What is Static Website vs Dynamic Site | 2min Guide
A static website [SW] is a website where the content (text, images, etc.) does not change. A dynamic website is a website where the content can change, often in response to user input. Static sites are cheaper and easier to get started and maintain than dynamic websites. Dynamic websites [DW] are more expensive and difficult to create and maintain than static websites, but they offer more functionality and flexibility.
Table of contents:
- What is a dynamic website
- Benefits of dynamic site
- Disadvantages dynamic site
- Example of a dynamic website
What is a Static Website?
A static website is a website where the content does not change. The content is stored on the server and displayed to the user exactly as it is stored. Static websites are typically used for informational or marketing purposes. With a static site, you're getting an already built webpage that will just display content.
In the current years, static sites have become more popular due to the rise of content management systems (CMS) and the popularity of hosting services that make it easy to design and maintain a web page.
If you want to create a static site, you can use a text editor such as Microsoft Word or a word processor such as Adobe Dreamweaver to start web pages. You can also use a web-based editor such as WordPress or Wix. Once you have developed your pages, you have to upload them to a web server in order to make them available to the public.
5 Benefits of Static Sites
Static websites are typically used for informational or marketing purposes and the most common advantages are:
- Easier and cheaper to build and maintain
- Offer more functionality and flexibility for users
- Can be hosted on any web server
- Could be accessed by any browser
- User speed and security
5 Disadvantages of Static Sites
- Cannot serve more complex applications such as eCommerce or social networking
- Static websites are not as interactive as dynamic sites
- Cannot be used to collect user input
- Limited ability to change the design or layout
- Cannot be used to track user behaviour or activity
What are Examples of Static Websites?
- A personal website or blog
- A site for a business or organization
- A website for a school or university
- Web pages for government agencies or organization
- An online resume or portfolio
What is a Dynamic Website?
A dynamic website is a site that is constantly changing and evolving. Content is added and updated regularly and new features are continuously being added. A dynamic website requires a content management system (CMS) to make it easy to add, edit, and delete content. Dynamic websites can have a variety of different types and styles, but they all share one thing in common: the chance to change on-the-fly with whatever data you need!
- Server Side Scripting works similarly - it lets pages communicate back and forth with each other via an API (application program interface).
For this reason, dynamic websites are much more complex to build and maintain than static websites. They require a team of designers, developers, and content creators to keep them up-to-date and running smoothly. If you planning to build a website that will be updated regularly with new content, then a dynamic website is the way to go.
5 Benefits of Dynamic Sites
- More engaging, means that visitors will always have something new to see and explore
- User-friendly to add, edit, and delete content
- Easy to update, all you need is a CMS to make quick updates
- Attract more traffic because of their engaging nature and search performance
- Better for SEO because it contains fresh, up-to-date content. This helps to attract more organic traffic
5 Disadvantages Dynamic Websites
- Complexity, with more moving parts more complex to build and maintain for a developer
- Slower page load times as the server has to generate the page on the fly
- More susceptible to security threats as the website is constantly changing, it’s more vulnerable to attacks
- More expensive to host because a dynamic website requires a SSS language (like PHP)
- Limited scalability since the server may not be able to handle the increased demand, resulting in slower page load times and even downtime
What are Examples of Dynamic Websites?
- Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter
- News sites that are constantly updating their content
- eCommerce sites that need to display different products and pricing based on the user
- Directory sites that need to be able to show different listings based on the user’s location
- Blogs that are regularly updated with new content
How to Build Static Sites
To design a static website, you first have to choose a web hosting provider. Then, you have to create a website using a text editor or HTML builder. Finally, you upload the files to your web hosting provider's server.
If you want to add new content to your static site, you should re-upload the files to your web hosting provider's server. This can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you have a lot of content on your website. Fortunately, services can help you manage your static website.
1. Website builders:
Website builders allow you to create and publish your website without knowing how to code. They provide templates and drag-and-drop tools that make it easy for anyone to get started with a professional-looking website. Popular platforms include WordPress, Webflow, and Drupal.
2. Static site generators:
Static site generators allow you to build and manage your website's content without using a web builder or FTP software. All you need is a text editor and some basic knowledge of HTML & CSS.
Popular static site generators include:
- Nuxt.js - the framework is based on Vue
- Hugo - written in Go & known for site building speed.
- Jekyll - Ruby-based & the most used
- Next.js - popular framework for static React applications
- Gatsby - the most popular React-based site generator
3. Text editor
You can create a static page without the help of any CMS or generator by using HTML files and CSS.
Hosting services allow you to host your website on their servers. This makes it easy for people to access your website, regardless of where they are located.
Popular hosting services include:
- Netlify - a modern hosting service for static websites
- GitHub Pages - a free hosting service from GitHub
- AWS Amplify Console - a hosting service from Amazon Web Services
- Cloudflare Pages - a free hosting service from Cloudflare
How to Build Dynamic Websites
Creating a dynamic website is more complex than creating a static website. Dynamic websites are built using web programming languages such as PHP, ASP.NET, and Java. These languages allow the site to interact with the user and the database. Creating a dynamic website requires more skills and knowledge than creating a static site.
CMS allow you to design and publish your website without knowing how to code. They provide templates and drag-and-drop tools that make it easy for anyone to make a professional-looking website. Popular platforms include WordPress, Webflow, and Drupal.
2. Server-side scripting languages:
A language that allows you to program the functionality of a website on the server side. This makes it possible for the page dynamic content to change in response to user input. Popular server-side scripting languages include PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Node.js.
3. Tools and services:
Tools and services allow you to manage your website's dynamic content without using CMS or FTP software. All you need is a text editor and some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.
Popular tools and services include:
GitHub - A popular platform for managing code repositories
Cloud9 - A cloud-based IDE with support for multiple languages
WebStorm - A popular IDE with support for multiple programming languages
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is markdown markup?
Markdown is a markup language that allows you to design and format your text without using HTML. It was designed to be easy to learn and use. Markdown is used by many popular services, including GitHub, Reddit, and Stack Overflow.
- Can I import existing content from WordPress?
Yes, you can import your dynamic content from WordPress into a static site generator or CMS. There are a number of plugins and tools that make this process easy.
- Do I need to know how to code?
No, you don't need to know how to code to design a static site. However, if you want to create a dynamic website, you will need to know how to code and have resources or access to web development database.
- Can I use my own domain name?
Yes, you can use your own domain name with any of the hosting services listed above.
- What is a shortcode?
A shortcode is a code that you can use to embed content from other sources into your website. Shortcodes are often used to embed videos, images, and other forms of media.
- What are style languages?
Style languages are used to style the text and elements on a web page. C S S is the most popular style language, but there are others, including Less and Sass. Style languages allow you to design custom styles for your text and elements, making it easy to create a unique look for your website.
Static websites are cheaper and easier to design and maintain than dynamic websites. They offer a limited amount of functionality, but they are perfect for simple web pages or portfolios. Dynamic websites are more expensive and difficult to create and maintain than static websites, but they offer more flexibility and functionality. If you need a website/page that can handle a lot of traffic or complex interactions, then you should consider using a dynamic platform.