A usual follow-up to “How do you build a website?” is the question, “What Content Management System do you use?”.
I get asked these a lot. I’ve answered several times and probably give a different answer each time. Building a website isn’t one thing. It takes different skills to design, develop, write, test, optimise, analyse and maintain one.
A Content Management System (CMS), like WordPress, Django or ExpressionEngine is a tool used to create a website. Emphasis on the word tool. Whenever you use a tool recognise that it will, inherently, have a bias—most pairs of scissors are designed for right-handed people, a radio is biased towards people who can hear. CMSs are no different.
What is important about a website is that at the end of the day, it will run off some kind of web server that serves HTML pages viewable in a browser. If you are starting out in web development, learning HTML is the best place you can start.
While learning HTML first may seem like the scenic route to approaching website development, you’ll be better for it in the long-term.