A website could be an organisation's main information portal - where they can publish material about themselves, their work and projects and articles or reports that they have produced. It can also take the simpler form of a standalone blog where content is shared with their intended audience, or may be represented as a forum or wiki where user generated content is published and shared.
An organisation usually depends entirely on their main website as their presence on the Internet and expects it to function at all times.
There are numerous well developed and 'continually maintained' content mangement systems that you can install and configure from scratch. They differ between their application and intended purpose, the majority however relying on a LAMP or WAMP backend. Each CMS has its own particular requirements for webserver, database server and PHP configurations, as well as security considerations for them.
- Total control of the CMS software, plug-ins, themes and preferred configuration
- Fine-grained access control and modification of CMS features
- A whole software ecosystem to learn with every new CMS
- Responsibility for software updates and malware protection
- Responsibility for data security
- Wordpress.com installation
- CiviCRM is an open source CRm environment intended for civil society use.
- Custom Django app, allows for creation quickly of high content, high functionality websites. Django's security systems re well documented and well integrated. Development of a Django app will require developer time and potentially also some design work.
- Custom Drupal site, again a ready made configurable solution, with a developed sense of security integration - though as with the other solutions security relies on a holistic approach including server side security.
- Dependent on hosting package, support and updates will be handled by provider reducing need for tech knowledge
- Straightforward and fast to setup
- Greater usability for low tech users
- Potential lower cost
- Subject to terms and conditions of provider - controversial information or information that draws large scale attacks such as DDoS may cause provider to rescind service.
- No control of hardware systems
- Reliant on provider for software security updates to be applied
- Limited control of jurisdiction or geography area that site is hosted within.
- Reliance on providers support, which may not be available in local language
For a basic setup providing a content distribution platform such as a blog user's have the option of using existing free services such as Wordpress, Journoportfolio or similar.
Care should be taken when considering a free service that offers a hosted CMS. Some free hosted CMS will not offer a good experience as sites that are problematic or troublesome may be taken offline without notice and with no recourse as the provider is under no obligation to serve the user.
- No technical barrier to entry
- Support provided by commerical company, with an interest in protecting their reputation both in terms of uptime but also in terms of avoiding security breaches
- Greater likelihood of support in local language - at least in terms of documentation
- Lack of control of any systems underlying website
- Reliance on provider for support
- Subject to providers terms and conditions, which may restrict publications
|DIY CMS||Hosted CMS||Hosted Website|
|High technical skill||Intermediary technical skill||Basic|