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Contentful – What Exactly is a Static Website?

Using a static website for specific applications may be the best choice to make when you’re unsure if you should choose a static or dynamic option. Understanding why using a static website can be beneficial and learning more about its components should make it easier to decide if this is the right choice.

What Is a Static Website?

A static website delivers data to a user’s browser utilizing read-only files such as index.html or myscript.js. The use of server-side programming languages, such as Python or PHP, isn’t allowed, nor is Node.js. This means it’s impossible to modify any server-side executable files with a client request. Each user gets identical content, unlike a dynamic website that can deliver different information to various users, depending on their native-language, time zone, time of day or other factors. However, it should be noted, if you’re using a read-only static website JavaScript file on the backend, you can get different results from user to user with JavaScript running in each individual browser.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Static Website?

Like most technologies, choosing to use a static website comes with both pros and cons. This is why it’s essential to utilize a static website for the appropriate applications. Here are some of the advantages of using this type of site:


One of the big benefits of using read-only HTML or static website JavaScript files is the security it provides. Alleviating the threat of code injection helps protect your data and offers high-security. Eliminating the threat of getting hacked should give you peace of mind and not make you so nervous about missing important upgrades or maintenance.

Speed and Reliability: 

Using a static website can be much faster and more reliable than a dynamic site. As explained by Contentful, “You can use the JavaScript application code to generate the HTML and then ship the same codebase to the browser to enable interactivity. This kind of reusability results in a fast initial render time (and we all know web performance matters) without the typical loading spinner of single-page applications.” This type of site rendering is beneficial to visitors who want information fast and may help improve your search engine listing results as speed is a factor in Google’s algorithm.

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Using only essential HTML files provides greater flexibility. Every page can have a different design or layout.

Here are some disadvantages:

Updating May Be More Difficult:

 If you have multiple pages with the same information required on each page, it will likely take more time to complete this task than if it was dynamic.

Higher Maintenance Costs: 

Making changes or adding information to your site may be more time-consuming, increasing the cost of maintenance.

How Can a Static Website Help Your Business?

There might be several different situations when you’d like to build a site but aren’t sure if you should utilize a dynamic or static build. Making this choice usually depends on if the content being generated needs to be completed in real-time. If so, utilizing a dynamic website will usually be best. Here are some examples:

  • You need multiple users to have the ability to manipulate the content
  • You’re expecting your site to grow significantly
  • Your providing content to different segments of your target market

Benefiting from the use of a static website is usually found with these types of applications:

  • A brochure site where not much will change
  • A landing page that includes basic information and an opt-in
  • A simple blog site

As you can see, static sites might be ideal for simpler applications you require. Knowing more about how static websites work and their pros and cons should help you make a better-informed decision when you’re building your next site.

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