Dynamic Single-Page Applications (SPA’s) and server-based applications are probably the most popular ways to create websites today. But also static websites had become very popular in the past years.
Let’s say you need a fast, simple, secure, and cheap website; then a static based site should be your next project.
Static vs. dynamic websites
First of all, let us clear up what the main differences between static and dynamic website are:
A static website is where files are pre-built on the server and fetched once on the client without a server.
- Static sites are just a bunch of HTML files. The server builds the files once when you update something on your site. Because of this, the website becomes fast, easy to work with, and secure! We will drill deeper into these benefits later on.
A dynamic website is where files are changed on the server and then fetched on the client on each change.
- Dynamic sites consist of a backend with servers and databases. The site’s content changes dynamically and needs to interact with a database to generate the files “on the fly.” Also, the site needs to fetch the content every time someone revisits the site. Dynamic sites are harder to maintain and less reliable.
Benefits of static websites
Dynamic and static websites are suitable for different use cases. Static websites have some essential advantages when making websites that need few dependencies and business goals that have to do with being seen. Here you get eight benefits of what a static site that dynamic sites are not good at doing.
No need for a backend developer
You don’t need a backend developer to make a static site. To store and manage content, you can use a Content Management System (CMS), which can then be maintained by Content Administrators and Writers. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a great place to upload your static files too.
With static websites, you won’t receive irritating error messages like “500 Internal Server Error.” When your website can have downtime or be unavailable, the only possible time is when the hosting provider gets issues, and that happens rarely.
Static sites have excellent performance and are fast. You won’t need to wait for a bunch of spinners [or skeletons] to tell the user that something is on the way and will replace it at some point.
You can think of a static site as of you sitting by a sushi-belt in a restaurant. Instead of waiting for the good bites to roll by your seat, you can pick what sushi-bites you like because all you wanted are just lying right in front of you, ready served.
Since you don’t need a database or servers running, which is vulnerable to security breaches, static sites have much better security. Compilation of content ahead of time makes it impossible for hackers to access your databases, CMS, or servers. And, since there are no servers involved, the site is more resilient to DDoS attacks.
Hosting a static site is cheap and requires less bandwidth. Since it’s less vulnerable to security breaches, you may use that left-over-money, which was for security monitoring for other important business-goals.
Many hosting providers do have a free solution for hosting static files. Some of the hosting services you may choose to upload your static site to that also are entirely free is Netlify, Vercel, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Platform.
Some of the most common problems with dynamic sites are that these are fast at first page-load, but most of the critical content is fetched and displayed asynchronously. Dynamic sites can be a big problem when optimizing for search engines if it’s crucial for your site and content.
Static sites have this significant advantage with fast page load and all the content ready to be displayed, making the site optimized for SEO.
Having good SEO-optimization will give you a low or decreased “bounce rate,” which is the proportion of visitors leaving the website. It also improves search traffic, better lead generation, and customer engagement.
Scalability is something to always keep in mind when making websites.
What happens if you have a website that is commonly used by a small number of visitors and at some point may be used by tens of thousands of people at the same time? Such an event may cause an unexpectedly large number of server requests. It will generate dynamic content, which needs to be served to each of the thousands of unexpected users. That might get expensive, grow fast, and in the worst case, take down your servers.
With a static site, it’s different: All the content is already generated for each user. The users only need to download the content of the site to their client. That is faster and a lot cheaper.
You can have all sorts of web pages static, whether it is a blog, landing page, newspaper, hotel booking service, or any other e-commerce store. Sometimes you may even combine dynamic and static websites by, for example, creating public pages as static and more internal or user-oriented pages dynamic.
Another example: Let’s say you are running an online newspaper. The front pages can be of statical content; to present the page to the users as soon as they enter the page with main headlines and images. The articles can be fetched and rendered in a separate application that dynamically retrieves the content.
You should consider a static website above SPA’s, especially if any of the points described above are crucial for you or your organization.
Thanks for reading!
Code foh shizzle