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  1. #1
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    CMS Sites vs. Your Own Site
    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you in advance for considering my inquiry....

    I would like to know, in the eyes of visitors/customers to your site, who are selective, particular and maybe even finicky, whether having your site posted via CMS, would be in any way detrimental to your credibility, as opposed to having your own 'built from scratch' site?

    In order words, if you really wanted to impress upon people, that you are an authority, extremely professional, reputable and 'complete' in every sense, that people would be more trusting of you and would be more inclined to choose you over a CMS site, since you made the effort to build and configure your own site,(kind of a 'you know what you're doing' scenario), rather than people who took the short-cut (for the lack of a better term), so to speak, and went with WordPress or Joomla, for example?

    ....OR, as long as whatever 'type' of site it is, as long as it still contains good value and substantial content, that the format you use remains irrelevant?

    (I would imagine that there are tons of people who have had very good success with CMS of which I certainly respect, but I hope you know what I'm trying to say - just in a general sense that is.......).

    Thanks again very much for taking the time to read my post.

    Mark

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    If you had a site made from scratch, what if someone finds out that you used a webdesigner or a template. Do you think people will feel "less" of your site?

    I myself like to design my sites from scratch but it is time consuming having to deal with various browsers idiostupidities but to me it's the creative process I enjoy. I would never use templates myself but for my blogs I use WP.

    The average consumer does not know the difference and as long as the site looks professionally done and converting then it speaks for it self. I have seen sites that are made from scratch that look bad so that doesn't leave a good impression either. If your average visitor is a webdesigner.... then I think your site will come under more scrutiny...

    I think the bottom line is, if the site looks good in the end and is easy to navigate, then the job is done. (Well not counting SEO, etc.)

  3. #3
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    If you do a CMS site right, your visitors will never know the difference.
    Kevin Webster
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  4. #4
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    Dear Ladidah,

    Thanks for your reply and I love the term - idiostupidities!! Too funny

    Well you raise some good points, for example regarding the average consumer may not really pay too much attention to any difference in the type of site, as opposed to a web designer.

    I guess I'm like you where I would get more satisfaction with being involved in the creative process, however, being creative, yet time-consumption and lack of technical skills (the latter for me) vs. using templates and lessening the time factor, is what's on my mind.

    I would much prefer to do my own site right off the bat, but what's more practical and cost effective, since web design is not my forte, especially with the web changing so rapidly, that if I took the time to build my own site, by the time I'm finished, they would be on to Web 5.0 and reality shows would be on 'T.V.Land'

    Thanks for sharing...a few sleepless night still ahead I'm sure.

  5. #5
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffilMarx
    ... CMS, would be in any way detrimental to your credibility, as opposed to having your own 'built from scratch' site?
    Why do you think it would?

    Quote Originally Posted by AffilMarx
    In order words, if you really wanted to impress upon people, that you are an authority, extremely professional, reputable and 'complete' in every sense, that people would be more trusting of you and would be more inclined to choose you over a CMS site, since you made the effort to build and configure your own site,(kind of a 'you know what you're doing' scenario), rather than people who took the short-cut (for the lack of a better term), so to speak, and went with WordPress or Joomla, for example?
    CMS applications are tools just as HTML and PHP. I don't think I'm taking a short cut by using the tools that are out there. Why should I make a campfire when I can use the stove? Why should I reinvent the wheel?
    In any case, if you don't know what you're doing both the from scratch sites and the CMS sites will look bad.
    It isn't as if by installing Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. my new site is magically built and professional. It also doesn't mean that if I write my HTML and PHP pages by hand that they will magically have a consistent attractive appearance.

    I'd have to say that if I consider the sites posted in the site-review forum, the most unprofessional ones were those made from scratch although if the same people were to use a CMS, I doubt they'd do anything more than use the default template.

  6. #6
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    Yes points well taken....I would never intend to imply that if a person built their own site, that it is automatically deemed 'professional', as I also, have seen some pretty sad looking sites built from scratch.

    However, I guess I'm trying to find that middle ground, because as we all know, we have our strengths and weaknesses. If I may dare say, my strengths lie in the creative process, I'm comfortable with article writing, decent at finding different 'angles', rather than going mainstream with research and ideas and have an art background. Therefore, I'm just chomping at the bit to be able and put that on the computer screen.

    Unfortunately, the technical process of web building, I personally find really daunting. I realize and it would be foolish to think, that I can totally rely on somebody else or something else, to deal with HTML, PHP, CSS, Java etc, as it's only to my advantage and benefit to learn as much as possible myself, unless I could afford my own personal designer at my beckon call - but in the real world - the latter ain't gonna happen.

  7. #7
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    If it's unique, it doesn't matter what you use.

    Also depends what you're trying to promote as your "expertise".

    Most potential clients will not know the difference if you build your own site using a CMS, but, as an example, if you were promoting your own abilities at web design/development, you would want to have more than just a library of CMS-sites in your portfolio.

  8. #8
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    Dear Teezone,

    Thanks very much for your reply and input - I really appreciate it!

