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which is better ? separate physical pages ? or pages from database

to use scripting language to render pages or not

7:16 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

My first ever post on WW. I have a fairly basic doubt.

Which is better ?

1) Providing separate pages (for eg. separate html or php files)
2) Fecth content from database based on the provided URL.

I believe that most blogs and CMS use the second approach.

3:41 pm on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Amit, better for what? SEO or user experience? please elaborate so that we can help.
3:51 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@josh ... thanks for your reply ... My question is for both SEO and User experience

Thanks :)
4:26 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure if this answers your question or not but I have often used scripts to generate static (separate) html pages from a database that is scheduled to run on regular intervals. This has given me the best of both worlds, a DB to contain the data (allowing others to submit/publish) while having the niceties of static html.
9:15 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Database lookups almost always slow things down. The more static content you can have, the better.
11:12 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Static pages is preferred solution for SEO. However, I get once kicked off from Bluehost dot com hosting just for having 300 000 static pages on my website ;-(
So there are trade offs.
10:16 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The user should not know the difference.

I would prefer dynamic pages generated from a database 99% of the time, simply because it is easier to maintain than thousands of static files. If you ever want to tweak the layout or something, that's a whole lot of editing with static files.
6:54 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is just my vision on static vs dynamic page.

Static pages can be cached and don't have any database load.
Scripts like vrtlw mentions are useful if you want to reduce your server load. It doesn't influence your SEO or user experience. Except for a possible speedup for servers under heavy load.

For dynamic pages I think SEO isn't that much of a problem anymore, search engines get smarter with the day and you can make sure all pages stay reachable under a solid readable URL. URL don't have to be unreadable!

I'd suggest putting contend that won't be created by users in static pages. Actually not really static pages, at least pages that don't require database access to load the main content.

The problems in layout that FourDegreez mentions are the most common reason to go dynamic pages. In any case you'll need to split the contend from the layout.
Try to create pages without database access that don't contain layout data.
It can be done by creating a seperate layout file that is dynamicaly included in the content files. (mostly a header and a footer file are sufficient to support allmost any design)
Make sure everything in the content file is properly taged, then you can create your design by use of css.

Or (the extreme and a little limiting on your design options), make static pages and do the full design by css.
It is possible, but you'll need a lot of containers and tags to make sure it is easy to redesign.

Anyway think about how your pages are generated and try to limmit database requests and processing actions.
6:39 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'd allways go for dynamic pages. Because they are a lot easyer to maintain and if you do it right neither the search engines, nor the user will even know wether they are static or created dynamically. With tools like mod_rewrite, caching and compression you can create dynamic pages that look like they are static and are just as fast.
12:13 pm on June 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you should go for the First option.
From the seo pint of View this best rather than second.

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