Static vs Dynamic Website: What’s the Difference?

When many people think of a website, the whole concept of Static vs Dynamic doesn't really come to their mind, but as web designers, this is an important distinction that one must know. So, in this article we're going to cover the major differences between static and dynamic websites in order to learn useful comparisons between these two.

Introduction

Large number of businesses today are inclining towards having their own business which is why it's no wonder that the internet consists of over 1 billion sites, and the number is rising proportionally. To create your own website, you need a unique domain name, a place where your website will live and web designing skills. 

As a web designer, you will work on the layout, appearance or even contents of a website. And these are some of the governing factors to decide whether you should create a static website or a dynamic one.

Types of Websites

Broadly speaking, a website is of two types:

  • Static
  • Dynamic

In simple terms, static means stationery or not moving and dynamic means capable of action and/or change. In this article we will explore the detailed comparison between the two.  

Static Website

As the name suggests, static websites are those where the elements of the website are fixed or not capable of change regardless of the browser used or the actions of the users. These websites come with a fixed number of pages with a specific layout. 

If you need a smaller website personal blogs, for example, where the intent is to display information for readers then it makes sense to use static websites. They are the best options for you to start a website in the easiest way.

Examples of Static Website

Here's a list of static websites:

  • SoundCloud
  • Flickr
  • Sketchfab
  • Vimeo

Dynamic Website

Dynamic websites are more functional as opposed to the purely informational static websites. They are also known as database-driven sites. The information rendered on the dynamic website changes as per the user's activity on the site, the time zone, and so on. Web pages are generated on-the-fly (or in real-time) based on the data retrieved by the visitor. 

Due to the dynamic nature of these websites, they use a combination of server-side and client-side scripting. The dynamic websites accesses content from a database or Content Management System (CMS). eCommerce websites, social media websites, WordPress sites are are dynamic websites. 

Examples of Dynamic Website

Some common dynamic website examples are:

  • Facebook
  • Quora
  • Amazon
  • Netflix

Comparison Between Static and Dynamic Website

Factor

Static Website

Dynamic Website

Content

The contents of static websites are fixed and cannot be changed during run-time

The contents of dynamic websites is generated rather quickly and can be changed in real-time

Coding

Static websites are developed using HTML and CSS only

Dynamic websites are developed using server side languages such as PHP,SERVLET, JSP, and ASP.NET etc.

SEO

Ranking static websites is easier due to their faster load time

Can be a challenge to rank dynamic websites if all elements are not taken into consideration

Backup

Quite easy to backup as the files can easily be restored

Requires a backing system in place which adds to the overall cost 

Cost

Static websites are less hassle hence costs less to develop and maintain

Due to their dynamic nature and added functionality, dynamic websites costs more to develop and maintain

Security

Securing a static website can be a little more difficult due to the JavaScript running on the browser which can be exploited.

Since server-side languages are used to develop dynamic websites, they are far more secured

Content Management System

No feature of CMS 

CMS is one of the biggest advantages of dynamic websites

Which one should you choose?

It all comes down to this question - which type of website should you choose? Well, it clearly depends upon the purpose of creating the website and the available resources. While dynamic websites are complex to create in the initial phase, but for the long-run, they're far better to maintain. 

If you want a website to is the have a good functionality, and willing to put in a few extra bucks, go for a dynamic website but if you want a purely informational website, that doesn't need to be interactive, such as a company’s brochure ware site, static website is the obvious choice!  

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