What Kind of Website Should I Get?

various websites

A website can be built in a variety of ways. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages; which is best for you depends on your needs and your budget.

I normally build static websites. I have complete control over what the website looks like, and I can lay out its parts any way I want. Only a professional can make changes to the site, no matter how small. And the site cannot be edited online at all. This method is good for sites that will rarely need to be updated, or if the owner doesn’t mind paying a professional to make updates.

The easiest way to build a website is to use site builder hosting; they are much like using a word processor. You choose a template that gives your site its basic look and insert your content. You have to buy special site builder hosting for this type of site; regular hosting will not work. That is because the site builder is built into the hosting account. The hosting company keeps the software updated that runs your website so you don’t have to worry about it. This type of website is good for those who want an easy way to build and maintain their site themselves. It is best for small sites with only a few people changing the content.

The most flexible method is to install a Content Management System (CMS). They are slightly harder to use than a site builder account, but not much. Some are free, while others must be purchased. You have much more control over what your site looks like and how it works than a site builder account. Most people will need a professional to set up the CMS, especially if they need it customized. A knowledgeable user can keep the CMS up to date; others will need a professional. Most users can manage the content themselves. This method can be used for any number of pages and any number of contributors. The size of your site, how much customization you want, and other factors influence which CMS is best for you.

Think carefully about what you want your website to do for you and how much you are willing to spend. Get advice from knowledgeable friends. Most professionals don’t charge for the initial consultation, and that can help clarify your needs. You can switch from one method to another, but it usually requires rebuilding your site. It’s better to start out with the best one for your needs.