What sort of website?

Websites can be divided into two basic types: static (or brochure) webites and content management system (or dynamic) websites.

Without getting too technical, the choice of which to use is largely determined by your website's intended size, complexity and functionality - and by your budget, of course!

  • Static or brochure websites are by far the most common type of website. Small and large businesses, clubs, societies, teams, individuals, schools and churches all use static websites very effectively to inform and receive feedback from their clients, customers and members, and to promote their activities, products and services.

    The advantages of static websites are that they are relatively cheap and quick to build, and the layout can be fine-tuned to a high degree. They are particularly suitable if the content material doesn't change too often. Some users (maybe with a bit of training) choose to maintain and update their website themselves, but others prefer to ask a web designer to do this for them - either through a regular contract or a pay-as-you-go arrangement.

    Of course, static doesn't mean boring! Using tailor-made templates, style sheets and good design principles, it is possible to construct highly effective, eye-catching websites with sophisticated features and effects.

  • Content management system (CMS) or dynamic websites have typically been used in the past by bigger organisations, particularly if they have a large amount of complex, frequently-changing content material to display. Unlike static websites - which can become rather unwieldy if the number of pages grows beyond a certain point - they can expand to any size. However, the increased availability of customisable templates (or 'themes') on platforms such as Wordpress makes CMS-based websites an option for all.

    With a CMS website, the content material is held separately in a stand-alone database. The advantage of this is that - once the website's basic structure, style and format has been set up - the content can be updated at any time (and from any computer) by logging on to the database in a secure way. No knowledge of computer coding is needed to do this.

Both static and dynamic websites can be built to ensure that they adjust automatically for different screen sizes - including smart phones and other mobile devices. However, the two types of website are built in quite different ways - so it is important to establish at an early stage which format is the most appropriate to use.


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