Website dedicated to training courses or conference – what content management system to choose?

When deciding whether to launch a website dedicated to training courses or organizing a conference, you are confronted with the choice of an appropriate content management system (CMS). The first step is basically to answer the question whether to use ready-made and free solutions (eg WordPress, Joomla) or to buy a customized solution?

In case you need a website to host a single event, there is no sense in building it on commercial solutions. Choose a ready-made open-source solution, possibly order the website based on such CMS. You will save time and money.

Commercial CMS

By organizing many different events, training courses or workshops, you can consider buying a commercial CMS to present your training offer in the best possible way. Usually, this involves ordering an IT company to prepare a website managed by their proprietary CMS system. In this case, you have full control over the graphic design and functionality of the site, you can also require the implementation of individual solutions. You can create a unique website, but you have to expect a considerably higher cost both at the stage of website development and its subsequent development.

Don’t be fooled that you will create a website “for years” – the internet is evolving all the time and what was “good” 5 years ago may be useless today. The owners of social networking sites and search engines change the algorithms and ways of information exchange, which means that you often have to adapt the source code to the new requirements. You simply can’t predict the direction in which the world will go, especially the digital one. If you don’t have access to the source code of the site, then after the implementation of the project, any change in functionality usually involves additional payments.

By ordering the creation of an individual website based on a custom CMS, you are associated with an external software provider who doesn’t necessarily know other extremely important aspects of building websites, such as speed of the website or proper preparation of source code in terms of page optimization, which is extremely important in view of the visibility of the site in search results (SEO, Search Engine Optimization). These are very important elements of the puzzle, which is supposed to result in an increased interest in your training offer among targeted group of clients. If you don’t know anything about the construction of websites, you may be disappointed.

Open-source CMS

By opting for the use of open-source CMS, you give up – in a sense – the unlimited possibility of adapting the website management system to your needs, but you can be sure that the system will be updated and adapted to the expectations of network users. You also have the option of expanding functionality of the system with plugins available in the network, often free of charge.

Currently, many IT companies offer the possibility to develop a website based on popular systems, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. This solution is definitely cheaper than buying a commercial CMS license and allows the development of the website software regardless of the contractor. After implementing the site, you can request changes to another company or person or do it yourself. There are many guides available on the internet regarding these systems. Their handling is becoming simpler year by year. This is because the online community involved in the development of open-source software usually tries to implement proven solutions.

There are also many graphic templates in the network, both free and paid, which you can directly apply to your website. Of course, you can modify them to better suit your needs.

An undoubted drawback of open CMS systems is their vulnerability to hacker attacks. Due to the fact that the source code is available to everyone, automated attempts to break into systems are made practically every day. The success of such an attack can result in loss of data, losing access to the backend of the site, sending spam by your system, etc. Any eventuality is a real threat that you have to reckon with. Therefore, the internet community always tries to be one step ahead of hackers, removing errors and software gaps.

In principle, the security problem does not exist in commercial CMS systems for a simple reason – hackers are not interested in niche solutions.

Summary

Sorry, but there is no perfect solution. Commercial CMS systems are more expensive and depend on the selected supplier. Open systems are cheaper, but less flexible. They don’t depend on a specific provider, but are vulnerable to attacks. The decision to choose depends on the scale of your business and development strategy.

In subsequent posts, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two most-used CMS systems in the world – WordPress and Joomla.

 

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