Did you know that as of January 2021 there are 4.66 billion active Internet users in the world? That’s 59.5 percent of our global population. What’s more: 92.6 percent – or 4.32 billion users – get on the Internet via a mobile device.
It’s hard to imagine a world without Internet, even harder to imagine a world without dynamic websites that take care of almost every need imaginable, like:
- Blogging and entertainment.
- Providing useful, educational information.
- Branding your business and generating leads.
- Operating an e-commerce store or business.
Take a look at the first website ever created by the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. This website went live on the Internet thirty years ago, on August 6, 1991.
You are looking at a static website that was “programmed” (or coded) to look the same for all viewers of the site.
HTML code was used to:
- Generate text in a basic font (Times New Roman)
- Creates spaces between lines of text
- Offer clickable hyperlinks (now we just call them links) that can take you to another webpage.
We’ve come a long, long way since then.
Website designs today are dynamic. Dynamic websites and web pages are optimized for viewing on multiple devices: desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. And many have features that are now hard to go without, like rotating image galleries, translatable text, and embedded video or live streaming content.
Our website is an example of a dynamic website. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about dynamic websites, including its features, examples, advantages, and disadvantages.
What is a Dynamic Website?
So what does a dynamic website do?
The goal of many websites today is to adapt and customize their offerings to their website visitors.
A dynamic website addresses this by displaying different types of content that can change according to website visitor location, their time of visit, preferred language setting, and type of device they’re using.
To do this, a dynamic website uses database programming (using languages such as PHP, Java, and Python) to run scripts that pull content dynamically out of your website database – and onto your webpage. Scripts are triggered from the client browser side (client-side scripting) or from the database server’s side (server-side scripting).
Client-side scripting is computer code sent from a website visitor’s client browser that runs based on user actions, like clicking on links or a button, or opening a new web page.
Server-side scripting is the use of programming code that processes information from the website’s server before sending content back to the users, like search queries, login information, or a user’s selection of items in their e-commerce cart before they go and pay.
They also reduce the load on the website’s server that may be processing hundreds, thousands, or perhaps millions of visitor requests at a time.
What Can a Dynamic Website Do?
Let’s now discuss what a great dynamic website can do for you.
A dynamic website is all about customized, personalized features and content – and giving your customer a great website user experience (UX).
Here are some examples of dynamic website features that great website designs offer.
Choosing Your Website’s Display Format
Are you visiting a website from your mobile phone or from your laptop’s browser?
Your browser will communicate with a dynamic website to tell it which one to load: the mobile or the desktop version.
In response, this dynamic website will load accordingly – optimizing the display for beautiful typography, rendering images correctly, and letting other web page elements load without error.
Showcase Beautiful Hero Images
Text needs images to come alive. Think single hero product shots. Or carousel images that alternate to highlight your latest articles or feature your latest fashion pieces in your e-commerce boutique.
A dynamic website sets (or resets) image display and showcases vivid visual content that highlights your products or services.
Run Multimedia Video and Animation
Embedded live or motion videos help people process large amounts of information in under a few minutes and make a brand look and feel more credible.
It’s also great content that can be worth sharing.
Use your video content as an emotional marketing tool to communicate your brand’s personality to your visitors.
Adapt Website Navigation to Mobile or Desktop
One of the most important things web designers or web design agencies can do to improve user experience is making search and navigation easy – regardless of what display you’re on. Examples:
- Clickable menu items that bring you to the page you want
- Search query inputs, whether you’re on desktop or mobile
- The size and positioning of your mobile keyboard when you’re typing
User experience works hand in hand with dynamic website features to improve how users engage with your website.
Load at Optimal Page Speeds
People want the best page experience possible. They want to load their webpages to load fast – whether they’re at home or on the go. And if you’re on the go, using mobile data, you still want a website to load quickly and easily.
Websites must always prioritize mobile friendliness, and dynamic websites that detect mobile browsers can reduce the number of scripts running in the background.
Adjust Language Settings
More and more dynamic websites can display content in multiple languages, based on where their visitors are located.
This helps you win wider audiences who become more comfortable interacting with your brand because you now speak their language.
Make Content or Product Recommendations
Dynamic websites can display content according to historical use or upsell related product categories for e-commerce website visitors.
Dynamic Website Examples
We’ve just given you a list of important, often must-have features of dynamic websites. Let’s now give you some examples of dynamic websites that you can see on the web.
Let’s start with an easy one, since YouTube’s core strength is in its dynamic website features.
Billions of videos are uploaded to YouTube every month, so imagine trying to find content that’s uniquely relevant to you without search or recommendation features.
YouTube uses scripting to retain information about search queries you made, and videos you have watched or liked in the past. Then it will display video choices relevant to you whenever you go back to their website.
That’s why your YouTube homepage will never be the same as anyone else’s.
Google is another great example of a dynamic website.
Google indexes billions of new and refreshed webpages daily and uses an algorithm to select and rank the best results for user-based search queries.
That’s why search results are updated frequently: to account for updated content.
Searching for the latest Nike shoes? News on a recent earthquake? Real-time election updates?
Google updates this information constantly in real time – sometimes in a matter of minutes or seconds.
