Dynamic Pages – Connected Widgets vs Dynamic Pages

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  4. Dynamic Pages – Connected Widgets vs Dynamic Pages

When building a site that uses a considerable amount of dynamic content, you may be wondering when to use dynamic pages, and when to use connected widgets. There are certainly circumstances most appropriate for one or the other. This document is intended to help understand when to use each feature.

When to use dynamic pages

Dynamic pages are used as a page layout that generates multiple live pages on the published site frontend. Dynamic pages are always linked to a single collection. This means that a dynamic page will be tied to a single dataset (such as a Google Sheet or Airtable).

Why is this important? Dynamic pages should have a very specific purpose, like displaying a single real estate listing, a recipe, or a product page. And of course, the dynamic page can be generated an infinite number of times, based on the data in your dataset. You would never convert a page to a dynamic page unless you intend the page layout to be repeated. So pages like a home page or about page should not be made dynamic (in fact, you cannot convert a home page to dynamic).

Here’s an example of a dynamic page featuring a real estate listing from our Heights template: http://heights.sitemodify.com/single-property/Modern_Beach_House

Learn more about dynamic pages in our Dynamic Pages – Creating Dynamic Pages document.

When to use connected widgets

What if you want to use dynamic information on a non-dynamic page? This is where Connected Data comes in. Connected data allows you to connect individual widgets to collections. This means that any standard page on your site, like the home page, about page, or services page can utilize dynamic information without the need to convert the page to a dynamic page.

Certain widgets, such as the Photo Gallery, Image Slider and List, can connect to collections to display information from your datasets. In fact, connected widgets can pull data from the same datasets that your dynamic pages are linked to.

How is this useful? Say for example your client is a real estate agent and maintains a single large spreadsheet containing information about home listings that includes addresses, prices, and listing agents. You may already be using that dataset to generate individual home listing pages. But say you would like to create a “featured properties” gallery on your home page that pulls all of its content from the same spreadsheet. Simply drop a Photo Gallery widget on your home page, and connect that widget to the same collection.

Our Heights template uses this technique throughout the site. The home page uses connected widgets to display featured properties, neighborhoods, and customer review sections – all connected to separate collections. So while this page is not dynamic, it utilizes plenty of dynamic content in the form of connected widgets.

Learn more about connected widgets in our Connected Data document.

For a complete overview and video tutorial of Dynamic Pages, check out our 5-part video series: 

Dynamic Pages Tutorial Video Series

 

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