What Kind Of Site Should You Build?

Static vs Dynamic, what type of site should you build? We explore the basics of each to help you decide which route you should take to make your site function exactly how you need it to.

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the comparison

Wait there are different kinds of sites?

One of the most common questions I get from clients regarding development of their website a very simple but crucial question: What kind of site do I need?

To keep things simple and not bore everyone, sites fall into one of two categories: Static or Dynamic. From there the different version of dynamic sits could have a whole series of posts on its own, but let's get back to the two big categories, STATIC and DYNAMIC.

The Static Site

Static site drawing

Static sites are characterized by the simple fact that you don’t need to change anything on the site on a per user basis and you know it will load the same way every single time perfectly. These sites usually run on simple HTML5, CSS3, and some JS in the background for animations to make loading the pages smoother. They usually fall as an information site or a simple portfolio site that shows off your specific skills.

The benefit to static sites are they load extremely quickly and are easy to maintain. You can probably learn to write one yourself using Wix or Sitebuilder that comes with a domain name you purchase and a few hours of hard work and specific Google searches. They tend to be very secure since there are no moving parts, and your site can be live in a matter of hours, or at worse days. Once you learn the building blocks of a static site you can start to develop your skills into more complex dynamic sites.

The Dynamic Site

Static site drawing

Dynamic sites are sites that change based on the individual user’s request to the site. Each route has a response action pulled from the server based on the users request to your site. The most common dynamic site is a Wordpress Blog that runs on PHP, Node JS frameworks, and uses SQL databases. The other most common major app structure is the MEAN stack. It runs on MongoDB, Express JS, Angular JS, and Node JS (like Digital Class) to serve and deliver the user requests.

The major benefits here are user logins, multiple pages generated from the same template, and user interaction feels personal. When a user logs into a site you set a greeting that has their name it (that you called from your database!), and you can dynamically change your site’s content with how many times a user visits a page- both are not options with a static site. The benefits are endless with server side coding, but the major drawback is you need special training and practice to make these sites function correctly.

So What Next?

The big thing for anyone looking to update or site or start from scratch is to start mapping out on a sheet of paper what you site needs to do. Can you write all your code where it doesn’t change and every user would see the same information and not need anything else? Or do you start writing and see that half your users would need a specific set of information while the other half needs something completely different. Think of your site like a spider map and see where it takes you, and as always if you need help we are always here! Thanks for reading and make sure to get notifications from us so you never miss a post.