Generally, both HTML and CMS are good web technologies – each has its advantages and disadvantages, but at the end, it boils down to what you want to use the website for. What tasks do you want your website to perform? What do you want the users to be able to do? What do you want to achieve with the functionality? Knowing these will help you to choose either CMS or HTML-based site. Whatever, the type you should be able to serve all your needs. Now, let’s look at the two:
A CMS, an abbreviation of the content management system, is an engine used for powering dynamic websites. These dynamic websites are programmed with server-side scripting languages, such as PHP, ASP, Python, ColdFusion, JSP, etc. They also allow users to interact with websites in numerous ways: your visitors can quickly send messages to you directly from your website; they allow site owners to automate the processing of business transactions, including payment, without any human interference. Moreover, with CMS, your website will typically behave more properly in response to user behavior.
The advantages of CMS over static HTML web pages:
- It is easier to maintain by someone who doesn’t have HTML skills.
- CMS is more interactive than pure HTML-based website.
- It engages your users and generally includes more capabilities to turn potential consumers into buying customers.
- You can include contact forms to allow the site’s users to contact you directly from your website. This circumvents the rigmarole of having to achieve that only through logging in to their email accounts.
- You can add email subscription forms on web pages to enable your visitors to opt into receiving updates about your site’s content that interests them. Through this means alone, you can build a large mailing list!
The disadvantages of content management system:
- A CMS is generally more resource-intensive than an HTML-based website of the same size and content. We page load on the browser by making script calls to the hosting server, and these can turn your website into a resource hog, if it’s badly coded.
- Computer hackers tend to target content management systems. If any security hole exists, hackers will exploit the vulnerability and attack your website. So, if you choose CMS over HTML, make sure it is well-coded by a security-minded web developer.
- Dynamically-generated URLs pose issues for web crawlers when they try to crawl and index them. So, you have to put in extra effort to rewrite the URLs. Gladly, Apache Web Server has a function called Mod_Rewrite that enables web developers to achieve an illusion of static URL.
On the other hand, HTML is an acronym for HyperText Markup Language. It’s a client-side scripting language used for designing static web pages. This means processing of content requests is done by the visitor’s web browser, and this eases the load of web servers. On a pure HTML website, visitors can only view the content and read it, but cannot interact with the site, as opposed to what they’ll do with a content management system.
The advantages of HTML-based websites:
- Unlike content management systems, HTML-based websites don’t consume a lot of server bandwidth. We generally recommend this option, if your web hosting budget is low and you expect to be getting a large number of visitors every day. This will help your hosting account not to get banned when the site starts getting to too many visitors.
- HTML-based websites have static URLs, which are search engine-friendly. So, you don’t need to rewrite any URL – static URL is a given!
- You don’t have to worry about any security hole in your code.
The disadvantages of HTML-based websites:
- HTML lacks the engaging capability of CMS.
- It is not interactive.
The bottom-line is to choose the technology that best serves your needs today and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.