In these days we have a lot of options for building websites. I get asked often if I can make a website for someone, but usually all they want to pay next to nothing and expect me to draw out the design and help place all the content. I’m a programmer!

Luckily there is a a well-known solution for this: Content Management Systems (CMS). For anyone not familiar with the term: this enables you to create your own website very easy, with needing only very little help from a programmer or sometimes none at all. Of course customizing can be a bit tricky.

Here’s some CMS systems I have used and can be recommended in certain situations:

  1. Google Sites: This is a good place to start. You can even login with an already existing googlemail (or gmail) account. Google makes it’s applications pretty user-friendly and within a few minutes you can have the beginnings of your very own site.
  2. Drupal: This is a bit more technical although they have already made it a lot easier than it used to be. Put this on your web-server and follow the installation steps. Drupal is mainly made for user-communities and can easily include forums and other community-style widgets. It also supports the making of more advanced web-sites with the many additional widgets you can download.
  3. WordPress: My favorite CMS which I also use for this site. Of course WordPress is made as a blogging tool and is best suited for this purpose. But it is also very handy for any website that has regular content updates such as news items. And adding/upgrading content and expanding your site is what the internet should be all about, and also helps you get higher in the Google rankings.

Of course there’s other options, even payed ones that are pretty good, that I haven’t talked about. And a CMS system can only do so much for you. If you really need a custom project that needs to do something specific I’d recommend to use Symfony, but if you’re going to use that you need to be a pretty well-versed programmer that knows about Object-Oriented Programming and best practices.

If you need me to set-up your CMS system or want to make a custom site with the use of Symfony and need help: contact me.