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Build Your Website Right, From The Start!

When choosing the best website solution for your project have the following four options in mind :

  • Static Website
  • Dynamic Website
  • Content Management System
  • Ecommerce Website

Static website

A Static site is a site that is presented to the viewer just as it was saved on the server.

For example the printed ads you get in your mailbox every day. This information is certainly not going to change, and it includes everything your client needs to know about you or your business. This is like a static site in the sense that once it is posted, the content will remain the same until it is reposted. If all you need is to put your information out there, why complicate yourself with a complex dynamic site or Content Management System?

If you wanted to change a static site you would have to change the html pages and upload them back to the server. It is not trivial to change a site in this way.

The information on your site is not connected to a database, backups and transfer are really just a matter of copying the files to another place. This is not the case with a database dependent dynamic site or Content Management System.

Dynamic website

If in addition you need to interact with your viewers, you will need Dynamic functions. Examples of dynamic functions include:

  • registering or obtaining viewer information
  • validating web forms
  • calculating prices in different currencies
  • having a member login area or forums
  • obtaining client information (text, photos , documents)

The site is no longer being presented just as posted (static) on the server because some of the information that is presented was not known until your viewers asked for it.

A dynamic site consists of code that interacts with the host computer and a database for handling stored information.

It is always best to make provisions and plan for these dynamic features from the outset of the project but you can always add dynamic functions as you need them with no trouble at all. Sometimes it is more convenient and less-costly to start out with a full-fledged Content Management System.

Content Management System

A Content Management System is a sophisticated dynamic site. It is made up of a complex set of files that together make up an administrative-end for site management and the front-end website which the viewers see and interact with.

A Content Management System’s primary goal is (strange as it may seem) to provide for Content Management. It is not a question of editing HTML files anymore; it is a question of finding your page on the administrative end and editing the content on the spot, easily. You can also add or remove pages, upload your own images and videos and insert them in a page. There are many other administrative functions you can perform with little technical expertise.

Due to their wide support CMSs provide more than Content Management.

Many dynamic functions can be added to your CMS via plugins. Since these plugins have already been coded, they are a more cost-effective solution. If the plugin answers your requirements and you are not overly concerned with the smaller details, then this could be the best solution for you.

For example, the Wordpress Content Management System has a plugin for displaying and selling real estate listings. The list of plugins is endless.

Ecommerce website

If you need to sell items online you will need an Ecommerce solution. Ecommerce solutions come in wide variety of types. From the very simplest to the very robust.

If you are selling only one item all you need is a link to a credit card gateway so the user can pay for the item. More often you will want to manage products, categorize your store, manage your store as well as sell online.

Ecommerce solutions are really Content Management Systems specializing in ecommerce. They allow you add, edit, or remove products , upload product images, organize products into categories, organize store navigation and display. You can customize your store anyway you want although some changes require a programmer.

More sophisticated solutions include everything required for a small-medium online store like:

  • Sales and invoice management
  • Customer management
  • Inventory control
  • Coupon, sales and promotion rules
  • Shipping and tax functions
  • Transactional emails

The most important thing you can do to ensure you get an effective, affordable website is to plan what you need beforehand.

Look around online, find a site with functions similar to the ones you envision. Show it to your developer; with that information he should be able to advice you as to the best technological solution.

A site built on the correct foundation will serve you better for a longer period of time.