Facebook and Twitter
Facebook and Twitter are also prime examples of dynamic websites that generate unique, personalized content for their users.
On sites like Facebook and Twitter, your feeds are based on friends or accounts you follow. Twitter can filter feeds according to public or private lists, omit feeds that use certain words, and help you find tweets based on your search queries.
Facebook is full of examples of dynamic website programming, from your Facebook friend newsfeed; the Facebook ads shown to you, served by advertisers; to scrollable video-feeds that choose videos for you as you move down; to search results for posts, pages, and profiles.
Shopee, and Lazada
Shopee and Lazada, just like Facebook and Twitter, also display dynamic content purely based on your preferences. Some of it is generated as you scroll down the page.
Marketplace platforms such as these two rely on customer data to give you product search results that make sense to you and encourage you to buy.
When it comes to ads, you’ll see ads that are displayed dynamically – either based on matching audience demographics that you fit into, or your search history. Some of these are ads from websites that you’ve previously visited and are trying to reach you again via remarketing.
Want other examples of dynamic website content on e-commerce sites? Think of the percentage discounts they offer when a Mega Sale or Payday Sale comes around, or the price slash on a flash sale countdown.
Dynamic websites like WordPress give ecommerce marketers and businesses lots of options. You can control the number of products on a page, how you display them on the page, and provide recommended links to more information on products they are browsing.
WordPress saves you time creating hundreds of individual product pages at time.
Say you want to update product information or change the title of your listing.
A static website would force you to update the product information on every single page where the product is listed. A dynamic website will refresh content updated in your website’s database across all product listings on your website. You can do this all in one place, as regularly and as often as you need.
Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dynamic Websites
Now that you’ve learned about dynamic websites, including their features and examples, it’s time to talk about their advantages and disadvantages. Doing so will allow you to weigh the pros and cons of dynamic websites and help you decide if it’s the right move for your business.
The Ultimate Advantages of a Dynamic Website
Investing in a dynamic website can provide you with the following advantages:
Localized search recommendations
Now that people are browsing, searching, and shopping on the Internet more than ever before, they will continue looking for businesses that can serve them at their own location.
Think of Google trying to locate the laundromat, hair salon, or electrician nearest you, or your favorite food delivery website’s recommendations for milk tea or Japanese restaurants in your area.
Personalized content experiences
One of the greatest advantages of dynamic websites is they give users a chance to access the right information at the right time – whether it’s the latest news, recently viewed products on a shopping site, or the latest information on your favorite topics.
Dynamic websites can process information provided by their users that understand their context. And by providing relevant, engaging content, dynamic websites can bring the user closer to another click, another purchase, and another visit on another day.
User participation is also a feature of a dynamic website under personalized content experiences that allows individuals to put their own content and improve their experience. They can do this by commenting on posts, submitting reviews, adding captions to shared posts, or participating in forums.
Secure, Updated Offerings
For ecommerce-related businesses, dynamic websites are a godsend. Not only can they integrate all kinds of user information and process it to recommend or upsell products. An advantage of dynamic websites is they make an end-to-end e-commerce experience possible, with processes for secure payments, and near-instant transaction updates on a product right after you have purchased it.
Are you tracking a product that’s on its way, about to be delivered? Are you happy about the quality of searches for the product you’re looking for?
Dynamic websites are all about this kind of customization – and make a digital marketing for e-commerce strategy much more workable.
Looking at the Disadvantages of Investing in Dynamic Websites
Although dynamic websites are popular among businesses nowadays, this doesn’t mean that they’re perfect. Here are some of the disadvantages of dynamic websites you should know about:
Dynamic websites often come with a hefty price tag. The complexity of their design and functionality demands skilled web developers, and their ongoing maintenance adds to the cost.
The initial investment and long-term expenses can be too big for small businesses or individuals with limited budgets. This financial burden can be a significant deterrent for those looking to establish an online presence.
Dynamic websites require regular maintenance and updates. As your website grows and evolves, you’ll need to ensure that databases are optimized, plugins are updated, and security vulnerabilities are patched.
This ongoing maintenance can be time-consuming and may necessitate the expertise of web professionals. Failure to keep up with maintenance can lead to a host of issues, including decreased performance and security vulnerabilities.
While dynamic websites offer flexibility, they also have limitations in terms of scalability. As traffic grows, the demands on the server increase, potentially leading to performance issues. Scaling up a dynamic website can be complex and expensive, requiring additional server resources, database optimization, and other technical considerations.
Dynamic websites may suffer from slower loading times compared to static websites. This is often due to the server processing dynamic content and database queries before delivering a webpage to the user. Slow loading times can frustrate visitors and negatively impact user experience, potentially leading to higher bounce rates.
The Benefit to Businesses: A Professional, Branded Look
Dynamic websites are not just beneficial to your customers; they are beneficial to you.
They enable businesses like yours to always stay in touch with customers on different devices.
They allow you to manage multiple types of content to scale, update it, and distribute it efficiently within manageable schedules (or in real time).
All these features and benefits give you a shot at providing customers with a memorable experience of your brand – from the way it looks, to the way it serves their needs.