The Benefits of Using a CMS for Your Clients

As a Web Developer (or Web Professional in general), it is my job to give my clients the best recommendation for how to build their site. The two main choices are:

In the Beginning...

In my early days of professional web work, I built sites following the first methodology. It was my job to train the clients how to update their site and give them a primer on HTML. I even had the misfortune of trying to adapt a site to be maintainable with Adobe Contribute. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it's halfway between both the options I listed above. You edit the files in a Dreamweaver-like WYSIWYG window and can set up permissions for who can edit what through Contribute. Nifty idea but I only used it once, at the client's request, and I hope to never use it again.

But I digress...

But the point of this post is to discuss option the second. Feel free to cite anything I say for your clients in convincing them to invest the extra money to get their site running on a CMS. It does take a little extra time (and therefore money up front) to set up a site on a CMS, but the benefits are so worth it. The points I make will apply to most or all CMS's (or should).

SilverStripe is my CMS of choice. I've used many others but I find SilverStripe is great for websites small and large. Installing it is takes me 10 minutes and it's very portable between server environments. Adding and editing pages is so intuitive and it's so simple to create a couple custom page types that require an image or manage a collection of child page entries. And the framework it's built on is so powerful and easily extendable. One prominent member of the SilverStripe community developed a small (joke, I think) web app in under an hour with it (Uncle Cheese for those who know of him).

There are more technical reasons why SilverStripe is my CMS of choice, but this was meant for more laymen, non-tech-savvy types. So help me, I'll never build a static HTML website for a client ever again.