Web Applications vs. Web Sites

Web AppsReading this title you may be thinking that I’m pitting the two against each other in a death match for supreme being. Actually no, but I am comparing the two in terms of the future.  For years now having a static web site has been an acceptable median for owning a piece of the internet. Whether it’s a personal web site, small business, or corporate entity, a web site (or website) was there to explain the presence of it’s owner.

That was then. Nowadays we’re living in the world of Web 2.0.  And if you don’t know what that is, let me explain just a bit. Web 2.0 is basically all things interactive with a website.  That means, social media, widgets, videos, and especially “web applications.”  Like Inspiration Hut for example. A Blog that provide you with great information for graphic, illustrations, typography, design, and more that also allows you to contribute to it’s resources – while Authors can dialog right back in real time.

So lets talk about these applications. There are a lot of them out there, and though most are free, they are far from “simple”.  They range from instant messaging with live visitors to a site, to embedded videos from Vimeo or YouTube to describe products, play music, or even show sports highlights. Each of these examples are Web 2.0. There’s a trend happening where more and more websites are being created or revamped to incorporate these features.  Sites like Basecamp and Forrst and ProjectManager that allow remote collaboration of projects and work regardless of physical location.

The importance or “take-over” of the applications is on the rise.  You’ll see more and more sites pop up with functionality for more than just reading content.  There will be more variances of direct interaction with visitors, and increased participation from visitors to accomplish many things. Albeit, games, collating content, providing feedback, replying to posts, and more.  Also consider the compatibility for mobile computing in all of this too.  Not only will you be able to read a site exactly how it looks off your computer to your mobile device, but be able to interact from your device much simpler than ever before.  One more key I’d like to point out is/are Webinars. Being able to host traditional seminars and presentations with people around the world is not only easily accessible, but seemingly as if all the attendees were in the same room together at the same time.

Now will the seasoned web designing veteran have to update his skills to accommodate these applications in their repertoire? Surely so. Or be forced to step aside while new degree toting collegiates touch away at their iPads to develop new application websites to suit. What do you think?

1 reply
  1. Peter
    Peter says:

    And here I was hoping for a death match! You really got my hopes up there 🙂

    While I started out with static websites, a bunch of my recent projects have been interactive
    so this article was extremely relevant to me. Thanks!

    Do I think that web designers should jump into application development? Not necessarily.
    However with HTML5/CSS3 becoming more and more viable for iPhone and Droid apps,
    the barriers are coming down somewhat for mobile app development. With web applications,
    it depends heavily on what you are trying to do. PHP/MySQL might not be everyone’s favorite
    development tools.

    Great blog so far. Keep up the good work!

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