    Mark

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're off on a tangent. The danger of these is that you can easily spend too much time on them and never get your site off the ground.

    So long as you have the basics of design and seo in place, the content will be what will makes your site popular. Remember.... unless your site is directed at webmasters, no one is likely to give a rat's a$$ how you built it.
    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
    ~Lynn Hall

  10. #10
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    Well, one of the underlying reasons for my inquiry, is that in fact, I was actually leaning towards CMS, due to the time factor and the learning curve being not quite as steep, but was just wondering if I'd be shortchanging myself by doing so.

    I've got everything in place, all the ducks lined up and I'm itchin' to go forward (methodically, not hastily of course), but just wanted some opinions on how and if, people/customers do even bother differentiating between the two?

    I'd be curious to know the ratio of seasoned marketers out there, who only use CMS as opposed to the ones who market solely through their own sites - maybe a good percentage utilize both?

  11. #11
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    I just would like to say, that I really appreciate all the replies, insight and perspectives you all have provided - I'm very thankful indeed!

  12. #12
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    leaning towards CMS, due to the time factor and the learning curve being not quite as steep
    Biggest pro right there...

    I have both.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record every time the CMS vs from-scratch debate arises.. my "jewel in crown" is a 100% original, from-scratch, site. It's consistently ranked near the top for natural SERP, and was surprisingly accepted into some exclusive programs (because of the uniqueness). Is this for everyone? Absolutely not. I have my own style of web design/deployment which I combine with original content.

    The non-scratch sites (if I can call them that) fare quite well, and have been much faster to launch.

    I'm a little surprised how down some folks are on the original sites these days. With all the discussions of copycat models going on (coupon sites that steal from others, comes to mind), I think there's nothing wrong with implementing your own vision that didn't start with an out-of-the-box product. Same goes for html templates, btw, this isn't specific to CMS apps.

    You can always port that original design/layout to a more efficient update mechanism like a CMS, which I have done. It's tougher to implement originality if you start with a CMS (import disclaimer: IF you are unfamiliar with html/php!).

    Going back to your original comments, however, it's good to get a site up & running sooner rather than later, and you can expand your knowledge over time. Having a "live" site is a real motivator, so CMS may be your answer.

  13. #13
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffilMarx

    I'd be curious to know the ratio of seasoned marketers out there, who only use CMS as opposed to the ones who market solely through their own sites - maybe a good percentage utilize both?
    The last time I checked, my sites are my own regardless of whether or not I used a CMS somewhere on it.

    Instead of worrying about what percent of marketers use CMS or multiple CMS on some or all of their sites, why not take into consideration all your available options and see how they do or don't meet your needs on a per site basis?

    We are only limited by our skills and creativity.

    This reminds me of the blog vs site thread. Making a website isn't a use this CMS or HTML or write your own PHP. You can mix and match and make what you want according to your needs. All it takes is some planning and imagination.

  14. #14
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffilMarx
    I would like to know, in the eyes of visitors/customers to your site, who are selective, particular and maybe even finicky, whether having your site posted via CMS, would be in any way detrimental to your credibility, as opposed to having your own 'built from scratch' site?
    As others have said, I would like to think that visitors to my site are more interested in the content then the particular technology that created it. I agree that there are the technowienie's out there that are looking for the latest, greatest, slickest technology available and when they start spending money as opposed to surfing for tech then perhaps I'll start building sites for them. Until then, my typical visitor appears to be looking for useful information that will help them in their decision process. Technology isn't the answer for them. Knowledge is.

    Quote Originally Posted by AffilMarx
    In order words, if you really wanted to impress upon people, that you are an authority, extremely professional, reputable and 'complete' in every sense, that people would be more trusting of you and would be more inclined to choose you over a CMS site, since you made the effort to build and configure your own site,(kind of a 'you know what you're doing' scenario), rather than people who took the short-cut (for the lack of a better term), so to speak, and went with WordPress or Joomla, for example?
    Oh, my God. I won't answer most of this question. But if I wanted to convince them that I am complete I'll include a nude picture on the home page. For the rest of the question, see my previous response.

    Quote Originally Posted by AffilMarx
    I'd be curious to know the ratio of seasoned marketers out there, who only use CMS as opposed to the ones who market solely through their own sites - maybe a good percentage utilize both?
    My first thought in reading your question was that you only buy your shoes from a cobbler, your food directly from the farm and Henry Ford lives in your attic. Of course we all use the tools that are available to make the job easier. I think a couple of other posters have already pointed out that regardless of the tool that you use the sites you create our still your sites. And the point is that Joomla, Frontpage, WordPress etc. are all tools. You could probably successfully drive a nail with a wrench, however you may find that a hammer does the job more effectively and efficiently. That's also the same way you would choose a tool to build your web site. Joomla, WordPress and other CMS' aren't templates. They are structured tools that allow you to take advantage of certain technologies that are inherent in their design. But they are basically no different then building a web page any other way. You need to have some knowledge of what you are doing and what you want to accomplish in order to build an attractive reliable site. Without the appropriate knowledge they will only help you screw it up faster.

