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Static vs. Dynamic – Which is better for your website?

Thursday, June, 8th, 2017 at 7:08 am by Melinda McCaw

When deciding to build your website you need to decide if you want your site to be a static or dynamic website. There are pros and cons to each type of website. Do you know which one would work best for you?

Dynamic Website Definition
A dynamic website uses a database to store the content and keeps the files for layout and design separate. The files use server side scripting languages such as .php or .asp to pull in the data from the database. A dynamic website uses a Content Management System (CMS) to create an interface for the user to easily access content and change it on your website. A CMS makes it easy for users with no coding knowledge to make edits to their website content. Here is Wikipedia’s definition of a dynamic website.

Static website definition
A static website is one written using html and css and displays the same information to every user. There is a physical .html file for every page in a static website. So if there are 100 pages on the website then there are 100 .html files that have been created and uploaded to your website hosting server. If you want to make a change to your website footer you would have to change it in every one of the 100 .html files. Here is Wikipedia’s definition of a static website.

Some pro’s and con’s for each type of website:

Dynamic/CMS Pro’s

  • Easier to make global updates
  • You can update content yourself
  • More scalable – easier to add new pages

Dynamic/CMS Con’s

  • Website loads more slowly because it is more complex and interacting with a database
  • Advanced coding knowledge needed

Static Pro’s

  • Site page size is lightweight = faster page load times

Static Con’s

  • You have to know html or have your developer make changes for you
  • Global updates (ex. change to footer) have to be made on each page
  • Content can get outdated and stagnant
  • Scalability – adding new pages takes longer
  • Don’t provide for more complex functionality such as forums, shopping carts or social networking

Sources