Differences Between Static and Dynamic Websites

Dec 05, 2018 Web Design Comments

Tags

Web Design, Web Development,

In the web design world there are two types of websites: static and dynamic. A static website is run with simple front-end programming languages that effect the structure, styling, and functionality of the website. They are in turn: Html, Css, and Javascript, respectively. A static website is written with front-end programming languages. These languages are used to create files that are then stored on a web server. When we type in our web browsers, the URL for a web page like www.mywebsite.com, our browser (called client) is making an HTTP request to that server, which identifies which files are being requested, and then sends them back to our browsers via an HTTP response. A static website can be hosted for free with Github pages. The site can even have it’s own custom domain. Dynamic websites do more than that. Besides the markup, the styles and the behavior, they do more things that our web browsers can identify. For example, if you are buying something online, it’s easy to understand that the prices and the availability of that item are dynamically recovered from some data, generally stored in databases. This process of recovering data and processing it before responding to our browsers as web pages containing that information, is called server-side processing.

Hosting can be free when set up with github-pages and a custom domain.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using static websites:

Advantages:

  • Hosting can be free when set up with github-pages from GitHub or with Netlify.
  • Doesn’t require back-end programming knowledge such as Php to set up.
  • Highly flexible and customizable. You can set up any section to your liking and make fine tuning adjustments.
  • Very secure due to not having to login to the site to make changes.
  • Loads quickly into the browser due to the nature of the code being very light.
  • Makes editing code and uploading it the server a breeze with one click of a button when set up with github pages.
  • Very cost effective solution. Static websites are a lot less inexpensive than dynamic websites.

Disadvantages:

  • Can’t use traditional back-end content management systems such as: WordPress, Craft CMS, Drupal, or Joomla. However, there are CMS platforms out there for static sites, like: Forestry.io and Netlify CMS.
  • Making changes to the website through the administration panel of the static site's CMS is limited compared to a more robust database driven CMS.
  • Not easily scalable. If your business grows, static websites become difficult to grow. One solution would mean transferring over to a more powerful dynamic site.
  • Prone to be very stagnant and not used or updated frequently.
  • Doesn’t make use of back-end web development technology.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using dynamic websites:

Advantages:

  • Can use database driven content management systems such as WordPress, Craft CMS, Drupal, and Joomla.
  • Can update content and make changes a lot easier with minimal technical knowledge.
  • Can create powerful and scalable websites that can grow with the business.
  • Can set up e-commerce stores and sell products online with ease.
  • Can install a wide variety of plugins that extends the functionality of a dynamic website.
  • Allows for more advanced functionality and features, due to the nature of what is available with php or twig code.
  • Able to have guest posts for bloggers and allow others to add content on your site without giving full control over your credentials and information.
  • More power and flexibility when it comes to maintaining your website and keeping everything up to date.

Disadvantages:

  • The initial cost of creating the dynamic site will be higher than a static site.
  • The design of the dynamic site can be modified and changed, based on the parameters set by the developer.
  • Is more difficult to set up because it requires the basic knowledge of back-end programming languages such as php, twig, ruby, or python.
  • Depending on the CMS (Content Management System) used, and the level of knowledge from the programmer about website security, the website can be less secure than a static website.