Are you starting out in the field of web design and development? Well, you are probably aware that you are entering a highly-competitive arena. However, if you are confident enough about your talent and grit, nothing can stop you from being successful.
Now, as a newbie, it is also easy to feel overwhelmed by the jargons that are thrown around. It gets even more confusing when upgrades are made to existing technologies, and new technologies are introduced very often. These new developments urge you to stay updated. One such idea that is of much importance at current times is that of database-driven websites and how important such sites are, especially in e-Commerce.
It is undeniable that the debate has always been on about how scalable a business website’s database is or how well it has been integrated with the web design. As a web developer, you must learn how to sort through all the floods of information and just retain what is important to you. You must know how to sift through a lot of material and use what can make your project better. For this, you must first understand how your website is connected to the database and how you must leverage that connection to optimize your site and improve its performance.
The difference between dynamic and static websites:
If you have already tried delving into the world of data-driven sites, chances are you
have already come across these two terms that define the nature of a website: dynamic and static. What are these exactly and what is the difference between them?
These websites offer very little in terms of content or design change. The website design does not change when the page loads on a browser or when the page is refreshed. If a user scrolls through, the design and the image do not change. There might be a minor change in the content from section to section. The noticeable difference in layout or design happens when the user loads a new page on the web browser. For such websites, the content is stored on the web file system. Thus, it will always appear in the same format.
The web pages change every time they are loaded or refreshed, as the name suggests. The webmaster does not have to make the changes each time the page loads. When a user clicks on an image or a button, some changes are noticeable on that particular page. Since, for dynamic websites, the content is stored outside the web file system, it is easier to change data whenever required instantly. It is also easier to manage the changes.
It can be said that a database-driven site is an excellent example of a dynamic website design. The web page fetches information from the existing database and inserts the info in the page that is loaded, and that too, whenever it is loaded. When new information gets updated on the database, the change reflects on the web page automatically whenever it is loaded. If you are aiming for more flexibility, data-driven websites are surely the way to go. Renowned consultants likeRemoteDBA.comsuggestsusing these sites if your client’s business requires sending out frequent information and inventory updates to the target audience, for example – eCommerce.
Instances of Database Driven sites:
As the website developer, you will probably be finalizing the type of website first before moving ahead with the design. You will need to determine whether a static site will suit your client’s requirement better or a dynamic website will be more suitable. Examples of typical database-driven websites are:
As said earlier, most eCommerce platforms are database driven. It makes it easier to make updates on a site. For example, whenever new products are added to the inventory or some products are removed from inventory, there are changes in prices, offers, and services. With a database driven website, there is a guarantee that users will always find updated information.
Similarly, most blogs and online communities have database driven websites as they are constantly updated with new content where people are posting and commenting.
Content Management Systems (CMS):
If any website has a CMS, then it is database driven. It enables the users to update content without in-depth technical knowledge. Usually, the content management systems including WordPress and Joomla are quite easy to use.
Cost of a database-driven website:
It is true that every business owner wants to know the cost of designing, developing and maintaining a site. As the one in charge, it is you who will have to answer their questions. So, do understand that database driven websites are costly. The factors that determine the cost of this type of sites are:
- Database design
- Custom database design
- Database connectivity
- Back-end administration
- Initial database population
Why should you encourage your client to choose database driven website?
The reasons are too many, but the most important ones, in terms of designing, development, maintenance as well as business benefit, are ease of use, reduced chances of error and scalability. Updating content becomes not just easier but faster too. It can be updated with only a few clicks of a mouse and can be managed by a non-technical person also, as said earlier. Changes made on the back-end are reflected on the website in real time. The chances of errors are much less here, and that, of course, means minimized downtime. Database driven sites are highly scalable and also offers excellent room for growth.
Now that you know how much easier website designing, development, and maintenance get with a database driven website, you can encourage your client to go with this option. With definite business benefits, this site can enhance their business’ efficiency and agility, help them to boost their sales and achieve the desired return on investment (ROI).