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Static vs. Dynamic Websites: Everything You Need to Know

One of the first choices web designers make when creating a new website is whether to build a static or dynamic website. You might’ve encountered these terms online or heard your web designer use them.

However, it sounds pretty intimidating, especially if you’re new to websites and how they work.

So which should you get, and why is it crucial to understand their differences? In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about these two types so you can choose the right one for you.

What Is A Static Website?

As the name implies, a static website has its content fixed or hard-coded on a page. It also has several web pages pre-rendered with particular layouts and is typically cached and delivered using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

A static website uses HTML and CSS to add colors and other visual elements without being linked to a database. Because of this, when a user takes action on the website, the source page remains unchanged. In other words, every user who accesses your website will see the same thing.

However, this doesn’t mean a static website can only contain text. You can still use multimedia content like images and videos to enhance visuals. A great example of this is Phylum.io. This site is one of the many static websites containing engaging visuals.

Now that you know what a static website is, let’s examine its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of static websites

Most static websites’ users and web creators benefit from their relative ease of use:

  • Created with ease Since static websites are less complex and don’t need databases. You can quickly build and publish these websites due to their simplified nature.
  • Great performance Static websites only need a small amount of processing power since everything is pre-rendered. Since there are no database queries, performance can be stunning when combined with proper caching services.
  • Enhanced security Static websites are typically less vulnerable to security problems because they need fewer technical building blocks. In other words, static websites are potentially harder to hack since they have fewer points of vulnerability.

Cons of static websites

However, static websites also have some drawbacks.

  • Managing content takes a lot of time Content and design are not separate on static websites; you must access the source code to change content. Each change is manual, and site-wide updates on a static website can be time-consuming.
  • Poor scalability If you need to add 100 new pages to your website, you must manually create each page and build it as a separate entity. Managing your website will be more challenging as it expands.
  • Cannot provide a customized experience Visitors to static websites have little to no personalization and customization options. Only a small number of real-time adjustments based on user behavior are possible. As a result, static websites cannot be appropriate for eCommerce sites because it’s impossible to customize each customer’s shopping experience.

What Is A Dynamic Website?

In contrast to static websites, dynamic websites adapt to user requests and personalize their visitors’ experiences. These websites use coding languages like JavaScript, PHP, or ASP to generate interactive, real-time HTML pages executed both client-side (by the browser) and server-side (by the server).

A dynamic website changes when a user accesses it, thanks to server-side and browser-based code. Users will see a page on a web browser, as with static websites, but dynamic websites process requests and obtain information from a database.

Netflix is an excellent example of a dynamic website. Based on your viewing preferences and other data you set in your profile, Netflix suggests TV shows and movies to you. This flexible interface has helped it become the streaming powerhouse it is today.

So now that you are aware of what a dynamic website let’s discuss its advantages and disadvantages so you can decide which type of website is best for you.

Pros of dynamic websites

Dynamic websites have several benefits, including:

  • Simple content management Managing content on a website is much simpler with dynamic websites. Changes can be made in a single location and applied to all pages. For instance, a website owner can change the contact details for their business and be sure that the updated information is visible throughout the entire website.
  • The visual design is simple to update Content and design are kept separate on dynamic websites, making introducing page layout changes simpler. This convenience allows web designers to keep up with the most recent trends in visual design.
  • Increased visitor satisfaction You can provide visitors with customized experiences using cookies and user location. For instance, when designing a website for booking real estate, you can use their current location to show them options in their neighborhood.

Cons of dynamic websites

Dynamic websites also have drawbacks because they are more complex than static websites:

  • Complicated web design process A dynamic site requires more developer expertise because it connects to other websites and generates webpages from stored content in a database.
  • Security and performance issues Different performance and security issues can have an impact on dynamic websites. Dynamic websites have more technical components than static websites, and each piece can impact performance and open security risks.

Which Type Of Website is Right for Me?

Static websites are best for situations with little need for regular content updates or design refreshes. In such cases, the development cost can be easily passed as a one-off, with little need for regular updates. The only thing that site owners need to worry about is regular recurring costs like their domain name and web hosting.

For anything outside this scope, it’s highly recommended that you consider using a dynamic website. Content is one of the most powerful ways of drawing organic traffic, and dynamic websites allow site owners to build and publish content quickly.

That’s just the basic concept, though. If you’re curious about more specific scenarios, here are some examples;

ScenarioDescriptionStatic or Dynamic?
Personalization
You wish to cater your content to particular members or segments of your target audience.
Dynamic
Brochure Site
Your goal is to create a straightforward website that won’t change much.
Static
Blog
You want to build a simple blog.
Static
Landing page
You want to create a landing page with content and an opt-in.
Static
Login functionality
You want people to sign up on your website to access content locked behind a login gate.
Dynamic
Scalability
You expect your website to expand to include more pages, different page types, etc.
Dynamic
CMS functionality
You need more than one person to manipulate content without altering a website’s code.
Dynamic
Web application
You need to build an application such as a PWA.
Dynamic

The Best Web Hosts For A Static Website

There are variations among static site hosts. Some people can use serverless functions, while others cannot. Some are basic, while others are complete platforms for hosting applications that support many different languages, including PHP, Python, Ruby, etc.

The following are the best web hosts for a static website.

  1. Hostinger Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts have become surprisingly average as the shared hosting market becomes increasingly saturated. Thanks to features like unlimited websites, databases, FTP users, subdomains, and parked domains, Hostinger makes an excellent choice for static websites.
  2. Bluehost Static websites are supposed to be easy to set up and easy to publish. Thankfully, Bluehost takes this to the next level. With a free Weebly website builder and Cloudflare CDN, this web host is ideal for beginners.
  3. HostGator HostGator is our top recommendation if you’re looking for one of the best performance optimizations for your static website. On top of unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and MySQL databases, the company also provides one-click installs of well-known open-source projects

Do check out our detailed review on the best web hosting services for static website.

Top Web Hosts To Consider For Dynamic Websites

There are numerous web hosting service providers to select from, and your specific wants and needs will determine the best one for your dynamic website. Some popular options include;

  1. Kamatera Cloud VPS hosting options from Kamatera are incredibly versatile and adaptable, making them ideal for dynamic websites. You have complete control over your server resources with Kamatera, enabling you to scale up or down as necessary. Your server can be simply managed, popular CMS platforms can be installed, and the speed of your website can be optimized thanks to their user-friendly control dashboard. Also, Kamatera is an affordable option for dynamic website hosting due to its reasonable pricing and pay-per-use model.
  2. Cloudways Cloudways is another favorite for dynamic websites because of its user-friendly interface and smooth connection with top cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and DigitalOcean. With Cloudways, you can effortlessly install and maintain your website on a scalable cloud infrastructure. So, because you only pay for the resources you use, their pay-as-you-go pricing approach promises cost-effectiveness.

Get The Static Or Dynamic Website You Need

One of the first choices web designers make when creating a new website is whether to build a static or dynamic website. You must first understand the distinction between the two to make the best choice.

Static and dynamic websites in web design refer to how content is displayed. A static website serves the same content to all visitors, whereas a dynamic website can serve content tailored to each visitor.

Depending on the type of website you want to have, choosing the right one is crucial for not just you but your web visitors as well. Follow Bitcatcha for more tech-related tips!

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