So what's the difference and are not they the same?
There is an abundant source of information on this subject and, in summary, it all boils down to this: a "website" is informational or static in nature, while a "website application" is interactive and can process data in the background. with which the user can interact. To illustrate the difference, for example, suppose you visited the site of your local pizzeria without finding anything else, with the exception of the restaurant menu, opening hours, contact information , an "About Us" page and a static Google map. at the bottom of the page for directions in their place. This would be considered a "website" because it is a purely informational site and its users can not interact with the site.
Now let's take the same example of a pizzeria, except that this time only after your visit to the site, you discovered that the usual opening hours, contact information, menu and "About us" pages are common . a page "Order now online". This "Order Now Online" page allows you (at the user's) to select the type of pizza you want and also allows you to submit and pay for an order at the restaurant by filling out a simple online form. Once the form is submitted, the restaurant is automatically informed of your order, checks your payment and starts placing your order. An e-mail is then automatically sent directly to your e-mail address and your mobile phone to check the time of pick-up or the estimated time of arrival for delivery. This would be considered a "web application" because the site automatically interacts with its users.
So which one is right for you?
One thing I always repeat to my clients when we ask them the same question is: "It really depends on your type of business and what you are trying to accomplish." Previously, a client who ran a small nonprofit club was convinced that he was missing only one "website". This "website" was so simple that it took me about a day and a half to complete it and that it contained at the beginning only the usual opening hours, information about we, services provided, contact information, etc. About 2 weeks after their website was launched, they reminded me to convert their website into a web application in order to allow users to register online to become a member of a club. It turned out that there were more registrants than expected on their premises and they were quickly overwhelmed by applications for membership. By the way, I also worked with clients who were exactly the opposite, who believed that they had to give their users the "moon" and they were not going to settle for anything else.