Websites are very fluid things, and just like everything else in life they can come in many forms. But once you get past the different shapes and sizes, industries and functionality, you come down to one core decision that will impact every other part of your website.
Will it be static, or dynamic?
This is a debate that’s gone on for a very long time now, with general opinion swinging back and forth depending on new Google updates, technology innovations and just public preference. At the moment dynamic websites are the firm favourite, and it’s likely that they will stay that way for quite a long time. But what makes a website dynamic, and how do you know if your website is? And for that matter, what makes dynamic websites so much better?
What Is A Dynamic Website?
The word ‘dynamic’ means something characterized by constant change, activity or progress. So a dynamic website is something that is constantly changing in response to its surroundings. They are built using a server-side language and technology which allows the content on each page to be delivered in a number of different ways. Dynamic websites can adapt on the fly to different devices, languages, time zones or even just different days of the week. They can be programmed to respond to either user behaviour or update based on user-generated content, depending on what kind of website you’re building, and you probably use this kind of website every day without even realising it. For example, Instagram, Facebook, Disney Plus, Netflix and even the BBC and other news outlets all use dynamic websites to display timely and relevant content to their users. In many ways, dynamic websites are the default build style for modern businesses.
Dynamic websites Vs Static websites
The difference between a dynamic website and a static one is simple on the surface, but a little more complicated once you dig deeper.
On a static website
The content doesn’t change – the information, format, and everything else about it stays the same (or ‘static’) for every single visitor.
In other words, everyone who visits a static website will see the same content, layout and design, regardless of what they view it on. The only way the website will change is if you or your web developer go in and change the source files in the back end.
On a dynamic website
The content is fluid, and will change automatically depending on the visitor, native language, the device they’re using and dozens of other factors.
Dynamic websites have the ability to show different content to different users based on a number of factors and inputs. This allows for a much more customised and user-friendly experience. For a long time, static was the only option for web design. But as mobile devices became more popular, those sites wouldn’t display for different screen sizes or resolutions, and so dynamic websites were born.
What Do Benefits Do Dynamic Websites Bring?
It’s all very well and good saying that dynamic websites are better, but why is that? What benefits do dynamic websites have over a static website for your business, especially as they often cost a little more to build initially?
Better User Experience
Did you know that 52% of visitors will leave your website if the user experience is bad, especially on mobile? Dynamic websites by nature adapt to devices, so your website will always perform well on mobile devices. And by providing users with relevant, personalised content you can dramatically improve their experience using the site, ensuring engaged users and higher conversions.
Easier to Maintain
You might think that dynamic websites sound complicated, but they’re actually much easier to update and maintain than static sites. A content change on one page can be duplicated and rolled out across other pages without needing to alter the main design, which can save hours of work on big websites with lots of pages. And because they are infinitely scalable, your website can grow with you organically and simply, without the need for expensive redesigns every few years.
Improve Your SEO
The likelihood is there are hundreds or maybe thousands of other businesses out there doing what you do, and you need to be able to compete with them online. The biggest battlefield is search engines, which is where dynamic websites really shine. On a dynamic website, there is a substantial amount of content created, and you can add to it as often as you like. This increase the number of indexed pages your website has, making it more appealing to search engines over static websites. Not to mention that the bots Google use to assess your website understand that dynamic websites are more advanced and appealing to users, and so they rank them higher than static sites by default.
How About Drawbacks?
In all honesty, the list of downsides to choosing a dynamic website comes down to about 2. First, they are usually more expensive to create. This is because the development and build time requires a lot of extra steps, gathering data from the client, integrating existing systems and ensuring the website will be flexible in the future. So if you’re on a shoestring budget, a dynamic website might be a bit of a stretch.
The second is also money related, but this time in maintenance. Dynamic websites often require a better quality server than most low-level hosting services provide. This is so that it can handle all of that dynamic data and user traffic without crashing or impacting loading times, and continue to cope with it in the future as your website grows. So if you opt for a dynamic website, you may need to upgrade to a better, and more expensive, server to keep it running.
In summary, dynamic websites are the perfect way to provide a sleek and engaging experience for your customers while being easy for you to maintain. If you’re not sure if a dynamic website is right for you, answer these questions:
- Do you have more than one page on your website?
- Do you need a login feature for customers to access their account, or for employees to access a portal?
- Do you want to keep your site modern without spending a fortune?
- Do you want to be able to make changes without having to learn how to code?
Then you need a dynamic website.
At Lion Spirit Media we design and build intuitive websites that are easy to navigate, simple to update and above all, dynamic. All of our website designs are custom for your business, so you can be sure your business stands out from the crowd every time. If you’d like to learn more about dynamic websites and our approach to building them, just get in touch with the team today.