In order to have a web site you can edit yourself through your browser, you need a site that uses a content management system.
A CMS is a software system that provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow non-technical users to make changes to a website with little training. A CMS typically requires a systems administrator and/or a web developer to set up and add features, but it is primarily a website maintenance tool for non-technical staff.
Most systems use a database to store page content, metadata, and other information that needed by the system. Administration is typically done through a browser rather than using software installed on the user's computer. Since the system can be maintained from pretty much anywhere, it's easy for multiple people to collaborate and maintain a site. Levels of permissions can be assigned to determine who can make different types of changes.
> There are many other technical benefits we don't mention here, but feel free to ask!
It's difficult for the average person to evaluate whether the CMS that a designer is proposing is a good bet for your future. Here are some guidelines.
> If you are reading articles or reviews on a particular CMS, make sure you limit your search to recent opinions. Comments written a couple of years ago are too old to be relevant!
Why Developers Prefer One System Over Another
Web developers usually specialize in one CMS and prefer to use the one they are most familiar and competent with. Good programmers are virtual code poets who delight in writing clean code and solving problems in an elegant way. They prefer systems that they find appealing for philosophical reasons or where they see structural logic or advantages that make sense to their way of thinking.
Open Source Systems Save Consumers Money
Open Source means the software is available in source code form to anyone, permitting a large pool of developers to study, change, and improve the software in a public, collaborative way. According to a recent report, Open Source systems have resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year to consumers who would otherwise have had to pay for licensed software.
Avoid Proprietary Systems
If you contract with someone who has created their own proprietary system to build your web site, you are locked into a relationship with that person forever. If your relationship with that developer takes a bad turn, or if they go out of business, you’ll be in trouble because you won't have a competent pool of developers who can easily step in and help. A developer with their own proprietary system may take shortcuts and neglect important phases of software development like testing and documentation, because they have no oversight and no collaborative input. You'll end up paying a programmer a high hourly rate to get under the hood and see what's going on before they can repair it. It's a risk!
Aside from that, there will be no one developing nice plugins for a proprietary CMS. With WordPress or Drupal, you can benefit from those wonderful brainiacs out there who are perfecting nice plugins to provide functionality that you can get for little or no cost.
Stick with a Popular System
Here are statistics on the most-used CMSs among the top million web sites. WordPress and Drupal are obvious good Open Source choices. Some of these, like DotNetNuke, are not entirely Open Source and require a license for use of tested and certified versions. See more detail here.
WordPress and Drupal are well supported Open Source systems that have many good developers constantly working to make them better and developing new plugins for better functionality. You'll always be able to find someone to support your web site at a reasonable rate if you choose one of these two.