The debate on whether to develop a static website or dynamic CMS website have started again. With the popularity of WordPress and Joomla, this debate ended a decade ago, but now it is gaining traction again because of the increasing complexities of CMS and rising facilities by Static Website generators.
Before we dive into the debate again and see the end results of developing a static website, let’s take a brief look on what is Static Website and Dynamic CMS website and their history.
Static website takes source files from the server and generate a website immediate to the user. Let’s suppose you have a photo gallery website. When users come to your website, the website takes photos from the folder and send it to the users’ screen.
Here’s how a static website work (behind the scenes) when users land.
Dynamic CMS Website
Compared to a static website, dynamic CMS website follows a few steps before generating a website to users.
When users land to the website, the website passes information to the server and the server extracts templates, content, and other data from the database and, finally, it sends the complete HTML page to the user.
Here’s how it works:
You must be saying if CMS is that complicated why WordPress is a first choice of all new website creators and bloggers.
For that, we have to peek in the history of Static and Dynamic CMS website.
History of Static Website and the Rise of CMS
Do you know the first HTML website was static?
But keeping the website as it is didn’t help. Obviously, we need to pour new content every now and then. With non-availability of CMS, website developers had to modify the HTML code of static website each time. As the new tools came into existence with live visual previews, the process got a lot easier. From there, developers started realizing the power of tools and generated an idea of developing tools inside the website instead of using them externally. And that’s how CMS was born. WordPress and Joomla took over static website and became the boom of the ongoing development generation.
CMS allows to make changes to the content instead of changing the entire code which makes it more comfortable to use than static website.
Today, CMS websites rank top but glitches attached with them are also increasing.
Challenge with CMS
No doubt, CMS handles everything that a web developer needs. But you can’t deny the fact that CMS is a multi-tasker, making things more complicated to manage at a time. Using too many plugins and templates looks nice but the curve is steeper to learn. You have to explore many caves of templates and plugins to understand exactly what you need. Also, too many plugins and templates affects the performance of website.
That’s why the static site generator took the charge again.
Rise of Static Site Generators Again
Because of increasing complexities with CMS, new tools and tactics started emerging in the world of static websites. For e.g. Cloudinary allows digital media automation for large static websites. Tools like Gatsby enables to plugin content from various sources and generate the website.
Now again, the static site generators are on a rise again and here are the 6 factors contributing to its growth:
Popularity of WordPress was backed by thousands of plugins and templates that give a boost to project completion. These days, static site generators is also getting a support of such templates and plugins increase its web development efficiency.
Icing on the cake is static site generators are coming with out-of-the-box tools to make website design as easy as having a sip of tea. Let’s say one of its tools like source control automatically generates website when you modify content or template. Another unique tool is Netlify which take responsibility of simplifying the entire ecosystem of static site generators.
Static website has always been known for its simplicity. And it will continue to follow the same trend even after it has entered the phase of plugins and templates. Because all static site needs to do is fetch the file from server and display it to the user. You are allowed to optimize the website perfectly before deploying it. It lets you optimize images, utilize tools to remove unnecessary CSS and a lot of techniques to minimize wastage and maximize simplicity.
Simplicity gives a quick boost to website speed. When there is low wastage, minimal coding, excellent optimization, and one-and-only server to receive and respond to the user, the sites gets much space to reply speedily as compared to CMS website.
A single server possesses more capacity to handle the traffic. Even if it needs more resources to handle more traffic, it can divide the traffic into multiple servers. CMS can implement similar things but it needs to divide traffic to multiple servers as well as multiple databases which make it complicated to run speedily.
Last but not the least, it is actually possible to integrate CMS into static website. Static website comes with some plugins which make it possible to use CMS like WordPress.
Finally, now you can enjoy the unique benefits of static website without worrying about the content management system. And if you have tingling sensations for CMS, you are free to make it a part of static website while enjoying the speed and performance.