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Websites are an important part of your business. They operate as a virtual shopfront, a cyber window into your world. A content management system migh be exactly what you need, but there are also times when a CMS is overkill.

When is a CMS right and when will "just a static site" do?

The key answer lies in what you want to use the webite for. "Just a static site" sells it short. It's very easy to get caught up in the latest buzzwords of the web. You should never lose sight of the real goals of your website.

  • Do you want to add new material?
  • Do you want your staff to add new material?
  • Do you want to have some content available only to your clients?
  • Are you planning on expanding your site in the future?

If you have answered "yes" to any of the above questions, then a CMS is the right solution for you.

Case 1

Sparkies is a small electrical contractor who does electrical wiring and data cabling. They want a presence on the net. What do they need to tell their audience?

  • The type of work they do.
  • The geographical area the work in.
  • Business hours
  • Contact information

The content isn't going to change much over time.  They have no plans to regularly add new content, so a CMS would be too much. If your aren't planning to upgred to a CMS anytime soon, then a brochure will do just fine.

Case 2

Buntry Baldross & Croop are an accounting firm. They have a customer base that needs to be kept up to date with the latest infomation. They are constanty uploading the latest news to their site.

They want groups of users to have various levels of access to the site. They want their customers to log in to get access to information that a casual visitor won't see. Staff will be updating information on the site. A CMS is the obvious solution for them.

Static Sites vs a CMS

There are advantages and disadvantages to both static and content management sites.

Static Sites

Advantages of a static site:

  • Does not require any programming
  • Quicker to develop
  • Cheaper to develop
  • Cheaper to host
  • Can be hosted anywhere.
  • Quicker to load.

Disadvantages:

  • Requires web development expertise to update site
  • Site not as useful for the user
  • Content can get stagnant. This can have SEO implications.
  • Can be more expensive in the long run.
  • If you decide to go to a CMS, your site will need to be converted.

CMS

Advantages of a CMS

  • Much more functional website
  • Much easier to update
  • New content brings people back to the site and helps in the search engines
  • Can work as a system to allow staff or users to collaborate

Disadvantages of a CMS

  • Slower / more expensive to develop
  • Hosting costs a little more.
  • Need to match hosting requirements to CMS requirements.

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