Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Dynamic Web Sites – What are they?

When web sites first became popular (many moons ago), it was exciting to just see a web page of me and my dog/cat/kid etc.etc. You know what I mean.

Pages that don’t change on a web site are generally called as static pages. The opposite of static pages are dynamic. These pages typically come from a database and are created/populated depending on user preferences or user queries.

Why have a dynamic web site, you may ask?

Well, for starters, take a step aside and think about your house. Imagine if you lived in this house for quite a while with the same color on the walls, the same furniture, the same curtains etc. You get the drift? Yes, living in a place that doesn’t change isn’t really exciting. In my place, for example, we are always trying on different shades of color on the walls to see what would look good. We also rearrange the furniture and then move it around based on feedback from our friends / family.

Now can you relate the above example to your web site? Imagine having the same look and content month after month? No new data is added, the look isn’t changed. Nothing! What do you think will happen to your once-enthusiastic visitors? Well, that’s what they will be: once-enthusiastic. They won’t come when they realize you’ve got the same old content on the web site. Gone are the days of having static web sites, especially for business.

Dynamic web sites server two purposes. For one, the nature of information changes on your web site so content is generally fresh. This always adds a good flavor to the dynamics of your web site. The second purpose is that your articles generally need to be entered into a web page. This means you need to learn how to create these web pages and post them on your web site. Not all that easy if you’re not into that kind of thing. However, if a simple interface is created that allows you to enter data into a database, then the dynamic application can take care of querying the database, fetching your content, formatting your data and displaying it to the user.

This also has the added benefit in that once this mechanism is created; all you need to be concerned about is the actual content. And you can reuse this mechanism to display dynamic data again and again. Separating content from formatting is one of the smartest ways of building your web pages.

Till next time,

Elvin Picardo
Delivering Net Results to Small Business
Author of numerous articles on web development and Internet Marketing for small business
10723 159th St, Surrey, BC V4N 3J1 Canada


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