When building the perfect website for a business, you’ll see the terms static and dynamic used regularly to describe the site. Simply put, the terms refer to how information is delivered to the user and how interactive that info is.
When a consumer or potential dental patient enters the website name (URL) into their browser, – www.HappyDentist123.com, for example – the web server retrieves the HTML data that was used to create the site and presents the page. While both types of websites generate HTML files, the page is presented differently based on whether it’s static or dynamic. Let’s break it down.
The Static Website
A static website looks the same for everyone who pulls up the URL. It could be a single landing page or several pages, but the content is fixed and only changes when the website manager edits the copy or images manually.
In today’s world, everyone in business requires a website. Static pages are great for resumes, landing pages, and simple read-only websites that provide information. They can still look great and be easy to design through DIY platforms like WordPress or Wix. Static sites can even be engaging and interactive with links, buttons, or downloads with creative add-ons.
Due to the simplicity of static websites, they tend to be easier to build and maintain with a little HTML and CSS knowledge. They also have better loading speed and performance than more complicated, dynamic sites.
One of the main disadvantages for static is scalability. Edits and the addition of new pages must be done individually and manually, so large static websites aren’t practical. There is also no way to customize the static site for different visitors based on their location or purchasing history, for example.
The Dynamic Website
Although a static website and a dynamic site may appear identical to a user, the “back end” is where it all happens. By employing user-generated tools, a dynamic website interacts with the visitor based on any number of factors: location, customer database, membership, time zone, previous visits or shopping choices, and much more.
Complex scripting languages are used to respond differently to everyone who pulls up the website. High profile examples include Netflix, Twitter, The Wall Street Journal and Target, who all use tools to know what your actions, locations or wishes are, seemingly before you do. Other dynamic sites could include ecommerce, real estate or patient portals for customizing the visitor’s needs.
Obviously, more personalization results in more engagement and better user experience. This includes the ability to capture database information for further marketing. These sites are more scalable since the server doesn’t need to store a limited number of pages. Your business grows, the site grows easily with you.
The average businessperson or dentist will probably not have the time or expertise to create a dynamic website on their own, so there is typically an investment required for a developer or team. The more complex the site, the more potential for a decrease in web performance and loading speed.
The art of websites is itself, dynamic. With every advance in technology or new business model, users come to expect more from their internet experience. As a result, websites can also be a hybrid of both static and dynamic, which allows a business or practice to start simple and evolve as necessary.
Whether static or dynamic, a website is your online, professional business card and brand. To learn more about attracting more patients to your site, contact RAMP for a complimentary evaluation and consultation today.