How to detect whether a website is dynamic or static

Hello everyone.
Is there a way to determine whether a website is dynamic or static? You can detect by browsing a few pages on a website if it is either dynamic or static.

Share your experience with us.

Well, if the webpage ends in .html, and doesnt contain javascript, it’s static.

Anything else? shrug You might be able to determine dynamicity by looking at the javascript, but if its a server side engine like PHP or ASP, you’d have to come to the page in different ways or at different times and observe a difference.

So this site should not be static? No html suffix :slight_smile: https://static.go4webdev.org/why

The static vs dynamic definition is floating…

That’s not what i said though, is it?

The contrapositive of the statement is not certain.

You can use https://builtwith.com/ to see what a website is built using.

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Trick is, just because it’s built using PHP doesnt mean it isnt static - If I put a .php extension on my file, but no PHP code in it, it’s still static.

It will be nearly impossible to tell the difference between a dynamic page that doesnt receive content updates frequently, and a static page. You can make a blind assumption that it is or it isnt, but it’s just that - blind assumption.

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My understanding is that a static web page can contain javascript.

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Again, I didnt say that if it does contain javascript, that it isnt static. I’m setting a bar where I know it’s static. Below that bar, it may or may not be.

If that Javascript is loading and fetching data, it’s not static anymore. If it doesnt, it certainly could be.

I use “wappalyzer.com” extension in chrome and find each site and what technology stack they used. still it’s basic and tweaked the actual

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I would say the if JavaScript is downloading exactly the same data for all visitors to a web page then the web page is still static.Just as a web page may be updated from time to time, so the data may be updated from time to time. If the data requsted depends on a cookie for instance, then I would say the web page is dynamic.

so you think that a page that uses javascript to load a news ticker of latest news is static, as long as all viewers at that particular moment get the same stories?

at what point does it become dynamic?
how frequently does it need to change?

I am not aware of any way for people to definitively categorize a website as static or dynamic. A HTML file can be served from the host and then modify itself using JavaScript or Webassembly yet a website that uses JavaScript and Webassembly might not be considered dynamic.

I can’t fathom of a way to do it either. Any possible trick is quickly ruled out by counter-examples.

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I guess the real question is, why do you need to know if a website is static or dynamic?

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I think you can have some examples that are definitively static, and definitively dynamic, but there’s such a vast swath of grey area besides those very thin slices that i donjt think it’s generalizable.

I could use JavaScript to download a .csv file for the content of cells in an HTML table. That wouldn’t make the web page dynamic.

Whether a web page is dynamic usually has more to do with whether the server assembles the HTML of a web page each time a web page is requested: Client-side JavaScript can make a web page appear to be dynamic.

Definitely dynamic, I can see. Definitely static, I don’t see. Got an example?

<html>
<head>
<title>My Business Website</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1> My Business Website Template #24</h1>
<p> This is a paragraph about my business.</p>
</body>
</html>

Absolutely 0 dynamic.

Pretty much every… “business card” website is definitively static. One page, a couple images, text that never changes (and half of them dont bother to change the template text)…

Ah, but the question was “definitively static”. How do you know that bit of html wasn’t purposely created via vast research on the client browser, looking up his IP, guessing the user, indexing into a gleaned set of his interests, and tailoring a “business card” to appear to conveniently provide just the services this particular client is interested in?

If that HTML is all within a file on the server then it’s static

If that HTML is assembled by the server taking the text content from a database then it’s dynamic.

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