What is a Static Website?

You’ll often hear developers talk about static vs dynamic websites, but what do they mean, exactly? Let’s find out!

A pure static site refers to a website that you code with plain HTML, CSS and JavaScript code (usually), and has no server-side scripting languages involved, such as PHP, Python, or Node.js. Static sites don’t have a traditional backend, unlike a dynamic CMS like WordPress.

A static site is also defined as a website where the content is the same for every visitor. On a dynamic website, content can change depending on the viewer (as on any social platform, e.g. Facebook).

Static sites generally have tiny light-weight codebases compared to dynamic sites, such as WordPress which is often bulky and bloated in comparison (it’s still a great product for other reasons).

Static sites generally load fast because they don’t have to spend time loading a huge code bundle or render from a server which dynamic often websites do.

It’s not a black and white topic though. In modern times, you can get the benefits of a blazing fast static site, by using a Static Site Generator (SSG) which provides dynamic functionality options as well (seamless transitions, authentication, data calls etc.) e.g. by using a React framework like GatsbyJS or Next.js.


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Kofi