Yes, I know I have issues with this. I really dislike websites not built with a content management system.

Why?

  1. Because you’ll always need a webmaster. This was a good job to have a few years ago because you would be the only person who had the keys to website.  You were the gatekeeper. If anyone wanted to change anything including just text, they had to go to you, the person with the knowledge of how the website was built. That is unacceptable in my book and for this day and age.
  2. Because you don’t know how people will be visiting your website. Mobile traffic is up everywhere. Do you really understand all the different browsers and how your website will look in them? It’s not worth your time to adjust, adjust and re-adjust just to get two pictures to line up on your website while looking through Firefox, Google, Safari and the dreaded Microsoft Internet Explorer.  Whoops, I forgot all the mobile browsers.  Better check those, too.
  3. Because you should be spending time on your content. You are a content producer (you write paragraphs, produce graphs, answer questions, maybe make a video. Stop worrying about how to deliver it to the internet. With a content management system, you can easily add all these things without fighting how to code it.
  4. Because the future website owner will love you for it. There are hundreds of websites on nd.edu that are dead. Just plain dead. Why? Because someone forgot the username or password. Now no one can get into the website and update it. If you use a content management system especially conductor, there will always be someone who can get in and get you access. It’s as simple as adding your netid.

I don’t mind if people use other content management systems at Notre Dame. We have our Conductor Content Management System and it has over 300 websites in it.  We have over a 70% satisfaction rate from our users, which is in the top five for content management systems at other universities. We’re not losing business and our CMS will not be going away any time soon.

It’s fairly inexpensive to get one – you can get a basic site for only $300. Now that may seem like a lot of money but if you go out and try to make one yourself (teach yourself how to code html, figure out the Adobe Contribute system, and get it all uploaded) I’ll bet you spend a heck of a lot of time doing that instead of just entering the content.

But even if that is too expensive, we have a free alternative with our blogging system powered by WordPress. You can get a blog (change it to a static site if you don’t want the blog) in a couple of days by using our blogs.nd.edu.

If you are student group, you can also build within imodules over at alumni.nd.edu.  They can hook you up with a free website and you can build there.  There’s also Google Sites.

But please stop building websites using straight HTML code especially if you want the website to last longer than one year.  Webmasters move on and you don’t want to be stuck with a dead website.