Many people online and in the physical world likely use the words web page vs website interchangeably. After all, they sound similar enough. They could mean the same thing if a person doesn’t look too closely. But is there truly a difference between the two? The answer is yes — and those who want to involve themselves in web development should get used to the difference. Future clients might be surprised if those they hire are unaware of how a web page and a website differ.
Before getting into UX and UI design, it is essential to start with the basics. By doing so, beginners can assure their prospective bosses and clients of their in-depth knowledge. Experienced developers can also refresh themselves on the building blocks. All it takes to grow a strong career is to develop a strong foundation. Here is a look at the differences between a web page vs website.
What Is a Web Page?
A web page is a singular landing page on a site users can access through their browser. When performing a specific search such as “user interface vs user experience,” the engine will locate every page it believes can answer said query well. Pages that address the searcher’s needs are often the ones that rank highest in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
The web page is the content displayed on a website. A developer will typically use HTML to build the page for the best possible user experience. Often, a business will invest a fair amount of its marketing budget on optimizing these pages so they rank high in the SERPs. Each click on a page has the potential to bring in money on its own or encourage conversion with an appealing display of its options. Such reasons are why optimization is vital to any company with a digital presence.
When many web pages are authoritative and rank high in the SERPs, it can increase the authoritativeness of the whole website. Doing so can help other pages that may struggle with optimization to perform better in the rankings because the site is already an established authority. Establishing authority through web pages can be critical for the return on investment as well — it takes much less time to format and build a web page than it does a website.
The reason that is is because the pages are like the small pieces of the puzzle that makes up a website. There would be no website without web pages — and vice versa. But a website would be pretty dull without web pages. A web page is what will include hyperlinks, graphics and individualized information that may appeal to a visitor. Wouldn’t it be odd to arrive at a website with no content? Not only would such a site not be interesting, but it would waste a business’s money.
Perhaps the main factor that defines a web page is it contains specific information about a singular topic. A web page won’t include everything a visitor needs to know about a client’s products, offerings, history and location. It can certainly have elements of these items, but they will be more definite. For example, one page on a site could be all about the client’s services, while another may be a blog post that helps the reader find the right solution for their needs.
When freelancers depend on impressing clients with their expertise and performance, they must know how to build web pages that provide results. That can mean optimizing code, incorporating more internal links or creating a UX and UI that gets people to convert. It is critical to find ways to present a user with all the information they need in a way that captures their attention and keeps it. The writing on a web page might be a significant part of that, but how a developer offers that data is also part of the equation.
What Is a Website?
There is a large difference between a web page vs website — literally. While a web page is a specific destination the visitor can use to access content, a website is the collection of every page that entity publishes. A Wikipedia page may show up in the SERPs, but Wikipedia.com is what hosts every single document from that domain. It’s like LEGOs in that each smaller piece builds into a larger whole.
Another way to think about it is this — a web page is the document that offers the information a user may want to know, but a website is the place that displays those pages. For that reason, websites are much larger and more challenging to build than a single destination. A client must prepare themself for an extended wait period if they are developing a site for the first time. They may even require multiple developers to involve themselves in the project.
According to HubSpot, the entire process could take between five to six months. It will also be a bit of a costly process. However, there may be options to DIY the build if someone within the organization knows how to do so successfully. But before doing so, businesses should consider that web developers are specifically trained in their trade and can provide top-quality services, which is why they cost more. They ensure everything works properly before launching as part of their job.
Another significant distinguishing feature of a website is the link. A web page will have extensions — as in, there will be additional texts within the URL. On Designerly.com, each page has an extension between the two forward slashes following the domain URL. But the link to the original site is just Designerly.com. Such distinctions set the site up to host multiple documents of content in an easy-to-find manner. Well-organized URLs are one of the many things that can assist a site’s authority.
Search engines — as well as humans — want to find the clearest content that answers their questions. A concise URL helps the engine scan a page more efficiently, which aids it in ranking higher in the SERPs, therefore raising the authority of the whole website. In fact, elevating authority is one of the primary purposes of company websites today. An organization might offer blog posts so they have more information to help them place higher in the search results.
Distinguishing Between a Web Page vs Website
Websites and web pages have many notable distinctions. While their names sound like they could be interchangeable, they indeed are different. A web page has the content an organization wants to provide and a website displays all those documents authoritatively. Those seeking to gain footing in the industry should learn how to craft each so they can offer the most to their future clients.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.