The most pressing problem you will face as a website designer is deciphering the encyclopedia of confusing design jargons you will face in the first few days. The problem gets worse as you proceed further into the realm of website design as every new day brings new technologies and more new jargons to deal with.
Today, we will try to demystify the concept of database driven websites. This is especially important since almost all ecommerce websites are database driven and the only way to master the creation of ecommerce websites is to understand the principle of database driven websites.
The first step you need to take to understand database driven websites is to understand what are static websites and dynamic websites.
These are the old websites (and a few prevalent ones) that do not change every time your browser loads a page. If you click a button or select a checkbox, nothing changes on the layout or content of the page. You can only view the changes when you load a new page or when the website admin loads a new page on the browser. The content is stored on the web file system and remains in the same format.
The webpages change every time they are loaded. They do not need the admin to make changes every time a new option is selected. If you click on an option, checkbox or an image, a few changes occur immediately without reloading the page. In this case, the content is stored outside the web file system and this makes it possible for you to manipulate the data quickly.
Database driven websites are dynamic and these website grab information from your database. This means, every time the web page is loaded, new information is fetched from your end of the browser database and the web page changes automatically. Since these websites are more effective for large inventories, most large industries use it. A number of ecommerce websites also use dynamic website designs.
The most common examples of database driven websites –
A website designer should know where to implement certain designs and techniques to design the perfect working website. The most common database driven websites in today’s world include –
It is easier to use database driven websites as ecommerce platforms since these businesses involve a lot of data. Using dynamic websites guarantee that internet users always find fresh data at their disposal.
Content Management Systems or CMS are always data driven since the users can easily update data without the need for learning specialized programming skills. Both WordPress and Joomla! use database driven websites that use an easy editor to publish content, edit and delete database content.
Not all blogs use dynamic content but many are now choosing dynamic websites over static designs since they involve regular updates by users. So all comments, votes and changes are immediately visible on the web page.
So why don’t we see database driven websites more often?
The answer is really simple – database driven websites cost a lot of money!
As a database designer, you should know the various factors that contribute towards the surmounting cost of a website. In case of a dynamic website, the costs are higher for a milieu of reasons –
1.Custom database design:
This is ubiquitous for all new database driven websites you will be designing. If a website requires a database designed specifically for a purpose the cost will definitely go up. Factors like functionality, efficiency of data structure and development will surmount to higher costs.
2.Database related costs:
Dynamic websites require databases like MySQL, Oracle Express Edition and Community Server for functioning. This means, you will need a DBMS to support shopping carts, inventories, registration systems, log in information and discussion forums. All of these increase the cost of the website manifold.
You will need to optimize codes continuously before the database becomes operational. You will need to process, manipulate and retrieve data to optimize the codes. This will add to the cost of the website designing and database designing.
4.Initial database population:
You will need someone to manage and manipulate the database. This person should have a knowledge of RDMS and should likely be a database administrator. This may just be the costliest part of dynamic website designing. A DBA is quite costly and initial database population is a mandatory process that is required for establishing all data driven websites.
This is another important step of dynamic website design that is required to create a fully operational website. The best way to create complete backup is to utilize online cloud storage and offline media storage at the same time. This of course costs money and the services are quite exclusive for dynamic websites.
You must also remember that creating database driven website is not a one-time expense. You need to include upgrades to your website to increase capacity. Any business that is growing and expanding will require a scalable website that can accommodate its growth. This means, the database needs to be upgraded from time to time. These upgrades are usually monitored by website developers that includes Dba services and is a costly affair.
Even running a dynamic website daily is quite a costly affair. You will need to appoint someone who understands the intricacies of regular database updates and management. This usually demands technical database services. The owner may opt for remote database support from remote-DBAs but the cost is considerable compared to static databases.
Database driven websites are easier to upgrade, and do not demand specialized HTML knowledge. They have proven themselves ideal for ecommerce and CMS websites. Most well known businesses have turned to dynamic website designs to optimize their sales and ROI. Moreover, data-driven websites reduce the chances of errors. Physical data entry by employees always leaves room for mistakes and that is eliminated by dynamic website designs. Dynamic websites are the present and the future of website designs. Database driven designs enhance a company’s image and performance.