Using Content Management Systems for Your Business

Content Management System (CMS) platforms are super easy to use and very popular.  Brands like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have practically become household names in recent years.

The rise of the CMS makes you wonder: whatever happened to the old-fashioned hand-coded website?  Does anyone even know HTML anymore?

Many professional web developers still believe that hand-coded websites are superior to WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) CMS systems.  Here’s why.

The “Build-It-From-Scratch” Speed Advantage

When it comes to speed, hand-coded websites are far superior.  Most CMS systems (WordPress in particular) are notoriously bloated.  There are lots of useless WordPress “features” that you can’t easily turn off.  With a hand-coded web platform, on the other hand, it’s easy to ensure that every bit of code that you use is put to good use.

The faster your site is, the higher your search engine ranking will be. Search algorithms measure page load times and award points to speedier sites.  That’s why reducing your site’s load time can drastically improve your site’s search ranking.

Image Credit: Wikipedia 

Content Management SystemThe Perils of Blending In

WordPress does have several very cool, slick looking themes that you can download and use for free.  But how many other sites in your industry are using the exact same theme as you?

If you’re competing for dominance in a particularly competitive niche, your site’s style can make or break you.  If you hire a professional web designer to hand code your site from scratch, you’ll get a unique-looking site that’ll stick out in the minds of your visitors.

CMS Security Concerns

In 2014, tens of thousands of websites powered by WordPress and Drupal were hacked.  A flaw in a plugin called MailPoet Newsletter was to blame.

Most CMS vulnerabilities are identified and updated quickly.  The problem is that most CMS administrators fail to download and install security updates. Nearly 90 percent of all WordPress-powered sites are vulnerable to attack, according to an article from security blog Data Breach Today.

The Good

CMS platforms didn’t become popular by accident.  They’re cheap (sometimes even free) and easy to use.  Also, the most popular CMS platforms feature a huge selection of plugins to download and install.

Another big advantage CMS platforms have over hand-coded systems is that once you learn the ropes, you don’t have to depend on developers to keep your site current and up-to-date.  If you invest in a custom-made system, you’ll probably need to stay in touch with the people who created it for you. Also, most of the newer themes have website responsiveness built in.

The Bad

Security holes are the biggest problem facing CMS platforms today.  CMS security issues will probably only get more serious as time goes on.  The more people use CMS platforms, the more hackers will try to learn how to crack them.

Slow performance is an issue for some CMS sites.  But you don’t have to switch to a hand-coded site to improve your site’s load time.  If you go with a minimalist site design and limit the amount of ads you place on your site, you can make your CMS site run faster.

The Ugly

Most CMS themes look nice, but there are quite a few eyesores out there as well.  The “Rounded Blue” theme on WordPress, for example, looks like something AOL put out in the 90s.  If you don’t have an eye for design, seek out an expert’s opinion before you go live

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