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Static vs. Dynamic Websites Explained

If you’re thinking of starting a website for your store, it’s easy to get lost among all the technical jargon. You may recognize some common words that you know the meanings of. Beware if you are talking about websites, because many of these common words are used to describe features on the web.

“Bells and Whistles” has been replaced with words like “features” and “attributes”. “Attributes” and “properties” used to be words I only used in science and math class! “Tag” was a piece of paper with a string on it, and “string” was for hanging or tying things together.

Lets say you have decided you want a website for your store. The VERY FIRST question you should ask yourself is “What do I want this website to do?” Think of the basics. A website is a good way for you to tell people information about your store so they don’t have to call, or when you are closed. So here is a basic list to start with:

  1. Address, store hours and phone #’s.
  2. What products do you sell and price?
  3. What services do you provide?
  4. Directions for the first steps to seek employment.
  5. What should the domain name be so people can find your website. (See “What’s in a Name?” blog post)


STATIC websites

If you were to start a website with only the 5 bits of information listed above, you would have a basic, STATIC website. You can enhance this information with text, color, and images. The text, color, and images can be manipulated some usually referred to as “styled”. If you have enough text and images to fill a page about these five categories about your store, you can use links to turn the page. Links are also used to download files like a PDF job application to print, fill out then take to the store. You can also use an external link to suggest other websites that have information that is related to your store.

A feature you can find on a static AND/OR dynamic website is a “feed” or “iframe”. A “feed” or “iframe” is a kind of bridge for website features. Typically, a feed or iframe is used to provide information stored on a different server that someone has to manually change. Here is where the line between static and dynamic websites gets blurry. If the information in the iframe changes without our assistance, you’re website is still in the “static” price range. For example, if someone changes the information as a free service, like a blog. Keep in mind a free service means you cannot edit the info. Iframes are also used for videos not stored on your site, like youtube. Another type of iframe that is considered static is a contact us form. The data collected in the form is only sent to an email address, then discarded using code that only needs to be set up once.


DYNAMIC websites

If the iframe information needs to be changed by us, your site will be considered “dynamic” and priced accordingly.

Another variation of static vs. dynamic can be used when describing a section of a website. Typically that section is referred to as a “feature” or “attribute”. For example, if you think of a book, the table of contents might be considered an attribute of the book. Maybe a website has a page with static text AND a dynamic recipe search.

If you have a longer list than the five items listed above, you need to consider getting a DYNAMIC website. Dynamic websites are more of what we specialize in. Dynamic websites have more “Bells and Whistles” that are mixed and matched in different price packages like:

  1. Images of your weekly ad that change according to a schedule.
  2. Printable coupons where the offer amount and products change.
  3. Searchable recipe database: uses previously collected recipes that can be selected and viewed at a later date using a search engine.
  4. Library of cooking videos: uses videos stored on a server that can be selected and viewed at a later date.
  5. Shopping list: uses forms that collect data that can be called up at a later date.

Everyone’s job has their own lingo. I remember at the dinner table my Dad would try to explain something about his job, and since he was in the Army, the acronyms were at the point where I stopped listening/understanding what he was talking about. Our retailers have their own vocabulary as well. Learning each other’s languages will help us utilize the multiple ways customers communicate today.

Why do I work at AWG? “It’s hard to find a native Kansan who doesn’t have family living in a small town community... and I am no exception. My family tree is full of farmers who have helped put food on our tables for over 100 years. So when I hear of a small town’s only grocery store closing down it hits home. Even though I now live in a big city, I like to know through my work I can help keep small independent grocery stores stay open for future generations to enjoy.” -Sharlyn