No, your website is not a web app even if you call it so

Published on 2021-12-29.

As a response to my article, So-called modern web developers are the culprits, someone stated that my advice was outdated because today we make web apps, not websites. I will address that issue in this article.

There is no clear distinction between what is called a "website" and what is called a "web app" or web application. However, there is a very clear distinction between when utilizing JavaScript is necessary and when it is not, which is one of the main arguments of my previous article.

If the primary function of the site is to provide information in the shape of text and images, without any additional user interaction besides clicking on anchor tags and filling out input fields, then your site is a website and not a web app.

User interaction with anchor tags and input fields does not constitute anything other than a basic website that should be fully capable of running in any kind of web browser, even a console based version such as Lynx.

Google Maps is a web app, Facebook is a web app, Twitter is a web app, GitHub is a web app, they all require on-the-fly update of content and sophisticated user interaction, your corporate or personal blog does not.

Only a sophisticated site such as Google Map can state (as they do):

When you have eliminated the JavaScript, whatever remains must be an empty page.

Hence, if your website only presents text and images you have no valid reason or excuse for not making sure the damn thing works in every single browser without any JavaScript enabled.