What's the difference between a static and a dynamic website?

Hannah John Hannah John 07 December 2022 Follow
What's the difference between a static and a dynamic website?

There are important differences between a dynamic website and a static website that make each the best choice depending on your needs.

What's the best way for your small business to design and build a website? Would your business do better with a simple website that doesn't change? Or would your audience like a website that changes and grows more?

With billions of people attached to the internet, having a web presence helps businesses of all sizes compete on the same level. Both big brands and small businesses can use the same digital marketing techniques to reach their target audience. Small players can take the spotlight if they have the right digital marketing plan and carry it out well.

Websites – a modern business must-have

Currently, billions of web pages are vying for users' attention on the internet superhighway. How will your business stand out and connect with the people you want to reach? First, let's talk about the basics: Your official website for your business.

A Google study found that 83% of US shoppers looked up a business online before they went to its store. Think of your website as the front of your store, a catalog of your business, or a drive-through window. The only difference is that it can be accessed from anywhere with a stable internet connection.

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People interested in your business, products, and services can find out about them on this website. They might sign up as leads or buy something from one of these websites.

Different kinds of websites exist. Each one is useful for a different kind of business. The most accepted types are dynamic and static sites. Choosing one or the other will help your business grow as long as it works for you and your customers.

Dynamic vs. static website – which one do you pick?

It can help you decide which website is best for your business if you know how websites work. Let's start with websites that don't change.

When a user types in a web page, their browser sends a request to a server, where a website's content is stored. The code for the web page is then sent from this server to a browser. The browser then shows the page to the viewer.

Static websites

In a static website, the server sends a web page based on HTML and other code that has already been written (CSS or JavaScript). The page content is ready on a user's server when they open their browser.

It is made up of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript files, each of which represents a page on the website. If you need to change something on a static website, you'll have to do it on each page, even if the change is the same.

In the early days of the net, there were no dynamic sites. This kind of website is great for pages that don't change their content very often, like company profiles, blogs, or sites that mostly give information.

Here are some examples of static websites:

  1. Resume websites: A static web development method for resume websites is usually used to make a digital version of a traditional paper resume. Information about education and work history only changes sometimes enough to need pages that change in real-time.
  2. Portfolio websites: Like resume websites, portfolio websites can be made with a "static" web design that doesn't need to be changed or updated often.
  3. Splash landing pages: This type of landing page catches the user's attention and makes them want to click through to another page. Most of the time, these have a solid call to action to get people to go to the main website. A static web page is used to make a splash landing page, which doesn't need anything besides its informational content.
  4. Sites that can only be read, like blogs: Static websites are used to make sites that only give out information, not ones that need to be updated often, like news sites.

Dynamic websites

In a dynamic website, the server pulls data from a data source, loads it into a template, and makes the HTML code at the same time. It is called "on the fly" because it builds web pages on the spot as soon as a user types in a web address. PHP is a server technology that is often used for dynamic websites. It looks for bits of information, which it then puts on a web page.

A dynamic website is best for web pages with content that often changes and for sites that show different pages to each user, like social media sites where people can see their profiles.

Check out these examples of websites that change over time:

  1. Twitter: Social media sites like Twitter depend on user-generated content and let users customize their profiles. Dynamic websites can do all of these things.
  2. BBC: A dynamic web development method lets news websites update their content often, especially for breaking or changing stories.
  3. Netflix: Streaming sites like Netflix use a "dynamic web development" method to choose and show content based on a user's location, viewing history, etc.
  4. Amazon: Amazon and other marketplace platforms use customers' information to show products. Ads are also shown in a way that changes based on the user's age, gender, and search history.

But "dynamic elements" are not the same as a "dynamic website." Even if your website is static, you can add things that change, like forms and buttons, that users can interact with.

Should you choose a cheaper static site or a more flexible dynamic site? Let's take a look at both sides.

Static vs. dynamic websites: the pros and cons

Each way of making a website has its pros and cons. Knowing these can help you decide which is best for your business.

