In this tutorial, I will explain the difference between a static website and a dynamic website.
There are so many different ways that you can build a website.
The problem nowadays is not building a site. The problem is deciding how to make my website. And I think for many people, especially people who are not tech-savvy, it can be a little paralyzing when there are all of these options.
Static Sites and Dynamic Sites
Now when we are talking about static and dynamic, we are talking about the basics.
When you are trying to create a website, your first decision should be to create a static site or create a dynamic website.
And I am going to give you a little insight into making that decision.
What Is a Website?
And all those files are stored on something called a web server.
So when a user wants to access your website, their computer or mobile browser goes off to the webserver, and the webserver gives them your site.
The server gives them all these different files, and then the browser can turn those files into what you see on your web browser window.
Now in a dynamic site, that web page gets created on the webserver. So when you go to that webserver to get the web page, the web server generates that page for you.
Based on your request, the server collects necessary files and makes the finished website page using the back-end program.
And in some instances, it will change the website depending on who is accessing it.
Like Facebook, for example, when I go on Facebook, I get all of my posts and my friend’s updates and shares.
When you go on Facebook, you get your profile, posts, and friends’ updates and shares.
We are visiting the same website, but we are getting different information. And the way you can do that is by building the site on the webserver.
So the webserver doesn’t build the website until someone requests it.
The servers can then figure out who wants these pages, and they will use that information to make the site.
In a static website, all of those web pages are created offline by somebody on a computer somewhere.
This person creates all those web pages and then uploads them to the webserver. And then, when you want to access that website, the webserver gives you those pre-built pages.
This website doesn’t figure out who you are; it doesn’t customize the pages in any way. It just gives you the pages, and so everyone’s getting the same content from that web server.
Now neither way of building or using your site is better than the other.
There’s a bunch of advantages to using dynamic sites. There’s also a bunch of benefits to using static sites.
So the question shouldn’t be which one is better, static, or dynamic sites. Instead, it would be best if you asked which one is better for your particular use case.
I am going to give you some pros and cons of using a dynamic versus static website. It will help you to interpret the differences a little bit.
Static Websites Are Extremely Fast
Yes. Static websites are extremely fast; I mean, super fast. If you are using an HTTP server, the server can quickly hand out web pages with no problem whatsoever.
And so it’s effortless for a website that is static to handle lots of traffic, even if you have millions and millions of people visiting your site.
It’s still not going to burden the server as much as it would on a dynamic site.
Static Websites Are Also Really Secure
With a static website, you are not doing anything on the server. You are not accepting any user input generally. So there’s nothing for a hacker to hack.
There’s no back-end; there is no user data. It’s just like what you see is what you get.
For a dynamic website, you have to set up and maintain the servers. And if you’re using a database, that adds another entire layer of complexity to it.
You have to worry about maintaining the database and how your data are flowing between the database and the application.
Static Websites Are Not Flexible
Static websites are very rigid, you know it’s just a static file on your web server, and what’s there is what’s there.
It doesn’t change; it can’t adapt to different situations. You or the web hosting servers can’t customize it for other users.
You can’t update static websites quickly because all the code is hard-coded onto the files.
Static websites also aren’t good at taking input from any users, making your websites a little less interactive.
Pros of Dynamic Website
Dynamic sites are active and flexible. Dynamic websites can change in the blink of an eye, and also they can differ depending on which user is accessing them.
They’re also capable of interacting with databases. You can interact with databases on a static site, but it’s a little more complicated than it is with a dynamic website.
With a dynamic site, you have your database set up, and your server can communicate with it, and they can work together to give the user the best experience.
Not to mention you can store, update, retrieve, and delete information from that database on the fly. Dynamic websites are also more interactive to communicate with the site and affect other users’ experiences.
Cons of Dynamic Sites
Dynamic sites are less secure than a static website.
So whenever you’re dealing with a dynamic website, especially taking user input or interacting with users, there’s always the chance that someone’s going to try to do something harmful.
Especially if you’re dealing with the database, if you think that your database is completely secure, look at companies whose databases get hacked every day.
These are huge companies, and that doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen to you, but it means that it’s a possibility.
Dynamic sites are also traditionally slower than static sites. Think about it like when the user goes to the webserver, the webserver has to build the entire website.
It is going to take a little bit longer than just handing out the website.
Sometimes, dynamic websites can also be a little bit harder to set up. It requires a lot of configuration that needs to go on in the server.
You have to have a server capable of hosting your dynamic website, and depending on what language is used to write the site or which software it uses, it could be different.
They can be a little bit expensive. The cost will depend on the complexity and the power of your site. A high-end dynamic website can be costly to maintain.
So static sites and dynamic sites both have pros and cons.
Making a Static Website
To make a static website, you may need to contact a web designer or developer.
If you know web languages like HTML and CSS, then you can create it yourself.
Making a Dynamic Website
Technically, there are many ways to create a dynamic website, and one of the most popular methods is WordPress. You can install WordPress with a single click.
With our free Divi theme builder, you can design your WordPress website smoothly. Divi is intuitive; you can create a stunning e-commerce website with Divi in no time.
What are your favorite ways of creating a stunning website? Do share that within the comment box.