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In the world of web design and development, there are two major categories of websites: static and dynamic websites. Although both types of websites have their own benefits and uses, they differ significantly in functionality and usage. In this blog article, we will explore the difference between static and dynamic websites so that you can make an informed decision when choosing the right type of website for your specific needs.

What is a static website

A static website is a simple, basic form of website consisting of pure HTML files. These websites are usually hand-coded and have fixed, unchanging content that does not depend on user interaction. In other words, a static website consists of web pages that are written directly in the source code (HTML, CSS and JavaScript code).

Every aspect of a static website, including text, images and layout, is predefined and remains constant unless manually changed by the website owner or developer. This means that each page of a static website is saved as 1 individual file, exactly as it is. These pages are, as the name suggests, unchangeable. If adjustments need to be made to a static website, these must be made manually in the source code. Adjustments to a static website can only be made by someone with knowledge of HTML code.

Characteristic of a static site is that every visitor sees exactly the same content. Therefore, static websites work best for sites with a limited number of pages that do not require frequent updates or changes. Static websites are easy to create and have minimal server requirements, making them ideal for small businesses or personal blogs that only need to present a limited amount of information.

Benefits of a static website

  • A static website has faster loading times: because a static page is written directly in the source code, this code can also be delivered to the visitor directly from the web server. This makes caching quite simple and the content can be loaded quickly without major delays or technical limitations.
  • A static website is cheaper to build: the limited complexity means that a static website can be rolled out quickly and is therefore cheaper to build.
  • Hosting a static website is cheaper: a static website does not require a database and generally requires less server computing power to load. This means that hosting a static website is often cheaper than hosting a dynamic website.
  • A static website is cheaper to maintain: because a static website does not have a Content Management System installed, it does not need to be maintained. No security updates need to be made and hardly any maintenance needs to be done.
  • A static website can be built faster: a static website is easier to build and can therefore be put live faster.
  • No database required, reducing the risk of hackers.

Disadvantages of a static website

  • A static website has limited scalability: all pages on a static website must be built and managed separately. Static websites with a lot of content will therefore quickly become difficult to manage. This is therefore only suitable for rather small websites.
  • A static website is less efficient to manage: because a static website is written directly in the source code, it must always be adjusted by someone with HTML knowledge. If you cannot write HTML yourself, you cannot make any adjustments to the website yourself, but of course, you can contact us for this! If you only make a few changes per year, that doesn't matter. If you want to make an adjustment every week, the costs will of course increase.
  • Not suitable for websites with many pages and complex functionality.
  • No possibility for user interaction or personal content.

Who is a static website best suited for?

  • You only need a limited number of pages on your website, for example a maximum of 15
  • The pages on your website do not need to be changed often, for example a maximum of 2-3 times a year
  • Your website should only be shown in 1 language
  • You have a limited budget for your website
  • Your website needs to be live very quickly

What is a dynamic website?

Unlike static websites, dynamic websites are much more advanced and interactive. They use server-side scripts and databases to generate and customise content on demand based on users' interactions.

Dynamic websites are built using a database and a Content Management System (CMS), which together ensure that the content of each web page can be created dynamically. This allows you to easily update a dynamic website and the information can even differ per visitor. Thanks to the CMS you can register different users, each with their own login and even with different rights. These users can then add content to the dynamic website.

Benefits of a dynamic website

  • A static website is easier to update: via a personal login you can publish content changes yourself without having to have any technical knowledge. You can even give multiple administrators access at the same time so that you can make adjustments to the content with different people.
  • A dynamic website has more functionalities: dynamic websites have almost limitless functionality and can be used for a range of complex requirements such as a webshop, event with registration, online forum, portfolio, blog, etc.
  • A dynamic website can be built in multiple languages along with an interface to translate it easily.

Disadvantages of a dynamic website

  • It takes more resources to build a dynamic website: the extra steps required to integrate a database and a CMS make a dynamic website more complex to set up. It takes more time to go live and is therefore more expensive.
  • Hosting a dynamic website is more expensive: dynamic websites have more instructions to process than a static websites, and they are always connected to a database. This requires more computing power from a web server, which will translate into a more expensive hosting contract to keep the more dynamic website running smoothly.
  • Dynamic websites require occasional maintenance: the content management system that runs behind the dynamic website receives security updates at regular intervals. These updates will need to be made to ensure that the website continues to run.

Who is a dynamic website best suited for?

  • You want to be able to manage your website yourself
  • The pages on your website need to be adjusted regularly
  • You have specific technical requirements for your website (webshop, blog, news page, online event, etc.)
  • Your website must be displayed in multiple languages
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