CMS… You don’t need it.

For the past 15 years I have earned a living coding and designing and like many developers I welcomed the exploding popularity of CMSs about 10 years ago.

When CMSs were introduced they correctly labeled themselves as blog platforms, news media software and generally targeted larger sites handling enormous amount of content with multiple users in a collaborative effort. CMSs where (and are) an indispensable tool in those circumstances.

Yet today, the majority of CMSs are powering sites that are 20 pages or less. That is madness, and here is why!…

A typical self-hosted CMS stack looks something like this:

  • PHP + Extensions (1500 files — 15 to 20MB)
  • MySQL (4MB)
  • UI for MySQL ie: PhpMyAdmin (2900 files — 42MB)
  • Core CMS files (1200–3000 files — 20MB)
  • Plugins: caching, security, other++ (200 to 4000 files — 5 to 40MB)
    Templates: (50 to 1500 files — 500KB to 5MB)

So, what does it take to produce a single HTML page?

  • A CMS requires on average 6000 files to dynamically produce a single HTML page.
  • A multiple page STATIC HTML site requires 5 files to produce a single HTML page.
  • A single page STATIC HTML site requires 1 file… Itself.

But there’s more… That single page HTML website will do everything a full fledge CMS can do. There are hundreds of third party apps that easily integrate into any HTML. These apps handle payments, bookings, form handling, live chat, calendars, forums, surveys and many other services (mostly free too).

Building a small website with Wordpress or Joomla is akin to opening an ice scream stand in downtown New York. The first thing you do is lease an empty skyscraper (the whole thing) and smartly setup your ice cream stand on the 27th floor.

Crazy, right?

Yes but HTML is hard to learn.

No, it isn’t… HTML is not the same as programming, HTML is a markup language which uses opening and closing tags to tell the browser how to render text.

<h1> I am a headline </h1>
<p> I am a paragraph </p>
</small> I am small text </small>

It is no more difficult to learn HTML5 and CCS than to learn CMS’s like Wordress or Joomla and their thousands of uniquely designed plugins with individual learning curves… Sorry, let me rephrase that. Learning HTML5 is easier. HTML5 and CSS are global and consistent, you only need to learn it once.

You can also download amazing and free HTML templates at HTML5up:

Finally, a free and easy to understand tutorial video series can be found at:

Try static and let me see your first website :)

Thank you for reading,
Roger Remacle