Understanding the differences between static and dynamic websites can become complicated, especially with a trend towards more progressive, often hybrid websites and web apps, and a growing desire for personalization.
Below, we break down the differences between static and dynamic websites, and share useful insights on when to choose one or the other for your latest project.
What is a static website?
Static websites usually come with a fixed number of pages that have a specific layout. When the page runs on a browser, the content is literally static and doesn’t change in response to user actions. A static website is usually created with HTML and CSS in simple text editors like Notepad.
If you need a website smaller than three pages, opting for a static website is the proper choice. Building it doesn’t take as much time or effort as in the case of dynamic websites. If the pages of your website must look different, the HTML code can easily be duplicated on each of these pages, containing the necessary changes.
Even though the website will display the same thing with no intricate navigation details, static websites don’t need to feature just plain text. In fact, you can use various multimedia elements and videos. An HTML website can look beautiful, but the page’s source code won’t change, no matter what actions a user takes on it.
What is a dynamic website?
Compared to static websites, which are purely informational, a dynamic website is more functional. It allows users to interact with the information that is listed on the page. Of course, that requires utilizing more than just HTML code.
Advantages of static websites
- Static websites take less time to build and deploy than dynamic websites.
- You can duplicate the basic code of your static web pages to keep elements consistent while making slight changes to differentiate.
- Static websites tend to be more secure.
It’s easier for search engines to rank static websites because they usually load faster.
- Building static websites doesn’t require complex software.
- Static websites cost less to build.
- You can change the layout and design of every page on a static website.
- It’s easier to restore a static website after a crash or DDoS attack by redeploying the codebase.
Disadvantages of static websites
- Making updates to static websites can be challenging and time-consuming, especially if they’re large.
- Once you’ve built the basic structure, it can be hard to scale a website to add new content.
- Because of the effort needed to update static websites, yours may end up with stagnant content that makes your company or brand feel outdated.
- You can’t interact with or create unique experiences for visitors.
Advantages of dynamic websites
- They provide more website functionality and enable user interaction.
- Dynamic sites let you request and store information in an organized way.
- They display content based on the user’s needs.
- These type of websites enable additional website flexibility by allowing connection to a CMS.
- They allow multiple users to adjust the content.
- It is less costly to make adjustments and changes versus a static website.
- Dynamic sites are more likely to attract recurring customers and visitors.
Disadvantages of dynamic websites
- Functions like building the site foundation, creating database connections, and adding other features can make a dynamic website more expensive than a static website.
- There can be design and layout limitations when it comes to displaying content on your dynamic website.