Why you want a Content Management System and not a “Website”

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about website development. I figured I’d put together a quick write up about my thoughts in regard to the topic.

First off, you don’t want a website. You want a content management system. Let me explain.

Most of the people I talk to are Entrepreneurs. Overwhelmingly, the concept of a website is often seen purely from a consumer’s viewpoint, i.e. “what is my customer going to see?” or “what will my customer’s experience be like?” It’s actually rare that entrepreneurs think of themselves when putting a website together.

The fact of the matter is that your website is going to change, and you’ll want to be able to change it easily. You don’t want just a “website“, what you really want is the ability to connect with your customers in a meaningful way. Like right now, I’m running WordPress and I’m updating my website as easily as using a text editor.

Here’s a screenshot:


So far I’m fifteen minutes into this write-up because I’m able to use a word processor like system to publish content.

So right now you might be saying… “Lee, you seem to be a complete newb… Sure, you’ve been a software engineer for 7 years and an electrical engineer for about 4 years, what do you know about this topic?

That’s a good point, strawman-argument-voice-in-my-head, so let me address it. Volunteer Research Laboratories LLC was actually FIRST done in Bootstrap. Bootstrap isn’t a Content Management System, it’s simply a javascript and HTML framework for websites.

Here’s a screenshot:



( Important Note : The screenshot says “HUBZone Business” … While Volunteer Research Laboratories LLC has applied for HUBZone certification, that certification is still currently pending and not currently in effect. This screenshot is from a prototype website that never launched and is only included for demonstrative purposes of the article.)

The website actually looked very good and was super responsive, but alas, it was punishingly difficult to update. Not to mention when I started to customize the code things started to break. I was spending hours just fiddling with my website, when what I really wanted to do was focus on my business.

Don’t get me wrong here, WordPress still needs some tweaking from time to time. For example, the theme that I chose didn’t come with an option to show full posts on my main page, so I had to modify the theme’s php using cPanel… For these kinds of problems, you’ll want a web developer if you don’t know how to fix this yourself, but these problem are few and far between and are fairly easy to fix.

Summary

If you’ve got a one or two person shop, seriously consider a content management system like WordPress over a website framework like Bootstrap. If you’re really stuck, Volunteer Research Laboratories LLC is always available as a consultant/developer. By using a content management system you’ll reduce development and maintenance costs significantly.

With any luck you’ll use your web developer sparingly, and be able to do most updates yourself!