Getting a website off the ground for a business or personal project might seem daunting, but in terms of structural setup, there are really only two options to choose from: a Content Management System, or a Static Website. The first is far more dynamic and flexible, while the second requires less maintenance and quicker to set up.
Depending on what your needs are, one will be more appropriate than the other; so we’re going to delve a little deeper into the details of both, and recommend which will be better suited to specific kinds of functions.
What is a Content Management System?
A website built using a Content Management System (CMS) is designed to be dynamic and updated frequently, and offers a variety of content to its viewers, while also being highly customisable at the same time. Google’s Blogger and the extremely popular WordPress are examples of CMS website platforms. It’s more suited to a website that will require frequent updates, such as a blog or a perhaps personal business website, where you’ll be adding a portfolio of work, like photographers or artists of other kinds.
Advantages of a CMS:
- High amount of control over the content.
- You don’t need extensive (or any real) knowledge of HTML or CSS to configure your content.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) friendly – so you’ll show up on web searches more frequently
- You can incorporate a wide variety of content beyond text, such as images, audio, and video
Disadvantages of CMS:
- Higher cost of development if you need database-driven system to be developed.
- Greater requirement of knowledge and practice to control menus and the configuration of content.
- Greater demand on bandwidth and internet speed, which could be a factor depending on internet quality for users.
What is a Static Website?
A static website (as the name suggests) consists of static pages that don’t change very often, if at all. The number of pages is also typically low, so it doesn’t fit the bill for something like a blog where new pages get added several times a week. The updating will usually be done by someone that has a basic understanding of HTML and FTP.
Advantages of a Static Website:
- Lower development costs – they’re usually done quicker and more affordably than CMS-type websites.
- Web hosting is simpler, there’s less or no demand for databases and other complex hosting features.
- Simpler self-starting toolkits to build static web pages exist.
Disadvantages of a Static Website:
- More difficult to update due to coding syntax – a mistake in coding could be difficult to pick up and create new problems
- SEO does not favour static pages or websites.
- It costs more to have a web developed implement changes.
Effectively, a CMS website is ideal for blogging or more creatively geared websites where new content will be consistently added and multimedia is a necessity, such as an art or general interest blog.
On the other hand, if you’re starting a website for your conventional company (like a simple services or product based business), a static page that contains information on your location, types of products, and methods of contacting you will be more than sufficient.