Cloud-based vs Web-based Applications (Key Differences)

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This blog discusses the differences between web-based and cloud-based applications. Web-based apps operate directly in web browsers and need constant internet access, while cloud-based apps use remote servers for storage and processing, allowing scalability and accessibility from anywhere with the internet. The article emphasizes the advantages and limitations of both approaches to aid businesses and developers in making informed decisions based on their requirements and objectives in software development.

Until the start of the current millennium, the concept of cloud-based and web-based applications was unknown. Because previously, most application developments relied on server-side solutions without using the internet, but people are still confused between the two terms. Even this situation is faced by various people, from consumers to large multinational companies. So, let’s discover the difference between cloud-based and web-based applications through this blog.

The mobile app helps the business in specific ways, like increasing customer engagement, optimizing business processes, increasing sales, and many more. It’s a fact that cloud apps and web apps are similar but not interchangeable. There is a noteworthy difference between cloud-based and web-based in terms of scalability, back–end infrastructure, and seamless integration. 

What is a Cloud–Based Application?

  • Cloud apps, also known as cloud-based or SaaS (Software as a Service) apps, are applications that are hosted and run on remote servers (cloud infrastructure).
  • Users access cloud apps through web browsers, similar to web apps, but the entire application resides and operates in the cloud.
  • Cloud apps are typically designed to be scalable, flexible, and available on demand.
  • These apps can store and process large amounts of data in cloud databases and benefit from cloud computing resources for efficient performance.
  • Cloud apps often offer subscription-based pricing models and are maintained, updated, and secured by the service provider.
  • Examples of cloud apps include Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Microsoft Office 365, and Salesforce.

Types of Cloud-Based Applications: 

Following are some of the types of cloud-based apps

Netflix – SaaS 

The Netflix subscription service is a perfect example of a SaaS that offers a service to watch licensed videos on demand. This is how the SaaS industry started, even though it was referred to as a timesharing system at the time.

AWS EC2 – IaaS 

AWS Elastic Compute Service is IaaS. This is because it handles networking, storage, and virtualization. Amazon EC2 is a cloud computing service and the only IaaS offered by AWS.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk – PaaS 

Using AWS Elastic Beanstalk, you can develop and scale web applications. It allows you to build application code and make it run while providing the supporting architecture and compute resources you need.

Benefits of Cloud-based Application 

The cloud-based application is helpful for any business since remote servers take care of most data storage and processing issues. 

  1. Scalability: Cloud apps can easily scale their resources up or down based on demand, ensuring smooth performance even during peak usage periods. This scalability allows businesses to accommodate a growing number of users without investing in additional infrastructure.
  2. Cost-Effective: Cloud apps follow a subscription-based or pay-as-you-go model, eliminating the need for upfront hardware and software investments. Businesses can avoid the costs associated with maintaining on-premises servers and infrastructure, leading to cost savings.

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  3. Accessibility: Cloud apps are accessible from any device with an internet connection, allowing users to work or access data from virtually anywhere. This enhances productivity and facilitates remote collaboration, especially in today’s global and mobile workforce.
  4. Automatic Updates and Maintenance: Cloud app providers handle regular updates, maintenance, and security patches, ensuring that users always have access to the latest features and bug fixes. This eliminates the burden of software maintenance on users and IT departments.
  5. Data Security: Reputable cloud service providers employ advanced security measures, such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular data backups, to protect user data. This level of security can often exceed what individual businesses can provide on their own.

What is a Web-based Application?

  • Web apps are software applications that run on web browsers, making them accessible from any device with an internet connection.
  • These apps are typically hosted on web servers and are delivered to users through the Internet.
  • Users interact with web apps by accessing their URLs in a web browser, without needing to download or install any software.
  • Web apps are written in programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and they rely on web technologies like AJAX for dynamic content.
  • Examples of web apps include online banking portals, social media platforms, and email clients.
  • Web apps do not require local installations or frequent updates, as changes are made on the server side.

Types of Web-based Applications

The vast IT business market for web-based software is already shifting to web applications. As we all know, many multinational companies use web apps but don’t use similar types of apps. Every business’s needs vary, so the need for customized apps differs. Thus, we are here to present six different types of web applications. 

Single page application

Single-page applications are dynamic web applications that do not require browser reloads and function as a single unit of a website application. It is applied to all the business and technological strategies in the client-side browser, so the web apps perform pretty fast. 

