Creating a website with a content management system
Content management systems (CMS) are a bit more complicated. Even though they essentially work the same way as a website builder, they are far more difficult to use.
With a website builder, not only can you add simple content like texts and images, but you can also design an entire website. A classic content management system would be much more limited in this case, and as far as appearance goes, you’re limited to the templates available.
While there are plenty of systems like Joomla!, Drupal and Typo3, we’ll focus on the most popular CMS, which is WordPress. Thanks to hosting companies that offer a one-click install, it’s not difficult to set up.
Recommendable ones are Dreamhost (extremely affordable), Siteground (a bit more expensive but super powerful) and Bluehost (popular choice with 24/7 support).
Learn more about the other cheap WordPress hosting companies we recommend.
You can also install a WordPress theme easily and adjust it with the design options. But: if there is something you don’t like, you’ll often have to modify the CSS or HTML (you or a programmer).
The hosting, domain, email address, installation and level of support you choose will depend on how much you want to spend and your technical knowledge. It can be quite cheap if you do it yourself. Take a look at our pricing guide for typical website projects here.
Of course, that may not always be the ideal solution, especially when you’re busy running a business. In this case, you can also try to hire a web designer who can help you set up a WordPress website, for example.
An enormous advantage, especially for WordPress, is that you have thousands of plugins that let you add special features to your website that are not initially included. A typical example would be WooCommerce, a plugin that adds a complete online store.
By default, WordPress is designed to be in a single language, but there are plugins, like WPML, that let you translate the page. Another of my favorites is the Yoast SEO plugin, which lets you change the search engine settings (e.g. to rank higher on Google).
- You can choose the hosting company.
- Great for multi-language websites.
- Technical flexibility: you can access the whole source code (if you know what you’re doing).
- You can get more features with plugins.
- You can optimize your page loading speed
- No direct personal technical support (only limited support from your web host)
- Creative freedom depends on the template.
- It can have additional costs for the plugins.
- You may need a programmer even to make small aesthetic changes.
Other examples of content management systems are Joomla! And Drupal, but they are far more complicated to use than WordPress, so we won’t get into that. You’ll find more information on WordPress in our WordPress beginners guide.