The Internet has become a key part of the lives of so many individuals around the world, whether they are casual users, online entrepreneurs, or even programmers. It has altered nearly every field of employment. It has become the source of nearly twenty percent of global commerce, while web giants like Google and Facebook have risen into the Fortune 500. It is clear that the Internet has become part of our culture, and it is not going away anytime soon. However, when talking about websites, most people do not know the difference between the various types. When broken down by their structure, the three major types of websites are static sites, CMS sites, and web apps.
This second type of website, the CMS site, combines the concept of the static site with a CMS, or content management system, that runs on a remote server. For example, a site loads, uses a script to request content (whether that is an image, a video, text, or something entirely different), and then displays that content on the page. Often there will be a user friendly interface to update content, however many back ends are made up of complex APIs, understood only by developers. APIs, or application programming interfaces, are programs that run on a server and return a specific response based on the request. This more modular approach is used most primarily in blogs and news sites, as well as some business sites. Some examples of CMS sites are washingtonpost.com and blog.micahlindley.com. To users, a CMS site may seem no different than a static site - the difference is in the maintainability and scalability of the structure.
The third type of website is the most modern and modular, though it is not optimal for all use cases. It is known as the web application, or web app, because of its resemblance to traditional downloadable programs and applications. These are not static or CMS sites because their structure is vastly different and their purpose is focused more on completing a task or allowing multiple interactions between users. Examples of commonly used web apps include Facebook, YouTube, Google Drive, and Gmail. The company Google has been instrumental in the increasing popularity of web apps since 2010, and their Chrome team has helped standardize new, easier ways to create them.