Web App vs Site vs Hybrid

I first started as a website designer, and now call myself a web app developer. Although what we can build on the web has become much more capable, I think the distiction is still useful. Even if you have both a blog and a dashboard in the same “web app” you should treat them differently: always server-rendering the blog for example.

Web site: primarily for reading

Web app: primarily for interacting

Hybrid: both reading and interacting

Most web apps today are a hybrid. You might have a landing page, pricing page, documentation, a blog, sign up, sign in, and a dashboard with various sections.

Here’s how I’d break these routes down:

Site: landing, pricing, documentation, blog.

This is content designed to be read and shared by users.

App: sign in, sign up, dashboard with various sections.

These are screens designed to be interacted (forms, taps, clicks) by users.