Having a website for your business is a perfect way to connect with your clients and provide them with lots of valuable information which could seal the deal. The place where your website is located is referred to as a server and indicates a single URL (universal resource locator) that points the user to your site when entering your web address into a browser.
There are different types of website formats and the two most popular ones are static and dynamic. Static websites are still popular for small businesses and you can normally spot them straightaway. The chances are if the site looks basic and does not display the content in an all singing and dancing way it will most likely be a static design.
Dynamic websites feature content management systems (CMS) and have been around for many years now and do offer a lot more flexibility compared to static sites. Most companies who are aware it is time to upgrade their site tend to go for the CMS system however there are still a number of web design companies offering a static design solution.
In my opinion, dynamic websites are the way forward as they do not get outdated as quickly compared to a static design and there are many different platforms out there that are easy to use, even with a limited knowledge of web design. To help make your mind up on what site would work best for you, here is a breakdown of the difference between a static and dynamic web design.
A static website simply means that every single page of your website is stored as a separate file on a server containing HTML code to display the relevant page. If you have a website with say 50 pages on your website there will be a 50 html files on the server containing the code and content for each and every single page.
To produce a static design there are no advanced programming skills required due to them being built using HTML and CSS code. For anyone looking for a static web design it would certainly help to have a basic understanding of these. It does help with software like Adobe Dreamweaver and Muse around as this requires a user to not have any coding knowledge to produce a website but still it can be time consuming to learn your way round the platforms and the upfront cost for the software is not cheap.
Web Server Requirements
For a dynamic website to work it needs a particular server to process its scripts and database to make it work however these servers are now very common. With a static HTML website there is no need. Only a browser for example Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer is required to run a static web page.
They Are Fast!
Static sites require no additional processing as it is simply a straightforward file system. As the site has no database interaction speeds can be faster and server resources lower if a static website is used. This however can be overcome by Dynamic websites also as many content management systems that support “caching” of the content, of which they make a static page of a dynamic page to speed up the process.
Difficult To Update
The problem with static websites is they are a nightmare if you want to update them and if you’re making a change that you want to appear on each page you have to do it for each page individually. With a large website this can take a lot of time. Also if you are not familiar with HTML it can be very hard to edit this content yourself even in a text editor meaning you will most likely have to contact your website designer to make the changes for you meaning additional costs.
If you want to include a popular function like a shopping cart, social networking and forms this can be very difficult. These types of websites are more like an online brochure as they have very limited functionality.
Unlike a static website, a dynamic website is created in files (similar to a static site) but the content is kept completely separate which is stored on a database. This allows the user to use the same layout files over and over again for all the pages on the website but you can include different images and text for each individual page. The design and layout files can be simply created in as little as 1 or 2 files for smaller website.
Design & Layout
If you have a large site and need a menu item changed or a layout changes, you can simply do this in a few files and the whole website is updated. For example if you add a new page and you want to add it to your main navigation it is quick to do this.
This allows for only a few layout and design files to be required as the content is inserted dynamically into this file depending on the page you are on.
A “What You See Is What You Get” Editor (WYSISYG)
If you have used Microsoft word then there is a good change you will get on well when it comes to adding and updating content to your pages. You can add text, images, buttons, tables, hyperlinks and more very simply and as it is laid out similar to Microsoft word people feel at ease when having a go at editing the pages themselves even with no website design knowledge.
Many CMS systems will have built in or add ons available to add functionality to your website such as a contact from, shopping cart, business directory and many more which would be difficult in a static website design.
Search Engine Optimisation
Most CMS systems also allow the user access to important search engine optimisation features such as page titles, META Tags, keywords and descriptions.
First Page Load Speeds
Many content management systems and dynamic sites have the ability to create “Cached” pages from the dynamic page. This means a .html page is created on the server from the dynamic content.
Advanced Coding Required
You will require an experience web developer to build your site for you as the database has to be created and files uploaded to the server and of course this would incorporate cost.
Some claim that the cost of a dynamic website is more expensive than a static site, but once the site is built anyone can easily edit the content on the pages themselves and if you take your time into consideration of how long it would take to update a static site, you would be saving.
Slower Than A Static Website
People still claim that static websites are faster but as stated above with dynamic “caching” available this speeds up the pages naturally.
If you are looking to update your website both visually and with new content then a dynamic website would be the best way forward, even with a bigger upfront cost to start off with you will be better off in the future when you need to make changes. In my opinion static websites should not be developed anymore because of the maintaining and updating with little functionality and they just take two much time to change anything.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy