A comprehensive overview of Web Applications, Websites, and Desktop Application
Web applications bring revolution to the digital world with their invention. In this digital era, small-sized to multinational companies were looking for a solution to contact their clients and employees in real-time. Web applications enable businesses of the digital era to communicate with their customers sitting anywhere in the world.
What are Web Applications?
Web applications are server-hosted apps that run-in web browsers. Web applications are like client-server programs or websites, hosted on a server anywhere in the world. When someone accesses that program. It is partially or completely downloaded on the client’s computer to execute each time.
Web applications are the in-demand alternative to mobile applications for multiple businesses.
Companies don’t need to develop a separate version of web apps for different app stores as web applications are executed on web browsers. If you are executing a web application on Opera, it can be executed on Google Chrome, Bing, or any other web browser with the same version.
Companies and individuals are using Web applications for the enlisted tasks,
- Real-time communication between two parties
- Companies use web applications to communicate with clients or employees
- Companies are using web applications for completing the payment transactions
- to exchange routine tasks and reports among companies’ employees
Web applications benefits
Some of the noticeable benefits of web applications have enlisted below,
- Web application users don’t need to download the app to communicate.
- As web applications are not on the user’s phone/device, they are free of memory limitation and app updating issues.
- You don’t need to develop various versions for various app stores as web applications run on web browsers.
- There will always be a universal version for all the users. That means users will not face compatibility issues.
- One can access web applications from anywhere and on any device.
- It’s easy to minimize piracy breaches in subscription-based web applications as code is stored on the server.
- web applications can be integrated with various performance monitoring tools to monitor performance.
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Web applications examples
Google Apps, like YouTube, Calendar, Google Drive, etc., Microsoft 365 are popular and widely used web applications examples. Web applications are widely used as online forms like payment processing forms on e-commerce stores. Some of the top programs using web applications are enlisted below,
- Word processors
- Online image resizes or image compress programs
- Online banking
- File conversion programs
- E-mail sending programs
- Communication programs
Web application’s popularity is increasing with each passing day. It challenges the mobile apps industry to a definite extent.
Before starting your journey to build web application, look at the web applications structure below for a deep understanding of its workflow.
Web applications structure and workflow
Web applications could be static or dynamic. Static web applications don’t require server-side processing to interact with app functions. Static web applications usually have a fixed informative page.
While Dynamic web applications need server-side
processing to properly execute the apps. Mostly, we use dynamic web applications to fulfill digital world needs. We send requests to the server while interacting
with the dynamic web applications and required a database on the server in most of the cases to store/retrieve information.
Some of the best programming languages suggested by experts to develop client-server programs like web applications are enlisted below,
The workflow of the web applications with each role is explained below,
App users trigger requests to the server while interacting with the app features through browsers or app interfaces.
- Web Server
The web server forwards the triggered request to the exact server that hosts the targeted web application – better known as the web application server.
- Web application server
Web application server usually interacts with the database to generate results for the triggered query and send the specific results for each trigger task back to the web server.
- Web Server
Web Server sends these generated results to the users to answer their queries or complete transactions.
Triggered query flow
Users → Web Server → Web application Server
Query Result Flow
Web application Server → Web Server → Users
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What makes web applications different from a website?
Yet, we have learned that Web apps are client-server programs. What are websites, and how websites are different from web applications? Keep reading the article to clear the perplexity.
A website is a collection of interlinked pages that can be accessed globally via a unique and single domain. Individuals and businesses develop their sites to share specific information like a blog site and eCommerce sites to sell something.
Websites are hosted on a single or multiple cloud servers and can be accessed globally via a unique IP address or domain name through the internet.
Difference between Websites and Web Applications
Users reach a website to access different pieces of information presented in text, images, audio, or video format. Websites are an illustration of an absolute one-way communication system. The website does not allow its users to do real-time communication or send information back to the site.
However, web applications are an illustration of two-way communication. Users can interact with web application varying elements to communicate back to the app. Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and Drive are some well-known examples of Web applications. Web apps are more complicated as compared to websites, as web apps let you do extensive customization.
Interactivity, Integration, and Authentication
Interactivity, Integration, and Authentication are the three main factors that heighten the differences between websites and web apps. Let’s have a look at these factors,
The ability of software, program, or application to trigger users’ input is called interactivity. It is the first and foremost feature that enhances the difference between web applications and websites.
Websites – are normally developed to showcase company services or portfolios in form of texts, images, and videos. These features neither need nor support users’ interaction. with time, websites evolved to offer better and positive UX. Websites now offer interactivity to a smaller extent by contact forms or different interacting widgets. However, you will find the maximum of the sites as static sites with minimum or zero interactivity.
