Do I need a CMS for my website?

Nowadays most of the webmasters worldwide use a cms system (content management system) such as Wordpress or Joomla! to build dynamic websites.

Using a CMS system has a lot of advantages:

  • Easy to install
  • Limited maintaince
  • Low learning curve
  • No technical knowledge required
  • Build in themes & plugins
  • Frequently updated with new features
  • ...

Nothing but benefits you might think!

But not all projects require the use of a CMS system! It's not because a lot of websites are CMS based that every website should be CMS based by definition! Despite all the pros a cms system has to offer, there are some disadvantages too!



Why/When building a static website

By now you must think: What is this guy talking about? Static HTML websites??? Everyone knows a cms system is the way to go! This is the year 2020, not the nineties!

A cms system is the perfect solution if you quickly need a website with tons of features.

  • Write & edit articles on a regular basis
  • Allow commenting on articles
  • Set membership subscriptions to (some parts of) the website
  • Set up an e-commerce website
  • ...
if you plan to do one or more of these, a CMS is definitely the best option!

But for small to medium websites (especially those that don't require frequent updates and only request limited functionality) a cms system quickly becomes overkill if you ask me.



Good reasons not to use a CMS?

Security

Cms systems (especially the well known ones) are, despite all the efforts, more vulnerable to hacking.

Because often the code is open source (and especially when third party plugins are involved) hackers are almost literally invited to check the code for vulnerabilities. Once they've found a security leak in the code it's not really hard for them to crawl the internet and search for websites who use that particular piece of code.

The more popular a CMS is, the more hackers will attempt to hack it. Popular cms systems like Wordpress are also the ones attracting the most numerous and qualified hackers.

Because some third party plugins are less secure as you might expect them to be, every additional plugin can be another potential security issue you add to your website!

When creating static html pages however, there is no admin section that can be brute forced, no sql injections can occur as with static html pages there is no database required,... So by creating a more static website you will significantly reduce the risk of being hacked!

Loading speed

Although Cms systems use caching mechanisms to increase loading speed (what that does is converting the dynamic pages into static pages by the way), a static website will always be faster to load.

Fast development

In general a static website takes less time to develop. Often a static website is limited to a 'home', an 'about us', a 'contact' and perhaps a few other pages. Even if the site requires some custom functionality, adding that particular functionality will probably take a fraction of the time compared to building the same functionality into a fully functional CMS plugin.

I hear you think : "CMS systems have build in plugins, ready to be used!!" You're right, if you're not to picky and are willing to accept all the design patterns the developer has put into place such a plugin can be the perfect solution for your project. But what if you want to modify the plugin untill it's absolutely fitting your needs? Depending on the size of the scripts and the way they’re composed, this quickly becomes a nightmare and eventually you'll end up re-writing most of the plugin.

Cheaper

Fast development = lower cost! Building a static website is less expensive. A static website also requires less resources from the server, making it possible to cut in the hosting costs as well.

Conclusion

A CMS system is absolutely an amazing technology that makes your life as a webdeveloper/webmaster a lot easier. But if it feels like overkill, it probably is. Don't just install a CMS because others do! Don't be ashamed to go oldschool when the project allows you to!

A website can be just as nice & useful without the use of a CMS system.

Created on : 2017/01/13 - Last updated on : 2017/01/19

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