What is the difference between web design and web application development? Because there is a lot of overlap, particularly on the front end of websites, I’ll cover platforms, programming languages, how WordPress fits in, and my personal preferences and recommendations on what to use where.
- Markup and Coding-Programming Language designed to perform specific operations and functions and HTML.
- Backend Commonality-Database, Server (Hardware), and WebServer (Apache Software)
- Backend Divergence-Functionality
Let’s analyze WordPress. WordPress is a content management system. While it was once more an application for Web Design, it now can function as a web application with extensive support for eCommerce functionality, membership sites, and more. WordPress runs on the PHP programming language so anyone with PHP skills can create plugins that expand the core functionality of WordPress. The main purpose of WordPress is to organize and deliver content.
If you want to build a website for your business, you can’t find a better combination of power, cost effectiveness, and usability than WordPress. If you need unique functionality such as collecting, analyzing, and processing large amounts of external content or you are a cater to high end clientele (photographer) where it is customary to have a custom website, then you will need to consider a web application development language like Ruby on Rails (RoR). However custom RoR sites typically start at $5000 and that is if you can find a developer who will work with you. RoR is so efficient at creating powerful web application frameworks in days or weeks that RoR developers are either using their skills to try and build the next big start-up or are working at a tech company for six figures.
I have a couple months experience coding with Ruby on Rails. I chose it over other programming languages because of the relative simplicity versus other languages like Python. If you have heard of the Lean Startup methodology and building a minimum viable product, RoR is a great way to develop a web application from scratch.