Pros of static websites

  1. Building them is easier and faster. HTML is all you need to make a static web page. In contrast to a dynamic website, you don't have to work on the programming languages browsers use to pull data and create web pages.
  2. More affordable. Most of the time, static websites are cheaper than dynamic websites because they are easier to make. Web page content doesn't need to be changed or updated often.
  3. It loads faster. Real-time, dynamic websites take a second or two delays to load than websites that don't change. Since static web pages were made and uploaded ahead of time, they load faster and have a lower bounce rate.
  4. Easier to rank in search engines. Static websites are easy for search engine crawlers to rank because the content is already there. You can also optimize your web pages more quickly if you do it before uploading them to servers. This could make it more likely that you will rank high on search engines.

Cons of static websites

  1. Adding or changing content can be a lot of work. Static web pages are more complex to change than dynamic web pages. Each HTML file is a separate page that has already been made, so if you need to change a design element on a page, you will need to change every single page. This can be boring, boring, and prone to mistakes.
  2. There is little room for customization. Users of the internet today want to be able to talk to websites. They want to see content that fits their needs and interests, and they want to be able to make changes to their profiles. These things can't be done on websites whose content has already been made and put on servers.
  3. Only a few options. Static websites generally have few features, which can be frustrating for users. Users would want to find out information, set up accounts, and buy things all at once. But you can now add fillable forms and other dynamic elements to static websites. However, dynamic websites still need to be more flexible.
  4. Less easy to climb. Static websites are harder to grow because they need to be updated or changed by hand.

Pros of dynamic websites

  1. It's easier to change and improve. In contrast to static websites, you can keep each page the same if you need to. Several web pages can be changed at the same time. You can change the content on your web pages much more efficiently with a content management system (CMS) and a dynamic website. You don't need to know HTML to run your site.
  2. You can focus on your content. Web apps make it easier for even people who need to be tech-savvy to keep a dynamic website up to date. This takes some work off your team's plate so you can focus on making good content and improving your SEO (SEO).
  3. Users can log in to the site. If you want to sell things on your website, users must be able to make profile pages with their account information. This would make it easier and safer for them to go shopping. If you went with a dynamic website, you could have this feature.
  4. Scalability that works well. Dynamic websites can be done without tedious work done by hand. Because of this, they are usually easier to grow than static websites.

Cons of dynamic websites

  1. It's harder to build. A dynamic website is harder to put together at first than a static one. You will need technical knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other programming languages, as well as the wording used on the server side.
  2. Building and hosting cost more. Due to how hard it is to make a dynamic website, it also costs more to build and host. Since you can easily update the pages with a CMS, you'll spend most of your money on development.
  3. Less time to load. Because they have a lot of features and functions, dynamic websites take longer to load than static ones. This could affect the bounce rate and, in the end, how users feel about the site.


Weighing in each – how do you decide which one is good?

The best way to do something depends mainly on your goal and budget.

As we've already said, a static website is best for web pages where the content doesn't change often. Static pages are an excellent choice for a business website or a blog.

If you're running a limited-time offer, a static website is better than a dynamic one. You can take down the page when the promotion or campaign is over.

A static website is cheaper than a dynamic website because it doesn't have as many moving parts.

It may take longer to code and cost more to build a dynamic site than a static one. But if you plan to change your site's content often, like if you run an eCommerce site, an active site will save you money.

The money you save at first by having a static website will only make up for the extra time and work you'll have to put into updating and changing your web pages in the future.

It would help if you also thought about how the way you build your website will affect your SEO. Search engine crawlers find it easier to rank a static website because its content is already on servers. Crawlers see web pages the same way that people do. But the time and work it takes to update static web pages would be better spent on SEO, like making content marketing stronger.

Even though dynamic websites may not be more accessible for search engines to rank, they are more adaptable to changing SEO trends. You can easily change pages based on new optimization signals and spend more time and money making good content.

With its team of web developers and marketing experts, an internet marketing company can help you choose, build, and maintain a website that fits your needs, budget, and brand.

Key takeaways

More than half of the people in the world regularly use the internet. Maintaining a strong online presence has become a must for businesses. Start by making a website that fits your goals and helps with your online branding and digital marketing.

  • Choose a static website if all you need is information, like telling people about your business and what it offers.
  • Choose a dynamic website if you want one that you can often change that lets users log in and may have different features.
  • Work with a digital marketing company with the skills and tools to help your business build the right website.


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