[Handout] – Static v. Dynamic Web Sites – One is Much Better for You

This is a screenshot of the Static V. Dynamic Handout

Now that you have your URL and a place to host it, it’s time to decide what program you should use to create the site. Many people think Dreamweaver is the only option, but it’s not, and it probably not the best for you. Essentially, there are two types of Web sites, one is static and the other is dynamic. As a high school media publication that updates frequently you should definitely give one much more of a look than the other.

This PDF handout walks you through the differences between static and dynamic sites. It briefs you on what a Content Management System is and gives you some free CMS program options on the Web. Finally, the handout takes a close look at WordPress.com and WordPress.org and gives you places to go to find out a little bit more about each version. With the help of the collectiveray blog you can decide the theme and how you want it to look based on what your preferences are.

As a scholastic media publication you are probably going to want to update your site more than once a month. You should seriously consider choosing a dynamic content management system run your site. While there will be a bit of a learning curve at first, the payout later will be well worth it. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, the free CMS programs listed on this handout all are great options. Each have great online community support. Each offer flexibility with layout and design. Each Web-based, allowing students to not be tied to one computer or school to work on the site.

Static v. Dynamic Handout

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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