Static Site Generators vs Dynamic websites comparison;

and why I choose dynamic

What is een Static Site Generator?

Hugo, for example, is a static site generator.
The purpose of a static site generator like Hugo is to create a fast website without database and backend needed. And then I mean VERY FAST, which is one of the big pro’s of a static site generator. Every page will be just a html file with maybe some JavaScript and no server side languages are needed for a dynamic backend.
Also the hosting can be very cheap, just because your domain host doesn’t have to support server sided languages like PHP.
It take less space in comparison with a WordPress website, because there also isn’t a database needed to store content into.

But every time you want a blog post to be displayed as newest post on the frontpage, you’ll need to edit that frontpage again to keep it updated. For example, a “most popular posts” block can’t show posts based on a dynamic check wether a post is popular or not. With a static website generator, you’ll need to add some posts to that block on your frontpage every time again if you think another post is more popular and also you’ll need to be the one who checks the popularity of the posts on that blog.
After looking up some tutorials for it and tried some things, it isn’t the most easiest to maintain and a lot of knowledge comes involved.
And that’s the same with a lot of other static website tools out on the market, so that’s a con too.

Another con of static website gerenator’s is that there can’t be user specific pages to be shown, which means that a login per user isn’t possible.
So at least there are some pro’s, like the incredible speed and the fact it’s maybe the best choice for smaller websites.
Let’s take it a step further and look into our next option, shall we? Dynamic websites.

What is a Dynamic Website?

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We all know them and maybe we even use them ( all ).
These are incredible examples of dynamic websites. The content it shows is completely dynamic.

After a login it checks the user rights and there it will create your own, personal starting point where you’ll see your friends posts.
But not only that is a dynamic website.

Let’s take a pretty basic, normal company website for example.
This website needs to offer their visitors an incredible experience and on the end, a visitor needs to be converted into a customer.
To achieve this, the website needs some dynamicly shown content to attract people to go deeper into the website.

So on the front page, we want a block where the most popular blog posts will be shown together with the newest blog post(s), which means we need a check behind the scenes where this is been taken care of dynamically.
On a dynamic website, this isn’t any of a problem, because we can make it work like how it’s ment to work and the frontpage blocks are updated automatically without the need to edit that frontpage first to be able to show that block correctly with the right posts.

I’ll take WordPress as an example for this issue. There are a lot of plugins who can do a lot with posts and the way they are shown.
The big pro of WordPress is the admin panel where users can login to put a new blog post online. They just need to type out the post, press update and the new shiny blog post will showup on the website.

Even if the frontpage shows the ‘latest’ blog posts, it will automatically show that new blog post just made on that frontpage.
There is no need to manually update the frontpage to show that new post like how it needs to be done with a static site generator.
But why I chose to work with dynamic websites?

Why I prefer a Dynamic Website?

I can answer that with 1 word => WordPress. I love it! It’s my favorite CMS to work with as a custom theme developer!

For me, WordPress is the tool to go for as it comes to making websites. Normally, a WordPress website can be slow, but with custom theme development even een WordPress website can be incredibly fast!
There is no need to update the code eveytime you’ll need to show a new blog post. All dynamically created content can be controlled in the backend and if a custom theme is done for the most part, editting is a piece of cake and there are no specific needs to revisit the code again after the websites development is finished.

As I described above, a user logs in within the WordPress admin panel and as long as the custom theme is setup correctly, there is no need to worry about anything related to that specific website. The users only needs to know how they can add a post through the admin panel and the CMS takes care of dynamically showing the posts on the pages they are needed to be shown.

This makes it an easy choice for me to go for dynamic websites. Ofcourse, there are more choices next to WordPress, so have a look for what’s out there and I hope I helped some people with my 2 cents in the comparison between static site generators vs dynamic websites.

Have a nice day and I’ll see you in my next post!

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