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To CMS or not to CMS

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

What type of website would suit your business better, a Content Management System (CMS) or a Static website?

Joomla LogoThe trend is increasing for website developers to offer all their clients a CMS solution for their websites. There are many to choose from with the most popular at the present including Joomla and Drupal. Word Press is also becoming increasingly popular as a CMS, but let’s not forget what Word Press is, it is a blogging platform, a Blogging Platform that can be extended to a full CMS.

What are Static Websites?

Static web sites are a great way of advertising on the Internet for small business. Have someone create it, upload it and forget about it. Once the site is designed, the content entered and uploaded to your web host, the site can be left in hyperspace accessible to all and sundry by googling your designated keyword or from links from online directories. Add the website address to you business stationary or your vehicle and people can see who you are and what you do from your web site. Sounds good, but is it the best option for your business.

This type of site is often referred to as brochure-ware and is often simply a conversion of a printed piece of media to a html – a static web site. This static site will render the same no matter who is viewing the site or from where it is being viewed. There is simply no dynamic content. A static website is often chosen as a cheap and easy way for small businesses to have an Internet presence. How this is done can result in either a cheap and nasty website, or a professional but economical site. But if the business is planning on expanding and upgrading later, then, like the foundations of a house, it is best to start at a point that doesn't limit the possibilities.

Maintenance is an important consideration of any website. And even a static site will need to be regularly maintained. Phone numbers, addresses and email addresses may change. A new product range or service may be introduced to the business or staff many change. If a small business wishes to maintain their own static web site they will need to have a staff member of board with good html skills, and knowledge of FTP, or they will have to be willing to pay a web developer to make any required changes.

What is a CMS?

A CMS (Content management System) is an online web application created solely to manage the content of a website. These websites are dynamically created as each viewer requests specifics from the CMS. The site is made up solely of a single HTML based page with placeholders for information kept within an associated database. These placeholders are filled with the associated data from the database creating a web page. The major advantage of a CMS is the ease of management of the content. If a site is updated often or dynamic content is required then a CMS is for you. Shopping carts, newsletters, user reviews, forums, random images and quotes, rss feeds. All are possible with a CMS but impossible with a static site.