[thelist] can someone build a 100-page website with only HTML/CSS skill?

Erika ekm at seastorm.com
Mon Nov 10 22:39:01 CST 2008

Zhang Weiwu wrote:
> How do you think? Should we start with CMS or with plain old HTML? I am
> thinking the place for HTML-based website nowadays are those websites:
>    1. do not update frequently (thus the HTML-skilled ones can do the
>       updates);
>    2. mid-to-small size. But how big is "mid"? Is a 100-page website
>       "mid-size" or "big-size"? 

I agree with your assessment of when to use HTML.  I would call a 
100-page website "mid-sized."

I don't understand whether you are building a site, or redesigning an 
existing site.  Your "management requirements" suggest it's a redesign, 
and item #3 (renaming/moving files without breaking links) is not 
something I've had much experience with.

CMS makes content management easier, but as you note, it is going to 
require maintenance.  Creating CMS templates is not quite as 
straightforward as splitting an HTML template into server side includes.

One thing I have found difficult is to understand and communicate the 
difference a CMS makes in maintenance, to clients.  If you are managing 
a CMS-driven website, your costs need to reflect the time and effort you 
spend maintaining the CMS software, not to mention training people to 
use the CMS.

On the other hand, if it is you or your girlfriend who will be doing all 
the site updates, I think 100 pages can be managed reasonably well with 
HTML, CSS and server side includes, especially if your directories are 
well-structured.  I built and managed a 50+ page site, without includes. 
The only thing that was difficult about it was maintaining the menus 
(and includes would have solved that).


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