I mention CRUD a lot, and then people have this look on their face like they don’t know what I’m talking about.
So I think I’ll explain CRUD, this way I can always link back this article.
In software there is this term called CRUD, which stands for Create, Read, Update and Delete (sometimes called Destroy).
Think of a photos application: you can read your photos, update them, destroy them. Then you can create albums, update the albums (put photos in them), and if you want, you can delete them. Deleting sounds a lot nicer than destroying.
I like to think when you can spot these CRUD-like patterns, you could call what you are making an application. When what you are making is mostly about accessing content, you are making a website.
But I can easily shoot down my own argument here: there are also apps for primarily accessing content – like the Kindle reading application.
For years I’ve argued there is a difference between “apps” and “websites” but ultimately I have to agree with Jeremy‘s thoughts here. Website vs. app is a false dichotomy; it’s better to think of things as being on a sliding scale. And even that is hard to define. His Wikipedia example is very good: a page on Wikipedia is a document… until you start editing it. Is it an app now?