Website or Web App: Which Suits Your Business Better?

What is a Website?

Depending on how you want someone to engage with your product or service in the digital world, there are plenty of options available on the market. But to help you start, the first thing you want is to make your online presence apparent. That’s why you may want to build your own website.

A Website is about PR and Accountability 

A website is the best means of promotion. And it’s cost-effective to build and design a good website. It’s a great investment in the digitalization of your business. The main advantage of a website is that it gives the same experiences viewing it on any laptop or mobile browser. However, the main setback of a website is that it’s limited interaction-wise. It provides the minimum information about the client and her behavior. And you need a mobile device or a computer to be able to reach it.

Some websites are designed to last for two weeks, others – for years and years, creating leverage for your brand and gathering a community around it. Irrespective of if it’s going to be a temporary thing or not, a website is a storefront for any type of business or happening. It serves as a hub for all of your social networks’ audiences. It drives interest in what you are putting out there. But most importantly, it builds trust.

Website complexity depends on its purpose

Let’s say you are building an MVP for your startup’s first investment round, or you need just a landing page for your beauty salon, or you want to advertise an upcoming event. In all of these cases, various ready-made low-code tools and site-builders are going to come in hand. Their functionality is constantly improving. The technology is aimed at providing a cutting-edge user experience delivered at your door.

When choosing the right technical approach, look at the event horizon and see how scalable you want the website to be. This means you need to know whether your webpage will ever go beyond its informative function. In other words: 

Will your customer want to click a button to buy from you online? 

Is the nature of your business such that customers will come back to buy your product again?

If both of these answers are ‘yes’ for you, we are talking about PWA.

What is PWA

PWA

When your client returns to buy from you for the second time, it’s the next level of website building scenario – a Web App. In broad terms, a Web App can be anything built for more profound user interaction. 

You can find information that Web Apps are now being called Progressive Web Apps. This definition was introduced in 2015 to describe web applications that take advantage of modern browsers due to responsive design and a mobile-first approach. This has become a web app standard that is constantly evolving.

PWA is a website wrapped to be fast, interactive and mobile friendly

PWA is the technology that makes a boxed version of a website that is easy, adaptable, and costs less to build. A web app gives the shortcut to reach the parts of the service in no time. This means instant transition and interaction with the relevant part of the website functionality.

Since a mobile-first approach nowadays is a must, a website adapted for mobile may already be a PWA. At their core, PWAs are the Apps that use existing web strategies to provide a rich, native, and simplified application-like user experience. The main difference is the desire to imitate a mobile application, which does not affect anything from a business point of view. 

Speaking of what one can appreciate in a PWA as opposed to a website, is definitely its speed. PWAs are designed to include features, such as background sync, caching, and push notifications. They don’t require any space to be installed, despite their name. And they can work offline unlike websites. Google likes Web Apps and ranks them at the top of their search.

PWA works offline and is cheaper to build than website

If a web product passes PWA criteria, the browser on both Android and desktop is going to prompt it to be ‘Installed’, and there are icons representing app installation. Responsible for the icon and other basic parameters of the app is Web App Manifest.

  • Service Worker

Progressive Web Apps are based on a modern technology known as a Service Worker. These are special event-driven scripts with connections to different instances within the domain. These are programmable network proxy servers between the Internet and the page.

These proxies intercept and make or rewrite network requests, support the app offline and provide granular storage. They can be securely downloaded regardless of the network connection. As a result, it facilitates faster navigation and slows downloading speeds.

  • Shell

A Progressive Web Application demonstrates high performance due to the application Shell. It’s a kind of storage for content. Creating an application Shell is easier, it only takes a few lines of code. The two main elements are the header and the navigation bar. Since it is cached only once, the shell can be accessed by the user even when there is no Internet connection.

PWAs don’t require separate teams of coders to be developed. Given that your website is ready, a Web App is going to improve its performance for a relatively lower price as compared to the cost of building a website from scratch.

Web App takes a brand trust on another level

Progressive Web Apps are accessible through secured HTTPS links and sometimes have an “app.” extension before them. They are SEO-indexed and are compatible with multiple platforms. They provide push notifications and engage with users seamlessly, being updated in the background. A lot of companies use PWAs instead of websites and mobile applications. Think of Pinterest or Whatsapp Web, for example.

With PWA, a business is getting two products priced as one – a website and a mobile app engaging users with news, sales, or other important information via push notifications. Since PWA is designed to be like an application, the UX/UI, speed, and smoothness of such a product will be optimized for most kinds of desktop browsers automatically.

Web App vs Website

pros and cons of pwa

Cease inspiration with building your web product. Here’s a comparison of the main features of websites and web applications:

Pros and Cons of WebsitesPros and Cons of Web Apps
There no requirements for the operating systemThey don’t require memory storage
Serve as business cards and first impression of a brandWork faster than websites and mobile applications
Compete with social networksProvide user interaction functionality
Cheaper than mobile applicationsDepend on the nature of a business
Easy to make amendments with a few lines of codeServe as a trust level for a company
Don’t require user trustCheaper than websites and mobile apps
Easier to compare and select the products on the website rather than in an appDon’t require downloads and manual upgrades
Don’t provide push notificationsProvide push notifications
Can be insecureFully protected
Available and tested on all browser kinds and versions Compatible with many browsers, since they are optimized for various desktops and smartphones
Online identifiers, including cookie identifiers, internet protocol addresses, and device identifiers cannot be seen by website owners.Face ID and Touch ID 
Can make money through affiliate marketing and pay-per-click advertisingAccess to geolocation
May be optimized for desktops but not for smartphonesWebOTP for SMS authentication
Short life-span if a business has a mobile applicationSafari and Mozilla are not prioritizing them
There are no general technical requirements to build a websiteDesktop PWAs locked to Chromium-based browsers only
Need Internet access to loadDon’t need Internet access
Cannot detect OS or other app functions. However, they can listen to key events via JavaScript.Cannot share resources or data within themselves because they are quite separate

Final Words

A lot of us are impatient with the actions, but we want to be patient with the results. Your website serves as a brand voice in the vast internet space. When choosing between a website and an app, take their purpose into consideration. While a website is great to get your potential customers acquainted with your product, a web app is a technology made for them to stay engaged. Both websites and web apps are the future of software development.

Read more on our blog. Subscribe to our social media and check the latest tips and tricks in making your business ready for digital. If you have any questions, get in touch with our expert team or fill in the form below to have your project estimated.

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