Static vs. Dynamic Websites

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.

Here’s how it works in general: First, the browser sends a request to the web server for a specific URL or web page. Then, the web server looks for the requested HTML file and sends it back to the browser. The browser receives the HTML file, renders the content, and displays it to the user. Any static assets such as images, stylesheets, and JavaScript files are also requested by the browser and served by the web server.

How static websites interact with APIs

Let’s get a brief understanding of what an API is: The acronym API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a set of protocols and routines for accessing a web-based software application or tool. To interact with an API from a static website, you can use JavaScript to make API calls and retrieve the data from the API. The API returns the data in a format like JSON, which JavaScript can process and use to modify the website’s content.

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.
  • Make an API call: Using JavaScript and a library like jQuery or Axios, you can send an HTTP request to the API endpoint and retrieve the data.
  • Process the API response: The API response is typically a JSON or XML object that JavaScript can process and use to update the website’s content.
  • Update the website content: Once the API response has been processed, you can use JavaScript to dynamically update the website’s content without requiring a page refresh.

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:

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the main technologies used to create static websites. HTML provides the structure and content of a web page, CSS provides styling, and JavaScript adds interactivity and dynamic functionality.

  • Text editors: such as Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, and Atom, are software tools used to create and edit HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code.

  • 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.

  • JavaScript libraries and frameworks: These are libraries and frameworks that provide pre-written JavaScript code for common tasks, such as jQuery, React, and Vue.

  • 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.
  • JavaScript libraries and frameworks: These are libraries and frameworks, such as React, Angular, and Vue, that offer pre-written JavaScript code for typical tasks and can be used to add dynamic functionality to websites.
  • 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 hostIt is more expensive to develop and host
It has fixed and unchanging contentIt can provide fresh and constantly updated content, which can help improve search engine rankings.
The main advantage of a static website is its flexibilityContent 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 databasesIt 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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