Monday, July 28, 2008

What's the difference between Static Vs Dynamic websites?

What are static and dynamic websites?

There are many static websites on the Internet, you won’t be able to tell immediately if it is static, but the chances are, if the site looks basic and is for a smaller company, and simply delivers information without any bells and whistles, it could be a static website. Static websites can only really be updated by someone with a knowledge of website development. Static websites are the cheapest to develop and host, and many smaller companies still use these to get a web presence.

Static website is a website that used HyperText Markup Language (HTML) to create. Every content or page is stored in a single .html file and is published as it is. Usually a website which has its file extention in .html or .htm is a static website but it is not always the case. Most likely you could create a static page with any HTML authoring tool such as Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage. Below shows you some of the scenarios where static website is better than dynamic website

Advantages of static websites

  • Quick to develop
  • Cheap to develop
  • Cheap to host

Disadvantages of static websites

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Dynamic sites on the other hand can be more expensive to develop initially, but the advantages are numerous. At a basic level, a dynamic website can give the website owner the ability to simply update and add new content to the site. For example, news and events could be posted to the site through a simple browser interface. Dynamic features of a site are only limited by imagination. Some examples of dynamic website features could be: content management system, e-commerce system, bulletin / discussion boards, intranet or extranet facilities, ability for clients or users to upload documents, ability for administrators or users to create content or add information to a site (dynamic publishing).

Dynamic website, like the name implied, is created on the fly. Each page is created on the fly getting the content from the one of the powerful Relational Database Managment System (RDBMS) such as MySQL, MS SQL and Oracle. Usually, dynamic website page has an extension different from .html, but not always! Although the powerful web authoring tool is available nowadays to develop dynamic website, chances are you will need to learn and master one of the serverside language such as PHP, Java or .NET platform. These server side programming languages need to interact with RDBMS (Relational DataBase Management System) in order to retrieve useful content to be displayed and hence knowledge of RDBMS and SQL is a must. Follow is a list to describe a scenario when you most likely need a dynamic website.

Advantages of dynamic websites

  • Much more functional website
  • Much easier to update
  • New content brings people back to the site and helps in the search engines
  • Can work as a system to allow staff or users to collaborate

Disadvantages of dynamic websites

  • Slower / more expensive to develop
  • Hosting costs a little more

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