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Understanding Dynamic Websites: Key Insights

Web Design

In the relatively short history of the internet, websites have continuously evolved to improve experiences for both brands and their audiences. Due to the leaps and bounds in technological advancements, these changes have made an impact on the way people experience content online. 

Modern websites are optimized for viewing on any device–laptops, tablets, and even smartphones–and have become more intuitive. With the rising popularity of smart assistants, pages have also integrated voice search features for a user-friendly browsing experience. Among all the exciting upgrades, one of the most useful features is the dynamic website.

What are Dynamic Websites?

A dynamic website is a site that generates pages in real time, adapting to dynamic attributes like screen size and device, with structure and content that automatically changes based on browser, specific requests, user demographics time of day, location, language settings, and so on.

For example, when a user requests a certain page, the server pulls information from a database and constructs an HTML file tailored for the user. Once the page is finished, the HTML file is shipped back to the end user’s browser.

Static Website vs. Dynamic Website

The difference between static and dynamic websites is content on static sites stays the same for every visitor unless the developer makes a concerted effort to modify the page’s source code. In comparison, information on dynamic websites shifts for each unique user.

Static websites are ideal for those looking to build and deploy their pages in the shortest time possible. This type of website doesn’t require complex software, and you can simply copy the basic code of each page to maintain consistency throughout the platform.

However, dynamic websites provide more customization efforts compared to static ones. Dynamic websites update in real-time and intuitively adjust to align with each user’s needs.

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Types of Dynamic Websites

While static pages require manual updating before their contents change, dynamic websites offer unique content to visitors each time they view the site. This is done through a combination of client-side and server-side scripting. Client-side scripting uses a web browser to process the code, while server-side scripting employs scripts to operate on the originating server. Let’s discuss each type in detail.

  1. Client-side scripting uses scripting languages like JavaScript that render changes to the webpage according to user actions like mouse clicks or keyboard strokes.
  2. Server-side scripting sends code before the content lands on the user’s end, personalizing aspects like login pages or submission forms.

Using both types of scripting allows modern websites to adapt to each user’s view of the page while reducing the server’s load time. Also, these scriptings are more secure, hence, you might find no or very low vulnerabilities in the network when you conduct network penetration testing.

Dynamic Website Elements

person holding silver iphone 6

Creating a dynamic website allows you to elevate your page’s content to be more relevant and engaging for your visitors. Below are common dynamic website elements that work in a dynamic page setup:

1. Format changing according to your screen size

With the vast array of smart devices in the market, having a webpage that doesn’t scale well can put off visitors. Dynamic website development allows the page to display on almost any screen without compromising its visual appeal and intuitive layout. This includes rearranging buttons, reformatting text and typography, and resizing images to suit the visitor’s display.

2. Language changing according to what country you’re browsing from

By using certain web development tools, a dynamic web page can be displayed in the language of the region a site visitor is viewing the page from. This gives your site content a more familiar voice, as well as further personalizing the overall experience.

3. Custom recommendations based on what you’ve viewed before

One of the benefits of having cookies integrated into your site is that there is a wealth of information at your disposal for creating a more tailored experience on the site. Based on a user’s previous visit, a dynamic website can offer similar or related recommendations. This is useful for sites with a wide variety of content or for e-commerce platforms.

4. Integration of social media and offsite content

One way to add new and changing content on a site is by tapping into social media. Page plugins can display new content from your brand’s social media platforms. Site visitors can see how active your brand is, even if other onsite content isn’t as frequently updated. The addition of these active feeds also gives Google and other search engines more content to crawl through.

5. Dynamic visuals and animation displays

Hero images are a vital part of any website. With the right image behind compelling copy, it can attract a site visitor’s attention almost instantly and encourage them to continue browsing. With the use of dynamic elements, you can have a slideshow of images that cycle or change upon refreshing the page. These techniques can also be applied to video content and animation.

How Google Search Uses Dynamic Elements

person typing on gray and black HP laptop

One of the best examples that most people already know about is Google making use of dynamic elements to provide a better experience to users. The following elements play a part in helping Google provide more personalized search results:

1. Location

Google makes use of a user’s IP address or previous GPS locations in order to tailor-fit results for certain search queries. The results will usually include physical businesses and places closest to the user, which are grouped together and pushed higher in the results pages.

2. Search and Website History

Each user’s previous searches, search engine result pages (SERPs) clicks, and browsing history are stored by Google in a personalized profile. This profile allows Google to display search results that are closer to the user’s perceived interests. It is also used to further contextualize search queries.

3. Device

Google’s search results will rank pages differently depending on which device the user searches on. When searching from a smartphone, the algorithm will prioritize pages that are optimized for mobile, while unoptimized pages are pushed down the ranks.

