Category Archives: Javascript

Does my website really need a database?

For years, I’ve had clients in the health industry and made them websites. We started out using WordPress, but after a few years I realized the content on these websites doesn’t change enough to justify the effort of maintaining complicated database connections and the occasional migration.

I’m talking about practicality too. Why can’t you just download your website to a USB drive for safekeeping? The reason is, a “backend database” is holding your website data hostage, metaphorically speaking. And your designer, developer or new host probably wants payment to migrate your data out of that database into another database.

Migrations can go wrong and corrupt your content, maybe your new host uses a different encoding or a different engine. Database dumps aren’t super difficult, but even if you’ve done it a hundred times, it’s just more work to do when it comes time to switch web hosts, and that time will come.

Does your basic five-page brochure website really need 5000 supporting files with administration panels with 500 options supported by 500 so-called Happiness Engineers?

The answer is no, you don’t need all that. A basic website really only needs one HTML file and a few JPG photo files. Technically speaking, that one file is very durable because there’s few moving parts. That one file just tells people what you do, where you do it, how to contact you and so forth. Like at TexasCoders.com, for example.

How is it possible to make a multi-page website from one index.html file that will simply attach to an email without all the fuss?

The answer: HTML sprinkled with JavaScript. Yes, the same HTML from decades ago is still around, durable as ever, powering all the websites and smartphone apps. Every five years or so the HTML version changes but all the code still works. The beautiful thing about HTML and JavaScript, you can make a website that doesn’t need a database.

Like any other file you have, your website will fit on a USB stick, just in case your datacenter experiences a fire, flood, earthquake, robbery, runaway truck, cut fiber, disgruntled employee, price increase, hacker, disk failure or some other unpredictable, yet very real scenario.

And after all that, you could open that one backup HTML file in your web browser, from your laptop or phone, and it should still work.