When it comes to having an online presence, this is the most basic question of them all. But for those who are not into the business of developing websites for their brands, this can become a major pain. Going online is a necessity and most clients would ask how much does it cost to develop a website. If you’re getting started in building your first website from scratch, it is important that you know which type of site you will require: Static or Dynamic? I believe there are countless websites online that can tell you the difference between the two. What’s crucial though is for you to know which one is really better for your business. For starters, think of not just how the website will look, but how it will function as well.
Static vs Dynamic Websites
Think of acronyms when you will speak to your developer about it. In a nutshell, a static website is the simplest form you can have built – written in pure HTML and CSS, minus the scripting. The only thing interactive on a static site is hyperlinks. On the other hand, dynamic websites are simply that – they’re dynamic, using programming languages like ASP, .NET, PHP or built on a CMS. (Please excuse the jargon speak, just click on the links to lead you to the definition of terms)
The difference is that it includes scripting to allow interactivity with your site visitors. Dynamic websites may not be fully interactive like Facebook, but it comes with other elements like contact forms and search boxes. The site is also sharing the same HTML code for the header, sidebar and menus between all your pages. To make it simple, a static website is something you can read like an online brochure.. while a dynamic website allows you to use it.
Which Type of Website is Best for Your Business?
Majority of business websites today run on dynamic pages and this is not without a reason, especially when user experience is converting more site visitors into customers. Here are factors to consider when deciding on which type of website you will need.
Static websites are fast and cheap to develop; it’s cheaper to host as well. Because the structure is simpler, it doesn’t need lots of time for development. Dynamic websites costs more as it will involve CMS setup, database configuration and the skills of a professional web developer. Take note though that future updates on static websites may add up and become more costly than having a dynamic website.
While a static website can be up and running in 24 hours, your audience may not find it useful. If you want to engage your site visitors more than posting a one-way means of communicating your brand message, a dynamic website is a better option. Do you want people to buy products from your site’s shopping cart? Do you want to integrate social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, G+ or Pinterest into your site? If you want people to share, buy, subscribe, comment or contact you — then, a dynamic website is what you need.
Content and Functionality
By the word itself, static websites mean stagnant content. Dynamic websites add more functionality though and are easier to update. We all know that search engines love new content these days and that means more traffic for your site. If you are updating your website frequently, you will do best to stay away from static sites. While there are debates about static sites getting more SEO juice and ranking higher in the searches — know that getting found online is just a part of the buying process. What matters more is how to keep people hooked on your website. Besides, dynamic websites can be accessed through a user-friendly interface that you can use yourself. A perfect example is WordPress, a blogging platform that is easy for anyone to use.
You may say that this post is biased to dynamic websites.. and that has a very good reason: Think Long Term. If you’re in for a limited-time only promotion, a static site like those sales page you see online may work. Given the majority of website projects I have handled, I’d say that dynamic sites pay off in the end.
Do you need help setting up your website? Let’s Talk!