Skip to main containt

When to use a CMS for your website, and when not to

Many agencies, creating websites "sell" their clients that because their website is built on a CMS then it's also better for them. Is that actually the case?

Claus Reinhold11 Jan - 2023

CMSs are especially useful for businesses that need to update their websites frequently, and for users who don't have coding experience. From my experience, many agencies, creating websites tend to "sell" their clients the idea that because their new website is built on a CMS then it is also better for them. Is that the case?

First off, what is a CMS?

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software application used to create, manage, and modify digital content. It provides an interface and set of tools to manage, organize, and store content in a database, enabling users to create and publish web pages and other digital content. CMSs are used to create websites, blogs, and other web-based applications.

Here is a list of popular (traditional) CMS providers:

A CMS can be an unnecessary bloat

Let's start with a practical example. A small business owner typically needs a website with basic features such as an About page, a contact form, and maybe a blog. Depending on the type of business, additional features such as an e-commerce store, portfolio, or booking system may be needed. let's say that all the client needs are more or less an online business card, an About page, and a contact form. Would we consider this type of content to change very often? Most likely no!
In this case, I would argue that this type of client doesn't need a CMS system, but instead a static website. This type of website can be built much faster, and because it doesn't bundle with a heavy CMS, it's also faster.

Why is a fast website good, you say?

A fast website is important because it improves the user experience, increases customer satisfaction, and helps boost search engine rankings. A fast website also helps increase website conversions, which is important for businesses that rely on selling products or services. Additionally, a fast website can help reduce bounce rates, which is important for websites that depend on visitors for their income. Finally, a fast website can help improve the overall perception of a brand as visitors will have a positive experience when interacting with a website that loads quickly.

Newer web applications can have a CMS added in later.

A static site generator, like (gatsby.js) is a javascript framework that takes content, such as text, images, and other data, and generates HTML pages from it. These HTML pages are then served up to a web browser, making it appear to the user as if it was a normal dynamic website. Static site generators are an excellent way to create and manage content-driven websites.

Adding a (headless) CMS to gatsby is a very easy task. That means that if the client's requirements change and their website need to be expanded with a blog section, it can be done very quickly in this type of framework.

In conclusion:

When to Use a CMS:

  • If you need to manage large amounts of content on a website

  • If you need to manage multiple users and give them different levels of access

  • If you need to provide searchable content and categories

  • If you need to update content on your website

When Not to Use a CMS:

  • If you have a small website with only a few pages

  • If you don’t need to manage multiple users

  • If you don’t need to provide searchable content or categories

  • If you do not need to update content on your website

I'm here to help your business succeed online

Get in touch