Static Website vs Dynamic

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is if you want a static website, or one which is dynamic.

Static websites are quick to get online, and generally cost less to develop. But they are limited in terms of functionality, and we would have to update it on your behalf.

If you’d like to be able to update the website on your own, sell things, or include some advanced functionality, then you’ll want a dynamic website.

What’s the difference?

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is if you want a static website, or one which is dynamic.

Static websites are quick to get online, and generally cost less to develop. But they are limited in terms of functionality, and we would have to update it on your behalf.

If you’d like to be able to update the website on your own, sell things, or include some advanced functionality, then you’ll want a dynamic website.

What’s the difference?

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is if you want a static website, or one which is dynamic.

Static websites are quick to get online, and generally cost less to develop. But they are limited in terms of functionality, and we would have to update it on your behalf.

If you’d like to be able to update the website on your own, sell things, or include some advanced functionality, then you’ll want a dynamic website.

What’s the difference?

Static Websites

Static websites are created mostly with HTML for the text, and CSS for the appearance. There can be some JavaScript and such to run things like the menu, but that’s about it.

Static websites are quick to develop, and easy to maintain, so they are generally less expensive.

You need special software to update a static website. We use Dreamweaver, but there are other programs available. But this is not something the average business owner wants to get into. So the updates are done by us.

Clients send us an email with instructions, and we usually get it done in a day or so. And it doesn’t really cost much because we bill by the minute (see the FAQ page for more)

We can embed videos, and contact forms, but there is generally not much in terms of functionality.

Dynamic Websites

Dynamic websites use some sort of scripting language and the information is stored in a database.

The website is divided into parts that are updated individually. As an example, there are separate files for the header, the menu, the body of the page, and the footer. You change the menu file, and it changes site wide. When you create a new page or post, you are only working with the body of the page, while everything else is out of reach.

Dynamic websites can do just about anything you need. They include content management systems (CMS), member based websites, e-commerce systems, bulletin / discussion boards, intranets, etc.

They usually provide different administrative levels allowing people to have overall management, or perhaps just editorial privileges, all the way down to simple membership that might allow you to enter the site to see what the public can’t see.

Dynamic websites are more complex to set up and run, but the owner (administrators and editors) can upload files, create and modify content, manage products, etc. without much interaction with the developer.

Our clients usually want us to create a WordPress website so they can ultimately have control over it. The funny thing is, they end up sending us the updates anyway. It makes sense though. They’re busy doing other things, and we make it really easy for them.Tom Rogers

Open Source vs For-Profit Platforms

Since dynamic websites need to access a database, they can be susceptible to hacking. There are many platforms that are considered “open source”, meaning that the underlying code is done by volunteers around the world. These platforms tend to be more vulnerable than platforms that are run by for-profit companies.

The most common dynamic website platform is WordPress. It’s a hybrid org combining the for-profit (WordPress.com) with open-source (WordPress.org). It’s known for blogging but is used just as often for websites, and online sales. WordPress, and most open source platforms update the software every month or so. WordPress makes it pretty easy, but sometimes it’s better to let us take care of it.

Summary

Static Websites

  • Quick to develop
  • Generally less expensive to develop
  • Limited functionality
  • Updates are normally done by us
  • Generally safer as there is nothing to hack into

Dynamic Websites

  • More work to develop
  • Generally more expensive than static
  • Sky’s the limit on functionality
  • Client/user can update the website
  • Dynamic websites can get hacked. But if you stay on top of the software updates you should be in good shape
  • The underlying software is often updated which can lead to additional expenses down the road