Before Perl and PHP became widespread on the website scene, the vast majority of web sites were classed as "static" - they would only change when the original author(s) uploaded new content to them. This was all well and good at the time, because the Internet's primary aim was for many years to be a tool to allow universities and research institutes to share information and learning.
When the world wide web first started to be used by the masses in the mid-90s, the number of uses it could be put to grew very quickly, and people wanted to do everything online - reserving tickets for a gig, ordering shopping, and downloading music. In order to be able to properly communicate with users, dynamic sites became popular - they could get feedback from users, allow users to influence content on sites by adding their own information and views, and form communities of people who all share the same goal.
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