How to Decide Between CMS and Hand Coding for Your Website

Every type of business has an online presence nowadays. Businesses need to have this presence as most of the leads are now generated from online platforms. So, having an informative and goal-oriented website is a must to sell your services or products.

There are a lot of ways to build a website but it can be categorized into 2 popular methods namely “CMS or Content Management System” and “Hand Coding”. Now, which method is suitable for your website? If you are looking for an answer to this question, we have the exact blend of information for you.

Understanding the CMS

A CMS is a system that can be used to handle the production and alteration of content like images, text, etc. on a website. The two main parts of CMS are CMA(Content Management Application) and CDA(Content Delivery Application). CMA is meant for the person owning the website. The individual can simply add, remove, or modify the content through this interface. CDA is responsible for compiling this information and presenting it as a website over the internet.

The main advantage of CMS is that anybody can make a website using the simple interface provided by CMS. The purpose of a CMS is to provide a website to its users with their minimal involvement in the programming and other backend processes. WordPress and Shopify are popular CMS platforms present online. A huge number of websites are built using WordPress CMS as it is free and easy to use.


  • Easy to use – The interface provided in a CMS is easy to use and even a beginner can install CMS to create a fully working and appealing website.
  • Reliable – Unless your website requires something complex, CMS is reliable.
  • No coding required for simple functionalities – Simple functionalities are available for simple websites without any coding. Although, if you know a little coding then options are unending.


  • Websites look similar – As many people use templates in CMS for their website, there are chances of identical-looking websites and a lot of them do look the same.
  • Custom code is needed for complex functionality – A bigger website may require custom code for better functionality and performance.

Understanding Hand Coding

Unlike a CMS, only a single part is responsible for the whole website that is website architecture which is created and maintained by a web developer. A web developer is responsible for both Content Management and Content Delivery on the website.

The main disadvantage of using hand-coding for your website is that the process is quite complex. Only an experienced web developer can make websites using these methods. But a good web developer can make astonishing websites.


  • Unique designs – As every artist has a unique difference, the same is with web developers. They would design unique websites as the design is always written from scratch.
  • Not limited to content – Using hand coding, a web developer can even build a content management system.
  • More functionality – With enough knowledge a developer can add and modify any functionality on a website.
  • Limitless – Developers can play with the programming language and possibilities are infinite.


  • Complex – Hand coding is very difficult for a non-technical person. Only a person with an IT background can build a website with this method.
  • Thorough testing is required – Some developers do self-testing but still, in-depth testing is required to ensure security and performance.
  • Less Portability – A developer can make modifications to the website only through a single dedicated computer.

Types of websites

Before we move on to the conclusion, let us look at some common types of websites and their main purpose.

  1. Blog – A blog website contains text and image data which some times might also extend to videos. No complex structure or feature is needed for it. Although the main focus is on content, the interface should be simple and good looking.
  2. Portfolio – A portfolio related to a non-technical person just contains information about the individual. But a technical person, like a web designer or developer, may want to present his/her skills on the website using specific features or design. The purpose here is to highlight the skills and experience of the individual.
  3. Business – Business websites also just explain about their organization and might not need any complex functionalities. The main goal of most business websites is to prove an online presence.
  4. eCommerce – eCommerce websites involve products and payments, so they need some reliable and secure features. Security and features can only be provided in hand coded websites.
  5. Application or Gaming – Websites related to gaming and animation also require a hand coded approach for both functionality and design. Similarly, websites having web applications are fully dependent on custom written code for their functioning.

How to decide between CMS and Hand Coding

Now that you have read all of the above, it is easy to choose a method for your website. A small website with limited features can be built using a CMS. These may include blogging, forums, portfolio, corporate websites, and any other website related to a small or medium-sized business.

For bigger projects that demand complex functionalities, Hand Coding is always preferable. Many social media, web portal, and educational websites are built through hand-coding using different programming languages. Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox are some of the examples in which the hand coding approach is used for the websites.

One can always choose HTML, CSS, PHP, and Javascript to create excellent looking websites if you want to go with the hand coding. But you need to make sure that the website runs fast and search engines are able to recognize the website. For the latest features and trends in websites technologies like Angular and Bootstrap can be used. The only thing to keep in mind is that these technologies will require experienced developers and will cost more.

At last, it can be said that the most important thing to consider before creating a website for yourself is the purpose of the website. After that, you need to learn about the technologies you think are best for your requirements. This will allow you to decide between a CMS or Hand Coding approach. Another important thing is to make sure that the web developer or web development company you choose should give priority to your requirements and not just sell you some unnecessary technologies.

Webner Solutions is a software development company having experience in Salesforce, Web and Mobile Applications for various industries including but not limited to Education, e-Learning, Insurance, Hospitality, Medical Services, and Transportation.

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