Static vs. dynamic hosting

For a website to be available to visitors, it must “deployed” somewhere. Traditionally, there are broadly two types of hosting: static and dynamic.

Dynamic hosting is a server that:
  • listens for a request
  • runs code and assembles a response
  • sends back that compiled response
Static hosting is a server that:
  • listens for a request
  • responds with a set of pre-built files (HTML, CSS, Javascript, images)

An analogy: library vs. bookshop, or made-to-order vs. ready-made

Traditional server (dynamic):
Imagine you’re at a library where there’s a librarian who can answer any question you have. When a person comes in and asks for information, the librarian goes to various shelves, gathers the necessary books, reads them, and then provides the answer. The librarian tailors the response based on the specific question asked.

Static site hosting:
Now, picture a bookstore where all the books are already on display. Each book contains information, and when someone comes in and asks a question, the bookstore attendant simply hands them the relevant book. There’s no need for the attendant to gather or modify information; everything is ready and accessible.

In the context of websites:
  • Traditional server (dynamic): The server is like a librarian in a library, actively retrieving and assembling information to respond to individual requests. I use Digitalocean (referral link).
  • Static site hosting: It’s similar to a bookstore where the information (web pages) is pre-packaged and readily available. The server simply hands over the existing content without the need for real-time assembly. I use Netlify.
In summary, traditional servers dynamically generate content for each user, much like a librarian providing tailored responses, while static site hosting serves pre-existing content, akin to a bookstore where information is already prepared and accessible.

Hosting a brochure website involves making the website accessible on the internet. Here are several options for hosting a brochure website:

  1. Shared Hosting:
    • Description: Your website shares server resources with other websites on the same server.
    • Pros: Cost-effective, easy to set up, suitable for small websites with low traffic.
    • Cons: Limited resources, potential performance issues if other sites on the server experience high traffic.
  2. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting:
    • Description: A virtual server within a larger physical server, providing more dedicated resources compared to shared hosting.
    • Pros: More control and resources than shared hosting, scalable, suitable for medium-sized websites.
    • Cons: Requires more technical knowledge for setup and maintenance, higher cost than shared hosting.
  3. Cloud Hosting:
    • Description: Hosting on a virtual server network, utilizing resources from multiple servers.
    • Pros: Scalable, resources can be adjusted based on demand, reliable and flexible.
    • Cons: Cost may increase with usage, may require some technical knowledge.
  4. Dedicated Server Hosting:
    • Description: Entire physical server dedicated to your website.
    • Pros: Full control over server resources, suitable for large websites with high traffic.
    • Cons: Expensive, requires advanced technical knowledge for management.
  5. Managed WordPress Hosting:
    • Description: Hosting specifically optimized for WordPress websites, often including automatic updates and other WordPress-specific features.
    • Pros: Optimized performance, easy WordPress management, good for non-technical users.
    • Cons: Limited flexibility outside of WordPress, can be more expensive than generic hosting.
  6. Content Delivery Network (CDN):
    • Description: Distributes website content across multiple servers globally to enhance speed and reliability.
    • Pros: Improves website speed, reduces latency, enhances global accessibility.
    • Cons: May not be a standalone hosting solution, often used in conjunction with other hosting services.
  7. Static Site Hosting:
    • Description: Hosting for static websites (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) that do not require server-side processing.
    • Pros: Fast, secure, cost-effective for simple brochure websites.
    • Cons: Limited functionality for dynamic content, not suitable for complex web applications.