Oftentimes, people ask me what I do for a living. And when they do, I always try to convey it in the simplest, least alienating way possible. So far, my standard response is: “I make web apps.” And they’d usually reply: “Ah, so you make websites?” Well, kind of, but not quite.
So what’s the difference?
In a gist: websites contain static content, while web apps are dynamic.
You can think of static websites similar to a brochure: it usually publishes a small amount of information that rarely changes, like information about a nearby restaurant.
On the other hand, dynamic web apps are pretty much like your smartphone or desktop application: they often serve and change large amounts of information in short span of time. Web applications usually rely on you, the user, to interact with them to produce some useful output. A good example would be Twitter, of which changes to content are directly influenced by other users by the second.
So that’s it. Simple isn’t it?