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The Advantages and Disadvantages of CMS Software

Published on 2/27/2011 by

Content management system (CMS) software allows the average computer user to get a fully functioning website online in mere moments.  Want to create a business or personal blog?  You can do that with CMS software.  Have you always dreamed of having your very own forum online?  You can also do that with CMS software.  Do you want to start up an eStore and sell your crafts to the world?  Thanks to CMS software, you can do that too.

CMS software was designed with the beginner computer user in mind, so no matter what sort of website you want to build, you can get it online and out to the world with CMS software.

The advantages

The advantages to designing and building a website with CMS software include:

It’s easy!  It takes no technical or design skill to install, publish or maintain a website using CMS.  You’ll be able to write posts, add pictures, and communicate with your user base through a graphical web based interface.

It’s inexpensive.  Today’s most popular content management systems are open source, which means it’s free for you to use.  If you choose to go with a paid application, you’ll find that they’re also priced well below alternative software options.

It’s fully customizable.  By installing plugins, themes and skins you can give your website an entirely new look and a whole new set of features.  You’ll be able to install themes and plugins in your web based administration panel with a few clicks of your mouse.

The disadvantages

Though most can happily use CMS software without issue, there are a few well known problems that some may have to contend with.

Latency issues:  Very large websites with equally large databases may experience slow loading pages if their website has not been properly maintained or they’re operating on older server hardware.  There are plugins available to help minimize these issues, though they may be ineffective for especially large sites.

Maintenance issues:  Bug fixes and code upgrades are frequently released for CMS software, which means that you’ll have to spend some time applying these fixes.

Customization takes work:  While there are an unlimited number of customizations that can be applied to your website to change the look and feel of things, you’ll still need to spend time creating a logo and tweaking the design so that it doesn’t look like every other website online.

How to get started with CMS software

If you’ve decided to give CMS software a try, there are a few things you need to get going.

  • Domain name
  • Web hosting plan

If you’re a beginner, be sure to seek out a web hosting company with a control panel that allows easy access and instant installation of CMS software.  Without such an option, you’ll be in charge of downloading and installing CMS software yourself.