Choosing the Right Website Platform: Static HTML vs Dynamic CMS

6 August 2015
Comments: 0
6 August 2015, Comments: 0

Choosing the Right Website Platform: Static HTML vs Dynamic CMS

Recently our team at The Loan Consultants received a question from a prospective affiliate concerning the type of website platform he should use. Since virtually every business owner has to deal with decisions regarding their website today, we thought this would make a good topic for our monthly tech blog. Before we begin we should apologize for the use of tech-jargon throughout this piece but, if you are going to have a discussion about how websites are built, there is really no way to avoid it.

If you already have a website or are planning to obtain one for your business, then you may have heard about the various platforms available out there today. The website Platform is essentially the “foundation” on which the site is built. Most website developers today will use one of the following platform options when building a website for their customers. They will build a website using HTML web-programming language or develop a site on a CMS platforms. Both of these options have their pros and cons which should be properly analyzed in order to develop and manage a web project which will be well suited for your organization’s budget, I.T. capabilities and maintenance intervals.

If you already run a website in HTML but now are in a market for the new one, it is possible to convert your current site to another platform. In other words, it is possible to convert your current HTML site to Joomla, WordPress or any other CMS platforms which are available today.  However, having a CMS website is not for everyone and The Loan Consultants usually does not recommend this type of site for several reasons. First, there are normally heavy maintenance fees associated with CMS websites.  Additionally, finding the proper developer who will care for your website and 100% guarantee the health of your website is an extremely difficult and technically challenging.

Custom HTML Website Overview

So, which platform is the right one for your business… static HTML or CMS? To make the right decision, let’s discuss their pros and cons. We will begin with HTML website due to the fact that it is the starting point of most business owners.

Pros

Cons

There are numerous high-quality HTML templates available that can give your company a professional look and feel. If you are going to create a simple site, then it will be easier to deploy a static HTLM site, than to install a CMS platform. Unless you have a programming background, you will likely have to hire a programmer to assist you in building the site. This expense should not be too high since start-ups do not require many complex changes in the beginning.
It is possible to develop and add almost any kind of functionality to your HTML website. It is also easier to, design and perform SEO (Search Engine Optimization) process. Although it is possible to customize your web project to fit your needs, there is the necessity to have deep coding knowledge.
A static site is lighter than a website built on CMS and this means the data will load faster for your customer. Also, lighter websites require less expensive servers and help to reduce the need for hardware upgrades. Some plugins or extensions may not be available for a static HTML sites but, can be developed if needed.
Depending on the size of the site, it can be easier and costs less to make some changes, modifications and to customize your website according your needs. It is possible to design each page of HTML site in a different way with the available templates.

CMS Platform Overview

Now let’s discuss the CMS platform.  CMS platforms are extremely attractive to people, as they provide the means of editing pages without coding knowledge. However, with this feature come many disadvantages.  Since CMS websites work with a database, this makes the website extremely vulnerable to malware and hackers.  CMS website needs constant administration, updates, back-ups and malware prevention routine development in order to stay healthy on the internet.  If any of these components are missing from the equation, the site will eventually be compromised and all the data will be lost.

Pros

Cons

It is easy to create and manage a website built on CMS. This is a great solution for advanced companies who have dedicated I.T. support. Users can add content without any technical skills due to the fact that there is an already made pattern for the website.

A CMS platform which runs off of a database, which is a (high-risk) component. CMS websites are also difficult to maintain. They attract a lot of predators on the internet, and since the platforms are globally available to developers, there are a lot of rouge developers who will generate hacking robots to hack these websites.  A dedicated I.T. Developer is needed in most of the cases to maintain the CMS installation, protect it from attacks, corruption and also keep it up to date with the new versions which might get released in the future.
Lots of plugins, modules, extensions, skins, templates, themes, etc. are at your service when you use a content management system. Moreover, it is easy to add new functionality. Updating CMS websites cost a lot of money, as the updates are performed on code level. Also, the pre-built CMS is full of overhead code which makes it run slowly and consume a lot of server resources. Server costs are very high with CMS sites.
Compare to a static HTML website, there is no coding required on CMS-built site. Although many modules are at your disposal, they may be insecure. Also, plugins only work with specific versions of the CMS website.

So here’s the bottom line when it comes to choosing an HTML or CMS platform for your website. These are some reasons to pick one or another:

  1. If your site is going to be small then it should be built with the help of HTML web-programming language.
  2. You should only choose a CMS platform if you really need the functionality CMS platform offers you.
  3. If you do not have a dedicated I.T. Support team in your organization, you should go with HTML.
  4. If you are limited on your budget, you should absolutely choose the HTML platform.
  5. If you want to keep your I.T. costs constant, you should choose the HTML platform.
  6. If you want a site that is easy to make simple content changes without coding knowledge and are prepared to protect it from the vulnerabilities that we discussed, then CMS platform will fully suit your needs.

 

In Conclusion

Even though CMS platforms might look attractive and be easier to utilize on a user level, they take tremendous amount of effort to deploy and maintain.  They are high risk targets on the internet and will need 100% of your attention and your I.T. resources to have 100% uptime and trouble free operations. In most cases, medium sized companies use CMS platforms, as they realize that they are rapidly growing and will need to flexibility of the system in order to keep up with the high level of client demand.  In these scenarios, having a dedicated I.T. support and a minimum of a VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) is a must.

For most start-up organizations, HTML sites are an excellent choice, as there is no complex configuration or excessive server overhead costs to run the website.  Also, since start-up companies do not have too much fluctuating technological demands coming from their clients, an HTML site serves them well by keeping the overall cost of the operations down, and providing the solid security which comes from the static state of the site’s code.  This creates a very small-business friendly environment to not only save money on I.T. operations, but also know that the website is extremely secure and will not create unanticipated I.T. expenses. For this, and many other reasons, The Loan Consultants builds our affiliate websites on a HTML platform.

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