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Static vs Dynamic Website Differences

23
Dec
2022
Static vs Dynamic Website Differences

Did you know that there are two leading types of websites? All over the internet, we can find both static and dynamic websites. Depending on your design, display, and hosting, you can have one or another. This article will discuss the two types of websites and which might be best for your business. Let's go!

What is a Static Website?

A static website has no functionality beyond displaying static content. This content may be in the form of text, images, or other multimedia. In general terms, HTML handles the plain text code, and CSS defines its style. For pop-ups and filters, JavaScript takes the lead.  

These websites often rely on pre-rendered content. This concept means that regardless of the user, it'll remain the same. In Static Site Generation (SSG), there's no in-depth coding. Thus, static sites are a good option for beginners. Yet, to customize it, you'll have to appeal to an experienced developer. Most daily used sites can fall into the static website category. The list includes blogs, eCommerce sites, and newsletters.

What is a Static Site Generator?

A Static Sites Generator creates from scratch or converts an existing site into a static one. With it, creating a website is pretty simple. You render the content into an HTML file and upload the static content into the CDN. A Content Distribution Network has different servers spreading content from an "original" server. As a result, it reaches each end user by accessing the internet via web-enabled devices.

In the short term, it replicates the original servers' content wherever needed. Once the CDN processes the information, it waits until a user requests it. On Generators, Jamstack has a long list of SSGs to check its languages, licenses, and templates. Some of the most popular ones are Next.js, Gatsby, Nuxt.js, and Eleventy. Also, some examples of popular CDNs include Cloudflare, Google Cloud, and Amazon CloudFront.

What is a Dynamic Website?

Dynamic Websites need constant updates with new content. In this scenario, sites rely on server-side languages like PHP and Ruby on Rails. When a user visits an active website, the web server sends the HTML code and the scripts to run on the server.

These scripts pull data from databases to generate content on the fly. As a result, users only see a static page, yet the server provides the rest of the content. 

Also, Dynamic websites allow way more interactivity than static websites. For example, dynamic websites can include a form to enable users to submit content. A con, however, is that this procedure can make dynamic sites slower than static ones. 

Where to Host a Dynamic Website?

Dynamic websites work best if they're on a web server. The good news is that there are plenty of providers to choose from. Yet, it's vital to acknowledge your business needs before choosing. When selecting a hosting service, some aspects include price, features, reliability, and support. Along the most popular platforms, you can find Webflow, WordPress, and Squarespace.

Static Websites vs Dynamic Websites

As we've seen, both dynamic and static websites have pros and cons. Static websites are easier and faster to create. They don't need a database, special software, or programming knowledge. They're also less likely to crash because they have fewer "moving" parts. But static websites can be inflexible and might only update with a developer's help.

Choosing between dynamic and static websites depends on what you need. Static websites are a good option for a low-cost and easy-to-build website. Thus, they're a cheaper and faster alternative. Plus, they require less ongoing maintenance. On the other hand, dynamic sites suit better businesses with more complex needs. The leading reason is that they allow for more flexibility and customizability. Also, these have more features than static websites, like online-store functionalities.

What is a Hybrid Website?

If you're unsure which fits better, hybrid sites are another option. These websites use both static and dynamic elements. As a result, sites are affordable while also being engaging. Some benefits of hybrid sites are flexibility, shorter load time, and smoother navigation. What's more, these sites enhance user interaction, especially for web apps.

Hybrid sites maintain static management's easiness. But they also allow for personalized content based on audience interactions. Combining an SSG with elements like a CMS or API databases, you can get the best of both types.

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether a static or dynamic website is best for you. Static websites are suitable when aiming at simple, easy-to-use sites. In turn, dynamic sites are best if needing more flexibility and functionality. They're both great choices! Yet, you need to know your business needs and final users' preferences in advance.