Would You Use Content Management System CMS To Build A Client Website

Would you use a Content Management System (CMS) for a high traffic or client website?  Why or why not?  I have been designing websites for myself for a couple of years now, and have not thought twice about modifying a free Content Management System or pre-written e-Commerce solution to help build my business and personal websites.  But now, I have been hired to design websites for several small companies.  Let me ask you what you think.   If I design a client website starting with a Content Management System like MamboJoomla, or e-Commerce solution like osCommerce, would you consider this cheating?  Should  I really reinvent the wheel  if I am able to start with a great system that has already been written, then modify or add to it to suite my clients needs?  Am I being deceitful to my client?  I personally don’t think so!  If you charge them for your time, and your time is building them a site that suites their needs, and you deliver, then you are doing exactly what they have asked.  Chances are you have also saved them a bundle of money.  What do you think?

Just take a moment and look at many of the websites you frequent.  I bet many of them are built on these pre-existing systems.  I know many of my favorite sites are!  Many thanks to the contributors of these systems.

5 responses to “Would You Use Content Management System CMS To Build A Client Website

  1. Lorenzo E. Danielsson

    Well, I have used both Joomla and Drupal for building sites for clients. I don’t know why that would be cheating. In that case you could argue that building an application in C would be cheating unless you developed your own C compiler first.

    A CMS offers a lot of functionality so you can focus on the clients requirements instead of writing loads of low-level code to do basic things. Most clients these days have requirements that would take months to develop from scratch.

    If you roll your own then you are the maintainer as well, so you would have to make sure that you do security auditing of your own code. With a CMS that (hopefully) gets done for you.

    And even if using Joomla were cheating I don’t care. I have deadlines, the client has needs that Joomla can meet and that is all that matters.

  2. Hi Lorenzo, thanks that is exactly the repsonse I was hoping for!

  3. The key thing is volume and consistency. The templating system used by any CMS guarantees consistency of look, feel and layout across the site. Connecting the whole thing up to a database allows you to handle large numbers of pages.

    I find doing even a medium size site without a CMS and a database a real pain.

    Of course, the clincher is your final comment. The client doesn’t care about “philosophy” – they just want results.

  4. Isn’t an important feature of CMS is that the CLIENT can then edit their pages and make simple changes themselves? Many of my clients want to be able to do simple updates themselves, and it seems a content management system is the way to go? Otherwise…they would need a quick lesson in HTML and more?

  5. I think these days to develop a static website for a business is a disservice.

    A CMS-driven site enables the website (business) owner to easily keep the site up to date. We provide clients with WordPress-driven sites, and the simple Post/Page entry form is not that much different to writing an HTML email.

    Basing the site on a robust CMS platform, with the ability to extend functionality with a wide range of plugins is in my opinion the only way to go.

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