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Static vs Dynamic Websites

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Question: What is the difference between a static website and a dynamic website?

Answer: A static website relies on traditional HTML pages to display content. Typically, a person will create the pages in an offline editor, such as Dreamweaver or even a plain text editor like Notepad, and then upload them to the server via FTP. The downside of static pages is that anytime you want to make changes to the site, you have to edit the pages and upload them again. It can be time consuming and costly, if you hire someone to make a site for you.

A dynamic website relies on a scripting language, such as PHP, Perl, ASP, JSP, or CFML. All of these languages employ server-side scripting. With Javascript and other client-side scripting, the browser is responsible for executing the script. That is why you can disable Javascript in your web browser. With server-side scripting, the scripts are executed on the server, so when you visit the site, the page is displayed as normal HTML.

The big advantage of a dynamic site is that data is stored in a separate database or series of text files. When you want to make changes to the site, you can use a content management system (CMS), such as Joomla or Druapl, and simply login to the site backend. Pages are created on the fly, and there is virtually no limit to the number of pages you can create. If you are interested in having a dynamic website, you need to make sure the web hosting company you choose supports the type of scripting your CMS will require.

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