  • HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is the foundation of the internet and creates the structure and composition of web pages.
  • CSS: Cascading Style Sheets add style to the structure.
  • JavaScript: a language that adds interactive elements to websites.

But there are plenty more for more niche use cases (there are estimates that the number of languages is actually in the thousands).

More than 200 thousand websites are created every day, and as of 2023, there are around 1.13 billion websites. That number sounds astronomical, until you realize that only 18% of them are active. 

Websites are static, meaning they show the same information to everyone who clicks on it. They can contain text, images, videos, or other interactive elements that every visitor will see.

Static websites are pre-built files stored on a web server and retrieved when someone enters the URL. The static in the title doesn’t mean that the content has to be stationary or that you can’t engage with it; it just means that it is delivered unchanged to whoever clicks the URL.

What are some different types of websites?

There are plenty of different types of websites, with new ones being created all the time. You could break down the categories endlessly. But these are some that are useful for businesses.

  1. Business websites

These websites allow you to advertise your company and your company’s product. They can be one-page or multiple pages, like the Confianz website.

  1. Blogs

Blogs (like the one you’re reading now) are a common type of website. They can either be part of a larger site or a stand-alone website. People often make money from blogs through affiliate links or use them to drum up interest in their products. They can also be educational and help position you as an expert in your industry.

  1. Membership websites

These contain content available only to those who have a membership. The content can be downloadable content, courses, other resources, or exclusive tools. These are great for creating brand loyalty and can be monetized.

What Is a Web App?

The essential difference between a website and a web app is that a website is primarily intended to convey information (in whatever form). In contrast, a web app is any service or program accessed through a web browser.

Web apps came onto the scene later than websites, but not by much. They became a possibility in 1995 when JavaScript was released and became an official concept, as advancing technology made it more feasible. 

A web app is software that runs on a server that you access through any web browser. While software like Word is installed on a computer and is accessible without an internet connection, web apps like Google Docs require an internet connection to function.

Creating a web app is typically more complex than creating a web page. Anyone with a baseline knowledge of HTML can make a bare-bones website in an afternoon. But creating even a basic web app takes more familiarity with programming and more time and energy.

One stark difference between static websites and web apps is that web apps are dynamic. This means they present a different version of themselves depending on who clicks. The content changes based on user input and any information you gather from your users, such as age, gender, location, and time zone. Instead of being composed of ready-made files, dynamic websites are formed as the user clicks.

What are some different types of web apps?

You’ve likely engaged with multiple web apps without realizing it. Here are some of the most common use cases.

  1. Ecommerce web apps

This type of web app can be integrated into a business website. The only thing that sets them apart is that business websites act as advertisements or offer a way to connect with a business, while eCommerce websites allow you to buy the product on the site itself. For example, Ebay and Amazon are both web apps, as is Shopify.

  1. Portal web apps

A portal web app allows you to browse content from other websites without actually leaving your site. This can be a great option if you want to focus more on interface and UX than generating content.

  1. Single-page web apps

A single-page web app (SPA) loads only one web document, then uses JavaScript APIs to update that web document. Gmail is an excellent example of this type of web app. While it contains content you can click through, you’ll notice it never actually reloads.

When Should You Make a Web App, and When Should You Make a Website?

Websites and web apps make up the internet as we know it. While choosing between the two may be difficult, you can assess how much time and energy you want to put into your site and how much you want out. A website is a fantastic way to connect with customers and generally requires less work. But as a tool, web apps can become invaluable to your customers and keep them coming back for more.

If you want to make a website or web app that will wow your target audience but don’t know where to start, Confianz can help! We partner with businesses to help them achieve digital excellence. Hire Web Developers from Confianz Global to create Web designs that convert users into buyers. We are a Charlotte web design agency with a very high reputation of delivering results for our customers.

Contact us today to get started!

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