Comparison of a traditional website to a Content Management System
I am often asked what are the advantages and limitations of using a content management system (CMS) when compared to a traditional html based site.
A traditional html site means that each page contains the text of that page as well as information about the graphics and positioning of information on the page. It is equivalent to having a word-processing document for each page of your site. If you want to make changes to the page, you need to use web editing software like Dreamweaver, FrontPage, or many others. Not all software is created equal and some has the potential of damaging code that I worked hard to make sure was error free. I use Dreamweaver to create the template that is used on every single page and is controlled by one template file. Other software may not support this method well, so I recommend, if you want to be able to edit your own pages in a standard html system that you use Adobe DreamWeaver (formerly Macromedia), which costs around $400 for a new version.
Content Management System
A content management system stores the information for a page in a database. The page is then "created" every time someone looks at the page. The page pulls the information from the database and displays it. A secure editing form is provided to the innkeeper so they can edit each page by editing the information in the database. This is done with no additional software, just using your web browser. The editing form looks and acts like a word processor so it is fairly easy to use. My content management system was designed from the ground up by me, so it gives me control (and possibly you) over the important aspects related to Search Engine Optimization and gives you control over what each page says. Other content management systems used by other companies do not typically address factors that are specific to Search Engine Optimization which, in my opinion, is a critical flaw.
Sometimes innkeepers start out with some limited skills in page editing but then learn more and more and want to take control of other page aspects like page titles, descriptions and keywords. My CMS has two levels of access. Basic level access allows changes to visible page content only, while Advanced level access allows changes to page titles, descriptions and keywords. My CMS can be changed from Basic level to Advanced level in seconds with no extra cost. (It is just a matter of me flipping a switch.)
Here is a table of features that compares the differences between standard html sites I produce and CMS sites I produce. Keep in mind that from what your potential guests would see, there is no visible difference. Two sites could look absolutely identical with one using Standard HTML and the other using my CMS.
If you have questions related to my CMS or standard html sites, please email or call. I'd be more than happy to answer them.