It is our aim that our website design solution should, if you wish, allow you to strive towards online independence. With this in mind, we want to provide you with all the information, to make an informed decision about your website. There are two basic types of site: static and dynamic (interactive websites). We specialise in Dynamic sites, as they are easy to update and put you in control of your site.
Dynamic Sites – Content Management Systems
A content management system (CMS) site consists of two parts:
- Front-end – what your user sees.
- Back-end – what you use to keep your site up-to-date.
CMS use databases to store information (e.g. the text in the site) and the ”look” of the site is dictated by the template. This means that the template can be changed without having to re-enter the information in the site, as the two are stored independently. This makes the system very flexible in terms of aesthetics.
Once set up this type of site requires almost no technical knowledge to maintain. All the updates to the content (for instance the text or pictures in the pages of the website) can be done by you.
Key Strengths of CMS:
- Cheap for medium to large sites
- Simple to update and maintain
- Extra functionality can be added in modules, often available ”open-source” (ie free)
- Established user communities that can provide support and help
- Easily allows multiple users to maintain with separate passwords
Key weaknesses of CMS:
- Style is more limited than for static sites and for very specific style requirements a bespoke template would be needed, adding to the cost
- Can be vulnerable to hacking if the CMS is not updated regularly
Overall, we think that the advantages of CMS outweigh the disadvantages, as we believe that they provide a low cost, flexible website solution. The CMS we use most often are:
- WordPress – a simple, extremely user friendly but adaptable system.
- Joomla – a flexible, powerful system with a strong following.
Dynamic sites can also take advantage of open-source solutions for shops, forums and lots more. These can be installed inside or alongside your main site. We commonly use:
Static sites are the simplest of website. Static pages are created like the pages of a book and then uploaded onto the internet where they will remain until replaced by a new page in the same way.
Key strengths of static sites:
- Totally bespoke and individual
- Cheap for very small sites
Key weaknesses of static sites:
- Requires technical knowledge to update and maintain
- Quickly becomes expensive for medium to large sites
- Extra functionality needs to be custom written (making it expensive)