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Comparing static webpages with phpWebSite
updated by rck, 2007-01-07

A lot of people are confronted with a tough decission: Should I go for static pages or should I rather take a CMS for my web content needs? While the comparison between a static web page and a CMS might seem a little bit unfair to the pros, it is still reality and something worth reviewing.

The following article tries to shine a little light on the possibilities of phpWebSite, compared with static solutions that can cope without databases and even without php.
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At a glance

Ben Best
Static Pages are old-skool technology that should be put in a museum. Even free services like MySpace provide you with a lot of interactivity which Static Pages lack completely. Workarounds like Frames or external commenting system / guestbooks / free forums make a mess out of your home page.

While at the first glance they might be cheaper, you pay for the saved fees with your time. You'll spend more time maintaining a static page than a dynamic, database driven one. Except of course your home page is only made out of one page -- but then, why have a home page at all?


Passionate Eater
Passionate Eater
Blogs are your "entry drug" to database driven home pages. They take care of navigation, of menus and it is possible to change the design very quickly. There are quite some providers of free Blogs out there, Blogger would probably be considered the most famous.

Often, Blogs are limited to single-user use. While you can of course share a single account amongst more people, a Blog does not scale for club use. Also, if using a free online service, you are bound to the existing infrastructure and cannot add stuff easily.

Content Management Systems

Amarillo College
While there are very expensive, enterprise level Content Management Systems, you can also find a lot of free open source Content Management Systems readily available at your disposal. Most of them not only carry a broad range of Content Modules, but also spot a variety of free Designs ("Themes").

Personally, I use phpWebSite. It has a good balance between extensibility, customizeability and ease of use. As it is maintained by the Appalachian State University, it's also likely to be supported in future. There's also a broad user base already which can help you out if you have questions.
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