Static vs. Dynamic Websites
The debate over whether static or dynamic websites are superior has arisen due to the emergence of dynamic websites. However, static websites have been given new life thanks to the development of static site generators and frameworks. On the other hand, dynamic websites have a lot of essential factors to take into consideration.
Before creating a website for yourself or an organization, you should consider using a static or dynamic design. To give you a better sense of what a dynamic and static website is, we’ll break them down and discuss how they work, providing examples and development tools and generators used in building a website.
What is a Static Website?
A static website is a site that serves up pre-written HTML files to users without the use of server-side scripting. It stores each page as a single HTML file sent directly from the server to the webpage exactly as it is. There is no user interaction, and the content remains the same every time the page is loaded.
Static web pages are appropriate for content that does not need to be updated frequently, though modern web template systems are changing this. Maintaining large numbers of static pages as files can be impractical without automated tools, such as static site generators. Any personalization or interactivity is performed on the client side, which is restrictive. You can more freely choose how your content is served by using static sites to separate your content repository and front-end interface.
We will look at two key aspects to understand how static websites work.
- How static websites are served by browsers
- How static websites interact with APIs
How static websites are served by browsers
Because the HTML files have already been written and saved on the web server, the server can quickly send the files to the browser without any processing, resulting in a quick and efficient delivery of the website’s content.
How static websites interact with APIs
Here’s how it works in general:
- Determine the API endpoint: The API endpoint is the URL for the data or resource you want to access.
Examples of Static Website
Here are a few popular examples of static websites.
- Personal portfolios
- Small business websites
- Landing pages for products or services
- Blogs with infrequent updates
- Informational websites for non-profits or government
- Brochure-style websites for local businesses, such as restaurants or hair salons
- Online resumes or CVs
Static Website Development Tools
The project’s requirements and preferences will determine the specific tools used. You can use these tools to create fast, secure, and scalable static websites that are easy to maintain and update.
Here are some common tools for developing static websites:
Static site generators generate a completely static website from templates, content files, and data sources. Examples are Jekyll, Hugo, Eleventy, Next.js, and Gatsby
CSS frameworks: These are pre-written CSS libraries that provide a set of commonly used styles and layout tools, such as Bootstrap, Foundation, and Tailwind CSS.
Version control systems: These are software tools used to manage and track changes to code. Examples are Git and SVN.
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What is a Dynamic Website?
A dynamic website is a website that creates and serves content on the fly, in real time. As opposed to a static website, which is made up of pre-written HTML pages, a dynamic website generates its pages dynamically using server-side scripting languages.
Dynamic websites are powered by databases, which store the data and content used to generate the pages. When a user requests a page from a dynamic website, the server processes the request and generates the page using the data and content stored in the database. This allows the website to present personalized and up-to-date content to each user based on the information they have provided or their previous interactions with the site. Also, they are commonly used for various purposes, including e-commerce, social media, and content management systems.
This process occurs quickly and in real time, allowing the website to provide users with up-to-date and personalized content. Because of the use of a database and server-side scripting, the website can handle complex data processing and business logic, making it well-suited for a wide range of use cases.
Here is an overview of how it works:
- User Request: A user makes requests to a page by typing the URL into their web browser or clicking a link.
- Server Processing: The server receives the request and processes it with a server-side scripting language such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, or Python. The script connects to the website database and retrieves the required data and content.
- Page generation: The script generates the HTML for the page using the data and content retrieved from the database. This HTML returns to the browser of the user.
- Browser rendering: The HTML is received by the user’s browser, which renders the page and displays it to the user.
- User interaction: When a user interacts with a website by filling out a form or clicking a link, the browser sends a new request to the server. The process is repeated, with the server processing the newly requested data and dynamically generating a new page.
Examples of Dynamic Websites
These are just a few examples of the many different types of dynamic websites that are used daily.
- E-commerce websites
- Social media websites
- Content management systems
- News and media websites
- Web applications
Dynamic Website Development Tools
There are lots of tools available for creating a dynamic website. Here are just a few of the many tools available for developing dynamic websites. The tools used will be determined by the project’s requirements and the developer’s preferences.
- Server-side scripting languages: These are programming languages used to create scripts that run on the server, such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, and ASP.NET.
- Databases: Dynamic websites frequently use databases to store user information, product information, and content. MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB are popular databases.
- Web frameworks: They are software frameworks that provide a structure for more expensive to develop and host developing dynamic websites. Some examples are Ruby on Rails, Django, and Larave.
- Content management systems (CMS): These are software programs like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla that et users create, publish, and manage content without having to know HTML or other programming languages.
- Development environments: Such as Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, and Atom are software programs that offer a workspace for writing, testing, and debugging code.
Comparing Static and Dynamic Websites
|It is generally less expensive to develop and host||It is more expensive to develop and host|
|It has fixed and unchanging content||It can provide fresh and constantly updated content, which can help improve search engine rankings.|
|The main advantage of a static website is its flexibility||Content Management System (CMS) is the main advantage of a dynamic website.|
|Its URL structures are clear-cut and easy to understand, which makes it simpler for search engines to crawl and index the content.||It frequently has complicated URL structures, which can make it challenging for search engines to index and crawl the content.|
|It is generally more secure, as they do not require any server-side scripting or interaction with databases||It can make you more exposed to security threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).|
Choosing between a dynamic or static website ultimately depends on your project’s specifics, requirements, and goals. We examined dynamics and static websites and their differences, stating how they work, how a static site is served on a browser, how it interacts with APIs, and displaying the various development tools you can use for your project.
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