Leveraging content in multiple locations
With a database driven approach, all site page templates can access any information in the database. This allows companies and organizations to leverage content in a variety of site areas. For instance, you may decide to create a calendar of events on your site. With a typical static website model, the calendar would have to be maintained by hand, removing events from HTML pages as they pass and duplicating the information by hand anywhere else on the site where it is useful.
Using a database driven model, each individual event would be stored as a separate entry in the database. Calendars could then be dynamically generated and displayed based on the current date and time, so that site visitors would see only events from a particular swath of time. Additionally, the information could be displayed in a variety of places on the site, or using an assortment of views, without needing to duplicate the calendar data.
For example, if you wanted to highlight a few upcoming events from the calendar on the homepage, the homepage template could be modified to grab, say, three upcoming events from the database. Or you might have one calendar view that shows weekly information, another that displays a monthly overview, and another that gives detailed descriptions of specific events. Since all of these various templates draw their content from the same events table in the database, the information only ever needs to be entered into the system once. This aspect of a database driven site allows for more effective management of content and reduces the possibility of conflicting information appearing in two places on a site.
The database driven approach is not just a better technical solution. It actually changes the way companies can utilize the web, taking advantage of the true benefits it offers. Having a site's content stored in a database prepares that site to head in any direction in the future. These overlooked advantages of database-driven sites are important to sites of all sizes. Even when a client's site is small, or they don't think they will change much content, at some point they will want to add and upgrade their site. The database approach ensures that past work is not thrown away as a site grows and changes over time.