When it comes to commissioning a new website for your business or organisation one thing you need to decide is whether to have a static site or a Content Management System (usually shortened to CMS) or even a bit of both.
A static site is a website which is built by a development company and can’t be edited by you. All the content put in stays the same unless you have a developer to edit it. This is the best choice for you if you don’t think your content will change very often or if you have someone inhouse who is able to edit the HTML for you.
A CMS is a site that’s built with all your content usually stored in a database. You have a login to a “back-end” admin area which allows you to add and edit the content of your site using a WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) editor – similar to what you would see in a word document for example.
The initial cost of a CMS is usually higher than a static site (how much more depends on what needs to be editable) but the ongoing maintenance costs are much lower if you think you’ll want to change and update content on a regular basis because you can do it yourself, without having to pay a developer to make changes.
A CMS platform can be developed from scratch to create a bespoke platform just for you. This is great if you want to do a number of more complicated things. But for a basic site where you simply need to edit the content of pages an “off-the-shelf” platform which is already built is much more cost effective.
There are many popular CMS platforms used on the web: WordPress, CMS Made Simple and Textpattern, to name a few – all of which we’ve had experience of developing with here at DC. These platforms are becoming increasingly prolific, as of summer 2013 almost 20% of all websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress!
A Content Management System can enable additional features to be easily integrated into the website: user login and passwords, events and calendars, blogs, news feeds, and much more.
CMS websites can help to boost you up the ranks in search engines. This means your site is more likely to land on the first page of Google results, which means people are more likely to find you. This is mainly because search engines love content that’s updated frequently; it makes you look like a much more useful site than one which hasn’t changed in years. You’re also able to tailor your content to specific audiences or search terms meaning you’re likely to be looked upon more favourably.
Our recent CMS websites have been designed and developed with responsive design in mind. This means it is built in such a way that it re-configures itself according to the screen size of the device upon which it is viewed – whether it’s a desktop, mobile phone or tablet.
It’s possible to have your whole site built as a CMS or just one or two sections such as a blog or latest news page. This is something that would be decided on in the planning stage. It might work out most cost-effective for you to just have these small sections as editable.
As you might expect, here at DC we have designed and built quite a few CMS websites for our clients. Take a look at the designs above and if you think this would be great for your organisation just get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.