Web Design and Development
Whether you’ve come across these terms online or have heard it thrown around by your web designer, it is important to know the difference so that you can determine the best solution for your website.
A static site is a website that is written entirely using HTML. Each web page is a separate document and there are no databases or external files that are drawn upon.
This means that the only way to edit this type of website is to go into each page and edit the HTML. So you would have to do it yourself using a web page editor such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver, or pay your web developer to make updates for you.
A dynamic website is written using more complex code — such as PHP or ASP — and has a greater degree of functionality. For instance, many dynamic websites can be controlled by a content management system. This means that you will potentially be able to make updates without needing any knowledge of HTML or any website software.
Each page of a dynamic website is generated from information stored in a database or external file. And the content management system that you may use to maintain your website directly modifies this stored information.
Many people prefer dynamic websites because they have a lot of benefits. Dynamic sites reduce ongoing maintenance costs, make data management very efficient, and enable the addition of any future addons such as data feeds or a comprehensive site search. They also make it impossible to destroy the layout, as might happen if you edit it from a web page editor.
There are some drawbacks to using dynamic websites. First, they usually cost more to develop, because they require more complex coding, as well as the development of a content management interface to enable you to maintain your website. Second, you will need to obtain web hosting which supports databases and dynamic languages. Fortunately, most hosts do offer these features by default.
If you realize that you do want a dynamic website which will enable you to maintain your own content, you can save costs by opting for a website that is only partly dynamic. For example, certain pages such as ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ pages can be static, whereas galleries or product catalogues can be dynamic. Also, consider opting for an open source CMS.
To determine which is best for your website, also consider asking your web developer for their opinion on which would be best.Tags: content management system, databases