Wordpress or CMS Websites
Do you know what type of website you want? This page looks at standard HTML websites, and Content Management Systems such as Wordpress.
An HTML website consists of a number of pages, all containing pre-written and pre-configured contents. Pages are created and uploaded to a server, where they wait for people to come and see them.
A typical CMS website consists of a free CMS program such as Wordpress or Joomla which pulls together text, images and other information from a database, and stitches it all together to form a webpage when a visitor arrives. This is very useful for shops selling countless items at different prices, in different sizes, in diferent languages. Or if you want to have a blog which allows other people to post their own comments on your website.
Of course, if you want to have a website to represent you or your language school, and have no intention of allowing visitors to write on your website, a CMS website is overkill. Website designers are guilty of persuading people that a wordpress or cms website in order to boost their incomes. More on that later...
The reason is simple; selling websites on CMS platforms more or less guarantees future income. Wordpress and other CMS programs are updated about once a month, sometimes more often, and require your site to be properly maintained. The most common updates relate to security, performance or functionality. But putting all that to one side for a moment, what do you really want or need?
What type of site do you need?
If you want a website where visitors can write their own comments, to hold discussions online, you need a CMS website. Wordpress is the most common blogging platform and is a free program which you upload and install onto your website server.
Next, you need to choose, buy or create your website design style - called a theme - and choose the plug-ins you need to perform certain tasks and to improve security.
Once you've got this sorted out, you can start adding your content. It's quite simple.
What else should you know?
One benefit of a Wordpress or CMS website is that it will allow you to update and change your pages as often as you like. We know that sounds cool, but don't forget that you'll have to learn how to do it first... and pay someone to fix it in the meantime if you make too many mistakes!
A blog or CMS website will require and consume your time. You need to keep tabs on what's going on, you need to keep on top of security issues and ensure that your Wordpress installation and any plug-ins you use are up to date. Security, in particular, is a big issue.
In addition, remember that the point of a blog is to enable 'live' conversations. This means you need to contribute, drive and manage the website. Blogs attract spammers and they will very quickly fill your pages with links to porn, gambling sites, viruses and god knows what else unless you keep on top of it.
One huge virtue of Wordpress is that its popularity has meant that there are countless add-ons available, both free and paid-for. Some of these are useful, some not. Some are very stable and secure, some will open doors for hackers.
However, provided you choose carefully, add-ons can allow your website to perform all manner of tasks.
If someone tells you that Wordpress doesn't suffer from security problems - many caused by add-ons or weak passwords - go to google and enter the words 'wordpress security problems'. Google currently lists over 41 million pages on this topic.
One of the reasons designers love Wordpress (and other CMS platforms) is that it is a constantly evolving program. Every time a new security problem is discovered, every time a defect is fixed or new functionality added, a new version of Wordpress is released. This new version may or may not affect the appearance of your website or the plug-ins and widgets you use, but it will invariably affect something. So, you pay your website designer to fix problems that the latest update has caused. It's a never-ending cycle and creates a continuous revenue stream. A cynic might suggest that this is the main reason why Wordpress sites are being touted by so many website designers.
Our comments here may sound a little negative towards Wordpress and other CMS platforms but they are actually superb pieces of work, capable of performing a remarkable number of tasks, quickly and quietly. We design and sell both HTML brochure websites and Wordpress websites. However, you should only have a CMS or Blog website if you actually need one.