The importance of being dynamic

In the field of web-development, we talk a lot about building “dynamic” websites.  But what does this mean?  A dynamic website is a website that grows and changes with the owner, group, and/or stakeholders who the website is about.  These websites live and breathe online and function as a point of reference to its users.

A good example of a dynamic website comes from the corporate world like Best Buy and Target.  If you look at their website, you’re first impression answers three basic questions every user who visits the site is likely looking for:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they do/have?
  • How does that help me?

These same questions typically categorize every reason a visitor goes to a website, whether for the first time or 100th time.

With a dynamic website like this, however, those answers change often, for instance during the holiday or Back To School season.  Things like the home page, weekly advertisements, new locations and new products change all the time.  Users who visit the site perceive a “contextually static” experience as they browse the website, meaning that the website seems fixed to the theme and time period.  For instance, during the holiday season, Target’s website takes on themes of Christmas.  During the season, visitors of the website don’t always notice that the website is different or has changed, because the foundation of the website is the same, but the content has evolved to take on this new persona.  Some sites even go so far as to have location, time, or language-specific iterations of a website to maximize their marketing direction.

Making a website dynamic is an endeavor that should not be taken lightly.  Developers work tirelessly to prepare for the future so that, when the time comes, the website will change and grow either automatically or easily.  Adding new products becomes an easy task involving few steps, design changes happen on a schedule, and features of a website are designed to grow over time.

The most important component of having a dynamic website is planning.  Preparing graphics, content, and a plan for changes throughout the website, including (in some cases) location or time specific iterations of the website, will help make large changes flow smoothly.  Beyond that, a plan for what types of content for a blog you want, what topics you want to discuss, and the timeline for posts will help keep traffic flowing to your site and increase your audience.

In short, keeping and maintaining a dynamic website is both a major undertaking and asset to any business, organization, or individual.  It sounds simple, but without the help of a web management team, you could easily find yourself spending a tremendous amount of time on a website instead of focusing on your business.  The return on investment, however, is a larger audience, increased site traffic, increased profit (for online businesses), and a cornerstone of the internet market.