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Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis 2: CMS 101

What are some of the Pros and Cons of using a Content Management System (CMS)?

A content management system, otherwise known as “CMS” can be a powerful tool for designers, if utilized correctly. In their article, “Which Content Management System Should I Choose? Comparison of 5 Popular CMSs”, the Polcode Developers Team describes CMSs as “highly functional” and emphasize their easy use for those with no programming backgrounds (Polcode.com). This is really appealing to beginners as they can dive right into designing without having to learn code. However, the more complex and customizable a website, the more likely developer experience will be required.

Simpler software such as Squarespace and Wix are marketed as easy to use for everyday folks, but can be limited in their customizability. In the article, “Your WYSIWYG Editor sucks”, the author argues that such sites prioritize aesthetics over content — so much so that content can end up tied down to the site’s current design and cannot be easily accessed by content administrators (Andrew). This becomes a big issue when less experienced users get caught up in themes rather than focus on how functional or user friendly their site can be.

CMSs are a bit of a give and take, and users should be aware of exactly what the “give” portion is. In his article, “WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s the difference?”, Marko Saric gives a rundown of both softwares. He describes WordPress.com as “all-inclusive so you don’t need to worry about a hosting server, software updates or security maintenance” but argues that there is limitation on fundamental features such as editing HTML, PHP code, theme content, and the lack of FTP access (Saric).