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CMS versus Framework! Who’s going to win?

To answer this question, we need to compare their ups and downs as they are always here to confuse everyone.

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Both Framework and CMS can serve as an instrument for your future project, however, there are several significant differences between them. So the question arises here: which tool will serve the best to create a well-functioning, quality and profitable product?

To answer this question, we need to compare their ups and downs as they are always here to confuse everyone.

What you can use CMS for?

First, to make the subject more understandable let's go over terminology. CMS or Content management system is a software application or, as its name suggests, system of already created and related programs to edit and manage digital content.

So, CMS is like a box with pre-made components, the only thing you need to do is to get them out. It is a suitable tool for typical solutions and for template websites like blogs, online shops, music, restaurant, travel websites and other projects.

It is also a good idea to use it when:

  1. You are out of time. It’s easier to use a half-made product when you can’t afford more hours for development. However, you should take in consideration the fact it will surely lack the functionality.
  2. You’re going to manage it yourself. Any approved user can publish, edit and upgrade the content without additional operations. Default management system allows you to extend the functionality with free plugins, adjust the design or use a wide variety of ready-made themes. It should be noticed that a custom management interface built with a Framework is more likely to do the same and even more if the necessity arises. Anyway be ready to spend some time to master new technology, otherwise you’ll wind up dealing with poor maintenance issues.
  3. Your hosting environment allows you to download and install constant updates. New updates — new features. Security, SEO, plugins are improving all the time but are you prepared to cope with them as soon as they are released? Outdated CMS can be a total disaster.
  4. Quick support is available 24/7. As it was just mentioned CMSs are updated quite often and this proves that the community supporting CMS`s workflow is vivid and ready to help you if you have questions or problems. On the other hand, since the CMS doesn’t require special skills to be implemented, the number of CMS-guys claiming to be almighty using only one tool has increased.

CMS is a good tool for small and sometimes medium business solutions. It just can’t overcome the threshold of big business projects because of various drawbacks like:

  1. Poor flexibility. Yes, there are lots of extensions and plugins available for free, but you can’t make chocolate using cucumbers. For specific business solutions it is impossible to use CMS as it limits your creativity.
  2. Poor performance. It means that custom solutions will work slower with CMS because they can only be add-ins that weren't designed as defaults. Moreover, alongside slower performance, it will definitely require more server resources because of tones of unnecessary code.
  3. Vulnerability. Updates are released on purpose to protect your website or app though some users neglect them. Outdated and unmaintained CMS can cause a lot of problems, especially if the security is prior for you.

Is a Framework good enough?

Again, let's have a look at the terminology first. A framework is a basis or in simple terms a skeleton of an application or any web product consisting of simple related programming libraries while other plugins and extensions are coded basing on them. Usually, a framework includes toolsets, code libraries, and compilers.

It is a perfect tool for projects of any size with a set of specific features and functions as they can be easily created, customized and added to the app or a web product. Although it requires some specific knowledge, it is widely used in IT world because of multiple advantages which also include:

  1. Flexibility. It means that a Framework can serve you better if you have in mind a functionality-specific project as it is easy to customize and upgrade. Frameworks, like Angular, guide you towards writing an extendable product that can change its structure all the time.
  2. Efficiency. While using a framework you skip the stage of writing tons of repetitive code that, by the way, has already been used and tested. Another point in Framework’s favour is its ability to remain stable and secure without updates long enough, although updates are released as frequently as for CMSs.
  3. Large community. The framework has attracted and gathered quite a lot of people around itself. Active community contributes to its development and improvement instantaneously what allows you to find and use various libraries, plugins and pre-made components for your product. And if we start to count the number of free tutorials, books and videos explaining how to use a framework, the list will be endless.
  4. Security. This point is closely connected to the previous one. Although a framework is an open-source tool and it is available for free it isn't likely to have security holes and it’s less vulnerable. The thing is its security weaknesses are rapidly addressed and fixed by the enormous community of developers and users.

However, no matter how good the framework can be, it still has some drawbacks. Among them should be mentioned:

  1. Complexity. Without a specific knowledge of programming, it will be impossible for you to use any Framework as it`s all about the code.
  2. Updates. If we compare CMS and a Framework, the last one is updated less often and it's sometimes even better to stay with your initial version.
  3. Time. This point is quite controversial and yet is still important. It is closely linked with functionality and complexity of your project as it is essential that the more specific the app or a website is the longer it would take to create it. However, comparing Framework to CMS, the first will take longer to meet all your needs while the last will take less time but will be quite limited in capacities.
  4. Management. It is more probable that the Framework will not have a default administrative interface what makes the content management complicated for a non-technical user.

Though it lacks the default management system, a developer can design and add required tool that can be even more than satisfying and will surely meet your final requirements.

And we are coming back to our question: Who wins, CMS or Framework? If you are not ready to choose the winner these questions may help you to decide what tool is better to create your project with:

  1. How much time and money are you ready to invest?
  2. How flexible, customizable and efficient the project should be?
  3. Is the security prior to you?
  4. How many recourses your hosting environment can provide?
  5. Who represents your target market?
  6. Is it worth to reinvent the wheel when you have a ready-to-use solution?

The final decision is only up to you. Just choose the best tool and that’s it.

We strongly recommend you to decide which goal you want to achieve before choosing a technology.

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