“What is the difference between a static and a dynamic website?” I am faced with this question frequently as a web developer. Especially when dealing with new customers shopping around for quotes for their webdesign project.. The question arise mostly because, there is a difference in cost to building a dynamic website like wordpress based design as opposed to a simple static website. I hope this tutorial will help you understand basic differences between a static and a dynamic website so you can make an informed decision about your next web design project.
What Is a Static Website?
A static website contains Web pages with fixed content. Each page is coded in HTML and displays the same information to every visitor. Static sites are the most basic type of website and are the easiest to create. Unlike dynamic websites, they do not require any Web programming or database design. A static site can be built by simply creating a few HTML pages and publishing them to a Web server.
How To Tell if A Website is Static?
There are many static websites on the Internet, you won’t be able to tell immediately if it is static, but the chances are, if the site looks basic and is for a smaller company, and simply delivers information without any bells and whistles, it could be a static website. Static websites can only really be updated by someone with knowledge of website development. Static websites are the cheapest to develop and host, and many smaller companies still use these to get a web presence. Here at Don Web Solutions, we can advise or help to develop both static and dynamic websites. For a more comprehensive understanding of static websites you need to have at least some basic knowledge of coding languages like HTML and CSS. Static websites tend to mostly use only these 2 coding languages to code the websites as opposed to using php or other coding languages as done on dynamic websites.
Some easy ways to spot a Static website
- Each page will have the Code/text written out separately
- Every page has to be saved separately on the server, just as you see it on the web
- Changes have to be made manually every time , and you need coding knowledge to make any changes.
- Static website pages typically ( Not always ) with the extension .html or .htm –> Use this method for a quick measure only
Advantages of static websites
- Easy to develop
- Cheap to develop
- Cheap to host
Disadvantages of static websites
- Requires web development expertise to update site
- Site not as useful for the user (not user friendly)
- Content can get stagnant
What is a Dynamic Website?
A site whose construction is controlled by an application server processed by server side scripts. Here are some ways you can identify Static Websites.
- Pages of the website are not coded and saved separately.
- The design/template ( look and feel ) is saved separately.
- Corresponding content are saved separately.
- The pages are dynamically populated every time.
Dynamic sites on the other hand can be more expensive to develop initially, but the advantages are numerous. At a basic level, a dynamic website can give the website owner the ability to simply update and add new content to the site. For example, news and events could be posted to the site through a simple browser interface. Dynamic features of a site are only limited by imagination. Some examples of dynamic website features could be: content management system, e-commerce system, bulletin / discussion boards, intranet or extranet facilities, ability for clients or users to upload documents, ability for administrators or users to create content or add information to a site (dynamic publishing).
Advantages of dynamic websites
- Much more functional website
- Much easier to update
- New content brings people back to the site and helps in the search engines
- Can work as a system to allow staff or users to collaborate
Disadvantages of dynamic websites
- Slower / more expensive to develop
- Hosting costs a little more ( This might not be true now, because of great shared web hosting plans these days)
Many sites from the last decade are static, but more and more people are realizing the advantages of having a dynamic website. Dynamic websites can make the most of your site and either use it as a tool or create a professional, interesting experience for your visitors. having trouble deciding whether your website needs an update? Read 10 surefire ways to know that you have an old (dinosaur) website. This article aimed to tackle some of the questions faced by website owners in deciding whether they need a Static or Dynamic website. If you’d like to comment on this article or have any questions for, please feel to contact us using the information provided below. Don Web Solutions is a San Francisco & Los Angeles Based Creative Web Design Agency. Providing dynamic and e-commerce Website Solutions for Small & Large Companies all over the world.. 510-314-3172