If you are trying to speed up your website, it's important to first know the difference between a dynamic website, and a static website. These are the two types of websites that currently exist on the Internet.
What is 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.
Since static Web pages contain fixed code, the content of each page does not change unless it is manually updated by the webmaster. This works well for small websites, but it can make large sites with hundreds or thousands of pages difficult to maintain. Therefore, larger websites typically use dynamic pages, which can be updated by simply modifying a database record. Static sites that contain a lot of pages are often designed using templates. This makes it possible to update several pages at once, and also helps provide a consistent layout throughout the site.
Advantages of static websites
- Quick 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
- Content can get stagnant
What is dynamic website?
A dynamic website contains information that changes, depending on the viewer of the site, the time of the day, the time zone, the native language of the country the viewer, and other factors.
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
Many sites from the last decade are static, but more and more people are realising 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.
Article by Alex Fenton