CMS vs Static Sites – The War Rages On…Web Sites basically come in 2 flavors – Dynamic or Static. So, which one is right for your site? Both could work, but there are Pros and Cons to either. Let’s explore them…
Static sites (aka “Brochure Sites”) primarily use flat HTML files, 1 page. 1 file. And changing these files takes some skill & tools. Dynamic sites are built on-the-fly, using Server Scripting and Databases to create sites via a Publishing App (aka CMS). A CMS (sometimes) allows users without web coding skills to make (some of) their own site updates.
A Static Site is often far less complicated, and so can sometimes be built more rapidly, provided it doesn’t require advanced functionality. They can also be less vulnerable to errors and intrusions (ie hackers). If a site will not be making frequent additions & updates (and there are SEO disadvantages to this), then a static site might do the trick for less. The part that is often over-looked here is those infrequent times when updates & additions are necessary. When that happens, it takes HTML Coding skills, as well as some Web Server -knowledge. Now, that is not all as difficult as it sounds, as there are software tools to help with both, but this is beyond most folks skill-set. And so they need to hire a person to help with these, and that can add up over time…CMS stands for “Content Management System”, and is essentially a software package that sits on a web server, and that allows users to log into an Admin Interface via Browser to control the Site/contents. These Admin Systems allow a user(s) to login to update articles, the site design/layout and/or certain functionalities (via plug-ins for things like forms, stores or media galleries, for example).
The most popular ones out there today are Joomla, WordPress & Drupal (all of which I am familiar with). My current fave is Joomla, but we can built it with any other that you may require (ie modX is yet another I know)… For some clients, it makes more sense to have a static site (no software, and requiring some coding & FTP knowledge), and then have help on updates. And for others, we may decide to be “content-centric” and use a CMS solution, but still assist them with site updates (even if you need to hire me to help to update your site, due to time constraints, I can do it faster & better with a CMS!).
With minimal training, you can easily make changes & additions to your own site with a CMS. No coding knowledge is required! None. If you are computer-savvy enough to make updates in MS Office Programs, like Word, then you have enough skill to make basic updates yourself! Of course, if you require assistance for advanced alterations, I am more than happy to help, and to again deliver superior value!
There are Pro’s & Con’s to either approach, and other aspects like budgets to consider. I am happy to answer any/all questions that you may have, and work to help you to decide what is the best fit for your project. But generally, I find a CMS to work best.