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‘Static’ and ‘dynamic’ are terms used to describe the two main types of a website build. Static sites are usually written in plain HTML, the details in the coding of the page are what is displayed to the user. Whereas dynamic sites are written using a scripting language like PHP, JSP, or ASP.

Static sites are basically websites in their simplest form and are by far the easiest to build. Whereas a more bespoke, dynamic website would require more complex, specified web programming. By simply creating a few HTML pages and publishing them to your server will establish your static site.

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Static HTML websites vs. Dynamic Websites/CMS

What’s The difference?

HTML is a web programming language that is used to write code and create a website. Coding like this can be written and edited in almost all types of a text editor. Although there is specific-coding text-editing programs that highlight syntax, this helps web developer’s gain clarity in their site builds.

CMS (Content Management System), however are mainly free and an open-source software that is downloadable. You can also upload to your server and set-up with next to no coding experience or expertise needed. Creating a full website with administration systems in place enabling you to write posts, create new pages, design edit, upload files amongst many other activities for your web development.

Many CMS (Content Management Systems) programs are very insightful, and are known for their easy-to-use tools, which are helpful when issuing regular blogs, or open forums on your website that will encounter user engagement in the form of comments or new sign up/registration facilities.

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Pros and Cons of Traditional/Static HTML

Pro’s:

  • Traditional HTML is the perfect solution for more complex websites that need a lot of custom coding and bespoke functionalities. Here you can input or alter as and when is appropriate, assuring you have the web development skills for any technical coding aspects you will encounter. There’s also the possibility to create your very own CMS-based platform.
  • Traditional HTML adopts the concept of individual input bringing the ultimate in results. By writing your own code you will be able to grasp your inner thoughts and imagination, allowing you to create anything you would need or want to include on your website.

Content Management System’s are known to be have limitations for the less technical savvy individual, meaning people unfamiliar with code will have to rely on existing themes, features and plug-ins.

Many times, grasping the overall look and style whilst incorporating the features you need, will prove tricky if not impossible. This results in either working with what you have available and try as best as you can to mix this with your vision of the website or submit to the wisdoms of a professional web developer to code the features and functionalities you want.

Con’s:

  • Should your website need amends or alterations referred to in the industry as “back end amendments” you’ll need to be at your computer in your office to make the changes necessary. Resulting in minimum flexibility to access and edit your content from any computer, mobile or tablet device.
  • Creating your own CMS-based software with static HTML is now possible, plus with the Content Management Systems implemented this allows you to edit the content of your site from anywhere. To achieve this however would prove quite a task, as the workload and technical coding input necessary would be substantial and time consuming.
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Static HTML Website

Server => Client/browser

Dynamic CMS Website

Server => database => Client/browser

Pros and Cons of Dynamic Websites/CMS

Pro’s:

  • Installation is fast and easy.
  • Changing content frequently is no hassle, and without having to worry about learning to code or liaising with your developer.
  • Numerous templates to choose from that allows you to modify your site to the theme and layout of your business. For example, “city theme” hosts several templates to choose from.
  • knowledge of technical coding is not required. All the tools to add text, images, or videos, as well as the ability to create new pages are included within the platform.
  • Most platforms include security.
  • Banner sliders, image galleries, SEO tools, and e-Commerce systems are easy to add and install.
  • You can manage your content from any computer at any location. (Providing you have internet access)
  • The content is already online. No FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software is needed to upload
  • Blogs are already built in, allowing you to post immediately.
  • Most templates are responsive.
  • Due to larger more frequent content uploads, search engines respond very well to CMS websites. They’re known to be nice and easy for search engines to read and index.

Con’s:

  • CMS (Content Management Systems) needs a greater memory, more CPU power, and regular maintenance as opposed to its HTML rival. Slight changes to the settings on the server can result in catastrophic errors which may even cause the site to fail completely.
  • CMS hosting will cost slightly more than regular web hosting.
  • Developing large and complex websites with a Content Management System can be a recipe for disaster. Large e-commerce sites like the well-known Amazon which incorporates tonnes of features have complex designs and features that couldn’t have been built with CMS-based platforms. This website will need to be designed from the beginning with customised HTML that incorporates other coding languages to support it.
  • Badly coded templates can be all too common on the internet. Using Content Managements System will teach individuals the knowledge needed to spot the difference between efficient and inefficient websites.
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CMS vs Static Websites

Knowing what type of website to use for any business can be confusing, especially for those who are not professional web developers, which is most of us. Small business owners today need professional and sleek high-quality websites in order to remain on top of your competition in the market. Business owners more than ever need to learn the differences between content managed (CMS) and static websites for them to make the best decisions for the company moving forward.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

For those businesses that wish to have more than just a simple online presence, then CMS is a good choice. Businesses needing more features (such as e-commerce sites with their product placement imperative) will find CMS an excellent investment. Although CMS hold mostly text files, they can also be incorporated with attractive features like video, imagery and mobile apps.

Changes or amends that needs to be implemented can be quick and easy as the information is held in a database that is accessible to users registered to the administrator’s panel.

Several business owners may stumble on the affordability of this expensive alternative to web design. This initial investment will pay back dividends in the long run as the simplicity to perform updates to a CMS is easy and sustainable making this the favoured choice for many business owners.

Static Websites

These sites are less expensive to create because they are hosted without the support of a database, static websites are created by designers with an HTML or XHTML coding background. Due to the low initial investment and minimal start-up costs that’s involved with static websites, makes them the preferred choice for several businesses looking to penetrate their market. Due to the simplicity of the coding, only minimal knowledge is required to perform any changes or updates to the site, with no added expense in commissioning a designer.

Due to the very nature of business and its complexity it is difficult to recommend one that fits all model. Some small businesses will operate fine with a static website that utilises all they need from a website, an initial web presence and a place for their customers to find them. Other larger companies looking to expand their product range or establish more services will look to use a CMS and all its available features to remain competitive and ahead of the curve. Acquiring knowledge of each style is an important factor with an effective online presence today. As technology continues to evolve so to should your business, as products and services evolve your pricing, styles, and overall theme will need to accommodate this. Businesses with the most success are ones that regularly update their online content regardless of the style of site they use. So, consistency and sustainability are key in maintaining the healthiest website and establishing your online presence.

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