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One of the biggest stumbling blocks that people come across when trying to build their own websites is understanding the difference between static and dynamic websites.
The kind of website you choose has important consequences for the type of functionality you will be able to have later down the line, such as a blog, e-commerce, and sign up forms.
If you only want to provide information about your business on your website, such as contact details, location, and details about the company, then your best bet is probably going to be a static website.
Static websites are the easiest to learn to code yourself. If you want to learn HTML and CSS, you will just be learning what is known as ‘front-end’ web development and you can probably get the information from online courses and reading around.
It will also be very secure, as there won’t be any exchange of data.
Your site won’t be able to have any user interaction, and it will not be able to have any personalisation, or sell products.
As a small business owner, you’ll probably want to have a website that represents your small business online, without much advanced functionality. Unfortunately, static websites are fast becoming outdated.
If you want your website to have any interactive features or a database, then you’ll need a dynamic website. This means that the website is using multiple coding languages, HTML and CSS but also a back-end programming language such as Ruby-on-Rails, PHP or Node.js.
If you want your small business website to include functionality such as a user sign up form, a blog feed with comments enabled, log in capabilities, or e-commerce functionality to enable customers to buy online, you’ll need a dynamic website.
It takes much longer to learn programming than it does front-end coding, and you’ll need to take into account other factors like security and data compliance if you’re going to be collecting customer details.
The good news is, if you want to have a good dynamic – or static – website without learning to code, you can use WordPress.org which is open source and totally free. You’ll only need to pay for your domain and hosting if you choose this option.
WordPress provides a CMS (content management system) in which you can easily manage and update your website without learning to code. It also has lots of ‘widgets’ that you can install, such as e-commerce or sign up forms, to enable you to create a dynamic website for your business.
The downside is many WordPress sites can look very similar as they rely on stock templates (however beautiful) to achieve their appearance. It may also be difficult to find the perfect template to suit your business’s needs and branding.
You can employ a web designer to make you a unique website, tailored for your company and brand. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we could work together.