If you are building a website or redesigning your old one, you should consider building a database driven website. Most people think that only “large” websites should be database driven, but even the smallest website could benefit. Database driven sites give you easy access to your website’s content which can reduce support and maintenance costs. They also allow for a much richer, interactive user experience.
What Is A Database Driven Website?
In order to understand database driven websites, you must first understand the difference between a static website and a dynamic website.
A static website has its content stored on the web file system. A static website is just as the name implies – a website that doesn’t change very often. People often refer to these as “brochure” websites because the information is presented in the same way. Typically when a static website is changed a web programmer, or someone with technical web skills, must make the changes. This is because you must access the actual web programming code to make changes.
A dynamic website has its content stored outside of the website files in a database. This allows more flexibility and easier management – especially for larger websites. It also allows your website to be dynamic in that it allows you to gather, display and manipulate data quickly and easily.
Types Of Database Driven Websites
Content Management Systems (CMS)
A website with a content management system is a database driven website that allows users to easily update the content on the website. A CMS has an administration area where content providers can easily add content. They do not need to know web programming because most content management systems have an easy-to-use editor. Users can also easily update product lists, upload files and upload images.
Blogs and Community Forums
The Internet is becoming more and more social. People are going on line to check in with their friends, network with professionals, and consult with people before making purchases. Among the many ways to be social online are to participate on discussion forums and comment on blogs. Most community forums and blogs are database driven.
E-commerce websites are one of the best uses of database driven websites. The biggest advantage is that the information can always be fresh and up-to-date and it can be updated with an easy-to-use administration panel. Product management is no problem because database driven websites are flexible and scalable.
Benefits of a Database Driven Website
There are many benefits to having a database driven website. One distinct advantage is the power it gives you for designing and redesigning your pages. Having the ability to do your own maintenance and updates can reduce your overhead costs.
Here are a few more benefits to consider:
- It’s easy and quick to add new content.
- You can easily add and change products for an e-commerce site.
- You give users the ability to search and sort so they can navigate easily.
- You can add social elements such as blogs and community forums to engage customers and potential customers.
For Database Driven Websites, Work With An Experienced Web Design Firm
Building a database driven website requires a higher level of technical skill than building static websites. Be sure that the digital marketing firm that you are working with has this experience. Ask to see examples of the websites they’ve built. In this case, experience matters.