The type of website your business has will dictate your online business’ success. And you must choose the right one for you since not all websites are the same.
For example, some allow you to present your business to your audience well. But they may not have customisation options that more advanced website builders have. These features can help supercharge your business and increase conversions over a short period.
At the same time, tweaking your website to achieve the look and feel you want it to have on more advanced builders requires some technical knowledge. You won’t have this problem on simple website platforms, where you can just drag and drop elements at will.
Such is the dilemma you must deal with regarding building a website for your business. And is the weight you have to carry when deciding between static and dynamic websites.
Thankfully, this post helps you make an informed decision about which between the two you should choose for your online business. We’ll start by defining each and laying down the difference of each, as well as their respective pros and cons.
What are Static Websites?
The server loads the page’s content to the visitor’s browser as it is encoded. If you want to change the page, such as removing/adding elements or changing the page layout, you must edit the page using any of the languages mentioned above. And to do this, you must first learn how to use the language properly.
A perfect example of a static website is a resume or freelance site. Its purpose is to showcase your credentials and qualifications to help you get hired. While you may have to edit everything before looking for new work, you don’t have to change it often.
You can also use static websites for online presentations. So, instead of worrying what your pitch deck is going to do as you make your presentation to investors, you can upload it as an HTML page on your site and visit the link from your browser for stable and reliable viewing.
What are Dynamic Websites?
Dynamic websites are built using server-side technology. This means servers can display pages from dynamic sites on the fly anytime based on user behaviour.
Instead of managing individual pages of your site, you organise the pages using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla. (This frees you to follow the latest web development trends without having to learn web development languages.) All pages are then connected to show a specific layout and design to certain pages on your site. This way, you can edit pages by tinkering with the layout design that applies to these specific pages.
You can also change the overall site design by downloading themes you can easily tweak and edit. The design changes you’ll make on the theme will also apply on all the pages unless specified.
Aside from design, you can also display certain information to users based on their previous behaviour on your site or their location. This allows your site to adapt its content and design layout based on your visitors. An example of this dynamic website type is a membership website.
Also, businesses that implement B2B marketing campaigns will benefit from dynamic websites. Since they’ll be using e-books, webinars, and other collateral to promote their products and services, a dynamic site enables them to show personalised content to each audience segment (more on this later).
Differences Between Static and Dynamic Websites?
Now that you have a much better understanding of what each website type means, it’s time to distinguish one from another. This way, you can decide for yourself which between the two is the best type to run for your online business.
Static Websites Load Faster
As mentioned, servers load static pages on a per-page basis. Within each page is the code for the layout, design, and content that the server will load onto the browsers for visitors to see.
That said, static websites are inherently fast-loading. They are independent of a database or client-server infrastructure to deliver and load the page’s content to people’s browsers. Also, caching these pages is much easier, which increases loading speed even further.
A fast-loading site also has benefits—namely, it helps your site rank higher on search engines for its target keywords.
Dynamic Websites are Easier to Use and Update
If you want to change how you present your blog posts, you can make the necessary edits from your CMS. After making the changes, you can reload the blog posts to see the new design. It doesn’t matter if you have hundreds and thousands of published blog posts—all of them will have the same consistent website design for uniformity’s sake.
Also, you don’t have to learn code when making the edits. While it’s good to know the languages used to execute specific code, you can still implement any design changes you want on your CMS with a few clicks of a button.
This way, it’s much easier for non-designers to exercise repetition and alignment in their site design without writing a single line of code.
This is in stark contrast with static websites, where you must flex your programming knowledge by manually typing in the code on the page.
Finally, while static websites are much easier to manage in the early stages, dynamic websites are the more ideal choice moving forward. Since your business gets the ball rolling, you need to create more site pages and get more technical with the layout and elements you’ll use of all of them. This is where dynamic sites thrive since it’s built for scale.
Static Websites are Theoretically More Secure
The way that static websites are designed makes them less likely to get hacked. Again, it all boils down to this website type not having a database or client-server infrastructure where one can find all the pages and resources necessary to run dynamic sites. Other points of entry where hackers can attack a website include themes, plugins, and extensions.
If a static website gets hacked, it only affects the specific page that was attacked. The other pages are unaffected by the hack, at least for now. You can then isolate the affected page to keep the other static pages safe from harm.
This doesn’t mean that dynamic websites have poor security measures against online threats. You can implement DDoS protection and SQL certificates to fortify your site defences against hackers. Not to mention, CMSs like WordPress are continuously updated to fix exploits and improve their security.
But by default, dynamic websites are compromised much more easily due to their setup.
Dynamic Websites Provide Better User Experience
Arguably the biggest draw of dynamic websites is how easy it is to create a seamless user experience for your visitors.
The key here is personalisation. You can display the right information in the page’s content to visitors who meet the criteria.
For example, e-commerce sites use the members’ transaction history to see what they’ve bought before. From here, the site will recommend products related to the ones purchased by the users.
The goal here is that, since they bought a similar product before, there’s a good chance they’ll buy a related product soon.
There are many use-cases of personalisation implemented by websites from various industries. So it’s common, even though developing these features on your site can be complex.
Of course, there’s also more to user experience than personalisation. Visitors will disengage from a wellness site with terrible navigation no matter how good its content is; the absence of appealing, logical visuals and layout will drive them away from your site and toward competitors.
User experience, therefore, is a holistic approach to building a website. It can be as complicated as personalisation and as straightforward as simplifying navigation. If your logo requires something special, or you’re in an atypical field, you may find that you can communicate a lot of the “feel” for your site by taking the time to create a custom font. Ultimately, your choices should engage your audience in meaningful ways, from navigation to content, offering that “something special” that a dynamic website enables you to do.
If you decide that creating and maintaining these more personalised, complex sites is something you want to handle yourself or with an inhouse team, but you don’t have a tech department, then you might be interested in getting more training, because dynamic websites require more programming. But don’t worry – you don’t need to leave your job and go back to college. There are a number of excellent programming courses offered online.
At this point, it should be clear which between a static and dynamic website is the right one for you.
If you’re a freelancer or professional who wants a site where prospects can reach out to them, a static website is ideal for them.
But for those managing a large business that requires constantly creating and editing thousands of pages, a dynamic website is the best choice.