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CMS or framework - what to choose?

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Nowadays, when technology has more and more influence on our daily life, the relevance of the question "framework or CMS?" becomes more and more obvious. Whether you're building a website for your personal blog or developing a complex online store, choosing the right tool is always a question.
A Content Management System (CMS) or website engine is a tool that allows users to create, edit, and manage website content without the need for programming knowledge. A CMS is typically used to simplify the process of website development and management. In another article, we thoroughly reviewed all popular platforms for websites and online stores.



How CMS and frameworks work

Both CMS and frameworks consist of a combination of a database and a user interface. The database stores the website's content, such as article texts, images, videos, and more. The user interface enables you to interact with this database, add new content, edit existing content, and manage various aspects of the website. Subsequently, by storing digital material in the data storage system and utilizing specialized software, it retrieves and displays this content on the website or another digital platform. When a request for specific information comes in, the CMS or framework retrieves data from the database or file system and applies it to form a web page or another digital resource. During the content creation process, a template or theme may be applied, which determines the structure and design of the content.



CMS vs framework: advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of using a CMS

  1. Users can add and edit content without knowing any programming languages.
  2. Most CMS platforms offer ready-made themes and plugins, significantly simplifying the website creation process.
  3. Community support: popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Opencart, Drupal, and others have large developer communities that can help solve problems . There are also plenty of tutorials and guides available to assist beginners in mastering the system.
  4. The website's administrative panel comes "out of the box" and doesn't require additional development or integration. This can have both positive and negative aspects. While it provides a wide range of functions, some of them may not be used, resulting in a more complex interface.

Disadvantages of using CMS

  1. Despite a wide range of plugins and themes, CMS still provides limited control over the functionality and design of a website.
  2. If you require a unique feature or design not offered in ready-made solutions, you may need the assistance of a professional developer.
  3. Some plugins and themes may also slow down the website's loading speed, and security issues can arise.

An overview of the framework

A framework in web development is a comprehensive set of tools, functions, libraries, and standards designed to simplify the process of programming web applications. It provides developers with the necessary foundation for creating applications, defining the structure, rules, and advanced implementation methodologies.



Advantages of using a framework

  1. Frameworks often rely on best practices and development standards, facilitating the creation of high-quality software.
  2. Frameworks promote the creation of modular code that can be reused in different projects, significantly reducing time and effort when developing new applications.
  3. Most frameworks include security mechanisms that help prevent common threats such as SQL injections and cross-site scripting (XSS).

Disadvantages of using a framework

  1. Frameworks have a steeper learning curve compared to CMS. Working with frameworks requires a deep understanding of programming languages and web development principles.
  2. While frameworks can expedite development, building a web application from scratch takes more time than creating a website with a CMS.

Analyzing situations where choosing a CMS is preferable

  1. If you need to quickly create a simple website or blog, CMS is a suitable choice. You can manage content and design through the user interface without requiring deep programming knowledge.
  2. Many CMS platforms offer plugins for creating online stores, making them a good choice for small and medium-sized e-commerce websites.
  3. If you have a small project with a limited budget and time, using a CMS will help you quickly and inexpensively create a website.

Analysis of situations where it is better to choose a framework

  1. If you are building a complex web application that requires specific functionality or high performance, a framework will give you more control and flexibility.
  2. If you have an online store with a large number of products and high traffic, a framework will provide you with all the necessary tools to handle this data.
  3. Frameworks offer more security as developers have control over the entire codebase and can implement stricter security measures.

CMS vs framework: What to choose?

Aspect CMS Framework
Implementation speed Thanks to an extensive set of modules, the process can be expedited. However, it's essential to remember that it's not always problem-free to install a module due to its incompatibility with other modules or improper code implementation by the developer during previous tasks When using a framework, you get a ready-made basic structure, but to achieve specific goals, you need to develop your own solutions and integrate third-party libraries. However, there's no need to worry, as platforms like GitHub and similar resources offer a vast number of packages for extending functionality and ready-made implementation examples. These resources provide ample opportunities to find and use useful solutions that can be incorporated into your project
Website loading speed The efficiency of a website is determined not only by the choice of CMS or framework but also by a range of other important factors. Image optimization, caching, proper server configuration, and other elements play a significant role in improving website performance. Additionally, it's essential to note that a framework has tremendous potential for optimizing loading speed, which should not be underestimated
CMS can run slower because certain aspects were not optimized during its creation. Additionally, the installation of various modules can also slow down its performance. In frameworks, we have the ability to optimize the work to avoid unnecessary database queries, reduce the overhead from excessive scripts, styles, and so on.
Development flexibility Limited due to CMS core The developer himself controls all aspects of development
Safety Low/Medium High
Developer engagement and development cost The cost of a developer's services on a CMS may be lower than development on a framework. However, it is essential to consider that the services of experienced developers may have a comparable cost regardless of the chosen tool, whether it's a CMS or a framework It is necessary to engage a specialist for the development of new tasks. The cost of implementation depends on the level of expertise of the developer.
Functional May be limited within the engine Unlimited possibilities
Administration panel The menu will be preinstalled and does not allow for individual customization of styles, component placement, etc. This can cause difficulties in administration. The admin panel is fully customizable. You can develop your own or install a ready-made solution and customize it according to your needs.

When choosing a framework or CMS for development, it's essential to carefully consider the business logic of your project to determine the best approach. Often, frameworks prove to be more reliable compared to any CMS and are less susceptible to hacking. Additionally, experienced developers and companies may offer comparable costs regardless of the chosen tool, whether it's a CMS or a framework.

Frameworks are also more flexible when marketers are constantly searching for better solutions to reduce user bounce rates and address other issues. They may request changes to the order process, product cards, catalog, and other pages. CMS platforms can limit the ability to implement all these preferences. For example, the default order process in some CMS platforms may be step-by-step, where the user fills in customer details first, then proceeds to the delivery information, and so on. If you want to rebuild the entire process on a single page, certain CMS platforms may not provide such an option. This is just a comparative example that, in practice, might be unfeasible.

From our experience, the initial installation of a "clean" CMS usually takes a short amount of time. However, in the process of further development, difficulties may arise that cannot always be easily overcome. In this article, we offer a detailed review of frameworks and their advantages. Our team of experienced specialists strongly recommends a detailed terms of reference to estimate the final cost of implementing your product, whether using a CMS or a framework

Our company has been specializing in the development of online stores and other web applications since 2017. We have chosen the popular Laravel framework and have acquired extensive knowledge and experience over many years of active work, as well as developed many ready-made solutions. We will be happy to offer you pleasant prices and optimal terms of project implementation. In addition, on our portfolio page you can familiarize yourself with examples of our work, which are available for viewing.



Conclusion

In the end, the choice between a framework or CMS is determined by specific needs and the context of your project. Both tools offer their unique advantages and can be the best choice in different situations.A CMS is usually preferred for projects that require quick launch and ease of site content management. They offer a rich ecosystem of plugins and themes, allowing for rapid addition of new features and changes to the site's appearance. However, the flexibility of CMS platforms is limited, and they may not meet the requirements of complex or high-traffic projects. On the other hand, frameworks provide a high level of flexibility and control over your project. They are ideal for complex web applications and sites that require an individual approach. However, such freedom comes at the cost of increased development time and requires a higher level of technical skills.

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