Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Does anybody build static web pages anymore?

After all, if the future of the web can be divined we will all be building nothing but Word Press sites in a matter of a couple of years anyway, right?

My web class is underway. As I was prepping a few of the assignments I came up against this question, "Which is more valuable: building static pages or building templates for dynamic content?" Personally, as I develop pages for Multnomah University I can't afford to trap that content into one location. The true value of mark up in my opinion is that it frees your content to be re-purposed.

By and by, the development necessary to utilize dynamic content seemed too focused in web development and beyond the scope of my class. But I still wonder if conceptually students wouldn't be better served to see a website's design as just a temporary skin housing external content. For example when discussing CSS and CSS page layout (love it or lump it) one of its tenants is how easily a site is redesigned without changing the (x)html structure, however, another strength is that CSS is agnostic to the content involved. Thus, when building out a design we style a content block with every detail of our style guide and it is ready for any dynamic content that might come its way. In this sense, it might be that a static page is no more than a dynamic page with you as the manual cms.

Just some questions to mull before you scrap it all and do nothing but xslt.
When was the last time you built a static page? Does is still have value and where?

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