Dynamic content creates a unique user experience. It increases conversion rates.
It can also slow website performance.
Here, I will take a look at what is dynamic content and how it is different.
What is Dynamic Content?
Dynamic content is any content that is continuously changing. This can be blog posts, website comments, videos, and animated graphics.
Since dynamic content is continuously changing, it always loads from its origin server.
Content requested from the origin server is going to load slower. The reason is simple physical limitations. Long geographical distances will inherently cause slow page load times.
For example, data from California to Germany will take longer to download then data from England to Germany.
How Do You Know if it is Dynamic Content?
Differentiating dynamic content and static content can improve website performance. Separating the two can be the difference in a content delivery network’s (CDN) effectiveness.
CDNs and dynamic content have a direct effects on web performance. This is why you need to know what content is dynamic.
Typically, the following content is dynamic:
- Blog posts
- Email newsletters
- Landing pages
- Animated videos
- Customer accounts
- Personalized recommendations
This is just a few examples. Dynamic content is anything with personalization, or that changes based on a specific user action. HTML5 has made creating dynamic content even easier. Although HTML5 dynamic content is embedded in websites, the loading problems will continue.
The Dynamic Content Difference is in the Code
On the Datapath.io website we have a cookie consent form that populates at the bottom of the web page. We then need the user to take a specific action, which is to consent to the policy. The following occurs:
When a user visits the website a second time, the cookie is read before the page loads. This creates a different experience to the user based upon the users action.
The cookie creates a change in the code, as shown in the following image.
There is a second difference in dynamic content, which is a different URL structure. A dynamic URL looks like the following:
As a user we do not see this URL in our browser, as most websites use a URL rewrite. This makes the URL look nice to the user.
Understanding differences in dynamic content code, we can differentiate how content loads. This can help improve web performance with the use of a CDN.
The Value of Dynamic Content
Dynamic content has a lot of value to businesses. It is what allows businesses to create unique experiences to users. It enhances the user experience.
Currently, marketers are employing many new ways to use dynamic content. The goal is to improve conversion rates and the user experience.
One example is with a landing page. By implementing a personalization field on a landing page, you can populate unique user data. At Datapath.io we use Hubspot. In Hubspot these are “Smart Forms”. In a Smart Form, the cookie tag requests the visitor’s information from our marketing database. Then it will populate the unique information on the landing page. This personalization increases conversion rates.
Another valuable way dynamic content is used is by Netflix. When logging into your Netflix account, the recommendations displayed are generated based upon user actions. The action is what you previously viewed. This creates a custom recommendation list for each user. The result is users are more engaged and watch more shows.
This is great for Netflix, but horrible for your productivity.
ECommerce businesses are also a driver for dynamic content creation. In eCommerce, product recommendation sections are dynamic content. This boosts sales, because customer’s will place add-on items in their shopping cart.
Looking at dynamic content in website code we can differentiate how we deliver it to our users. The next step in the dynamic content process is dynamic content optimization.
To learn more about dynamic content, download the Content Delivery Network Optimization Whitepaper.