Static Vs Dynamic Websites — Why is this even important?
We started WebriQ to bring the power of static websites and the JAMstack to small businesses and enterprises who would otherwise have a hard time joining the web development revolution that is happening right now.
Today I am writing to those in the business and marketing communities that are early adopters or who simply want to stay aware of the changing landscape.
The winds of change are really beginning to blow in web development communities around the world. Needless to say, static websites are on fire right now. They ought to be because, well, they rock!
This shift may leave a large section of the business community in a lurch and will eventually need to be addressed. Today I am writing to those in the business and marketing communities that are early adopters or who simply want to stay aware of the changing landscape.
Simply put, modern web architecture like the JAMstack is allowing this change to happen. JAMstack methodology really makes static websites a better solution for business.
I’ve written about this before and gradually we are gaining steam as we help create a movement with our websites as a service (WSaaS) business model that we deploy at WebriQ.
The strengths of the JAMstack really allow us to do this as we can leave all the operational headaches and problems of the standard web-server centric systems behind.
WTF is JAMstack Anyway?
We’ve answered this question on our WebriQ GLUE blog before. Basically, the JAMstack is a new methodology to build and deploy websites, web apps, and other web systems via a decentralized approach. Essentially, it is a new way to build static websites. We use the word ‘static’ because everything is prebuilt, file-based, and does not require webservers to dynamically create the website or app.
For more information on the JAMstack, check out another blog post we wrote: JAMstack is the Solution to Your Rapidly Aging CMS
Heck! Just visit our whole blog! It is chock full of great articles.
What is a Dynamic Vs Static website? Why do we care?
Dynamic Websites are very status quo and old school.
Almost all websites today are classified as dynamic and this makes sense from a historical context. They are easy to build, customization is fairly straightforward, and updating them is a sinch. On the face of it, they are an easy way to make pretty complex websites, however, there are hidden costs in the back end.
Despite this, the real issues of dynamic websites result from how they function using a web server and a database; meaning this clunky system results in operational and scaling issues. Add in the fact that the internet has drastically changed while dynamic websites haven’t and the problems really start to pile up.
Even more problematic, even though others point to this as a positive, are the communities that surround popular dynamic Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal. These third-party plugins seem great, but are really a security nightmare! For example, mismanaged plugins are the number one way a WordPress website can be compromised.
Basically Dynamic websites are creatures in constant motion and keeping them running and secure is a constantly moving target. These factors result in overly expensive operations that really doesn’t deliver much value.
Static Websites are a return to fundamentals and the future.
There is nothing new about static websites. Static websites are simply complete HTML websites and used to be the only way to build and create websites. The need for complex functionality used to require a dynamic methodology using a web server, but that is no longer the case thanks to the JAMstack.
By removing a dedicated web server and database from the functionality of the website and replacing them with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) you can have all the complexities of a dynamic website without the operational or security headaches.
As mobile-first indexing and page speed are becoming more important to ranking factors, static websites are just better for any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. More importantly, users appreciate faster websites that work perfectly no matter what device they are using to interface with the web.
Lastly, by using JAMstack methods to build a static website, not only do you get greatly reduce load times and a faster website, you also decentralize the system. This leads to increased stability and flexibility when it comes to changing, updating and securing your website.
Why this all matters anyway.
From a historical view, it is easy to see why we went from static to dynamic websites. But that was before the true power of the cloud existed. Back in the day web servers weren’t commoditized and everything, even email, was hosted on single servers. That trend changed a long time ago.
The beauty of the internet is that it doesn’t stand still. The whole story of the world wide web is that of constant change with advances in systems and functionality occurring daily. Adhering to the status quo results in stories similar to Kodak or Blockbuster.
We formed WebriQ Goes Mad to bring this new innovation to small businesses and enterprises who don’t want to get left behind.
The WebriQ JAMstack Experience
We have been building and supporting our opensource system WebriQ CMS since 2009. We are very familiar with the old dynamic way of doing things. We saw all the headaches, frustrations and shortcomings of working on these legacy systems.
In 2016 we began to look into new and better ways to build and deploy websites and we created a major upgrade to WebriQ CMS. We began building static websites with WebriQ CMS as a headless content management system. The benefits were immediate.
Speed!! Static websites are wicked fast. Like ludicrously fast.
Cost effective development and deployment. By removing the web servers and simplifying the DevOps our costs were reduced and we’ve been able to pass that savings through to our customers.
These things are scalable! JAMstack methodology allows static websites and progressive web apps to scale to the internet. It is a no-brainer.
Security. Going static and using JAMstack methods reduces the security footprint of a website significantly. Classic attacks like DDOS, SQL injection or malware are nullified.
Simplifying the JAMstack for Businesses
Our foray into JAMstack methods and static websites made self-service on the websites we built difficult. Using legacy tools like WordPress can be fairly simple after a learning curve, but using decentralized methods aren’t as easy as using a centralized drag and drop tool.
This led us to explore the DIY website space further and we learned a whole slew of issues that exist for small businesses and enterprises trying to do it themselves.
Our methodology was infinitely better, but we needed a better service model too.
Creating Web Design as a Service: a new category in the industry.
We had this awesome opensource WebriQ CMS. Why not stop selling to developers and instead sell directly to small businesses? We needed a better system to support and maintain them than just a DIY tool.
Almost out of necessity we created our WebriQ Goes Mad business model. Unlimited support for a flat monthly fee. Not only did we create a business model to address all the issues with legacy systems, we also turned the DIY service model on its head.
We did all this at a price point way below average and a value proposition not found in the industry now.
Describing our service is a whole other article so stay tuned for that. You can get a quick taste by reading this article: Stop Using DIY Web Site Builders For Your Small Business Website
Adopting JAMstack methods has been great for our customers and our business. It has allowed us to deliver way more service than is currently available inside the industry. The advantages are clear once you really look into it.
First, it’s a winning strategy for businesses looking to capitalize on an SEO strategy. Google, Bing, Yahoo etc love static websites, and simply put, page speed and load times are very important right now. What’s more, Google is very focused on pushing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and that particular open-source effort is generally static in nature.
Additionally, PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) are the next big frontier for web development. As mobile web usage becomes bigger and bigger the need to bring high-quality native-like experiences to users no matter what device or browser they are using is a growing need.
I am glad you read through this whole article! I hope you found it informative to what is happening and how it relates to business and marketing. Feel free to subscribe as we continue to publish articles that relate to this topic.