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Static Html vs Dynamic Pages

Introduction

With the popularity of mobile devices such as Tablets and Smartphones, the business landscape has changed. More and more people are using their smartphones to search and view websites. With this shifting trend, the development side of building websites has also got to make the shift. As the owner of Pixelink Media, we are writing this article to explain why we have chosen to shift away from the large (and sometimes slow-loading) Content Management System (CMS) such as Wordpress, and to stick with the static html/php flat-file technology.


Pros & Cons of WordPress

We have always preferred using static html over Wordpress. However, back a few years ago, Wordpress was all the rage and a few clients wanted us to use that platform; so we offered it. However, since Smartphones became the new medium for websites, we have noticed some troubling trends with Wordpress. Below, we are going to explain what we have found.

PROS
Wordpress (i.e. WP) is not necessarily a bad platform if it is ONLY used under certain conditions. WP is best as a content platform that is geared towards heavy users of content, such as bloggers, news sites and other large scale content sites. WP is best used by people who are running just one site, on one web host server, and who can tend to the constant maintenance and upgrades. It's not recommended on shared hosting accounts with weak security. WP is best for companies that are constantly updating their content on a weekly, hourly and daily basis.

CONS
Wordpress is an open source project that has many plugins made by anybody and everybody. Some of these “plugin developers” do not code properly and that can leave “holes” in the code for hackers to exploit… and that brings us to the main reason we dis-like Wordpress for clients.

Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal are some of the most heavily targeted web platforms by hackers because of their popularity. These hackers are relentless in trying to crash and destroy a WordPress site. We have taken all the security measures, kept WP updated, and yet we have seen some WP sites completely disabled and taken down. That leaves us scrambling to get the site back up quickly.

Even another downside to WordPress, is the contant upgrades to the core platform and plugins. The core upgrades are mostly for security holes. And everytime Wordpress has a major version update, it usually always effects 3rd party plugins, which can break the site. By far, the most frustrating thing with a Wordpress site is worrying whether an update will crash the site or a hacker takes it down.

What About Databases?
We have nothing against databases; they are needed in some cases. A MySQL or SQLite database can be used if the code is simple and can quickly access the data. But, a basic 5 page website doesn't need a "WordPress" environment with a databse and 50+ code files to run.


What Is A Static Flat-file Website?

As stated earlier, we have always preferred, and have been developing websites with mostly static flat-file HTML or PHP code technology. A flat-file is a text file that is located on the web server. They are usually *.html, *.php, *.js (javascript) and *.txt files. These files typically contain a client’s web content already saved in the file.

So, when a person visits the “aboutus.html” page, it only has to load the content of that file unto the screen. It doesn’t have to fetch the content from a database and 50+ code files (i.e. WordPress); which means, much faster loading pages and it's also great for smartphone users, as long as there are not too many large images on the page.


Where Is The CMS Trending?

Since web development needs to shift to simpler, easier to navigate, and faster loading pages for Smartphone users, the clear choice for serving up web pages are flat-file websites made with just html/php or a flat-file CMS platform. There are over 50+ flat-file CMS's available online; and they are gaining momentum to replace complex CMS's... all because of Smartphone popularity!

So, what is a flat-file CMS Platform?
A CMS flat-file platform is a content management system using just html, php, txt, and other text-based files. The files can be manually edited, then uploaded. Or, it can be saved to text files using a backend admin system. Flat-file websites typically do not need a database because all the content is saved in the actual text files.


What Is Pixelink Media Doing For CMS?

In an effort to make our websites simple, fast and easy to navigate, we are developing using only HTML and PHP. We hand code all the content for our clients. This assures that the content and look of the site is consistent. Plus, we take the load off our clients by handling the website for them. Most of our clients love this aspect of our services.

As far as a CMS system, we are trying out various 3rd party flat-file CMS’s for those who insist on editing every aspect of their site. There are a lot to try out, but in the meantime, we still prefer the old fashioned, secure and fast web pages made with plain old html and php!


Our Clients Deserve Better

In an effort to provide clients with good service, sometimes we have to make decisions even though it seems to be against the trend of today. But, what client wants to hear that their website is broken from an upgrade or even hacked? Not only do they want to feel secure in their site being up 24/7, they want to know that we have their best interest in mind.

In discontinuing WordPress (and the other big players in cms), we feel it is best to think about what is really trending and what is the best and most affordable way to provide that. Wordpress may of been okay back several years ago when Desktop PC's was all there was... but with Smartphones becoming more-and-more popular, we feel the simplest, lighter-loading and easiest technology for our clients website is still plain old fashion html/php!!

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