What will be the place of the static web as the world of dynamic web pages, APIs, portals, and web and mobile applications develops?
Content management systems, as well as a whole host of resources for automatically generating dynamic code, help programmers create websites and mobile apps that adapt to their users’ needs and preferences, presenting a unique online environment. As they say, why stand when you can sit, why use someone else’s interface when you can dictate your own experience?
Internet users, and especially smartphone owners with the web at their fingertips, have become accustomed to interactive websites, customizable content and information not only in the palm of their hand but organized to their specifications. I can’t remember the last time I went to a site like weather.com now that I can use Google’s in-browser forecast app on my phone. I’m also more than a little perturbed that Pinterest still hasn’t released a mobile app – a few years ago I would have been ecstatic that I could use a browser on my phone at all, and now dynamic mobile content is so ingrained in the way I interact with the web that it seems strange to not be able to pin things from my phone. It could be argued these days that a site hasn’t even fully launched yet if it doesn’t support mobile browsing and/or have an app.
There are still plenty of reasons to create and use static websites – as Ada Ivanova for Speckyboy Design Magazine says, static sites are great low-maintenance options for small sites and inexperienced webmasters. They’re great options for the average personal or small business website, or for informational sites where the content doesn’t change often, but with a participatory culture and the emphasis on dynamic content to encourage recurring traffic, static sites are definitely becoming the minority.
Even the programming languages necessary to create web applications and dynamic sites are presented in fun, interactive ways – if you’re interested in learning, check out Code School’s TryRuby.org with an in-browser tutorial and RailsForZombies with videos and exercises.