Whether you’re starting a personal blog or establishing an online presence for your small business, you often get caught up in perfecting the appearance of your website. But have you ever wondered about the different approaches to web design? Should you use HTML or a content management system (CMS)? Let’s explore the key differences and advantages of each option.
HTML is a powerful and effective coding language that is relatively easy to learn. As a newcomer, you can build a basic website within a day or two. However, the result will be simple and minimalistic. If you’re aiming to create a professional-looking small business website with advanced functionality, it’s best to hire an experienced web developer or designer.
Using a CMS, even those without coding experience can create, design, and maintain their own websites. This option is ideal for start-up companies looking to save money by building their own small business websites, without the need to hire an expensive web developer.
Get a Head Start with a CMS
While websites powered by a CMS still use HTML, users are not required to manually code each web page. A CMS automatically generates the complex coding required for each web page whenever users create content or upload images. This means that a new website with multiple web pages can be created within minutes using a CMS. For small businesses aiming to go live as soon as possible, this is a significant advantage. On the other hand, using HTML alone, it could take weeks for a web developer to create a professional-looking website with some degree of functionality.
CMS websites offer thousands of design themes for website owners to choose from. By downloading and installing these free themes, users can completely transform the look of their website with just a few clicks. However, these design themes cannot match the design flexibility of HTML. With HTML, an experienced web developer can custom-design each web page according to the user’s preferences.
Although it may take considerably more time, website owners with specific design requirements may find that a CMS does not offer the theme they are looking for, and would be better off using HTML.
Fast Content Creation
A CMS is more dynamic than HTML when it comes to content creation. New users will quickly find that it is much easier to create and publish new content using a CMS interface compared to coding numerous lines in HTML. For bloggers or businesses that aim to add fresh content regularly, a CMS is the clear winner.
SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial for generating website traffic. An effectively optimized website ranks higher in search engine results. A CMS installation out of the box creates a new website that is properly formatted and structured with SEO in mind. However, an experienced web developer using HTML can code a website with a comprehensive range of optimization methods. While this may be time-consuming, HTML offers better SEO options for small businesses.
Making the Right Choice
CMS and HTML have unique advantages and disadvantages. There is no definitive “right” choice. The decision should be based on the short-term and long-term goals and purpose of your website. It is advisable to consult with a professional web developer to discuss your options and make an informed decision.
About the author: Ross Davies is a web developer experienced in both HTML and CMS websites. Ross is also a prolific blogger, covering a wide range of topics in the web and tech industry.