    I have a few Joomla sites as well as several sites create with Frontpage and other HTML tools, and frankly the most difficult and most time consuming were the Joomla sites. Am I doing things with the Joomla sites that would be difficult using the other tools? Absolutely, that's why I chose Joomla for those particular sites.

    Just like the wrench and the hammer, each tool offers different advantages. I would suggest starting out with a simpler platform than Joomla because I think you are confused about what you really want to accomplish. Design your site using an HTML tool and you'll be up and running much faster. Once you're up and running try to figure out what else you could add that would be of VALUE to your visitors. Once you figure that out try ti get an idea of the best way to implement those features.

    Start out simple and increase the complexity of the technology you use as you increase your knowledge and find real needs for that technology. Some of my favorite sites are very simple and use very little technology to engage their visitors. But then I'm typically more interested in the performance than the stage.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  15. #15
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    Dear Teezone,

    I'm very grateful your response and sharing your own experiences regarding this issue. I typically would rather be the tortoise than the hare and execute methodically, rather than haphazardly. However there have been times recently, that I feel I really must get cracking with implementing everything I've finally now written, researched and developed in the 'pre-stages' if you will.

    As mentioned before, if I do this from the ground up, by the time I'm completed,my niche might even be over saturated and all my work up till now, may have possibly been done in vain, hence my eagerness to get up and running. Like you said, go for the CMS to get launched and learn as you go, then gradually make that transition to my own site, as that's what I really want, so I can take advantage of the creativity that I believe I possess.

    Thanks again very much for your reply!

  16. #16
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    To Rematt,

    Thanks for your answer, metaphors and all So could you possibly suggest a user friendly html 'tool' to help get myself going?

    Everything else conceivable, regarding this whole internet marketing, all the elements, all the strategies, all the factors and every possibly variable that it pertains to - 'I get'.

    It's just transposing it onto a site with all the technical stuff that's got me hung up. Therefore, even a slight nudge in the right direction regarding what are some user friendly tools regarding html, would be of great help!

  17. #17
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    just to add a little extra if I may......adding 'Value' and creating 'Quality Content' and providing my visitors with something they can take away and have them feel they've gained a thing or two from what my site contained - I understand all of this and have no problems, nor issues with this aspect of the process.

    I guess 'my' metaphor would be, that I've researched, acquired, assembled and developed all the best parts I possibly could, in order to create my turbo-engine. I've spent time researching what are the best pieces of hardware, pistons,plugs, wiring, nuts and bolts, coils, etc, etc, etc. and now I need some assistance with knowing how to place this engine back into the car, then connecting it all up correctly, for the car to run smoothly and efficiently - silly metaphor??...maybe, but I'm sure you know what I'm to get at....

  18. #18
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    **typo on the last sentence...

    I meant to say - I'm sure you know what I'm getting at...

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    CMSs are a boon for unskilled website creators and give them the ability to build sites without having to learn programming. Unless you have a compelling reason for learning how to program a quality site from scratch, utilize a CMS. I believe a skilled and talented website developer will create a more appealing site but CMSs do level the playing field some. The biggest problem is that many (most?) people just simply lack any semblance of creativity. Consequently the resulting site will be visually disastrous regardless of the vehicle used.

    Enter... templates. Templates level the other playing field, that of creativity including layout and imagery. Using templates a talentless website creator is able to complete a quite appealing site. Sure the site may look somewhat cookie cutter in design but the casual visitor will probably not give a hoot if the content draws them in.

    I've been a professional developer since '95 and have always used MS Visual Studio which is a suite of tools utilizing several different languages. There are templates available but I've never used them. A number of clients have arrived at my doorstep over the years with sites they created using various high level tools. They paid me to customize their sites. In every case it was difficult from a development standpoint and was expensive for the client. So out of the necessity of a non-programmer having to work within the parameters of a CMS application, they will have to settle and compromise on some aspects of the project. This is my biggest complaint about any software that limits my use of creativity.



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  20. #20
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    So I am sure you figured out what you are going to do by now. The problem I found with a made from scratch site and not being a programmer (I own an online boutique and pay someone) is that was the internet updates and changes. All thos changes and updates means that is more time that you have to fix bugs. If you use a pre packaged, they fix the bugs and you can apply the patches, etc.
    I don't remember what kind of site you are doing. It may be less complicated than a store with inventory and images and a bunch of other details. So making it yourself and fixing it may not be as bad.
    good luck.

    Life is short. Wear pretty underwear.

  21. #21
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    Oh yeah, you were worried about the look and feel of your site. You can simulate a fabulous look and feel either way you go. If you are not good at design then you should consult a "talented" graphic designer who understands design. Not just knows how to use the software. Have he or she come up with different color stories and layouts. It does make a difference, especially if you are selling something pricey.

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    CMS sites such as Mambo/Joomla, Droopal, etc are prone to hacker injections. If you decide to use these, ensure that your running the latest versions, and employ all necessary security measures.

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