static v dynamic web pages for SEO

Dynamic Website Vs Static: Which Is Best For SEO?

Dynamic Website Vs Static: Which Is Best For SEO?

Are you operating a static or dynamic website? They each have pros and cons. Keep reading to learn which one is better for your SEO.

When it comes to improving your SEO, your number-one focus should always be on user experience. And, well, users can be hard to please. If your site doesn’t display correctly, if it takes too long to load, or if it’s not beautifully designed, your users are likely to bounce. They’ll damage your SEO in the process. Several factors can improve your site’s usability, starting with the type of website itself. Whether your site is static or dynamic can have a big impact on your user experience and your SEO. Keep reading to find out whether a static or dynamic website is best for SEO.

What We Mean by Dynamic or Static Websites

First up, what is the difference between a dynamic website and a static one? “Static” and “dynamic” refer to the way the website loads for each user. A static website is made up of a series of HTML pages stored on a server. Any time a user accesses a page, they will see the same, static view of the site. In the early days of the Internet, all websites were static. Dynamic sites are a bit more complicated. Instead of storing site pages via HTML, dynamic sites are created using a content management system, or CMS. The CMS stores the site’s information on a server and, using PHP or JavaScript, dynamically builds the site out every time a user visits a page. As you might expect, there are pros and cons to both methods.

The Pros and Cons of Dynamic and Static Websites

Pros and Cons of Static Sites

Static sites are cheap to build and host, but they can be a drain on resources when it comes time to update them. Think about it this way: If you change your phone number — and your phone number is on every page of your site — you have to manually update each HTML page. Depending on the size of your website, that could eat up a lot of time. That said, static pages work great for small sites that don’t need frequent updates. Many “brochure” sites are static. The biggest draw of a static site, however, is speed. Static sites load much faster than their dynamic counterparts.

Pros and Cons of Dynamic Sites

Dynamic sites generally cost more to develop and take more resources to host, but they are much easier to change. Because dynamic sites use a CMS, you can update information on every page quickly and easily. You don’t even need to know HTML to run a dynamic website. Because dynamic pages are built out in real time for each user, you also have endless customization and targeting options. As you might guess, though, generating HTML and CSS every time a page loads is a pretty slow process. Unless they’re optimized, dynamic sites are often slower than static pages.

Which Is Better for SEO: A Static or Dynamic Website?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Static and dynamic sites both excel in different areas. They also require different skill sets to manage and update. If you have a dedicated web hosting staff, you might be able to handle managing a static site. If your staff is a little leaner, however, you might need to rely on a CMS and a dynamic website. There are some things to consider when it comes to SEO, though.

Static Sites Have Better Page Speed

Page speed has a big impact on your users’ opinion of your site–and your SEO. In fact, 40 percent of users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. When it comes to page speed, static sites are the clear winner. However, if you’re managing a large site that needs frequent updates, a static site might not be feasible. If you need to use a dynamic website, there are steps you can take to lessen your loading time. Use static HTML for information that doesn’t need to change Regularly update your CMS themes and plugins Reduce the file size of your images Consider using a content delivery network

Static Websites Are Easier to Crawl

When Google sends out its web crawlers to comb through the internet, they compile the information they find in an overarching Search index. When it comes to a simple static site, crawlers can add straight-forward HTML pages to the Search index quickly. They may be less likely to encounter errors, which means more of your site’s pages are indexed. That’s great for your SEO. If you have a JavaScript-heavy dynamic page, however, you might slow down the web crawlers. That could mean fewer of your pages are added to the Search index–and won’t show up in search results.

Dynamic Sites Are Better for Integrating Keywords

Because they are so easy to update, it’s easy to change up your keyword strategy on a dynamic website. If your research shows a new keyword shows some promise, you can add it across every page of your website with your CMS. With a static site, you would have to manually update your site copy every time you want to test a new keyword. You also have the option of personalizing a dynamic site to each user’s needs. You can target your keywords and content based on each user’s operating system, referral page, or even browsing device.

Building a Mobile-Friendly Dynamic Site Is Easier

Because dynamic sites are built out every time a user visits, they’re made for mobile-friendliness. In fact, most modern CMS automatically generate mobile-friendly pages without any extra effort on your part. To make a mobile-friendly static site, however, you’ll need to manually add the code to make your site mobile-responsive.

Get Help Building Your Website from Felicity Jane Digital

If you need to build an SEO-friendly site targeting the Brisbane area and Australia’s Sunshine Coast, Felicity Jane Digital can help. We are a professional SEO and web design firm dedicated to getting your site on the first page of search results. Whether you need a site designed and developed from the ground up or you need help with your SEO strategy, we’ve got you covered. Get a free quote and find out what we can offer your business.

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Ensure your website is mobile friendly so it can be seen on all sized devices

Is mobile friendliness all hype?

Not at all!  The biggest impact to online ‘search’ in 2015 was mobile.  On April 21, 2015 Google implemented mobile friendliness as a ranking factor in mobile search results. If your site is mobile friendly you can expect to rank above your competitors who don’t have a mobile friendly site.  Conversely pages designed only for large screens may see a significant decrease in rankings in mobile search results.

Why has Mobile friendliness become a ranking signal.

Google is about providing the most relevant and timely results to its users.  As more and more people use mobile devices Google’s algorithms have had to adapt to these new usage patterns.  Google wants to provide a better mobile experience for its mobile users.  (Desktop and tables haven’t been effected.) In early 2014 internet usage on mobile devices exceeded desktop usage for the very first time, and this trend has only continued to grow.  In Australia during 2015 ~  45% of Australians used a smart phone as often or more often than a computer for accessing the internet ~  9/10 consumers under 44 are smart phone users ~  today’s shopper is an online shopper ~ 30% of shoppers use smart phones for researching products and services ~  6/10 people are using search engines on smart phones at least weekly ~  53% of users experience issues when accessing websites on mobile, 28% of users will find another website that works better

… making it crucial for businesses to think mobile!

What is mobile friendliness?

Mobile friendliness is about providing the user with optimal viewing and an interactive experience and easy reading without the need for pinching and squeezing, panning and scrolling.

Mobile sites v responsive sites

Mobile (m.) sites are a second version of your website, designed specifically for display on smart phones and are generally an abridged version of your main website.  In turn, a responsive site is your website designed to adapt to the screen size of the device being used. The layout changes and adapts; pieces move and shift in order to maintain a usable design Mobile sites and responsive sites are assessed in the same way for mobile friendliness.

How do I know if my mobile site is friendly?

Generally, if your site was built before 2013, and unless you asked your developer specifically, your website will not be responsive.  However most, if not all, new sites should be mobile friendly. Google has a great tool that will tell you if your site is mobile friendly and, if it’s not, it will tell you what to do. Check out Google’s mobile friendliness tool to determine if your site meets Google’s requirements.  Make sure to check each URL of your site. Note:  you may have a great mobile site, however the Google Friendly tool is saying it doesn’t pass the test.  The most common reason is that the google bot for smart phones is blocked from crawling resources, like CSS etc, that are critical for determining whether the page is legible and usable on a mobile device.  Talk to your web developer to resolve any issue.

So where to from here?

We recommend you run your website through Google’s tool above. If it tells you your site is mobile friendly, that’s great – you’ve got nothing to worry about. But if it tells you your site isn’t mobile friendly, then we recommend you consider getting a mobile friendly website as soon as possible, especially if you want to maintain your Google rankings.

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