Chris Walton

Static Website vs Content Management System

So you want a website? Now you need to make your next decision, what sort do you want – a basic static website or a Content Management System (CMS)?

Static website

A static website will be built in html and for each page in the website you will have an individual .html file.


  • As it’s simpler it’s quicker. I can produce a static site in a matter of days at a push.
  • When it comes to design, there are no restrictions.
  • It’s cheaper. Cheaper to initially build and cheaper to run.


  • If you want to update it you have to contact the web developer and wait for him/her to update the content for you which takes time.
  • If you want to use an XML sitemap you have to have it updated manually each time you update or add to your site content.
  • If you want to change something simple which apears on every page  like the copyright year, phone number or address this must be repeated on every page.

Content Management System

A Content Managment System, or CMS, is normally a database driven website which puts control of the sites content in the hands of its owner. Popular CMS platforms are WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.


  • You can update the site’s content whenever you want, from wherever you want, provided you’ve got acess to the Internet, remember adding content regularly keeps your website fresh which keeps visitors coming back and will benefit you in those all important rankings with the Search Engines.
  • A modern CMS  comes with a number of features which will help you optimise your site for Search Engines (SEO), from automatically updating your XML sitemap  every time you add something new to the site’s content which makes sure the search engines keep up with you.
  • Changes to the look and feel of the site big or small can be easily done through the sites template.


  • It’s more expensive, takes longer to set up and the running costs for web hosting are higher.
  • The web designer doesn’t have quite as much creative freedom as he’she has to fit in with the CMS framework.

In the end it boils down to how much content you are dealing with and how frequently that content is going to change. If you have a small website which you are going to leave alone for most of the year and only make updates once every 6 months then a static site is probably best for you.

If you are going to be running a large website or you want to regularly add new content, products, offers and news then you are definatly looking for a CMS.