- free articles on the Information Age and its wider implications

Building a Web site: CMS, Framework or DIY

Not so long ago, when the Web was in its infancy, creating a new site involved opening a text editor and writing raw HTML. A major improvement came in the form of “WYSIWYG” (what you see is what you get) editors such as Dreamweaver that allowed non-geeks to get their voice heard in cyberspace.

Fast forward two decades or so and aspiring site owners face a number of options, ie:

  1. Adopt a Content Management System (CMS) such as Wordpress or Drupal
  2. Adapt a framework such as Bootstrap, Skeleton or Foundation
  3. Take the original route of designing from scratch

This article describes the features, pros and cons of each route, helping you to make the best choice for your particular project.

Content Management System

A CMS stores Web content in a database and combines it with a pre-defined template when delivered to a requesting browser.




  1. Customizations should be made to “child” themes otherwise they will be overwritten when a new version of base code is installed.


These provide an HTML template conforming to best practice such as HTML5 standards, responsive design, older browser support etc. This template can be customized according to project requirements. In addition to the general pros and cons listed below be sure to read framework specific reviews to determine suitability for a specific project.




The original approach, developing a solution with raw HTML, CSS etc to meet the project requirements exactly.



Which Solution is Best for my Site?

All the above methods have their place in the modern Web. To find the best solution for your project, review the pros and cons above weighing them against your requirements. Typically consider:

Happy development!

© 2013