Pros and Cons of using a CMS
A Content Management System is a great tool for building a website.
And it is just that: a tool.
No tool is perfect for everything!
We all know that a CMS is the greatest thing for building websites
since the web was invented!
Build big websites faster.
Many people can edit the site
You can keep track of who can edit, and what they can do.
Different people can be responsible for different parts of the site,
customize their site section, etc.
The CMS program will
Help you organise the site
Automatically create the newsfeed items
Make it easier to organise photos and other media
and more ...
Lowers the bar - you don't have to know code!
(or do you?)
It sounds cool to say "Joomla!", and cooler if you sound
like you know what it is.
Wow! Great stuff! Could there possibly be anything bad about using a CMS?
here are some things to think about:
Once you get over the romance with the pretty admin pages
and buttons and things, you may find that a CMS
can actually be more complicated and harder to learn than writing html.
In some ways, using a CMS to build a site actually takes you backwards,
where you are not using the features of a website:
You lose good clean HTML, and strong flexible stylesheet code —
Unless you are very careful, and know HTML/CSS well
(Then you have to know things!)
You lose flexiblity — if you want to do something that isn't
built in to the CMS, it becomes difficult.
(Then you have to know things!)
You lose good SEO — Search Engine Optimisation (the ability of your audience
to find your site on the web). You are now at the mercy of the
CMS itself, to whether you have the best for your site:
How it builds the URLs, how it makes meta keywords and descriptions,
how it organises the site, how it writes the HTML, ...
You can control some of this (if you know how).
So you still have to know things!
You lose all the power of a good text editor.
If you don't know what that means, go find someone who does,
and watch them work. You may be amazed.
Unless you are really motivated, you may not actually make use
of the power of a CMS.
I have personally helped to build several websites with CMS (Joomla and WordPress).
In only two cases did the organisation actually take over the website
and manage and update it (which would be the purpose of having a CMS!)
And each time this was because of the initiative and motivation of a particular
person in the organisation. For all the others, the staff didn't edit
because "it's too hard to learn", and expected the developer to continue
on doing content updates, CMS updates, CSS fixes, backups, ....
I have heard this from other people building CMS sites as well.
In addition, you don't just edit your website with the CMS —
you need to run — that is, manage the CMS.
A CMS program is a complicated animal that needs care and feeding,
with knowledge about database, web hosting, and things like this:
... uhhhhhhh ... hmmmmmmmm ... whew ...
Geez ... there is so much to know about managing the CMS,
that it needs its own web page:
CMSs haven't changed anything.
To build a crappy website has always been easy.
To build a good website, like anything else worth doing,
takes knowledge, skills, and hard work — whether you use a CMS or not!
So many people have blogs or CMSs, that sit there dead in the water
(never updated), or fade away because there is no one to maintain
the database, upgrade the CMS software, etc.
And there are complicated and excellent websites that are created and
updated with flat files, and maybe a little php. (Examples:
Even though i love the new cool tools also, to me this is the proof that
the tools are no substitute for Just Plain Old Knowledge, Experience,
and Hard Work!
You can do quite a lot with good HTML and CSS,
server-side includes, and a little bit of PHP.
In fact, this whole website is built that way,
and is very easy for someone with a little bit of real
knowledge to update, and change.
More about CMS:
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copyright © 2003–2009 James Walker.
License for use is the GNU Free Documentation License.
here in the
at the Free Software Foundation,