Web Applications – Unlike websites, web apps are 101% dynamic or interactive. Web apps are specially designed with certain pieces of information or features to interact. Users interact with these features to trigger specific kinds of results. Web applications enabled us to enjoy online shopping, social media, and online banking system by ensuring a pleasant and positive UX.
The integration lets you do next-level customization by creating an ecosystem of multiple programs. Integration of third-party programs can be done to both websites and web applications. But web apps required integration a lot more than websites because of their multiple complex features.
Website – websites support integration with 3rd party programs to do automation or next-level customization.
WordPress plugins like chatbots and newsletter forms are distinct examples of website integrations.
Web App – Like websites, web apps can be integrated with hundreds of 3rd party programs of your choice to provide a specific service to users or to provide a seamless and positive UX.
Authentication is there to provide a secure user experience. Users provide their credentials via a login form to access the particular part of data.
Let’s have a look at the difference created by the authentication,
Website – websites usually don’t ask for a login to prove the identity before accessing the data. Some of the sites may ask for sign-up to access premium content. A common example of such authentication is the Comment Section of different websites. Users are asked to sign up first to write a comment or review on a blog post. Similarly, some news sites like BBC, New York Times, and Guardian ask you to sign up or log in to access all the blogs on their sites.
Web Apps – Authentication is mandatory for web apps in most scenarios. Web apps are mostly have copyrighted data or users’ private content. That’s why authentication is considered necessary for web applications to ensure users’ data. Banking apps, Netflix, Facebook, and, Twitter are some of the prominent Web apps examples.
Look at the table below to deeply understand the difference between a website and a web app,
|Built For||To represent the static content that can be accessed globally via internet with specific domain name.||Web Apps are created for two-way interaction or communication with users.|
|Advantages||· Easy to access
· Economical cost
· Best for branding of a business
|· Easy to scale and customize
· Compatible to all devices
· Give positive user experience
|Disadvantages||· A minor error can crash your business site. That is one of the major drawbacks of websites.
· Comments and contact form are gate to hackers to put malware.
· Piracy issues, Data scrappers will take your data.
|· May not support multiple browsers. You can lose potential clients because of this issue.
· Web app developers focus on browsers not platforms, because of that web apps may not access complete features of a device.
· Security issues, can be easily accessed on internet by hackers to find and break any loop hole.
|User Interactions||User can access website content to read text or view images and videos but can’t interact with these elements.||Web apps let users to interact with the presented elements as web apps are the illustration of 2-way communication.|
|Support and maintenance||Can be easily maintained as websites don’t have complex and interactive elements.||Web apps need regular upgrades after specific intervals.|
When do you need a website?
We have enlisted some of the prime situations when you need a website,
- For an appealing and professional representation of your products and services
- Websites help your business to be a part of the continuously growing digital world.
- Websites play a vital role in the branding of your business
- Websites can be an economical way of marketing for your business
- Websites can bring potential customers to your doorstep
- Websites lets you provide a better customer support experience
When do you need a web app?
You will need a web app for your business because of the following enlisted key reasons,
- It provides a 2-way communication system
- It lets your clients or viewers interact with the various elements of the web app to perform a certain task
- It lets you set a complete online retail shop with a shopping cart and a payment processing system
- It lets you design a messenger type program to provide a real-time communication experience to your clients
- Web apps are used to design online banking systems
Why Web apps are better than a desktop application?
Desktop applications are the programs that are designed to install on a pc or laptop to perform certain tasks. VLC Player and word processor are examples of desktop apps. Desktop apps are getting old-fashioned because of the astounding benefits attached to them.
Web apps have priority over websites & desktop applications because of the following powerful endowments,
- Compatible to all
Unlike desktop applications, web applications are compatible with all platforms window, mac, Linux, and android with the same Latest browser-supported code.
- Easy to maintain
Web apps are easy to maintain as compare to desktop apps as web apps have the same code for all the platforms.
- No need for approval
Like desktop apps, web apps don’t need any store approval to get published.
- Update approval
Like desktop apps, web apps don’t need clients’ approval to update the app. You can release an updated version of the web app at once for all the users.
- 24/7 access
Web apps can be accessed 24/7 for a whole year from anywhere and any device
- Cheap option
Web applications are economical as compared to desktop apps. You don’t need to buy seat licenses to get it published. Even you can earn from web app with time.
- No need to install
Web-based applications are hosted on a server, and clients don’t need to download or install them.
Feel free to contact us for any suggestion or help to build web application or get a completely customized web application with powerful UI and UX experience.