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What are static and dynamic Web pages?

Answer: Web pages can be either static or dynamic. "Static" means unchanged or constant, while "dynamic" means changing or lively. Therefore, static Web pages contain the same prebuilt content each time the page is loaded, while the content of dynamic Web pages can be generated on-the-fly.

Standard HTML pages are static Web pages. They contain HTML code, which defines the structure and content of the Web page. Each time an HTML page is loaded, it looks the same. The only way the content of an HTML page will change is if the Web developer updates and publishes the file.

Other types of Web pages, such as PHP, ASP, and JSP pages are dynamic Web pages. These pages contain "server-side" code, which allows the server to generate unique content each time the page is loaded. For example, the server may display the current time and date on the Web page. It may also output a unique response based on a Web form the user filled out. Many dynamic pages use server-side code to access database information, which enables the page's content to be generated from information stored in the database. Websites that generate Web pages from database information are often called database-driven websites.

You can often tell if a page is static or dynamic simply by looking at the page's file extension in the URL, located in the address field of the Web browser. If it is ".htm" or ".html," the page is probably static. If the extension is ".php," ".asp," or ".jsp," the page is most likely dynamic. While not all dynamic Web pages contain dynamic content, most have at least some content that is generated on-the-fly.

Entered: November 9, 2007 – by Per Christensson

Category: Web

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