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Is Website A Product Or Service?

May 4, 2017

It might not be a threat to the never ending debate of whether egg cam first or the hen, but mystery surrounding a website’s definition is an intriguing one in itself.

Experts say website is ‘A collection of HTML and subordinate documents on the World Wide Web that are typically accessible from the same URL and residing on the same server, and form a coherent, usually interlinked whole’. Understood! Thanks for the jargons! But Dear Wikipedia is this ‘collection’ a product or a service?

One school of thought says that it is a product that a web designer manufactures and sells to the end user. Various graphic designing and coding tools are used to create this New Product.

Others argue that a website is a facility that is provided to the customer just like a salesman’s. A salesman is not a product, he provides services to the company, and so does a website. A website is simply the online representation of someone or something; there is no product involved.

Service Supporters look to win the case by presenting a witness by the name of ‘Government’. They argue that the government sees web designing as a service job, thus, service tax is applicable on it and not sales tax (which is applicable on product sales). Strong Point!

The counter punch from ‘It’s a product’ group is that developing a video game is a surely a service but the game is a product, so website designing is a service but website a product. Well played I say!

I hope you are not expecting me to conclude by giving you a definitive answer. Has anybody asking the ‘egg or hen’ question given you an answer? Then why me? I have shown you the two sides of the coin; it’s up to you to flip it and see how it lands.

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