There are a variety of ways to build a website. You can, of course, build your site using HTML and other languages like PHP, ASP or Ruby. Perhaps even a combination of these.
You can also design your website by taking a template, either off the shelf or custom, and modifying it to your own needs. Or, you can use a content management system (CMS) and design a website for your purposes that way.
But what advantages, if any, does a CMS offer?
Many people like a CMS because you don’t have to worry about designing your website using code. Every time you update your website you’ll have to play around with the coding elements to ensure that your site looks the way you want it to look. You’ll either have to pay someone to do that for you or learn how to code the site yourself. Most small business owners cannot afford to pay someone to update their site every time they want to do that nor can they afford to take the time and learn how to build a website from scratch. That’s where the CMS can come in.
With a CMS, the initial design and set up can be done by someone else then when you want to update the site with new content you simply sign in with your administrator login and password and add the content using a WYSIWYG editor.
Many small business owners prefer this type of set up because it means they can update their own site with new content. You can add items to your shopping catalog, add new sections of your website and even change existing pages when you have the time. No coding necessary. But which CMS is right for you?
That’s a matter of personal preference, but you do have some options. Some of them are free and some cost you money. Some of them are very expensive. For most small businesses, a free CMS is a great option. There are two free CMS solutions that I’d recommend for small businesses – Joomla! and WordPress. Pick the one that you feel is right for you and hire a designer to make it look the way you want it to look and you’re in business.