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I recently got a domain and am considering hosting a personal web page. I did some research and narrowed my options down to either Google AppEngine or GitHub pages to host my website.

The website is just a simple personal data website with About, Contact, Interests, etc. Don't really have any plans for dynamic content but who knows...

Anyways, recently I have seems a lot of one/two page websites that follow a similar template / design (particularly in mobile software and geeky personal pages, a rather simple example).

I was wondering if there is a trend that I am not aware of. I assume there must be some popular frameworks that are being used or is it all just HTML5/CSS templates ?

Also, in terms of web page design, the selected answer on this question: Beginning a Personal Web Site recommended a CMS. In contrast, this question Recommendations for a good personal/resume website recommends going for boilerplate HTML5 templates.

Although I'm leaning towards HTML5 for their simplicity (and ease of use with the two hosting options mentioned above), I was wondering how each option compares in development time because I would imaging executing a CMS site would be as easy as writing blogs.

Any suggestions would help ?

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The reason that boilerplate HTML5 is suggested for a resume/personal page is that it's being assumed that you aren't going to be doing large amounts of content addition/subtraction as you go along. HTML5/CSS3 can get pretty fancy w/ minimal effort and if you're a just dedicating your attention to 1 or 2 pages (resume site) it makes sense to put a large amount of effort into it.

As with CMS I would recommend that if you're looking at keeping your site more like a blog or some other regularly updated site. A CMS makes for fairly seamless addition of new content and can look extremely good if you spend some time to either find a good template to work with or learn the codebase and build one for yourself. I personally love Django, but it's not very... non-coder friendly, if you want friendly try Wordpress or Joomla.

EDIT: I also wouldn't pay for a CMS theme of any sort if I was going to be just doing a page or 2 of site content, so in that case I would ABSOLUTELY go with HTML5/CSS3 boilerplate and customize it from there. And for CMS's unless you write your own the likelihood that getting a free template that doesn't look like every other free template would be nearly impossible, thus standing out would be nearly impossible.

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That sums it up nicely... thanks ! –  Saad Farooq Feb 29 '12 at 0:26
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Even when a CMS is open source it is still a black box in practice. A CMS is friendly as long as your demands are limited to what it offers. Even if you know the underlining technology, it is unrealistic to assume that you will be able to introduce your changes (again assuming that you have limited time). And even if you do manage to implement them, you will have to reintroduce and retest them after each upgrade.

Another issue is that most CMS are powered by databases. I admit I am not very familiar with databases, but I guess they do introduce another layer of complexity, especially in the versioning and synchronization area. With a site composed of files only, you can easily put a local website folder, including all the data, under source control and the deployment procedure is limited to uploading your changes to the server.

With that said, I don't really see much uses of static pages these days. I'm not a webdeveloper, so I am stuck with CMSes, occasional attacks of rage being the consequence.

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