Websites can be built using a variety of languages; programming, markup, and markdown languages. They come in different sizes and shapes, but no matter what, a website is either static or dynamic.
What is a Static Website?
A static website is the most basic form of website. It is rendered on the browser exactly as stored, and nothing changes on a per-user basis. This means that the same content is served for every user.
What is a Dynamic Website?
A dynamic website is the type of website that renders the webpage at the time of request. Dynamic websites are usually built using one or more programming languages and they feature a database. They support features like user authentication, personalisation, per-user preferences, e-commerce, cookies etc.
Facebook.com is an example of a dynamic website. The name on my profile, my friends list, my newsfeed etc, will always differ from yours. These variables are generated from a database and rendered at the time of requesting each page.
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Advantages of Static Websites
You may be tempted to ask, “with all the awesome features of dynamic websites, why would someone opt for a static website?”
Well, here are some genuine reasons to choose a static website over a dynamic website;
- Static websites do not require a database to render pages.
- SEO Benefits; Search Engine Crawlers don’t have a hard time crawling Static HTML websites.
- They are not resource-intensive, meaning that they’ll still respond relatively well on high concurrent usage (i.e The number of multiple website users at any given time).
- Static websites are unbelievably fast since no real time server preprocessing is required.
- They are secure and maintenance-free, which means static websites are rid of any security vulnerability even if left unmaintained for several years.
- The codebase of any static website can be easily read by any human with basic understanding of HTML, CSS & JS, leading to easier bug fixes.
- Migrating static websites from one server to another server is relatively easy. It only involves copying the files from one server location to another. No additional steps such as database reconnection would be required.
Some of the advantages listed above are hard to ignore, so whenever I am contracted to build a website, I first consider whether or not a static site would be enough to meet my client’s needs, and most of the times, it is.
Types of websites that can be made static.
Just in case you are wondering what types of websites can be made static, here are some use cases;
This is hard to believe, but static websites can also be used for fully-featured blogs.
This blog post you are currently reading is an example of a static blog. This page is originally an HTML file that was rendered as-is. As a matter of fact, no server-side preprocessing was needed. This was made possible by a WordPress plugin called Simply Static – A WordPress-powered static website generator.
Are you still in doubt? You can verify by copying and pasting this link in your browser;
If you are interested in building your own static blog/website using WordPress, then read this post.
This blog has Yoast SEO tools, Google Analytics, Dedicated Author Pages, Navigational Menus, and pretty much anything that can be found on any WordPress blog. All thanks to Simply Static, a WordPress Static Site Generator.
Blogs are nothing but content rendered via templates. You don’t need a heavy-weight application to parse every request before rendering a new page.
If you want a fast-loading blog and a customised design in record time, a static site generated from WordPress is the perfect option for you.
2. One-page Website
As opposed to a multi-page website, a single-page website is a website having only one HTML page, which is usually the index-page.
Despite having just a single page, One-page websites can still have navigation menu items that scroll up or down to the target section when clicked on. For easier navigation, the nav bar can be made sticky.
3. Landing Pages
If you just launched a new app, but you need a platform to spread the word and feature links to both the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android) versions of the app, you’ll need is a Landing page.
Landing pages are used to provide information on (and ultimately sell) a certain product or concept. A landing page is similar to a One-page website, but there is no rule restricting it to only one page – It can have dedicated pages for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and About Us.
The Abeg.app website homepage is a good example of a landing page.
4. Business/Corporate Websites
Most businesses employ a brochureware design, which typically involves transferring information on their company brochure on to their official website. Brochureware is the most common type of website in the corporate sector.
Business/Corporate websites are typically multi-paged. They reflect the services offered by an organisation or business, and they contain information such as about, testimonials, case studies, portfolio, related images, staff, and a contact page.
5. Portfolio and CV Website
A portfolio website displays professional information about an individual or a company and helps showcase their work.
Now that you’ve seen all the advantages of static websites, follow this tutorial to learn how to generate and host your static website for free using WordPress, Github Pages, and Cloudflare for SSL.