How Web Applications Work

Web applications do not need to be downloaded since they are accessed through a network. Users can access a Web application through a web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari. 

For a web app to operate, it needs a Web server, application server, and a database. Web servers manage the requests that come from a client, while the application server completes the requested task. A database can be used to store any needed information.



Web applications have many different uses, and with those uses, comes many potential benefits. Some common benefits of Web apps include: 

  • Allowing multiple users access to the same version of an application.
  • Web apps don’t need to be installed.
  • Web apps can be accessed through various platforms such as a desktop, laptop, or mobile.
  • Can be accessed through multiple browsers.
  • Can integrate to other platform such as Facebook, instagram, Accounting software, CRM, email marketing.

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Web Sites vs Web Applications

One of the ways to think about the difference between websites and web applications is to think in terms of purpose. Let’s use this idea to think about the differences in purpose…the difference boils down to this:

  • A website is informational
  • A web application is interactive


Generally speaking, websites are created for the purpose of delivering content to the user. This content varies greatly, but, in the end, a website is focused on delivering information. So, we regularly see websites that deliver text/articles, images, video, and files. Many of these sites are built to feature and promote products, services, and organizations. Websites are often marketing focused. Websites primarily tell the world who you are, what you have to offer, and why someone should engage you or your company.

Web Applications

While there is some crossover, web applications (web software) focus less on marketing and more on functionality (submitting, storing, searching, and retrieving data). While this may sound foreign at first, most people use these tools weekly or even daily.

Web applications can be thought of as web tools – software that runs on the web and provides some kind of service or efficiency.

So, we’re talking about using a web browser to log into tools like Facebook, online banking, Craigslist, tracking your ride or run, and sending out an e-invite for your child’s birthday party. And those are just examples from life outside of work. Within the business realm, web applications include accounting software, reminder systems, file distribution services, order forms, and sales tracking.

Web applications can be large packaged solutions that require subscription or are free to use. But, web applications are often custom-built solutions for businesses that provide time saving efficiencies by reducing busywork and automating processes. They can be built to strengthen communication both internally and externally and through data delivery and distribution.

Custom web applications can also improve your customer retention through excellent online portals, membership access to content, and streamlined eCommerce. For manufacturing distribution companies, a custom web application can be built to track your unique process and sales, giving you critical business data.

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