Static vs Dynamic Web Pages
The internet is a large collection of interconnected client computers and servers. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) facilitates the communication and data transfer amongst these two levels of tiers, which is a standard code.
When a client computer such as the one used by you attempts to view a specific web page through the web browser, it sends a request to the computer hosting the website (the server) to send back the details of the website. If the content requested by the client computer is available, components of the website are sent to the client web browser in HTML format through the HTTP, and then the web browser recreates the website on the client computer and displays it. Uniform Resource Locator uniquely identifies the resources on the server and the server that receives the requests and responds is known as an HTTP server.
Differences of the static and dynamic website arise from the change operations behind the HTTP server.
More about Static Web pages
A static website is a website that displays the same content for all the users viewing the website at the same time. Simply a static website is a fixed website, and the content does not change from user to user.
The reason behind this is the way the static web sites are built. Technically a static website consists of a collection of HTML documents hosted on a server, which are interconnected through hyperlinks. However, these pages are independent of each other, and the code and other featured content are written and saved as individual files on the fixed memory of the server. If a change has to be made to the website it has to be done manually by changing the code of each web page.
The web page inside the server is an individual HTML file that can be recognized by the last of the URL of the file; .html or .htm are static web pages where the pages are saved in HTML format.
When a web client makes a request for a static web page to the web server, the web server (aka HTTP server) interprets and locates the required page using the URL in the request and sends the page to the web browser through HTTP. The most common HTTP or web servers used for this purpose are IIS from Microsoft for the windows platform and Apache by the Apace foundation.
More about Dynamic Web Pages
In contrast to static web pages, the dynamic web pages obtain their names due to the dynamic content available. That is the content displayed on the website may change from user to user and/or from time to time. Examples of the dynamic web pages are Amazon, Yahoo, Gmail, CNN and iTunes websites.
Again, the structure of the web server is different from that hosting static pages to dynamic pages. Since dynamic web pages require providing different content for every user, it is not practical to store different versions of the same page on the server memory and deliver them as these require large resources to support the operation. Therefore, a rather convenient method is to keep the components separate at several storages, and bring them together in a common layout and then transfer to the client browser.
This is achieved by implementing an application server and resources database connected to the web server. When a request for a specific URL is made by the web browser, the web server receives and passes the information to the application server to provide the HTML file indicated in the URL. Since no fixed HTML page exists, the application server brings out the layout for the required URL and fills it with the relevant content such as text, photos, audio, and video.
Examples for application servers are PHP and ASP.NET. Oracle Application Express and MySQL are examples for database software.
What is the difference between Static and Dynamic Web Pages?
• Static web pages have fixed content while dynamic web pages may have changing content.
• Static web pages have to be manually changed, while changes to a dynamic page can be loaded through an application where resources are stored in a database.
• Static web pages use only a web server, while dynamic web pages use a web server, application server, and a database.