Are you experiencing difficulty deciding whether to opt for a framework or a CMS for your forthcoming web development project?
Understanding the distinction between the two is crucial. Making a naïve and clueless choice could force you to select an improper platform for your company, forcing you to start over and driving up the cost of your project. You must make an informed decision, and you must learn the distinction between a content management system and a web application framework.
In this post, we outline the comparison of CMS and frameworks, their advantages and disadvantages, and other variables to consider while choosing between the two.
What is a CMS?
The term ’content management system’, or a CMS, refers to a database-based content manager. There is a vast range of CMSs based on various technologies. They are all largely uniformly organized and incorporate similar features. Typically, a CMS consists of two main parts:
- A content management application (CMA) that enables you to add, edit, and remove content from your website.
- The content you submit in the CMA is compiled, updated, and delivered to the front end of your site, which is what site visitors will see, by a Content Delivery Application (CDA). It operates in the background.
Some of the widely used CMS platforms are WordPress, Umbraco, Magento, Shopify, and DNN CMS.
What is a Framework?
A framework is an accumulation of codes to develop websites and web applications. Contrary to a CMS, it lacks ‘ready-to-use’ tools for managing and updating material. A framework, however, does have ’common codes’ that function as building blocks for developing your website, making it a more straightforward choice than starting from scratch.
Framework libraries, which are collections of functions installed with frameworks, can also be used to extend frameworks to add new functionalities. They extend the framework’s fundamental features, much like plugins do for CMS.
Some of the widely used frameworks are Laravel, ReactJS, Codelgniter, Angular, Phalcon, and Symfony.
Factors to Consider While Deciding Between a CMS and a Framework
Some factors to become aware of as we try to choose the best between a CMS and a framework are,
You can opt to choose a CMS if the requirements for your project aren’t very complex and complicated. For example, WordPress is a great system that would meet your demands if you wanted to develop a blog, a small online store, or a website.
A framework like Laravel or Phalcon is a better choice if your project is more complex and has particular large-scale requirements that a CMS can’t manage. For instance, if you are simultaneously serving more than 10,000 people, etc.
Compared to frameworks, a CMS’s development time is lower because it already has the fundamental elements needed to establish a website or a web store. Therefore, CMS can be a better option for you if you’re working with a minimum viable product (MVP) and want to go live as soon as possible.
Web development with a CMS takes comparatively less time and is less expensive as a result. For frameworks, the majority of features and functionalities you desire for your website must be produced, which increases the cost in addition to lengthening development time.
If you’re an online business owner trusted with your customers’ sensitive information, security is one of your top considerations when creating an application or a website. Because CMS is open-source, anyone can access the code. Because hackers may access the code, this leaves websites powered by CMS open to security risks.
The custom codes built into websites that use frameworks are their own. The built-in capabilities of many frameworks, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting, provide for encryption and defense against the most frequent sorts of attacks. A robust architecture is much more secure than a simple CMS.
The kind of website you’re creating and the purpose behind it will determine whether it requires any special features or functionality that’s not usually found in web development projects. Incorporating a third-party program or fusioning separate systems are two examples of unique functionalities.
Although CMS may be customized to include numerous unique features and capabilities through plugins, a framework is far more customizable. You will need to hire a developer to create any bespoke CMS features that aren’t included in the libraries of plugins and themes. This procedure is difficult.
A framework can be modified to exactly meet your needs. This adaptation does, however, come at a cost-quite literally. The cost to build a website using frameworks is much higher than for a CMS.
By downloading and installing different plugins, you can further customize the functionality that comes with a CMS.
Contrarily, frameworks allow for complete customization. Everything needs to be built and designed from the start. Although the code you use gives you a foundation to develop, nothing much is preset. So, regardless of how specialized or odd your needs are, you may mold them to suit your needs.
You can only make minor customizations to a CMS and not alter the essential functionality. Such obstacles don’t exist while using a framework.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of CMS and Web Application Frameworks?
Advantages of CMS
- Designing and launching CMS websites can be done quickly.
- The user and admin panels are easy to comprehend and utilize on many well-known CMSs.
- Content management systems are simple to create since they include a variety of plugins and themes that you can install to swiftly build and design your website.
- To design your website, you don’t need to have a lot of programming experience or pay for expensive software experts.
Disadvantages of CMS
- It takes a lot of time and effort to add customized features and functionality to a CMS. Especially, if there are no existing plugins. The CMS suffers greatly from the restricted customizability of its interface.
- Content management system developers aim to produce products with a wide range of features. But many of these features are unnecessary. Instead, they use resources that may slow down and increase the workload.
- You may require an in-depth understanding of how the CMS functions as a whole to modify or change certain site features.
- Sometimes, the performance of a website powered by a CMS is comparatively lower than that of a website constructed using a framework.
Advantages of Web Application Frameworks
- Frameworks are extremely adaptable and can be created to precisely meet any requirements you may have.
- Websites built on frameworks perform better than those built on content management systems.
Disadvantages of Web Application Frameworks
- Creating websites with frameworks is a challenging task. You need to know a lot of computer languages to create a high-quality website.
- The admin panel is absent. The site editing section must be written individually because it involves creating a new website.
- The process of creating a website using a framework is quite time-consuming.
There is no right or wrong answer when deciding between a web development framework and a content management system. Now that you have more information about web app frameworks and content management systems, you should be able to make an informed choice. Pay special attention to the variables mentioned above and choose the one that most closely fits your needs and your projects.