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CMS? No Thanks



Why you don't need a CMS

Not everyone needs a website Content Management System. In fact, you don’t need a CMS, if, for example:

  • …your website never has any content changes.
  • If you don't care that your hand-coded website has 50 code errors on every page, has no chance of validating correctly, and being badly non-compliant is obviously of low quality to everyone.
  • If you don't need beautiful high-quality xHTML code.
  • If you have a four-page website and only around three webmaster edits a year.
  • If your site content changes are always done speedily, correctly, and very cheaply.
  • Or if, on the other hand, you don’t care that your last content edit took two months of badgering the webmaster.
  • If you are an enthusiastic amateur, and enjoy the hours of work involved with regular content changes.
  • If you are a web publisher – because you’d put yourself out of a job.
  • If you are a webmaster who likes doing text edits. Oh yes, what fun.
  • If you just don’t believe the notion that 99% of content changes are possible using your browser to edit the content online, whenever you feel like doing it - and think this must be a myth or something.
  • If you think ASP .NET semi-dynamic solutions hosted on a Windows server, with an extended start-up phase and regular developer costs, are a good alternative to a stable, secure, virtually out-of-the-box LAMP server CMS solution that can be edited instantly by the site owner.
  • If you must have the ultimate designer-look website, with only a few pages, mainly based on graphics, and selling or featuring graphic-based products.
  • If you don’t actually like the businesslike look of a standard CMS template.
  • If your site is a blog, a wiki, or something else with a dynamic engine anyway.
  • If you are a hand coder and still love it dearly after all these years.
  • If you hate xHTML for some reason.
  • If you sincerely believe all web pages should look like a Notepad page - just white, with some text, and not much formatting or visuals.
  • If you think a site with a couple of pages that look as if they come from a Quake clan site looks nice: an arty representation of death in a cave: jet black, with splodges of blood, and a weird layout apparently knocked up on a Dreamweaver clone app by a devotee in a back bedroom.
  • If your idea of a nice look is an artwork layout by one of those people who exhibit regularly in the Tate Gallery (as above, with even less sanity).
  • If you think all user-interaction is the work of the devil.
  • If your online store is so big and successful that it needs no content pages whatsoever to get top SERP positions.
  • If you thoroughly dislike the idea of being able to add new major functionality to your site with a half-hour module addition.
  • If you love Dreamweaver more than life itself, and can’t bear the idea of relegating it to menial tasks such as template authoring, page validation etc.
  • If you think all pages should be built with Dreamweaver or FrontPage regardless, and actually like taking three hours to work up a couple of simple pages.
  • If you run a big department of web publishers, site maintainers, and webmasters that would get the chop if the boss found out about CMS.
  • If you run a web design agency that hasn’t heard of CMS yet.
  • If you think Coldfusion is the answer to all and every web design issue, and don't worry about the 90% CPU load on the client's PC caused by a bad Coldfusion site.
  • If you think the idea of thousands of plugins being available for just one CMS simply means it must have been badly coded to start with.
  • If the idea of being able to change a website’s entire look with a 5-minute template changeover seems pointless to you.
  • If being able to use half a dozen different templates on one site, on different pages, all at the same time, would be wasted on you.
  • If you don't care that legal issues are taken care of much better by modern open-source CMS.
  • If you don't care that your site fails accessibility tests even at the lowest level.
  • If the task of rebuilding half the site’s navigation when a page is added or deleted actually fills you with delight.
  • If your server has no PHP or mySQL on it and/or is a five year old IIS job, run by a reseller, with no databases.
  • If you look forward to the long job of totally rebuilding the site navigation when you add or delete a directory.
  • If you prefer to build the entire site in Flash, then leave it like that for ever.
  • If you love Flash-based websites even though they are a bad choice for a commercial site.
  • If you don't care that the PHP or ASP solutions you build for clients take 3 months to roll out.
  • If you look forward to major site redesigns with joy.
  • If your business is based on client fees for building new pages, changing content, and page redesigns - since you'd be out of a job if they had a CMS.
  • If you don't worry about search success at all, and don't need any traffic.

So, you can see that there are many good reasons why you don’t need a CMS website!

Seriously though, many websites don’t need CMS, for good reasons; but installing one usually solves a lot of problems and worries. Nothing in this world is perfect, it’s true; so of course there are drawbacks. These are normally short-term issues - such as the learning curve for the sysadmin, and the slightly easier one for the end-users (since they can now do all their own content edits via a browser, should they wish); and also content migration and staff training issues of course. In the long term, the vast majority of users are not only glad they changed over, but also wonder how they coped before.

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From our point of view, we prefer the more interesting technical issues that come with CMS over those that attend flat sites. It's true that search engine optimising some CMS sites is not the easiest of tasks; but it will make a good site much better. From the owner's point of view, time saved on content changes can be devoted to SEO for the CMS, which is a lot more cost-effective.


Web Business Managers