Multi-Page application

It includes multiple pages and reloads the whole page whenever the user navigates to a different page, known as a multiple-page app. The companies like Google Docs and Trello provide multiple services and products. Thus, it allows users to connect in various ways. 

Static web application 

This web app is not adaptable and is built with HTML and CSS. But changing content on static web apps is tricky because you need to download HTML code, change it and upload it to the server. The webmaster does this task. 

Animated web application

With this application’s usage, you can display your material with animation effects. These applications provide creativity and different designs unavailable in other applications. 

Progressive web application

These web technologies are created using various languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, it is also called cross-platform web applications that use the latest browser APIs, progressive enhancement methods, and features. It offers an experience like a native mobile app. 

Content management system (CMS)

In these web apps, the content is constantly updated. A CMS administrator is the person who grants permission for upgrades, modifications, and updates. WordPress is a popular CMS platform for creating commercial and personal blogs, news, etc. 

Advantages of using Web-based Applications

  1. Cross-Platform Compatibility: Web apps are compatible with multiple operating systems and devices, making them accessible to a broader audience. Users can access web apps on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and other platforms without the need for platform-specific development.
  2. No Installation Required: Web apps do not require installation or downloads since they run within web browsers. This ease of access saves users from the hassle of installing and updating software on their devices.
  3. Faster Deployment: Web apps can be deployed quickly, as they do not need to go through the app store approval process. Once developed, web apps can be published and made available to users instantly.
  4. Real-Time Updates: Changes made to web apps are reflected in real-time for all users, ensuring that everyone is always using the latest version of the application. This allows businesses to implement updates and improvements rapidly.
  5. Easy Maintenance and Bug Fixing: Since web apps operate centrally on web servers, developers can quickly address issues and bugs without requiring users to download or install updates. This streamlined maintenance process benefits both developers and end-users.

Overall, both Cloud apps and Web apps offer numerous advantages, catering to different use cases and business needs. The choice between the two depends on factors such as scalability requirements, cost considerations, accessibility preferences, and the need for centralized maintenance and updates.

Key difference between a cloud application and web application:

The key difference between cloud applications and web applications lies in their architecture and deployment methods. While both types of applications are accessible over the Internet, they serve different purposes and utilize distinct technologies.


Web Application: A web application is a software program that runs on a web server and is accessed by users through a web browser. The application’s logic and data processing occurs on the web server, and the user interface is rendered on the client-side (web browser). These applications are typically built using programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Cloud Application: A cloud application, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), is a type of software that operates on remote cloud servers. Users access the application through a web browser, just like web applications. However, unlike traditional web applications, the data processing and logic for cloud applications occur on the cloud servers, and the application can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.


Web Application: Web applications are usually deployed on a specific web server or a set of servers managed by the organization hosting the application. Users access the application by entering its URL into their web browsers.

Cloud Application: Cloud applications are hosted and maintained by cloud service providers. The application’s underlying infrastructure and data are stored and managed on the provider’s servers. This eliminates the need for organizations to manage their servers, leading to easier scalability and reduced maintenance overhead.

Scalability and Accessibility:

Web Application: The scalability of web applications is limited to the capacity of the web servers they are deployed on. If the application experiences a sudden surge in traffic, it may require additional server resources to handle the load effectively.

Cloud Application: Cloud applications can scale more efficiently because they operate on cloud servers that can be dynamically provisioned and scaled up or down based on demand. Cloud providers offer a pay-as-you-go model, allowing businesses to adapt their resources and costs as needed.

Data Security:

Web Application: The security of web applications relies on the measures implemented by the organization managing the servers. It requires appropriate security configurations to protect against common web-based attacks.

Cloud Application: Cloud service providers typically invest heavily in data security measures. They employ encryption, multi-factor authentication, and robust access controls to safeguard customer data and protect against potential threats.



The main distinction between cloud applications and web applications lies in where their data processing and logic take place. Web applications run on specific web servers, while cloud applications operate on remote cloud servers, providing enhanced scalability, accessibility, and data security. The choice between the two depends on businesses’ and users’ specific needs and preferences in seeking efficient and reliable software solutions.

However, to gain in-depth knowledge of how vital cloud-based apps vs. web-based apps are in daily life, connect with Creole Studios and get a customized solution for your business.

Bhargav Bhanderi
Bhargav Bhanderi
Director - Web & Cloud Technologies

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