Static HTML vs Content Management System (CMS)

30 January 2020

Web design and development picture

A static HTML website is simple documents stored in a file system and made available to the web server. As the name denotes, "static" pages do not change unless the source code is changed.

HTML is a programming language used to generate documents to be displayed on a webpage. Static HTML pages are easy to code and made available on the web. In the early days of the internet, most websites were static.

A content management system (CMS) is a software application that helps to create, manage and modify digital content. CMS applications like WordPress are easy to use web-building tool that can be downloaded and used on web server.

Most of the web pages today are dynamic, they are great for running blogs and websites because of its ease of use and customizable functions. CMS allows users to create, update and host their web pages even with limited technical expertise without hassle. The core features on any CMS-based platform usually include:

  • Indexing, search, and retrieval features index all data for easy access through search functions and allow users to easily find data on the website.
  • Format management facilitates turn scanned paper documents and legacy electronic documents into HTML or PDF documents.
  • Revision features allow content to be updated and edited after the initial publication. Revision control also tracks changes made to files by individuals.
  • Publishing functionality allows individuals to use a template or a group of templates approved by the organization, also as wizards and other tools to make or modify content.

Advantages Of Static HTML

  1. Lower cost

    There are fewer moving parts in a static HTML webpage, ergo, less maintenance and also low cost of running the webpages.

  2. Allow customisation

    Static HTML allows for creating a complex and functional website from scratch. Although a lot of custom coding is required, static HTML allows you to design and create your unique website.

  3. Pages load faster

    Since most static webpages display a piece of singular information, there's no extra processing time to deliver static HTML pages. Also, there is no server-side code to be executed. Consequently, it delivers better performance for web visitors.

Disadvantages Of Static HTML

  1. Difficult to make changes

    Creating more complex static websites or making changes to static HTML is difficult for users with little or no coding knowledge. A web developer always has to be available to add or make changes to the content on a static HTML.

  2. Limited functionality

    A static HTML website in comparison to a CMS webpage offers little special functionalities to customize your websites.

    Thus, if you need certain function, you will required to hire a web developer to build which incurs more cost and time.

Advantages Of Content Management System (CMS)

  1. Easy to install

    Installation is easy for a non-coder or non-technical person. It is easy to get started, creating functional web pages. No technical coding knowledge is required as all tools needed to create a webpage are provided on the system.

  2. Little or no technical coding knowledge is required

    You can change content as frequent as you want without having to worry about learning to code or contacting your web developer. The platform has provide all the tools to add text, images, or videos, as well as to create new pages and subpages.

  3. Tons of templates and plugins

    There are many responsive design templates to choose from to build your CMS website. You can also add third-party plugins to your system easily. Some are even free.

  4. Integrated security

    Most CMS platforms usually integrate robust security.

  5. Easy to access

    As long as you have an Internet connection, you can manage your content from any computer at any location.

Disadvantages Of Content Management System (CMS)

  1. Initial cost is higher

    Building cost is normally higher than a static HTML website.

  2. Requires more resources

    CMS requires more memory and software maintenance due to the amount of processing time needed to load web content.

  3. Not ideal for complex websites

    Web pages with the unique market feature are rarely created with CMS-based platforms, this is because complicated and certain unique functionalities of these websites have to build from scratch.

    CMS doesn't allow full functionality in creating these unique company products and more so, ownership of web content. Examples are websites of big companies like Facebook, Amazon, Ameritrade, etc.


Static sites can be easy to code and can run more quickly than CMS-based platforms since they don't have to use complicated algorithms to decide what data to display or pull in information from multiple databases. On the other hand, they lack the flexibility of CMS-based platforms to deal with a wide variety of user interactions, so they are not suitable for every purpose.

CMS-based platforms are necessary for many features of today's web, from online shopping to social media to media streaming, but users have to sacrifice more processing power and memory on their devices to display complex websites.

The use of both static and CMS-based websites depends on the specific needs and purposes of the websites.

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