Keeping Your Website Current: Static vs. Dynamic

by Andrew Larson
Published 8-19-2015

Eventually, during the lifetime of all websites, there comes a time when it's important to decide what you want from your website- because you’ve established where your website is located, what information you’re uploading to your website, and even the very basics of how you want it to run. You now have the choice- is your website going provide information without providing those third party applications, or is it going to have all the bells and whistles of more modern sites?

Proliferation of "Good Websites"

There are far more static websites on the internet than dynamic websites, and the reason for this is because there are far more small businesses that just need to put information out there for potential customers to reach them and contact them for more services. Smaller businesses and companies can afford to take this approach, because their customer base is small and very pointed. Static websites are only updated by those who understand what’s going on and only want to change very few things at once when they’re originally updated or to provide a little more detailed information through a link to another static page. However on these pages very little activity happens, and there are few programs that run on the page.

They can be faster than dynamic webpages from a page load standpoint as well as being cheaper and quicker to develop, but they have a few drawbacks:

  • The content tends to get stale
  • Not as easy as other types of modern sites who use content management systems (like WordPress) to modify, you’ve got to manually re-script and code your data in the control panel
  • Not as useful as it could be for the user. Dynamic sites offer a wide variety of benefits to business operations
  • Content tends to stagnate quickly, because it’s the only thing for viewers to look at

On the other hand, dynamic webpages are much more extensive and developed in their approach to reaching the customer. Dynamic webpages cost more initially, because you have to pay for the programming, but the advantages tend to outweigh the negatives after you’ve gotten off the ground and have integrated steps to engage customer rapport. At the very least, dynamic webpages give viewers dynamic approaches to updates, content, news and events through browser interfaces, e-commerce and online marketplaces, bulletin or discussion boards, client uploads, content creation, information and site publishing software and more- the limits are about what you can imagine.

 Additionally, they’re easier to update, and keep people coming back for more while you or your staff collaborate new ideas to build more website information.

On the negative side:

  • Dynamic webpages can be slower to load than static webpages. Optimization and caching is key here. 
  • Often more expensive, considering the costs of a CMS type program or a dedicated programmer to help you manage applications and scripts
  • Hosting costs more, because you’ll need more bandwidth and disk space to take extensive traffic without crashing your site
  • Making major changes to the design down the road can also be more costly and time consuming

It really comes down to what you’re looking for in a webpage. Are you a mom-and-pop mortar business that’s trying to get your established name on the internet so that your audience can find you, or are you trying to build an audience from the ground up? If you don’t need much more than simple “service” content or addresses, phone numbers, and a few pictures and basic content, go for a static webpage. In the long run, we’ve found that dynamic sites give you far more bang for your buck because you can give your users a more professional looking approach with more stuff for them to look at. This also gives them more to buy, more room for you to promote and generate leads, and so forth, building a bigger, stronger expansion of websites and growth.

This is why programming and web development are so integrally important for the growth of a business. You could do it yourself, but will it stand the test of time, be innovative and powerful, and work directly for your customer's needs and wants?