Nowadays, there is no question that a website is a must for every company. But before a company decides to have a new website created, a fundamental question must be answered: Do you want a content management system or is it enough to have the website created in HTML/CSS by a web programmer?
What is a CMS?
A content management system (CMS) is an application that allows you to create and manage your website through an administrative interface. Whether you are considering a new website or a website redesign, you need to ask yourself if you will be changing text or images frequently, posting regular updates of information online, or updating or reposting products at specific intervals. A content management system can reduce the cost of maintaining a website in the long run, while making it much easier to manage content within the website. By using a content management solution, you as a client or a member of your team will have control over the changing content that keeps your visitors/customers coming back. Typical CMS applications include WordPress (approx. 30% of all active websites worldwide), TYPO3, Joomla, etc.
What is HTML/CSS?
The abbreviation HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a programming language with the help of which websites can be created by a web programmer via code. The contents and the styling (CSS = Cascading Style Sheets) of the website are written down in code and can of course be changed if necessary - but only if you continue to employ your programmer, because as a rule you have to know a little about this. However, if you rarely make changes to your website, this solution can be cheaper in the long run, because template creation via CMS and the associated server and maintenance costs are usually higher. Of course, a CMS also produces a website with HTML/CSS code in the end, but as a user you hardly notice the code because it is generated in the background. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
In the web design industry, it has become common to recommend content management systems as a matter of principle, even if this is not always necessary and is basically "overkill" for most clients. But it is the case that many clients ask for a CMS from the outset because they have heard somewhere that this is the holy grail. But what many clients don't consider or know is that even a CMS like WordPress, now available in version 6, has become very complex. So if you only want to change something on your website from time to time, you will inevitably get tangled up in the WordPress interface. And in the end, you will have to hire a specialist to make the changes. Very few clients have the determination, the time or the know-how to actually exploit the potential of a CMS solution.
Who is a CMS suitable for?
- if you update many pages/contributions frequently (every one to two days or weekly)
- if you have trained staff who know how to use a CMS
- if you have sufficient budget to implement the CMS template redesign if required
- if you need user administration, authorisation and access control
- if you need to monitor page and post creation and approvals and need version control
- if you want to achieve multilingualism in a simple and clear way
- if you need database automation
- if you have very large parts catalogs, documentation archives that are frequently updated, reference material or learning and practice material such as for eLearning websites
- if you want to run a webshop and/or a blog
For whom is HTML/CSS the better solution?
- if you make changes rather infrequently
- if you want to redesign your site frequently and inexpensively
- if you would hardly have time to use a CMS to its full extent anyway
- if you don't want constant updates and the problems that come with them (e.g. plug-in and design compatibility)
- if you have the confidence to make changes directly in the HTML code or know someone who can do it for you.