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Static vs. Dynamic

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Of all the various ways you can make a website, your pages fall into one of two categories; dynamic or static. The difference between a static and dynamic website lies in how the site is constructed.

Static Pages
Static sites are constructed using HTML code only. This means each page is considered a separate document and no database is used to retrieve the information and display it on the page. The only way to update content on this type of site is to edit each individual page’s HTML. This can be done using a webpage editor like FrontPage or by contacting Fusion Forward to make the updates for you.

Advantages

  • Quick and easy to put together
  • Less expensive

Disadvantages

  • Difficult to maintain when a site gets large
  • Difficult to keep consistent and up to date without HTML knowledge
  • Offers little visitor personalization

Example: http://petsallowedindee.com/

Dynamic Pages
Dynamic sites are constructed using code that is more complex than HTML. Content and page layout are created separately. Content is retrieved from a database and placed on a webpage only when accessed by the visitor. This allows for quicker page loading and also makes updating content very easy for just about anyone with basic computer skills. Dynamic sites allow the client to change the content only and maintain the design theme of the site. This is an important feature for clients who are not used to working with HTML code and may inadvertently break a line of code affecting their site’s design. Content can be updated using an administrative login provided by Fusion Forward and no specific software programs are required.

Advantages

  • Offers highly personalized and customized options
  • Access to change content on the website from any computer, anywhere that has Internet connection
  • Website content contributors/editors only need basic content editing skills

Disadvantages

  • Longer initial development time
  • Higher initial development cost

Example: http://www.kidsvilleiowa.com/

There are several things to consider when deciding on what type of website will best fit your needs.

  • Will you be updating content frequently?
  • Do you require the use of forms to collect visitor information?
  • Will your overall site be very large with multiple pages?

If you answered yes to the questions above, you may consider having Fusion Forward develop a dynamic website for you. The cost associated with a dynamic website is higher than that for a static site because the code used in development is much more advanced and has a longer set up time. But, the capabilities of a dynamic site are much greater than those of a static site. A dynamic site may also save you money in the long run if you can make basic content changes yourself.

Static websites are ideal for clients establishing a very basic online presence (i.e. landing page/homepage only) with few content updates throughout the year. You may also decide to try a combination of both static and dynamic pages. Common applications of this method are found on sites where a catalog of products, photo gallery or other content need to be updated often, but other website pages will remain the same (static).

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