Web design and CMS Systems

Written by Matthew Sullivan on 6th December, 2016

It’s never easy for businesses to know what the best approach is when undertaking a new web design project; there are many different routes to go down and also a wide number of different CMS options available. It can be pretty confusing if you're not used to it, but don't worry, web designers are here to help you...

In this article I will shed some light on a variety of web design approaches and Content Management Systems (CMS) I offer to my clients to hopefully give you a greater understanding before starting your website project.

Web design & CMS Options

Web designers should provide a wider service than just the designing of the website, consider us also as project managers. My clients rely on me to help guide them through the whole process and provide the expertise needed so that the site and the underlying technology works perfectly. We're not just here to make the website look good - but to provide the know-how needed to help make it an easy and enjoyable process for our clients.

I'm going to say something pretty crazy now... "yes, on the web you can find someone to build you a really cheap website" (gasp!)

But it’s worth considering that it won’t necessarily perform to a high standard and it certainly will not be tailored to your business. Doing it cheaply now could end up costing you far more money in a few years time.

What is a CMS?

Let me run you through a few different options I offer to my clients:

Custom Built Websites

For the majority of my clients I recommend that we create a custom built website. Yes, generally they are more expensive, but when you consider the benefits it really is worth that little bit more investment. After all first impressions are everything!

Think for a moment about the importance of your website to your business...

It plays a huge role in attracting new customers, retaining their business and providing key information. As your brand ambassador, your website is available to customers 24/7, 365 days a year - think of it like a full-time staff member - providing the support customers need and showing everyone just how good you are!

A custom built site will work far better for your brand - it provides a great first impression, it's completely unique, performs to a higher standard and ultimately makes your life easier in the long run.

Craft CMS

In my opinion ‘Craft’ is the best CMS I have worked with, the ease in which a ‘newbie’ can use this system is unparalleled compared to others. It has a clear and simplistic interface which makes it ideal for customers to looking to regularly update content.

Expression Engine

Expression Engine is a CMS with far more advanced features, which makes it great, for example, for E-Commerce sites. Whilst the interface isn’t quite as streamlined and focused on usability as Craft, it is far superior in functionality.


Wordpress is a great option and probably the most widely used CMS in the world. It can provide a more affordable route to go down if your working on a modest budget and it’s also built with the end users in mind, providing a clean and simple interface.

Craft Wordpress and Expression Engine Pros and Cons

Wordpress Template Builds

Looking for a website on a modest budget? Are you a start up which just needs a presence on the web?

Then a website build from a template might be the right choice for you. This is becoming more and more common place for a large percentage of businesses nowadays and there is a good chance you have visited thousands of these type of sites without ever being aware. Is it a bad thing - no, not at all, in fact it is a great resource which many businesses look at.

The beauty of this type of approach is costs can remain largely lower than a custom build. However, it is also important to know that this type of site will not perform to the heights of a custom build.

How do Wordpress websites work?

To summarise, there is no 'right way' to approach a website job, the beauty of the way web design works is it provides many different options to choose from - it really does depend on the nature of your business, your budget, requirements and future use.

There are benefits connected to each approach and web designers are there to guide you down the right approach and use our expertise to help make things as easy as possible for our clients, ensuring that both the visual design looks fantastic and that the technology and functionality works to a high standard.

Available for web design projects, please get in touch on 07967346885 or email hello@maestromade.co.uk