4. Search Ads

While Google displays paid search ads–also known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads–with organic search results, they don’t affect the number of organic results displayed. Instead, these search ads are customized to a user’s location. Users from different locations will then be served different search ads despite using the same search query. 

5. Time of day

Google continuously updates search results to account for current content, especially for events that occur in real-time. A search query for news and current events may display dramatically different results with every page refresh. 

6. Other Google Products

With the vast amount of Google products in the market–YouTube, Drive, Blogspot, Calendar, Maps and Gmail for business and so on–it’s no surprise that information from these products are displayed alongside organic search results. A user searching “what time is my flight” may receive the exact time recorded in their Google Calendar.

So how many users are affected by these customized results? In 2018, rival search engine DuckDuckGo conducted a study on how SERPs are ranked differently for users. The study found that Google’s algorithm will always attempt to personalize results, no matter the user’s relationship with Google and its products. This makes it easier for brands and businesses to reach their target audiences and provide value to them.

Advantages of Dynamic Websites

Making the shift to a dynamic website has several benefits for both your business and your target audience:

1. More personalized browsing

One of the biggest benefits to having a dynamic website is providing users with a personalized browsing experience once they visit your website. Content and product suggestions, features for recently-viewed items, and even offering content based on location and demographics can all work towards getting visitors to stay on your page and possibly take the next step with your brand.

2. Easier to maintain

Dynamic websites make use of a content management system (CMS) that provides a database for content and other elements on the page. These sites also make use of scripting languages that interact with the information in the databases, making it easier to enact site-wide changes without having to make the changes one at a time.

You can upload content with ease, edit backgrounds and other design elements, and even make changes to the site without knowledge of coding. This makes the site much easier to maintain than its static counterparts.

3. Better user experience

Aside from tailoring each visitor’s browsing experience on the site, dynamic web pages enable other functionalities. Being able to edit the site according to user needs and build a more intuitive navigation are all possible through dynamic websites. Additionally, upgrading and adding more functionalities to a dynamic website can easily be done, making it good for improving the overall user experience.

4. Elevated professional look

While it is possible to have professional static sites, they lack the features and other elements that many users expect from a modern website. Not only do dynamic websites provide the functions and interactivity that visitors enjoy, but the ease of editing that comes with it helps take the professional look to the next level.

Dynamic Website Examples

The internet boasts several dynamic websites, but a few stand above the rest by having innovative and intuitive features. Here are 10 examples of dynamic websites with reasons.

  1. Facebook generates personalized content based on the user’s actions. The things you see on the website change depending on the accounts you follow, the content you’re engaging with, or the people you have on your friends list.
  2. Twitter, much like Facebook, alters the content you see based on different factors like your search queries and public and private lists. In addition, your engagement, such as retweets and likes, also prompts Twitter to generate content related to your past actions.
  3. YouTube utilizes an algorithm that alters your feed based on the accounts you subscribe to, the videos you watch, and other related content that aligns with your viewing habits.
  4. Google is the world’s most popular search engine and one of the best examples of a dynamic website. The search engine indexes billions of websites, both new and refreshed, utilizing its algorithm to select, rank, and generate the best results for user-based queries.
  5. WordPress is a website creation platform that allows users to customize most of what they want to showcase on their page. It’s a dynamic website because it automatically refreshes the content in real-time, not only on your end but from the visitors’ point of view.
  6.  HubSpot provides a unique personalized experience for each user by displaying content based on where they are in the sales funnel. The CRM platform utilizes adaptive landing pages, incorporating progressive profiling and personalization tokens.
  7. Netflix is an industry leader in on-demand video streaming entertainment. The streaming platform recommends similar content based on previously watched shows or movies and the user’s watch list.
  8. Amazon and its website function much like Netflix. However, instead of movies or shows, it recommends products. The website alters its offerings by considering the customers’ past purchases, searches, and carted items, adjusting according to what they’ve accumulated from these findings.
  9. Lazada and Shopee are prime marketplace platforms that feature a dynamic website. The products offered on these sites change regularly based on purchase history, audience demographics, and search history. This makes it easy for consumers to navigate similar items that may interest them.
  10. Steam is the global leader in digital distribution for video games. While the platform is straightforward, displaying games you can purchase, it also organizes them according to factors like play history, past purchases, and similar game genres. A customer’s homepage will also change based on the platform’s most played games and when sitewide sales are in effect.

Get with The Times and Get Moving!

Gone are the days of static walls of texts and bland pages. Now and probably for a long while, dynamic websites are in. They elevate the user experience by adapting to certain factors or actions taken onsite and delivering personalized and engaging content.

By offering a more responsive and interactive experience to users of any kind, dynamic content is the next step towards giving your audience an impactful experience.

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Contact Spiralytics, an agency that provides digital marketing services in the Philippines, today to learn how we can help you take advantage of dynamic website elements to maximize your marketing performance!