Old Static Content vs New Dynamic Websites And Data

staticvsdynamicWhen the web was new and people were still trying to figure out how to capitalize on this internet thing, static websites were designed simply using HTML. Even the most advanced web design courses will require you to learn HTML coding because this is the foundation of the web. However, the vast majority of today’s websites rely heavily on dynamic content served up from databases. One of the more popular examples of this is WordPress, which relies on PHP and MySQL. This popular content management system creates dynamic pages using PHP scripting and information stored in the MySQL database. Unlike static websites, these dynamic sites can be updated and expanded much more easily. The ability to quickly update and expand dynamic content can even be seen in the ability to create dynamic charts in Excel and PowerPoint. However, there are still some reasons to create a static website.

Who Uses Static Websites?

When the primary goal of your site is to supply information that rarely changes and which only requires a few pages, then a static website is all you need. These sites are less expensive and less complicated to create and maintain. However, they are also difficult to expand and update. This is why it is very important to know exactly how you will be using your website before creating a static site.

With static websites, every element of every page must be created from scratch. Additionally, any change made to any element of the page must be updated on all the pages. For example, if you want to include your phone number on every page of a static website, you would need to enter that information into the HTML for every page. Additionally, if your phone number changes then you will need to edit every page to change that information. You can see how laborious that can become when your site has more than a few pages or requires frequent updates. Some examples of this would be blogs that are updated regularly or ecommerce sites that sell hundreds or products. If you have any plans to include a blog or shopping cart on your website then you will be better off with a dynamic site.

Why Are Dynamic Sites So Popular?

Dynamic websites and data have become so popular that it’s difficult to find examples of static websites anymore. This is because dynamic websites and data is much more interesting than static content. The ability to display information from a database within a website is the foundation of blogs and other content management systems (CMS). You can learn to create your own CMS by studying PHP and MySQL. However, more advanced dynamic websites will take advantage of a working knowledge of JavaScript in addition to PHP and MySQL.

Beyond blogs and other content management systems, web applications are another common form of dynamic website. In order to create these dynamic web apps you will need to learn Java programming. Of course, this is in addition to having a strong knowledge of PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript. These sites come in all forms. Some are graphic intensive video games built on the web and designed to be played on a range of devices. Other, are custom designed web portals that take advantage of specific features and screen resolutions on smartphones. Behind the glossy surface of the web app, they all rely on a scripting language and a database to deliver the dynamic content that users want.