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The Difference Between Dynamic and Static Websites

In general, dynamic means capable of action and/or change, while static means stationary or fixed. Dynamic and Static websites are terms used to describe two types of sites and the method they use to display. Here we will explore what the terms mean for web design.


Static Websites

A Static Website (sometimes called a flat or stationary page) is displayed in a web browser exactly as it is stored. It contains web pages with fixed content coded in HTML and stored on a web server. It does not change, it stays the same, or "static" for every viewer of the site.

A static website does not require web programming or database design. Static is the most basic form of website and are the most simple to create and are perfect for small scale sites. Maintaining a large number of static pages can become a time consuming and impractical hassle very quickly. If you require a website with hundreds of pages and a ton of content, a dynamic website may be for you. 

Advantages

Quick and easy to develop
Cheap to host and develop

Disadvantages

Content can become stagnant
Requires web development expertise to update

Dynamic Websites

A Dynamic Website (also referred to as a database-driven site) requires web programming and database design. A dynamic website contains information and content that changes, depending on factors such as the viewer of the site, the time of the day, the time zone, or the native language of the country the viewer). The content of your site (text/images) is stored on a database or content management system. When the information is updated or changed within the database, it changes on the site.

When a user visits your site, data is passed to the server from the user's browser. When a dynamic site is accessed, pages are generated on-the-fly (or in real-time) to the user based on this data from the visitor. Scripting code analyzed and interpreted on the web server and the resulting HTML is displayed to the visitor's web browser. This means different content can be generated at different times of the day, or based on cookies (little pieces of data that a web server stores on a visitor’s computer), or environmental variables (what kind of browser is being used, what a user's IP address is, or what page they visited prior to the current page).

This means many great things for yourself and your visitors. You can use a content management system to handle all of your files and data that would typically need to be updated on a regular basis such as news or products, or you can use your dynamic website for e-commerce purposes such as storing and updating products, and handling orders.

Advantages


Less hassle to update
More functionality
Dynamic (changing) content draws visitors back to site
Dynamic content helps in search engines

DISAdvantages


More expensive to host
Relatively slow performance in comparison with a static site 

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