Choose The Type Of Website That's Best For You
Choosing which type of website will best suit your business’s current and future needs can be a tricky decision. Website developers may be inclined to persuade clients to choose a website which is more complicated than they require, either because it will be easier to build or will generate a larger profit for the developer. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) practitioners will usually advocate choosing the simplest form of website which suits the company’s needs. Less complex sites are easier to optimise and generally perform better. There are five types of websites from which a business has to choose:
The main limitation of static websites is that they cannot provide complex user interactivity because they cannot either gather information from the user or serve content which is dependent on user actions. Large static sites are also time consuming to develop and more difficult to update because changes need to be implemented individually on each page of the site. However, if a business does not require a large website or advanced interactivity, a static site which is developed using XHTML and CSS will provide clean, compact coding and good search engine performance.
Dynamic websites rely on server side scripting to provided advanced interactivity and usually use a database to deliver the content for individual pages. A dynamic approach is appropriate for developing large websites with content which is formulaic, for example, catalogues, photograph albums and complex series of data. A dynamic website will be required to allow users to sort and search records, or to restrict access to parts of the website using a log-in procedure.
Generating website pages on the fly, using a database to store and deliver content, is an efficient way of managing a large site, with maintenance and updating generally much easier than for a comparable static site. The disadvantage of dynamic websites is that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques are more difficult to implement, particularly if the site’s SEO needs are not taken into account at the development stage.
A content managed website is a further refinement of the database driven dynamic site. The content management system provides a password protected interface through which users can add, edit and remove content from the site. A content management system is particularly useful in the case of large sites which have numerous contributors, some of whom may be working from remote locations.
An eCommerce website is a dynamic website which has the functionality to process financial transactions. Most eCommerce websites are built to mimic a bricks and mortar store and use the model of stock pages, shopping basket system and checkout, using a secure online payment system. Many eCommerce sites also include a content management system, so that product details can be added or updated, and some include advanced features such as automated stock control.
Flash is proprietary software developed by Macromedia which is used to generate complex animations. The programme is sophisticated enough for entire websites to be constructed using Flash technology. Flash websites can be visually stunning and provide otherwise unachievable levels of user interactivity. However, it is almost impossible to carry out any meaningful form of SEO on a Flash site and so it should, generally, be avoided.
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