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Lately, we’ve been talking to a lot of people about websites. We’ve been asked the advantages of using a CMS (Content Management System) like Joomla, WordPress or even Drupal versus a traditional static HTML website. While they all have their advantages and disadvantages, we’d thought that we’d give you our opinions.

First, let us point out that we create sites using HTML, WordPress and Joomla. In fact, this site was built using WordPress, and our newest division Interstate PR is being developed in Joomla.

In a simple breakdown, Joomla and WordPress sites don’t need an programming expert to develop the site. In fact, there are programs out there [sorry, not going to give the name(s)], which you can build a site in Joomla/WordPress/Drupal by dragging and dropping. HTML sites be their nature really need a coding expert, especially if they are going to have a way to easily change text, etc.

So what are the main differences.

Cost – Usually, a CMS site will cost you MUCH less than a traditional HTML site, but that is generally in the development stage, not the maintenance. Every portion of your HTML site is going to be developed and tested by one person or team. Meaning if there is a problem, you know who to call. CMS sites uses modules or plug-ins, which are typically created by  3rd party and your developer purchases the rights to use those modules/plug-ins for your (and usually other) sites. While your CMS developer might be able to fix an issue with a plug-in themselves, they also may have to rely on the 3rd party, who may or may not get back to them, or be in business anymore.

Hosting – While most web hosting services will host CMS site, in fact, most of them will install your CMS for you at no-cost, not all of them can host an HTML site. HTML sites are built using different programming languages, and not all hosts can, or want to handle languages and platforms that HTML sites are built in.

Updating Content – Here is the big difference. The beauty of a CMS site is that anyone can update a CMS site with little to no training. CMS’s for the most part are user friendly when it come to updating the content and uploading new content to the site. While, a traditional HTML site, the content needs to be updated by a programmer, or it takes some training (and special software) on how to update your HTML site. Don’t be fooled be a HTML designer who is going to build you a “backend” for your website. They are essentially coding your site, and using a 3rd party CMS system to allow you to update content, making your site a CMS site that you paid a lot of money for.

Redevelopment of your site – If you have an HTML site and you want to redevelop the site. You’ll have to start from scratch. While your content may be the same, but have a new look – all that content will need to be moved into the new HTML site. With a CMS site, you can easily have a new theme developed and move your content over with a few simple clicks of your mouse. This makes a CMS redevelopment much less time consuming and much more cost effective.

Why would you use an HTML site? You want a site that works, and works the first time. Not to say that your CMS site doesn’t work, or work correctly the first time, but usually you have to work the kinks out of the site in CMS. HTML sites load quicker and are easier to add in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Finally, usually HTML sites are built by web programmers who have gone to college and earned a degree in programmer. They understand the languages used to build websites and can easily decode a problem within minutes.

Why do we use a CMS system? Quite frankly because it is much easier to get online quickly and update in a snap. Also, while we might lose a little in look and loading time, we gain so much more in functionality of our sites. Finally, we were able to get our site up quickly and much less expensively than had we gone the HTML route. However, had we did have our website bided on and went with the best option of us, which led us to work with developer of HTML, Joomla and WordPress sites.

In any rate, when you develop your site, get multiple quotes and look at all options available. Here at ROICOM, we will provide you with a quote for an HTML, Joomla and WordPress site, along with hosting costs and make sure that you get the site that is what you need, not what we think you need or will make us the most money.

Michael and his team helped with my nomination campaign for Canadian Senate, their knowledge of how to use social media in politics is impressive. They are well organized, responsive and made understanding how to use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter easy and fun. I could always count on them to be up-to-speed on the latest social media trends, and give me the information I needed in laymen’s terms. I highly recommend their work.” - Scott Tannas, Canadian Senator from Alberta
“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing and working with Michael since 2003. He is Reliable, Innovative and an Out-of-the-box thinker. His knowledge of how to use social media is impressive – he has made me a believer in social media.” - Alan Nakanishi, former California State Assemblymember
“Interstate PR (ROICOM Consulting, LLC) is well organized and had great ideas on how to take things to the next level. I was able to get a hold of them at anytime to discuss my needs and concerns. The gave me the personal attention that many larger firms don’t have the time or resources to give. Their rates were reasonable and the developed a package that fit my needs.” - Mark Packard, Carlsbad City Councilmember
“We hired Interstate PR (ROICOM) to help us establish and initially maintain our social media program and presence. They helped our social media grow, and gave us valuable insight and knowledge making the process easy and very understandable. They helped us established a relationship with the military to develop an outreach program for us to honor our brave troops and their families. Their efforts have helped us reach a new level of success.” - Wally Schlotter, UltraStar Cinemas