The difference between a static and dynamic website

You might have come across web design companies that offers you a choice between either a static website or a dynamic website. In this article we will look at what is the difference between a static and a dynamic website, and what the benefit of each one is.

What is a static website?

A static website is a website that is designed in plain HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The website is displayed as it is written in HTML and content such as images, videos and audio files are stored in a folder within the website’s structure.

What are the advantages of a static website?

Static websites have the advantage of having pages that are designed and styled differently, where dynamic websites usually follow a set scheme where elements such as the header and footer of the website remain constant on each page.

In some cases static websites can load faster since the content is not stored externally or in a database. Static websites does not have any server-side queries to perform. Modern technology helps overcome this caveat in dynamic websites which we will take a look at further into this article.

With smaller websites a static website can cost much less than a dynamic website and hosting costs are less since no database is needed.

What are the disadvantages of a static website?

To make changes to a static website you would need to be proficient in HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding since everything is coded. This can lead to higher maintenance costs depending on the frequency that changes need to be made.

For websites that act as a product catalog a static website can end up costing a lot of money to develop since each product will need it’s own HTML page designed.

The lack of server-side scripting and a database means that features such as user login, booking and reservation systems etc. are not supported in static websites.

What is a dynamic website?

A dynamic website is written in a server-side scripting language and connects to a database to store the website’s content. Dynamic websites have interfaces known as a “backend” or “management portal” where the pages and content can be created and edited.

What are the advantages of a dynamic website?

As we have mentioned, dynamic websites have interfaces where the content can be managed. This makes it much easier to update the website’s content and can cost less as you can generally do it yourself without need of the website’s developer should you feel comfortable doing it yourself.

Dynamic websites allow for more complex functionality compared to static websites. The only limit is what technology limits us to.

What are the disadvantages of a dynamic website?

Initial development can cost much more with dynamic websites depending on the requirements. There is much more complexity involved with server-side scripting languages compared to static HTML.

In some cases dynamic websites can load for a longer period of time compared to a static website. In dynamic websites the content and design of the website is stored in a database which means queries needs to be made to the database in order to retrieve and display the information. Modern technology in server-side scripting languages has come a long way in helping to overcome longer load times.

Conclusion

Now that we know what the differences are between a static and a dynamic website it is worth noting that most websites today are built as dynamic websites. With the advancement in server-side scripting languages the disadvantages of dynamic websites have been addressed to great extent, which is why it is important that you hire an experienced, professional web designer to build your website for you.