Why Update Your Own Website? | Blog by Web Designer Gethyn Jones

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Why Update Your Own Website?

CMS website updates are not always a good idea

Updating your own website content seems an attractive idea at first - the ability to add pictures and text exactly when you feel like it without paying someone else to do it for you.

I'm referring to Content Management System (CMS) products such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. The original purpose of CMS was to make it easier for designers, developers, and content managers to design, develop, and manage websites.

Then someone got the bright idea of selling the idea to the general public to make even more money. The result is an internet awash with websites that do similar clever things - gimmicks that are fun once - but only once!

Having control over your own website might seem logical and fun but it's often why reasonable looking websites end up looking a mess. Loads of things usually go wrong - a photo that hasn't been optimised before use, and put in the wrong column, mixed font styles getting used on the same page.

Then there's the copy you as a web designer crafted carefully for the search engines will be the first content your client edits out. The thoughtful use of white space to spread out the content on a page is closed down. The list is endless.

Unwanted Coding Clogs Up The Site

CMS websites are huge beasts that carry the ability to do anything anywhere on a website and anyhow - they are massive clanky machines that swamp their servers with unused coding. They introduce unwanted weight to your pages which can increase page load time and impede performance.

Worpress and other CMS sites are also easy targets for hackers - they can inflict damage to sites globally simply because hundreds of thousands of people are using exactly the same software. These sites have to be updated frequently to stay ahead of the hackers and this can present a whole raft of tangental problems that a novice would find bewildering to solve without expert help.

CMS is not simple - it usually involves a steep learning curve for the client.

In conclusion, CMS offers some advantages to designers, developers and content managers for rapid development and easy access to clever features. But it is important to realise that to properly manage such a site you will still need to seek professional help - and pay for it.

And honestly, how often do most clients really need to update their website?