There are basically two types of websites: 1) Websites written in a programming language and maintained in that same language and 2) Websites that are based on templates which can be maintained without knowing a programming language. In this post, I’m talking about the second option: websites built within a Content Management System (CMS).
I have created websites using both methods. I believe that the CMS solution is the superior solution for most (if not all) small businesses today (and some ‘not so small’ businesses as well).
There are many different CMS options available: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, concrete5, and industry-specific solutions. I have focused on WordPress because of it’s stability, ease of use, cost (mostly free), add-on software, and market saturation.
The idea behind a CMS is that you use select a template and customize the look of your selected template to reflect your unique business. The look of the website is separate from the content of the website – what you want to say, what you want to sell. Generally, you would have someone build your website look for you and integrate additional functions you need (a shopping cart, for example) – quickly and reasonably, based on the template you select. You, the website owner, is then empowered to easily add, edit, and update information on your website whenever you want via the internet.
There are many benefits to using a CMS. To list a few:
- you can alter the look of your website without having to re-enter any of the content of your website,
- you do not need to hire a programmer to change the content of your website,
- the cost to develop a new website is considerably less than custom development from the ground up.