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Static Rendering of Websites
Page Last Updated: October 31, 2016

Static rendering of websites is the way by which a web page is assembled offline and then published to the website. This approach is the opposite of made-to-order, highly customized, dynamic websites in vogue today. Experts have referred to the two approaches as baking vs. frying. At Kamat's Potpourri, all of the contents are static rendered, except for the search results (full-text, pictures) -- which by their definition are dynamic.

We use a homegrown application (see: a screen capture), which is essentially a search and replace template applying program. This allows for easy changing of look and feel across all of our thousands of pages. By using static rendering technology, we do not need include files (SSI) or complex scripts both of which slow down the website. Not all websites need to be static rendered, but the performance gain is substantial. Many of the high traffic sites on the Internet (like Yahoo!) are produced this way. Listed below are some of the advantages and shortcomings of Static Rendered Websites.

Static Rendering (Baking) Dynamic Rendering (Frying)
Advantages
  • The web pages are rendered ahead of time, so there is scope for testing of links and other improvements before going live. We call it the Staging. Most end user problems can be foreseen at the staging time. This is the reason why you do not see broken links at Kamat's Potpourri.
  • Computation can now be slow, allowing for sophisticated processing of content. For example, in our site, the size of the pictures, the See Also sections, and making of small stubs takes a couple of hours to render. But that is OK, because it is done behind the scenes, and if we are not satisfied with the rendering (like look and feel), we just change and recompute!

Limitations

  • Static rendering severely limits customization and personalization because the website has to be built ahead of time, and not according to the user request.
Advantages
  • Pages (and even entire websites) can be produced depending on user's interest, feedback, and search criteria

Limitations

  • Dynamic pages are slower because they are made after the user requests them.

See Also:

 

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