Most websites will need to be modified at some point in the future. Modification of website design and content depends on the type of site you have.
To understand the differences between types of websites it helps to understand the distinction between site design and site content.
Site Design: the choice and arrangement of the colours, graphics, and static text that make up the overall look of the site, usually consistent across all pages of the website
Site Content: the information presented on the site in the form of text and/or images, usually different on each page of the website
There are three basic types of website and each has pros and cons.
1. Standard website – The site design is created by a web designer (like me).
Pros: Any part of the design can be changed by the designer (graphics, colours, text). The designer can add features as required by the client.
Cons: The content of the site can only be added to, deleted, or edited by the site designer.
2. WordPress (CMS) website – The site is based on a theme created by a theme designer (themes interact with WordPress website publishing software installed on an internet server to produce the website that you see).
Pros: You can log in and edit the content of the site. The site’s design and its content are seamlessly integrated in the theme. Also, there are some great themes that integrate eCommerce capability for online sales.
Cons: The design (graphics, colours, design text) and layout (placement of page elements) of the site are determined by the theme and modifications are limited. Features and functionality of the site are also largely determined by the theme. However, there are hundreds of plugins that can be used to add features and functions not built into the theme. You, or someone in your organization, will need to learn how to use the WordPress system in order to edit the site’s content.
3. Combo website – This is a standard website with a frame (containing editable content via WordPress technology) embedded in one or more pages (This option is a combination of options 1 and 2).
Pros: The designer can modify the design (graphics, colours, static text) of the part of the site that surrounds the editable content frame. The designer can add features to the site as required. You can log in and edit the site’s content (add, delete, and edit pages, posts, image galleries, content images and text).
Cons: There are two scroll bars (one for scrolling the editable content in the frame and one for scrolling the web page within the browser window). You, or someone in your organization, will need to learn how to use the WordPress system in order to edit the site’s content.
Some factors to consider when deciding what type of site best suits your needs:
- the frequency with which modifications are likely to be needed
- the time involved in learning how to make your own content modifications
- the time involved in actually making changes to the content of your site
- the cost/convenience of having someone else modify your website’s content for you