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Website building sites

CMS stands for Content Management System and refers to a software application that’s used to create and manage digital content. There are two main types of CMSs:

  • Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECMS) allow companies to create, manage, distribute different types of content (docs, surveys, product info) as well as provide collaboration on them.
  • Web Content Management Software (WCMS). It’s a set of tools allowing users without prior programming knowledge to create and maintain digital information on a website. This is the case that I’m going to refer further in this article.

WCMSs are usually free or offer affordable subscriptions that outweigh overall costs. As said above, they don’t require users to have a coding background, that’s why most WCMSs are user-friendly and easily customizable. However, there are expensive solutions on the market that are more complex and require training but at the same time, they provide more flexibility and/or security to meet particular needs.

Website building tools are another option that’s gained much more hype than CMS software. The term ‘website builder’ is self-explanatory and refers to software that is used to construct websites. At first glance, CMS and website builders have the same goal — why have two different terms for the same thing? But it’s not that easy and there are actually significant differences between these two. Let’s find out!


CMS vs Website Builders

The terms ‘CMS’ and ‘Website Builder’ are often used interchangeably, but these are different things as they use different approaches when applied to the website building. Both of them have their pros and cons. Below I pointed out the most crucial differences for you to grasp the idea.

1. Pain In The Neck vs All-In Solution

In order to use a CMS, you need to install a hosting, purchase a domain, manage databases, run manual updates etc. Website builders are all-in tools that require no additional management efforts.

2. Highly Customizable vs Easy-To-Use

As long as in CMS you are dealing with direct code, you’ve got a wide range of opportunities for customization including extra plugins, modules etc. In the case of website builders, you are typically offered a visual drag-and-drop interface.

3. Poor vs Rich Design Opportunities

Most CMSs offer only a few basic (often low-quality) templates. That’s why you most often have to either purchase premium themes and templates or improve the existing ones / develop your own from scratch. Unlike CMSs, website builders offer a rich variety of predesigned customizable templates and other design opportunities.

4. No Customer Support vs Quality Support

Free CMS solutions often provide no official customer assistance, so you have to search for blogs and users’ communities for troubleshooting. In the case of website builders, they offer strong customer support.

5. Built-In SEO Tools vs External SEO Plugins

Free CMSs offer poor or no SEO customization at all, so you need to install external plugins while website builders provide built-in SEO tools.

To sum up, website builders require no coding skills as well as offer a user-friendly interface and tons of design opportunities. These are the best choice for non-techies like small businesses, personal websites etc. On the other hand, CMSs offer rich customization opportunities but require more advanced skills to be handled effectively. CSMs are best for companies to manage projects, documentation portals etc.


Publisehed in: Hosting-Guides-for-Beginners 06-2018