Are you confused about whether to choose a framework or a CMS for your next web development project? Well, it is quite common to have trouble choosing between the two. To make the right choice, understanding the difference is vital.
In this guide, you will get to know everything about CMSs and frameworks. As a result, choosing the best one for web development will be relatively easy. Let’s begin!
An Overview of CMS
The Content Management System is popularly called as CMS. As per stats, more than 73 million websites have been built using the content management system. A CMS refers to an application with various functionalities and features for the effective management of website content. It allows the owners to conveniently make the desired changes to the content.
For instance, with the help of a CMS, you can easily delete the existing content or add new content. You can even make changes to the fonts of the content. The two important components of a CMS are the content delivery application (CDA) and the content management application (CMA).
The content delivery application is the component that works behind the scenes. It is responsible for the compilation of the content, its upgradation, and delivery. Thus, it has a significant impact on the front end of the website or the aspects visible to the site visitors.
On the other hand, the content management application (CMA) is the component that allows you to remove, add, or modify the content on your website.
Popular CMS Platforms
Now that you have a basic idea of the content management system, it is time to explore some popular CMS platforms. Below is a list of the most popular CMSs. Let’s take a look!
WordPress comes to mind first when we talk about CMS platforms. It is the widely used open-source CMS platform based on MySQL and PHP. Launched in 2013, it is one of the best CMS platforms that allows owners to create new websites simply and conveniently.
Next to WordPress, Joomla is a widely used CMS platform. While many consider it to be a little complex compared to WordPress, it can easily be used by both experienced users and beginners. The best thing about this platform is that it consists of a wide range of SEO-friendly features and plugins.
Magento is another well-known content management system used for the development of websites. It is an open-source platform that is mainly used by eCommerce businesses. The easy scalability and rich features make it a top choice for eCommerce platforms.
An Overview of a Framework
In simple words, a framework is a library that enables developers to easily develop new websites. It is a set of codes that help build web applications and websites.
A framework is different from a CMS in the way that it does not consist of ready-to-use tools for the management of website content. But it has common codes that act as building blocks for the creation of new websites. That means you do not have to invest time in coding from scratch.
To extend frameworks, libraries can be used. Libraries are nothing but a collection of functions that are installed with frameworks. They help in expanding the core features of the framework and adding new functionalities.
Top Examples of Frameworks
Here are some of the most popular examples of frameworks. Let’s dive in!
Laravel is the highly recommended PHP framework by Industry experts. It was developed in 2011 with all the goodness of PHP and more. It is a highly preferred PHP framework among website developers. Laravel is a feature-rich framework that offers a plethora of functionality and library support making the development process much more easier, quick and robust.
.NET is another popular framework offered by Microsoft. It supports F#, C#, and other visual basic programming languages. And helps in the development of Windows applications. .NET Core is a relatively new cross-platform framework that allows you to build applications for macOS, Windows, and Linux servers.
ReactJS is a highly preferred frontend framework for enticing development solutions. Its hassle-free installation makes it a popular choice among developers. It is suitable for the development of an engaging UI interface. Companies highly prefer to hire ReactJS developer for their project and achieve desired high-end UI solutions in budget.
Understanding the Difference Between a Framework and CMS
Now we have arrived at the crux of our discussion today. Here, we will discuss significant differences between a Framework and a CMS to help you compare the two.
One of the significant differences between CMS and Frameworks is the level of customization it allows the developers. In CMS, you will find many preset features, such as plugins and themes, giving you the freedom to build your website on a solid base. As per a statistical report from 2022, around 43.6% of websites have been custom-built using CMS. However, if you need to build a website around specific requirements, then CMS will fall short.
In that case, Framework can help you create unique and personalized websites. No doubt you will have to start from scratch, but you will have more leeway in customization. You can add advanced features and more flexibility in the development process.
Your main concern while building a website should be security, given the increased number of cyber attacks. In the instance that you are building a website for an ecommerce business, security features become of paramount importance.
You should know that the majority of source codes of CMSs are open-source. That means anyone can access them, even those who have malicious intent. In terms of security, you can add extra security through plugins, but they will never be robust.
When creating websites with frameworks, you will use novel and unique codes. It will make it harder for hackers to crack through your website’s security features. Moreover, a framework has additional features like Cross Site Scripting and SQL injection, using which you can encrypt your codes and give them extra security. A well-built website on a framework will thus be more secure than its counterpart built on CMS.
When talking about the flexibility of the websites, we mean their ability to interact with third-party software. Most websites nowadays are created to integrate with CRMs such as Salesforce. These are unique features and depend on the website’s functions. CMS will limit your creativity if you are building a website and need these unique features.
Granted that after frequent updates, CMS has a whole range of mods and plugins in its library, but it will never allow developers unlimited flexibility. To do that, you might need to employ external agencies to custom-deliver these additional features. On the other hand, a framework gives you all the flexibility you need to create the website from the ground up.
Irrespective of whether you are building your website on CMS or a framework, you want it to have the latest features. It is only possible through updates that add new customization features, provide security patches, and fix bugs.
There are frequent updates to the CMS, and you can install these updates very quickly. Usually, a CMS gets an update every month, but before you install these updates, you must store a backup of all your files. It is just in case a technical error can lead to file corruption.
Frameworks receive updates now and then, but not as frequently as CMS. Despite this, websites and applications created with a framework can remain secure if the developer has used a proper source code. So, it is best if you stay in the original framework where you can enjoy more security.
How to Choose Between a Framework and a CMS?
Now that you have an idea of frameworks and CMS, you would be wondering which one to leverage for website development. Here are some of the vital factors you need to consider to make the right choice. Let’s explore!
● Understand Your Requirement
The first thing to consider is the unique requirements of your website development project. In case your project does not have complex requirements, using CMS is the best option.
However, when your requirements are complex, in some cases a CMS may not be able to handle them. In that case, you must leverage frameworks.
● Consider the Budget and Time
After the requirement, the next thing you need to keep in mind is the budget and deadline of your web development project. If you want to develop your website faster and cost-effectively, it is best to rely on the CMS. On the other hand, if you have sufficient time in hand and a good budget, you may opt for the frameworks.
Scalability is another factor you need to consider when choosing between a CMS and a framework. In terms of scalability, the websites developed using frameworks are usually more scalable compared to those built with a CMS.
Both frameworks and CMS platforms are ideal for website development. The right choice completely depends on the specific requirements of your business. Once you have decided whether to use a framework or a CMS for your website development project, it is important to connect the best professionals.