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> Which CMS that afford me full control over which elements are displayed, how and when they are displayed …?

Most of them. Almost any CMS allows you to create your own templates. I can’t think of one offhand that doesn’t – it’s one of their most basic purposes.

since the blog won’t allow comments, search nor have social features built in , which do you believe are the advantages of adopting a CMS versus hand coding in a simple chain of pages?

It’s just a chain of biweekly posts.

There are many, many things a blog needs beyond those “extras.” How are you going to write the blog in the first place? How will you store the content? How will you manage your images? How will you retrieve your blogs in the proper order? How will you display and format them? How will you edit them? How will you handle metadata (publishing date, etc.)? How will you handle pagination?

> 7 pages, static but for the Blog.

What about your contact page? Unless it’s “just for show,” you’re going to have quite a bit of dynamic processing going on there also. It doesn’t happen automatically. You also have security to worry about when you allow people to compose messages and send them from your site.

I can’t imagine that your product page and portfolio wouldn’t have some degree of dynamic scripting also.

> There always seems to be some dreadful vestige of the CMS crawling up the page. Am I mistaken?

As I said above, yes, you *can* have the kind of control over layout that you want using a CMS. The reason so many sites have “that look” to them is twofold: 1) that “look” is popular and functional, and 2) it’s easy to accomplish.

Also (and again, I mean no offense), if you still consider HTML and CSS an “arduous” task, then you need to spend more time practicing with them before moving on to scripting languages. Javascript (in the *useful* sense) is very tightly coupled with the DOM. Likewise, PHP is very clunky, frustrating, and error-prone **if** *you don’t understand how to assemble the HTML you want*.