Type of WordPress Website: Static or Dynamic

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Before we dive into the optimizations, it’s important first to understand that not all WordPress sites are the same. This is why a lot of users have problems, as you can’t go about tackling every issue the same way. We always give WordPress sites a classification: static or dynamic. So let’s first explore the differences between these two types of sites.

Mostly Static Sites

Classic websites are static, which means that each page is individually coded with HTML and then uploaded to the server. The primary benefits of creating a static website are:

  • the initial costs are cheaper, and
  • they are easy to host in circumstances where the site’s content rarely changes.

In the long run, however, static websites can be expensive and are difficult to maintain. Ultimately, static websites can cost your business a small fortune, since even minor updates will require your business to pay a web developer to change the HTML files.

Static would typically include sites such as blogs, small business sites, lower volume news sites, personal, photography, etc. By static, we mean that the data on these WordPress sites is not changing very often (perhaps a couple of times a day). Even most of the developed websites by Digital Business Engine would be considered a static website.

This becomes incredibly important as many of the requests can be served directly from cache on the server at lightning-fast speeds! Don’t worry; we’ll dive into the topic of caching in length further below. This means they will have fewer database calls and not as many resources will be needed to achieve google performance.

Highly Dynamic Sites

A dynamic website may cost your business more to create, it will save your organization a significant amount of time and money over time. The reason is simple: updating a dynamic website requires absolutely no technical expertise, which means that the upkeep costs are almost nonexistent. This allows businesses to stay ahead of the curve by consistently providing relevant content to their visitors, allowing for more opportunities to form deeper relationships with their customers.

For example, it’s common for businesses to add a blog to their site using WordPress, which enables them to interact with their audience regularly. Adding a blog post using the WordPress post editor or any other user-friendly CMS is extremely simple and requires no more technical knowhow than writing an email. With a static site, even posting a simple blog post would require a web developer to write a new HTML file.

Additionally, using a dynamic website allows for increased functionality which allows you to take advantage of a much wider range of features. There are thousands of free plugins that you can add to your WordPress site that can benefit your business in ways that far surpass the capabilities of a static site. This is particularly important now that it’s common for people to surf the web using their mobile devices, since you’ll have a much easier time making your site mobile-friendly if your pages are dynamic.

Since it’s easier to provide your visitors with fresh content by using a CMS, there are also SEO benefits to creating a dynamic site. One of the most important factors that search engines take into account is the frequency with which a website provides fresh content to its visitors, and this is much more feasible using a CMS than with the hard HTML files of a static site.

It’s also worth noting that dynamic websites are more aesthetically attractive and are more likely to instill a positive impression upon your visitors. The popularity of dynamic websites among businesses is so widespread that it’s rare to find a reputable company today with a static website.

On the flip side, we have highly dynamic sites. These include sites such as eCommerce (WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads), community, membership, forums (bbPress or BuddyPress) and learning management systems (LMS). By dynamic, we mean that the data on these WordPress sites are frequently changing (server transactions are taking place

every few minutes or even every second). This means that not all requests to the server can be served directly from the cache and require additional server resources and database queries.

You can’t treat all WordPress sites the same when it comes to performance. Static and highly dynamic sites are two very different beasts.

These sites also typically have a large number of concurrent visitors and sessions. On an informational or corporate WordPress site which is mostly static, a visitor might stay for five or 10 minutes until they find what they need (and this is a high number, usually bounce rates are much higher). 

On dynamic sites, you have the opposite happening. Visitors typically come to the site to engage with something or someone. If they’re going through an online course, it’s not unusual for them to stay for hours.

You can see where this is going. The concurrent visitors connected to your WordPress host adds up fast. To make it worse, you then have a large number of concurrent visitors on top of an “uncacheable content” problem.

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