static and dynamic web pages

It is clear that web pages are websites’ main platforms where all information can be found in relation to products and services.

As a matter of fact, websites are made up of web pages mostly and many people especially those who do not know web technology might have a problem knowing the difference between static and dynamic web pages.  It is important to know the meaning of these two terms so as to understand their difference clearly.

What is static web page?

To begin with, static pages are normally categorized as those web pages with content which cannot be changed without first of all editing their source code. The developer will therefore need to change the source code otherwise those who visit the page can only see precisely the same information whenever they visit. It is also good to note that static web pages don’t necessarily have to be plain simple text and sometimes could feature videos and detailed multimedia designs. However, visitors will always be greeted by exactly the same content every time they visit the web pages. This can only be changed by editing the page’s source code.

Dynamic web pages

What are dynamic web pages? Well, having looked at static web pages, it is also important to focus a little bit on dynamic web pages for more understanding. As the name might suggest, dynamic web pages are designed to produce different texts or content from time to time and for different visitors yet from a single source code file. There are different factors likely to determine what is displayed on the website and these could include the browser or the operating system being used by the visitor, whether one is using a mobile device or PC, or even the source from where the visitor was referred from.

Static and dynamic web pages play different roles in a website and it is worth understanding that dynamic web pages are not necessarily superior compared to static web pages. Each of them serves different purposes. It is however important to note that a more advanced code is not very important when using dynamic or static pages for different parts of your website. What is more important is the function of each web page in the operation of your website.

What is the difference between static and dynamic web pages?


Having discussed each of the two different web pages above, it is good to draw a parallel between them to help you understand them better. Here are the differences between the two:

  • The first difference to note is that in dynamic web pages, the content and the theme normally change based on the run time while in static, the content and the theme remains the same throughout.
  • In dynamic web pages, changing the content happens automatically while a developer will need to develop a new page and upload it for visitors to see different content.
  • When it comes to loading and browsing, static web pages are normally quicker compared to dynamic pages. This can be attributed to the fact that dynamic web pages always require server request, something that does not happen with static web pages.
  • Static web pages have their URLs in .html or .htm extensions while dynamic web pages have .jsp, .asp and .php URL extensions.
  • Dynamic pages are developed using Actionscript, PHP and JavaScript languages while static pages are created using HTML language.
  • Dynamic web pages work well when you are developing a website that requires frequent material and content updates while static web pages are ideal if you want a cheap and easy website with non updating pages.

These are some of the key differences between static and dynamic web pages. It is however good to look at the different uses to help you understand the two jargons even more.

Dynamic page use

Dynamic pages can be used for a number of reasons. For example, a single source code file is used on websites that are controlled by content management systems to upload the content in as many pages as possible. Content developers use an exit page to present content for new pages into content management system database. The material or content can be loaded through dynamic page for any of the pages in the CMS database, depending on the factors in the URL from which the visitor requests for the pages. Dynamic pages also allow users to log into a website to access personalized content.

Static page use

As aforementioned, static web pages are good for content that does not require updating or where updating is absolutely rare. These pages have a few advantages including the fact that they are cheap to develop and host plus they are also quick to develop. Their main disadvantages are that the content loaded can turn out to be stagnant and web development expertise is required for site update.

Both static and dynamic web pages have their place in the modern day marketing campaigns and knowing the difference is important as it helps you know which one is best suited for your needs.

Further Reading: Wikipedia