Launching a new website can be challenging, especially if you keep hitting the jargon in tech world.
One hard choice is deciding whether to use a Content Management System (CMS) or hard code the website from scratch.
Some business owners leave this decision entirely to their developers, who also have different opinions concerning the topic. Some argue that CMSs take away the fun in programming, while others don’t see the point in spending hours coding if you have a system that can do all that for you.
If you are confused, don’t sweat it. This article will help you understand the intricacies of CMSs and hard coding, the difference between the two, and give you factors to consider while choosing either for your next website.
What Is a Content Management System?
In simple terms, a CMS is computer software that helps users create and update websites and their content without interacting with code. It allows users to login into the admin dashboard and manages content in the frontend just by clicking buttons.
The most common application of CMSs is blogging. Bloggers need to login to their website, write a new blog post, and click publish.
Popular CMSs includes
What Is Hard coding?
AS the name suggests, hard coding is a website development process that requires the developer to code the website from scratch without involving a CMS.
Adding new content or updating existing content requires developers to interact with the code or create custom admin tools -in more advanced web applications-.
What Difference Does It Make?
As a user, they may look the same. However, they differ entirely in development, deployment and, maintenance phases.
These differences usually affect speed, level of control,ease of updating, how long it takes to develop the website and, flexibility.
The flexibility bit often comes to light when the company outgrows a CMS. In some instances, it becomes impossible for developers to tweak functionality to fit new needs.
4 Essential Factors to Consider When Deciding Between a Hard-Coded And a CMS Website
Most development projects often boil down to how much you can afford.
CMSs Provide developers with pre-built themes and plugins which streamlines creating a website design and add enough functionalities to kick-start a business.
On the contrary, hard-coded websites are much harder to build. Reason being that developers ought to code the design and the functionalities from scratch, a process that is prone to errors resulting in a lot of stressful debugging and testing.
For the above reasons, CMS websites are cheaper, whereas hardcoded websites are more expensive to create.
The size of The Website
Many CMS websites struggle with speed. They are slower because of their diversity and need to adapt to the different users’ needs. Developers and owners often take advanced measures such as more expensive hosting services and caching to boost their speeds -a vital factor in website ranking-.
In that sense, if your website is relatively small, hard coding would be a better option because it does not require most of the functionalities the CMS has to offer. However, if you need an enormous website like an eCommerce platform with a limited budget, a CMS would be the better option.
How frequently is your content going to change?
Websites like eCommerce and blogs require constant adding and updating content. In contrast, other websites merely provide an online presence without the need for regular updates. The latter help people understand the company better, whereas the former sell services and products.
The point is, while hard coding is better for static websites that need fewer updates, the user-friendly admin dashboard in CMSs make updating CMS websites flawless. Therefore, stick to a CMS if you need a dynamic website unless you can afford a fully custom web application.
How urgently do you need the website?
As you can already tell, hardcoded websites take ages to be fully functional. It takes even longer if you’ve settled for a custom web application.
With CMSs, it only takes a few hours to launch a simple website unless you go for a custom theme and custom plugin(which is possible).
So, if you need to go live right away, you need a CMS website.
In a nutshell, hard coding is best for small static websites, whereas content management systems are best for relatively large, urgently needed, budgeted, and frequently updated
The budget will most likely be your tipping point in making this decision.
You are probably already decided. Either way, it is your bone to chew.