As a small business, your website is the key to your success. It often serves as potential customers’ first impression of your company, and visitors will come to your site to learn about your business, products, and services.
So, what kind of website is best for a small-to-midsized business (SMB)? One decision you’ll have to make is whether to build a static or dynamic website.
In this post, we’ll compare static vs. dynamic websites and discuss which is better for SMBs to help you decide which type of site your business should use.
How websites work
Understanding how websites work, specifically how they are supplied to your web browser, is helpful in understanding the difference between static and dynamic websites. Here’s a quick rundown of how it all works.
When a user views a website, their browser sends a request to the server that stores the content. The server answers to the request by sending the page’s code to the browser, which the browser then displays.
Static website definition: What is a static website?
The browser then displays the page based on the HTML and other code. With static pages, the page looks the same for every user.
Sites that don’t change much or can display the same pages to each user are good candidates for the static website method. Sites such as company websites, blogs, and other informational sites may be static.
Dynamic website definition: What is a dynamic website?
When a browser requests a page, dynamic websites use server-side processing to produce it in real time.
The user does not view a page that is based on an exact HTML document you uploaded to your server. Instead, the website gathers information from a database, loads it into a template, and generates HTML code in real-time.
Sites with often changing information and sites where you want to offer each user individual pages are suitable candidates for the dynamic approach.
Dynamic sites, such as eCommerce and social networking sites, where users may log in and view their individual profiles, are possible. Each user’s profile page is not hard-coded by the site developer. Instead, the web generates these pages dynamically.
based on the information the user entered when they created their account.
Some disclaimers about comparing static vs. dynamic websites
Comparing static vs. dynamic websites can sometimes be confusing. The lines between dynamic and static are somewhat blurred, and you can blend the two approaches. Some sites may be mostly static but have a few dynamic elements, for example.
If a page is static, that also doesn’t mean that users can’t interact with it. You can include forms, buttons, and other elements that users can interact with on static web pages. Some people may refer to these types of elements as “dynamic” elements.
In this post, when we say “dynamic,” though, we’re referring to pages that are generated dynamically using server-side processing in real time when a user visits a page.
Static vs. dynamic websites: Which is better for SMBs?
So, which is better for SMBs? Static or dynamic websites? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.
Static website pros
The advantages of static websites include:
Simple to create
Static websites are simpler than their dynamic counterparts. You can create a static web page with only HTML, while with dynamic sites, you’ll need to work with the languages you’ll use to pull the data and generate the pages.
Less expensive to build and host
Because static websites are simpler, it’s often less expensive to build and host them.
Because you build each page ahead of time, it’s often easier to change elements from page to page or use completely different designs on different pages.
Fast load time
Load time tends to be fast with static sites since the pages are already made. Load time depends on numerous factors, however, and with modern technology, dynamic sites can load quickly as well.
Static sites are also often easier to optimize for search engines. The pages on static sites already exist, and search engine crawlers may see them just like users. If you want your dynamic site to rank in search, you’ll need to incorporate certain static parts on your page or construct optimized static pages for your dynamic site.
Static websites cons
Some of the cons of static websites include:
Updates require more manual work
One disadvantage of static sites is that updating your pages requires more manual work. That’s why if your content updates frequently, the dynamic may be a better choice.
Harder to scale due to manual updates
The need to update your pages manually means it is harder to scale your site, although there are various tools that can help with this.
Dynamic website pros
Let’s look at the pros of dynamic websites.
Allows for user login
Dynamic sites are useful if you want visitors to be able to log in. You can dynamically generate pages such as users’ profile pages based on their account information.
Good for personalization
Dynamic sites also lend themselves well to personalizing content for different users. If your site is based on a lot of personalization, the dynamic may be the way to go.
Good for frequent updates
If you frequently update your site, consider using the dynamic approach, as it allows you to avoid some of the manual work that comes with updating static pages.
Along those same lines, it’s often easier to scale a dynamic site than a static one.
Dynamic website cons
Some of the cons of dynamic websites include:
More complex to build
Can be more expensive to build and host
Because dynamic sites are more complex, it can be more expensive to build and host them.
Should you build a dynamic or static site?
A dynamic site is likely the best choice if you:
- Want users to be able to log in on your site
- Want to personalize a lot of your site’s content for users
- Have content that updates frequently
However, you can opt to use a static site if you:
- Don’t need login, large-scale personalization, or frequent updates
- Want a simpler site setup
Also, keep in mind that you can blend some dynamic and static functionality on your site using various tools.
Create the perfect website for your business
The best type of website varies from business to business, and you certainly have lots of options when it comes to building your site. It’s vital to take the time to get your website right since it’s integral to your online brand and marketing.
Want help deciding what type of website is right for your business? Turn to Digitizal. We have an experienced team of web development and design experts who can help you create the perfect site for your goals. Contact us online or at +92 317 8866096 to speak with an expert.