Static HTML vs. Dynamic Web Design
Understanding How the Web Has Evolved Influences Search Engine Placement & Website Relevance
It used to be that a site’s ability to stand out was solely dependent on how “Flashy” transitions were, how creatively cropped images displayed on the 800 x 600 pixel screen before us, and just how catchy one’s web address was. Sites were designed using Photoshop, which allowed designers to be creative, cropping pretty photos together and laying out unique designs, which in turn, catered itself to the desires of their clients, who sought a website that merely stood out visually, like a neatly cropped print brochure. The front end of one’s website – what was seen by the end user – was all that concerned clients, as they were generally happy just to be on the World Wide Web!
As Google and other search engines began to grow though, their formula to find a website’s usefulness was dependent upon a website’s script. HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the script language that powers practically every website. Throughout each web page, keywords related to the core message of the site, are emphasized with “headers” and other tags that promote awareness to key pieces of information found on that particular page. As Search Engines “crawl” or scan a website for its content, header text and other tags stand out and are seen as more influential than generic, unemphasized text. The more influential a site appears, based on the usage and placement of keyword tags, the greater likelihood the site will appear closer to the top of page 1 when performing a search (i.e., Search Engine Optimization).
Here in lies the problem for so many older website designs…
As mentioned before, many original websites were merely cropped photos, pieced together to make a Flashy looking website. Images throughout one’s website generally contained text, typed over a picture in Photoshop. But as soon as text is converted to an image, a search engine can no longer decipher the text from the photo. To a search engine, the image is simply an image, and its only value lies solely within the name it was given upon its creation.
For example, let’s say the top image on the ACME, Inc.’s web page contains the company’s flashy logo. Despite the use of the words “ACME, Inc.” in the logo, when Google scans the logo image, it only sees it as “logo.jpg”, the name of the logo image file used in the website. When this same theme is carried throughout the site, text that is crucial to ACME, Inc’s search results is unattained by search engines. Instead, to a search engine, ACME, Inc. consists of a whole lot of pictures called “header.jpg”, “banner.jpg”, “body.jpg”, etc.
The more images making up a website’s content, the less influence it will likely have when searched.
For those websites that did use more HTML than photos to power their site, they too are hard pressed to maintain their search engine status because their content remains “static”, or unchanged for extended periods of time. As more and more competitors fight for the same keyword result placement on Google and other search engines, a website needs fresh content that changes regularly to deliver the best results. A stylish front end is not enough anymore – it’s expected, as is the powerful engine under the hood that powers it.
Evolving from Static HTML to Dynamic Content
Today we are not only concerned with having a great looking website, but having one that attracts more and more users. Original efforts to incorporate HTML script were undermined with the inability to update one’s own website without learning code yourself or paying top dollar to a designer to routinely change your website regularly.
Static HTML is like dying a slow death. While original efforts to promote Search Engine Optimization may have worked with the initial launch of one’s site, content that is not regularly updated or tied to dynamic elements dwindles in search results. As Search Engines comb the web for newly added sites and changes to existing website designs, static, brochure-like pages fall victim to dynamic web designs with relative links, blogs, forums, comment sections, and social bookmarks.
Dynamic sites offer adaptive HTML, which can be changed simply, without much effort or intimidating coding. Blogs and interactive forums allow static HTML to be complemented with ever-changing content around it, which increases a page’s search engine validity. Through Content Management Systems, like WordPress and Joomla!, web designers can avail their clients to a fairly easy-to-navigate “back end”, where those capable of writing an e-mail or a Facebook post can at least add a blog post or two without writing another check to their web designer. With each new post, comment, or “Like” on one’s web page, search engines take notice, propelling websites’ search results to the front of the pack.
If you’d like to consider a Dynamic Web Design to take your company’s site to a whole new level, e-mail us today!