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Static vs Dynamic Websites – The Main Differences


Static and dynamic websites are the two main categories in modern web design. In the following article, we discuss the main differences between static vs dynamic websites.

With a tendency toward more progressive, frequently hybrid websites and web apps and a rising demand for personalization, it can be challenging to understand the differences between static and dynamic websites. The distinctions between static vs dynamic websites are outlined below.

What is a Static Website?

The files that make up a static website are pre-built and saved on a web server in a set quantity. These documents were created using the “client-side” programming languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which run within the user’s web browser. When a user submits a URL to the server to request a page, the server responds by returning the requested HTML file with any supporting CSS and JavaScript files.

Since the web server does not change the files during this exchange before they are sent to the user, every requester will see the same web page. The only way to alter the website’s appearance is by manually changing the content of the files because the content is “static.”

This does not preclude the possibility of interactive or captivating static web pages. They can still use CTAs, forms, digital downloads, clickable links and buttons, pictures and video, CSS or JavaScript-powered animations, and clickable links and buttons. Even a static website may appear good and highly functional with the right amount of functionality. A static site, however, always has the same appearance for all visitors.

Portfolio websites, brochures, one-off landing pages, and other informative or read-only sites are typical examples of static websites. These websites are usually short (three to four pages or fewer), have little material, and don’t need frequent updates or tailored content.

A lot can be achieved with just HTML and CSS when it comes to creating static websites. HTML is easier to pick up, but CSS can be a bit more challenging. However, we found this cool CSS tutorial that you can use to improve your CSS skills.


What is a Dynamic Website?

A dynamic website delivers varied information to various visitors instead of a static website. A visitor’s experience can be made more personalized and interactive by several variables, including their location, local time, settings and preferences, and actions they conduct on the website (such as shopping habits).

Dynamic websites need more complicated back-end technology to achieve more flexibility on the front-end. These websites don’t keep separate HTML files for each page. Instead, web servers create pages “on-the-fly”; in response to a user request, the server gathers data from one or more databases and creates a unique HTML file for the client. The HTML file is sent back to the user’s browser when the page has been completed.

Dynamic websites use server-side scripting languages like PHP, Python, Ruby, or server-side JavaScript in addition to client-side languages to create pages on the back end (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript). This procedure can become rather complicated, depending on how much information is gathered to build the page. The user, like with static sites, doesn’t see any of this procedure; all they see is the web page loaded in the browser. One of the more famous examples of dynamic websites is the WordPress technology.

Nowadays, most websites you visit use at least some dynamic techniques. Dynamic content is used in web apps, social media platforms, news websites, publishing websites, blogs, online stores, and membership websites.

Consider an example of an e-commerce (like WooCommerce) site that suggests things on its home page based on what it believes you’ll want to purchase. Each visitor will so see a slightly different home page.

A user’s prior orders from your website can be displayed after they log in, and you can gate access to specific content on your website based on a user’s membership status. These are just a few examples of other uses for dynamic content.


Differences Between Static and Dynamic Websites

Meaning of Static and Dynamic Website

In general, the term “static” refers to something that is fixed or immobile and lacks motion, action, or change. A website or web page is no different. The simplest to make and usually the ones that don’t involve a lot of coding or design are static websites.

It’s a static website, as the name implies, with a set amount of pages provided strictly as they are stored. On the other hand, readers can do more than just read on a dynamic website because it is continually changing or improving, more engaging, and functional.

The technicality of Static and Dynamic Websites

Static websites, as the name suggests, have fixed content and basic HTML coding for each page. The only means to interact with the website is through hyperlinks. It is made up of a collection of HTML files, each representing a website’s real page. The same information is displayed to every person that visits the website because it is a simple website without any bells and whistles.

On the other hand, dynamic websites use server-side scriptings like PHP, ASP, JSP, etc., and HTML and CSS. They employ server-side scripting to handle events, manage events, control activities, and more, while client-side scripting is used to build a dynamic design.

Coding of Static and Dynamic Website

You can make simple static web pages without any specialized software. Only an understanding of HTML and CSS is needed to create a static website. Using HTML and CSS, a static website is a collection of texts, images, and multimedia components with marked-up content.

Because every user sees the same layout and content until the developer changes the site’s source code, they don’t require a lot of coding or technical expertise. Server-side solid programming skills are needed to create dynamic websites which produce material and present it to users based on their preferences.

Content in Static and Dynamic Website

Static websites display the same page to each user as the server sends the same HTML file precisely as stored. Therefore, the content is sent to the user without needing to be updated or processed. To update information on the site, the content developer needs to have a solid understanding of HTML because the content is constant and consistent throughout all pages.

When a user requests a page from a dynamic website, the page’s content is delivered to them and occasionally changes. As different content is displayed to various users, the content is subject to change, making it simple for even non-technical persons to update content on the website.

Flexibility in Static and Dynamic Website

To fit the layout to varied content on static websites, each page must be altered or updated separately. This makes it simple for the web designer to add special effects to various web pages. Thus more control equates to greater flexibility. Each page’s design may be customized to the customers’ preferences, making it more versatile and adaptive.

On the other hand, dynamic websites provide fewer possibilities for flexibility because they need a powerful web server and a dynamic CMS to present a distinctive mix of dynamic material and interactive features with each page.


When to Pick a Static or Dynamic Website?

A static website can be the best choice if your website has just a few pages. Public information is frequently made available using static websites. Since the information is often secret, private businesses and entrepreneurs frequently utilize dynamic websites. To access more restricted information, users typically register with a dynamic website.

Imagine you want to make a straightforward blog that looks amazing and goes well with your company. The best option for it would probably be a static website. If you need to create a landing page with basic information about your business or the goods and services you provide, this is another situation when you could prefer having a static website.

A dynamic website is preferable if you intend to construct an eCommerce site with continually shifting inventory. You might offer users recommendations based on previous purchases made through their website. You may set up the dynamic site to send reminders to visitors who abandon things in their shopping cart, encouraging them to return and finish their transactions. You should choose a dynamic website to construct a progressive web application (PWA) or other applications.

Consider what you need the website to offer before deciding whether to design a static or dynamic website. Static website generators can help you launch a website rapidly. Although it can be a more complex process, developing a dynamic website can give you more options for flexibility and response to your changing demands.

Static vs Dynamic Websites – Conclusion

Due to the dynamic content, interactive aspects, and multimedia components that make content management simple and effective, dynamic websites have many advantages. Additionally, these advantages are only increased because they are flexible and open to revisions and future additions.

Because they are the most basic types without any added bells and whistles, you can create static websites quickly. Because each page is produced differently, static websites excel in flexibility because it is simple for web designers to experiment with various pages to make them distinctive. Dynamic websites are more engaging and are always fashionable and elegant.

Clio Websites

Clio Websites is a full-service website design and marketing company in Calgary. We have loads of experience with responsive website design, website maintenance, WordPress development and support, and SEO. Clio offers free consultations and free website evaluations and we receive glowing reviews from our clients.

If you are having trouble deciding if a dynamic or a static website is the right choice for you, you have come to the right place. We have vast experience developing using both technologies and can help you decide on the right choice for your business.

Clio is always available and happy to answer any questions about static vs dynamic websites, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need help.

About the author

Darko is a talented WordPress developer who loves to build responsive websites using Elementor. He has been with Clio Websites since 2021 and enjoys contributing WordPress articles and other types of content that our visitors love to read and share with their peers.

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