Tampa Web Design – CMS vs Custom Built or Static Sites

Custom Web Design Florida copy Tampa-search-engine-optimization-FloridaWhen business owners are searching for Tampa web design one of the initial decisions you will have to make is whether to use themes or templates, custom design your website or use a content management system. Given the CMS craze, many people and some “techies” think that static websites are obsolete, but in fact, they are not dead yet. Many of our clients come to us after struggling with their CMS websites, needing training or requiring a total website redesign because they have either mismanaged their website past the point of no return or they are completely in the weeds about how to manipulate their CMS site. Website owners also seem to have difficulties getting their sites to rank on the search engines and can be true of static sites or custom websites. Regardless of the type of site a business owner has or chooses, most will inevitably require the assistance of a Tampa web design firm.

“Often, business owners don’t think to ask if their website will be “custom-designed” or if themes or website templates will be used in the design of their website. Templates can be used in static websites as well as CMS sites. Themes are used in most Worpress sites. Some Tampa web developers and even hosting companies tend to promote CMS and find WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and other CMS software options as “preferable” over a truly customized website. But many of our customers have learned from experience— just because something is popular it doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. Don’t rely on your hosting provider to have the knowledge to provide you with comprehensive information regarding your website design options and always attempt to speak with a variety of Tampa web design firms prior to committing your business to them. If you end up choosing a CMS website over an affordable custom design, be sure you educate yourself fully on some of the challenges you might encounter.

Determine whether you will have the time or knowledge to manage your website and do not let anyone tell you that managing a CMS site is as simple as “blogging.” If you are simply going to blog, then that may be true, but if you need a business website that functions as such, and if you will require aggressive website marketing for your Tampa or Florida business, managing your CMS site is not as simple as “blogging” and therefore, untrue for most people.”


Many Tampa web designers still promote static websites. Static websites are generally HTML sites but static sites can use a variety of languages, code and CSS to obtain a very nice multifaceted website. It may appear at first to be a good option to have your site built using CMS but how labor intensive and effective are these types of websites? How do you know which choice is best for your business? It is important to educate yourself on the subject of CMS vs. a custom-built or static website. We suggest that you speak with a web designer in Tampa bay who is experienced and willing to develop your site using either option. Often times, web designers in Tampa will simply “sell” what they know best and what is cost-effective for their business, meaning, using templates and themes can provide a better ROI for them, but are not truly looking out for their clients. It is important that your web designer ask you the correct questions and not simply promote their “services or products” as a superior one and realize that customers will have to return for their assistance in obtaining website updates or training as most business owners do.

What Business Owners are Told About Static Websites

There are a number of advantages of static websites over a dynamic, content managed website and truly it can depend on the client’s industry. Static websites are usually more affordable to design and in our experience better for branding. A trained eye can immediately tell if a business website is re-using a theme used by other businesses and simply adding a few tweaks here and there to customize. Many web design firms make money this way, by purchasing a theme, then using it for multiple sites that they build for their clients. Your business must be unique and that applies to all aspects, from your company logo to your website and marketing.

Static Websites are:

  • Easier to create and host. This is not true. Neither a static or CMS site are easy to create for a person with no knowledge of web development. If you want a professional website, please avoid a DIY project as you will end up with a WYSIWYG website that will most likely not function or provide the ROI you would hope for.
  • Quick to download on lower bandwidths. This is true. This matters when it comes down to SEO and visitor experience.
  • Can be “truly custom-designed” and more affordable to develop. Affordable Tampa web design is what any business wants. Whether yours is a large or small business, cost is always an issue.
  • Static websites can rank better on the search engines therefore require less effort (time and money).

Disadvantages of a Static Website (So You’ve Been Told)

  • Could cost you more in the long run depending on the frequency of website updates and whether or not your web designer provides affordable website update services.
  • Long change process as you have to wait for a website designer to have the time to make your changes. Again, this is assuming the client understands all aspects of CMS development and SEO as it relates to CMS. Our experience shows that whether a website is static or a CMS website, most business owners have neither the time or experience it takes to manage their website. Static websites can be just as easy to update, in fact they can be even easier depending on how the designer accommodates the client’s needs and their knowledge of computers. We can teach just about anyone how to manage a static site with much more ease then WP or other content management systems.

