CMS vs HTML/CSS (Static)

There are many differences between using a content management system and regular HTML to develop a website. Every designer on the planet has an opinion on this subject; mostly based on their experience. I can tell you that before I got into Content Management Systems (CMS), I had thousands of reasons why they were a bad idea.

The fact is though, Content Management Systems are becoming more and more popular, and rightly so. More and more sites are opting for these systems do to their ease of use, potential for savings and increased efficiency. They replace the need to have a web designer or retainer, and place exclusive control of your website into your hands.

It’s the intent of this article to describe the differences between Content Management and Static (HTM, Flash) websites.

Why you ask?

Well, I believe that it will help you make an informed decision about which is the right choice for you. A look at Classic HTML – is there a problem with a static HTML solution? HTML was developed as the page formatting language of the Internet. It originated from a complex markup language used in the printing industry. The text on this page is stores ad HTML, (Hyper-Text Markup Language).

It is formatted to appear exactly as it does. In order to make Web pages more dynamic looking, additional programs and features such as JavaScript, PHP, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and many others were added to work with HTML pages. These additional programs, while enhancing the viewer’s experience, significantly increased the complexity of the code a great deal.

In the end, the designer has delivered nothing to you but pages and pages of code. The average business person has little time to develop expertise in any of these languages, therefore relies on the services of a highly skilled Web Developer. Sites written “from scratch” using these tools are expensive and difficult to change without understanding the code behind the pages.

Or, the developer might use a tool such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage to generate the HTML code. In any case the tools are limited in specific functionality (such as an e-commerce store front) and the operator still must be well versed in web programming to use these code generators effectively. The result in either case is a static page that cannot be changed or updated easily by the site owner. This means that you will enter into a web maintenance contract between the web designer/developer to make changes for you.

This is a great arrangement for the designer; when things change as they inevitably do, you’ll be paying them to update your pages. The fact is, the moment your site is posted, it slowly grows stale. The designer will have recurring work from you for as long as your site is online, and this could be very costly.

On the other hand, HTML sites can be extremely nimble; small, load quickly, and display on any browser. They simply work without frills, and are very good at displaying simple information to a broad audience. Will HTML work for you? Consider the pros and cons of Static (HTML) Sites.

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