Difference between Static vs Dynamic Websites:
Choosing between dynamic and static architectures when building a website can be challenging—and now there’s a hybrid to consider too. This article reviews the pros and cons of all three choices to help you make that decision.
What is the difference between static and dynamic websites?
Dynamic websites are backed by a traditional server and database, making them better at serving personalized or real-time content than their static counterparts. Static websites use a content delivery network (CDN) and headless CMS to serve the same pre-generated content to every user. These features make static websites faster and more secure at the expense of content personalization.
Hybrid websites are an emerging third choice born out of a need to keep the speed and security gains of static, but also include dynamic elements when needed. Because they are still hosted on a CDN, hybrid sites rely on new technologies like edge computing and serverless functions to display dynamic content.
Say for example you wanted to show real-time weather information to your users. Possible, and pretty straightforward, on both dynamic and hybrid sites. Impossible on a purely static site because you have no way of knowing the user’s location.
DYNAMIC STATIC HYBRID
Uses a traditional server Uses a CDN Uses a CDN
Higher maintenance cost Lowest maintenance cost Low maintenance cost
Does not scale automatically with traffic spikes Automatically scales with traffic spikes Automatically scales with traffic spikes
Best for a traditional database or CMS Best with a headless CMS or serverless database Best with a headless CMS or serverless database
Content is localized before page load Content is localized after page load Content is localized before and after page load
Average security by default Enhanced security by default Enhanced security by default
Luckily, if you understand your project needs and can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each architecture, choosing between them doesn’t have to be a mystery.
So which should you choose for your next project? The tried-and-true dynamic, the speed of static, or a cutting-edge hybrid?