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How to Spot the Difference in Static and Dynamic Websites?

May 12, 2014 By 7th Media Digital |  0 Comments

Difference in Static and Dynamic Websites

As designers or developers, explaining to clients some web concepts is part your role. But the bigger challenge is how to make matters more accessible to non-techie types, for instance, when explaining the difference in static and dynamic websites.

Try your search engine. Search for links related to static and dynamic websites and you will be treated with an ocean of jargon-laced and technically-filled definitions by technologists, which people can hardly comprehend.

And for us mortals,we don’t immediately see or we can’t instantly tell the difference between a static and dynamic website. They’re not apparent because the difference lie not in the web page design but what’s happening behind the rear or the site’s back-end side.

Static Websites

While it’s not very easy to tell which sites are static or dynamic, but the easier method of finding out is looking at its qualities. Not very few static websites looks basic and often owned by small enterprises or startups. If you notice there’s not much surprises and other excessive decoration at the background, chances it’s a static website that’s in front of you.

Think of a static website as a printed brochure, albeit through the screen of your desktop computer or mobile devices. In the old days of publishing, printing was done using plates. A new plate – from which to print – has to be created every time you needed to change design or text.

Static websites, on the other hand, use HTML instead of using plates. HTML is a basic web programming protocol or coding that websites use. For every change to a static website that needs to be done, a person knowledgeable of using HTML is required. What the HTML coder need to do is manually perform changes in the code.

In a much deeper sense, a static website is a mere collection of HTML files hosted on one domain. To illustrate, when you view the homepage of a static website, you are looking at the actual homepage file, which you can simply name as home.html or index.html.

These websites come the cheapest to develop and host. The only reason some companies are still using static websites is because it’s cheaper in a short term basis.

Dynamic Websites

Dynamic Websites


In contrast to static websites, dynamic websites sport more functionality and flexibility. While it may also be more complex in nature, such kinds of site is also more scalable. Thus, it may also be said that dynamic websites are far more expensive to develop initially when it comes to cost. But the advantages can quickly far outweigh the investments.

A more complex coding types – such as PHP or ASP – are required to develop these websites.But the serious advantage when dynamic websites are setup, including the placement of style sheets, it’s much easier to manage.

When developed with a content management system (CMS), webmasters san any programming skills can keep the site refreshed and updated with content regularly. Pages like landing pages and campaign pages can simply be added when you need them and less the hassles.

Other than letting you strategically place calls to action, dynamic sites with more complex features can offer ease of uploading new deals, and removal of dated or irrelevant content.

Simply put, you have a control of your own website, using your own people and equipment. And since a dynamic webpage consists of HTML pages, these are not created manually but generated dynamically using server-side scripting language, such as PHP.

Now you might ask, why use scripting language to dynamically create content? It’s important in cases when separating the content from page design is especially necessary to make the process of adding content easier to add and modify, including times when site design changes must be added across all pages at once.

Many websites you will browse or see today on the Internet can be classified as dynamic website. Some examples include corporate, news sites, eCommerce websites, discussion boards, social networks, as well as content management systems.

Advantages of Dynamic Websites

Dynamic websites can make the most out of your online presence. Here are some benefits that you can actually derive from getting your brand dynamically developed and coded:

Much Easier to Update. There’s no doubt a dynamic website allows site managers to update files and content more easily across many pages. This is because each of the web page has been developed separately.

Take changing your site’s navigation for instance. You can change such in one place: the file that holds navigation information. Once changes were made, it will automatically be updated on all pages that contain that file.

On the contrary, changing a single part of a static webpage would require each page to be edited in order to make a change to the site’s navigation. This means a hell lot of hassles and prone to errors.

Much More Functional. Here, dynamic websites allow far more flexible data. The logic goes a little like this: as your dynamic site pulls together page bits wholesale to make a whole page, it allows you to bank your content in a database.

Accessing and editing your content in tons of ways become easier. Plus, you can even have the web content load across multiple websites so it minimizes troubles over the loading of overlapping content.

It’s also a relief that since content or files can be stored in a database, dynamically developed websites allow you to back up your content more efficiently.

Much Efficient Content Updates. Non-technical people assigned the task of creating and updating your website would definitely find dynamic websites with content management system easier to manage.

So it will not be a requirement for anyone managing the pages to be skilled or knowledgeable din HTML just to create a new page or article for the site.

Unlike a static website, content creators of your group will have to learn HTML or seek help from people who knows HTML to proceed with the task of creating a new page for the site.

Disadvantages of Dynamic Websites

The answer to this can largely depend on who’s needing and on what the purpose the site is being developed for.

If quality is one of the benchmarks for success you set to achieve, faster launch date might be missed if you will build a dynamic website. Plus, it’s inherently expensive to develop a dynamic site, which is another defining difference in static and dynamic websites.

Developing a static website, on the other hand, can give you more savings out of your investment to the project. However, considering future updates and revisions, you’ll get the price you paid for building a static website – upfront savings shed.

It is important to be mindful of your purpose and reason for choosing whether to build your website on a static or dynamic basis. Knowing the difference in static and dynamic websites, choose the most suitable approach to your present and future needs.

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