cloud application vs web application

The terms “cloud” and “web-based” are often used interchangeably, leading to a common misconception that they refer to the same concept. However, an exploration of these terms reveals distinct characteristics that describe that they are not the same. 

In this comprehensive blog, API Connects – trusted for a vast range of cloud services in New Zealand – will explore seven key differences between cloud and web-based applications. 

Let’s get started! 

Cloud application vs. web application

Let’s start with our cloud and web app comparison on the basis of major differentiating pointers.

Scope of Hosting

Cloud-based applications are hosted on remote servers maintained by third-party cloud service providers. These servers are part of vast data centers that are distributed globally. The access of these applications are available over the internet, which leverages the infrastructure and services that the cloud provider provides. Their application offers scalability, reliability, and flexibility that allow applications to adapt workloads and usage patterns.

Web-based applications are hosted on a specific web server, which may be owned and managed by the organization or individual developing the application. Likely these applications are also accessed through web browsers over the internet, but they may not utilize the full capabilities of cloud infrastructure. Web-based applications rely on traditional web hosting services and lack the scalability and redundancy offered by cloud platforms.

Infrastructure Management

The infrastructure of cloud apps is entirely managed by the cloud service provider. This includes hardware provisioning, networking configurations, storage management, and security measures. The users of cloud-based are free from the burden of managing physical hardware that makes them focus more on developing and deploying their software.

Organizations or individuals hosting web-based applications are responsible for managing the underlying infrastructure. This includes setting up and maintaining web servers, databases, networking components, and security measures. They hold greater control over their environment, and expertise and resources are needed to ensure the infrastructure’s reliability and security.

A major cloud application vs. web application pointer if you ask us!


When it comes to security of sensitive financial and personal data, cloud applications implement high-level security measures. These apps pose  encryption, access controls, and secure authentication mechanisms which are the most  integral components of their architecture.

On the other hand, web applications may not store sensitive data directly as they prefer to verify client information on authentic servers. Security measures are only opted when it is typically implemented to protect user data during transmission and ensure the integrity of online interactions.


One of the key advantages of cloud computing is its scalability. Cloud-based applications can scale up or down based on demand. This flexibility allows businesses to handle fluctuations in traffic and workload without overprovisioning resources. Cloud providers offer various scaling mechanisms, such as auto-scaling and load balancing, to optimize resource utilization and performance.

Scaling a web-based application may require manual power to make adjustments in hardware configurations or allocate additional resources. While some web hosting providers offer scaling options, they may not be as seamless or automated as those available in a cloud environment.

Another major difference between cloud apps and web based apps.

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When it comes to the development of cloud applications, it highly relies on the necessity of a robust backend framework and a JavaScript-based structure. This should be  exemplified by technologies like React JS and Angular. This architecture enables the creation of scalable and responsive applications.

In contrast, web-based applications can leverage inbuilt languages such as PHP, Python, and Ruby, accompanied by databases like MySQL. This allows for the development of applications without the need for an extensive backend framework. 


A perfect internet connection is all required by the users to access the cloud-based applications. These applications can be accessed by using a variety of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This accessibility enables remote work, collaboration, and mobile usage, making cloud applications ideal for distributed teams and global audiences.

Similarly, web-based applications can be accessed through web browsers from any location with internet connectivity. However, the accessibility of web-based applications may be limited by the infrastructure’s geographical location and network latency. These apps may not leverage the same global distribution and redundancy features as cloud-based solutions, potentially impacting their availability and performance in certain regions.

Cost Model

Cloud services often follow a pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing model, where users pay for the resources they consume. This consumption-based pricing allows organizations to align their expenses with their usage and scale resources up or down as needed. 

 The cost model for web-based applications may vary depending on the hosting provider and infrastructure setup. Organizations may incur upfront investments in hardware, software licenses, and infrastructure setup costs. Web hosting services typically offer fixed pricing plans or tiered pricing based on resource usage. 

Indeed a major cloud application vs. web application insight!

Build Cloud or Web-Based Applications

While cloud and web-based applications share similarities in their delivery over the internet, they differ in terms of some above key areas. Understanding these distinctions is essential for organizations and developers to choose the most suitable platform for their applications based on their requirements, budget, and performance objectives.

In case you are planning to build a mobile app or web based application in 2024, we are here to help! Our team of app developers in New Zealand have been helping businesses and enterprises make the most of modern technologies while ensuring scalability, security, and affordability. 

Got any queries to ask? Send them to and have them answered by our devs! 

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