Website or Website Application???

Discussion in 'Articles & Tutorials' started by romels33, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. romels33

    romels33
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    So what's really the difference and aren't they the same?

    There is an abundant source of information out there regarding this topic and in a nutshell, it all boils down to this: A "Website" is informational or static in nature, while a "Website Application" is interactive and can process data behind the scenes which the user can interact with. To illustrate the difference, let's say for example that you visited the site for your local pizza restaurant and found nothing more on the site except for the restaurant's menu, hours of operation, contact information, an "About Us" page and a static Google Map at the bottom of the page for directions to their place. This would be considered a "Website" since it is purely informational and its users cannot interact with the site at all.

    Now, let's take that same pizza restaurant example, except that only this time after you visited the site, you found that not only do they have the common hours of operation, contact information, menu and "About Us" pages, but they also have an "Order Now Online" page. This "Order Now Online" page allows you (the user) to select the type of pizza you want, and also allows you to submit and pay for an order to the restaurant by filling out a simple online form. Once the form is submitted, the restaurant is notified automatically of your order, verifies your payment, and they start making your order. An email is then sent out automatically directly to your email address and mobile phone to verify time of pick up or estimated time of arrival for delivery. This would be considered a "Web Application" since the site fully interacts with its users automatically.

    So which one is suitable for you?

    One thing I always tell my clients when asked with this very same question is, "It really depends on your business type and what you're trying to accomplish." I had a client once who ran a small non-profit club who believed that all they would need is a simple "website". This "website" was so simple that it took me about a day and a half to complete and all it had in the beginning were the common hours of operation, about us, services they provided, contact info, and etc. About 2 weeks after their website was launched, they called me back to convert their website to a web application in order to allow users to sign up online for club membership. It turned out that there were more people signing up than they have anticipated at their location and they soon became overwhelmed with the membership applications coming in. On the other hand, I've also worked with clients who were the exact opposite, who felt and believed that they needed to give their users the "moon" and they are not going to settle for anything else.
     

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