If You Have Been Told That These Are Some of
The Advantages of a Content Management System (You Need to Ask Questions)

  • Content can be changed on the website as frequently as is needed, without having to use a website designer or know HTML code. True, but understand you still must have the knowledge and time to manipulate structure, meta data, and you if you want any type of custom functions, understand how to manipulate or change the code in your themes, the use of plugins and many others. It is not as “easy” as one might thing and we have many clients who start out well, but then inevitably run into problems that requires a Tampa web developer. So either way, taking a DIY approach should be done with caution.
  • Changes can be made immediately due to a much shorter change process. If you have a reliable, affordable Tampa web developer you CAN obtain your changes in the same amount of time with a static or CMS website. This is really a fallacy. Look for a Tampa web design firm who has longevity and fair pricing and who offers web update services “on-the-fly.”
  • Can be cheaper than a static website in the longer term. It is often times more expensive to obtain a CMS site initially and to reiterate, eventually most businesses will require a Tampa web developer to assist with their website updates, code and optimization. Generally speaking, it starts out more costly, and can also end up a more expensive choice in the long run.
  • Easier to budget for ongoing costs than a static website. Again, this is not true. Finding a web designer who provides affordable website updates in Tampa is the key. If you are going to manage the site yourself and have the knowledge it takes, it can be less expensive but it is costing you your time. Most business owners’ time is better spent elsewhere and eventually require the assistance of a web designer in Tampa bay.

    Training is almost always needed depending on the complexity of a content management system.
    Tampa web designWELL WORTH MENTIONING: (A post noted from a web design forum)
    “As someone that’s been programming since 1982, I see the rise of CMS developement as being primarily built on two main factors. One, most “developers” today are lazy, and two, they are largely incompetent. Saying that a static site looks ‘last century’ is a reflection on the designer, not the means of building the site. And I would disagree, anyway. When I look at the sites of designers of real quality, their sites are frequently not built on any CMS – because they don’t have to be. The people behind the quality project are developers of quality. I think the converse is more true. WordPress sites are easy to pick out, because most WP “developers” are nothing more than clerks filling out themes. So the “modern” site looks cookie-cutter in nature. All the same size and shape, with zero imagination behind the design. Not building a site in a CMS doesn’t make it static. It’s not carved into a block of wood. The only difference is the MEANS of changing the content. An HTML site can be more dynamic than one built in WordPress, if the developer so desires. A site built in PHP can have all the pages include fluid content, such as navigation. You add a link to a single PHP page (menu.php), and it’s automatically updated on every page on the site.”If you need more information from a Tampa web design company about static vs. CMS or how to avoid using templates, themes and obtaining an affordable custom website design in Tampa Bay, please visit our website at http://www.websitestampabay.com or call us for additional information. (Source:Mark)

    info tampa small business websitesWhat Most Tampa Small Business Owners Don’t Know

  • Content management systems or dynamic sites or pages use server side scripting languages such as PHP, ASP or ASP.net.
  • Static or custom designed websites can use the same language. A website page can be static HTML, but your action can point to a PHP or similar file.
  • A content management system and custom built website that uses static pages are both suitable for all types and sizes of businesses, and it can be used to drive all types of content, including text, documents, sound, video and much more.
  • Static pages tend to use .htm or .html. However, this is not always the case and a combination of both can be used. Because we are Tampa web developers who understand the importance of being found on the search engines, we believe that not only do dynamic pages make external indexing more difficult, internal indexing and searching can also be negatively effected.For detailed information on what type of website design might be best for your business, contact our Tampa web design firm at (813) 778-9548 or visit our website at http://www.websitestampabay.com.

Given all of this information, we believe that the client is always right. So we provide options and flexibility when it comes to our services. If our clients wish to use WordPress or another CMS platform, we believe in helping them make informed decisions and then we work with them to tailor their themes to create and maintain a brand for their business.

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