Revealing The Secrets Of Static Websites

Saurabh Tiwary | 15th June 2016

Websites in early 90s contained purely static HTML files. Although, there were numerous applications that could run on Perl or java, but the easiest way to publish content over the web was through HTML. As HTML pages were parsed directly by a web browser and as a result, HTTP remained the largest factor for load time. And thus, Static Websites were considered to be the fastest means of content delivery.

Revealing The Secrets Of Static Websites

Over the decade, the web has seen a number of advancements like addition of large number of databases and application of some powerful CMS engines such as WordPress for content management. These engines became popular over the time as they do not require any backend code to be written.

 

Why The Revival Of Static Websites?

One of the main reasons why static content needs to be adopted is because of their browser capability.  It has never been so easy to set up dynamic resources with pure Javascript and external APIs. Most of the modern web browsers are being used in varied environments i.e. from a tiny smartphones to large sized desktops.

It might actually be hard to consider every device so the best way is to optimize it in the best possible way. In general, Static Websites are made to handle high traffic. You don’t have to be concerned about caching or database issues that often slows down the website.

 

Static Websites have seen numerous advancements in recent years such as

  • Improved web browser support
  • Better support for pre processing like Sass/Less and Haml/Jade
  • A number of free third party solutions for the dynamic content
  • Options for Static site generators that make website creation quick and efficient

 

Advantages Of Static Websites

As Static Websites do not have any dependency on any database, they do not have to wait for any data connections and are free from any kind of database errors. Also, a Static Website does not need any backend language or any server like Node, PHP etc. The only requirement is the core functions of the server. It only loads a static content and provides the actual internet experience as intended.

 

Some advantages of static websites over dynamic websites are:-

  • In case of a static website, HTTP requests load faster as compared to the dynamic websites
  • Static Websites are more secure and less vulnerable to failure caused by database
  • They also offer comparable tools for dynamic CMS
  • It is also easy to use static site generator than learning to use full CMS
  • Database or backend servers are not required

 

Drawbacks

  • Absence of GUI or visual backend for editing pages requiring every static page to be edited manually
  • It takes time to build themes for a static site generator if you do not know a templating language
  • It is essential to push every new page to the server every time

 

Static Websites have revived back into the web design for so many good reasons. There functionalities can be enhanced by taking your hands on the static website generators. As Static Websites may deliver content quickly and also offer better control without reliance on a database, they may not always be the best choice depending on the type of website you’re building and the functionalities you require.

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Saurabh Tiwary


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