Archive for the ‘Web applications’ Category

The difference between Web sites and Web applications?

March 2, 2008

There is a lot of discussion these days about the Web moving from being document-based to application based.  Here is a section from Jeremy Keith’s book Bulletproof Ajax which talks about this:

In discussions about the difference between Web sites and Web applications, you’ll often hear about how the Web seems to be in a state of transition.  It appears to be moving from a document-delivery platform to an application-based system.  But this is a disingenuous distinction; it implies that applications aren’t centered on documents.

In fact, documents are at the heart of applications as well as Web sites.  A work processor is useless without a document.  A spreadsheet application requires a spreadsheet.  Even a complex desktop application like Adobe Photoshop works on documents; the documents just happen to be images.

The difference between Web sites and Web applications lie in how malleable a document is.  A traditional Web site simply displays a document.  A Web application lets you interact with — and change — that document.  But make no mistake: the World Wide Web is based on documents, no matter how interactive they become.