CMS or Framework? – Choosing the Right Solution
Many people, especially those who are not quite accomplished web developers, sometimes find themselves in a situation when they have to choose between CMSs and frameworks for their future web projects. First of all, the thing I am trying to explain here is not which one is a better option in general, but which one is more suitable in a certain situation, and what situation that would be. To be clearer, it’s a matter of purpose that should determine your choice between CMS and framework. You will not buy a tractor to go to your office, but you will not buy a car to cultivate a field. This does not mean a car is better than a tractor or vice versa, but this means that each one is more applicable in a particular situation. The same can be said about CMS and Framework.
How is CMS different from frameworks?
Obviously, to choose one of the two you need to determine how they are different. Continuing our metaphoric approach, frameworks are raw products you can use to cook your dish, while CMSs are pre-cooked dishes that can be cooked with an effort of turning on an oven or a microwave. So frameworks are instruments that can be used to build a website, and CMS are pre-built components that are designed to perform a certain function commonly required from a website.
Advantages and disadvantages
When you buy a pre-cooked dish (CMS), let’s take a frozen pizza as an example, you can cook it fast with as little effort as possible and you can be pretty sure it will be eatable, but you are only limited to the kinds of pizza they offer, and the only way you can modify your pizza is add some salt or pepper. What if you want a pepperoni and fish pizza, a strange choice no doubt, but what if? In this case, frozen pizza is not likely to be helpful, since what you need is not the same as most people need, and no such pizza was made, because no one expected that someone will ask for it. So CMS offer fast solutions for many websites and allow some modifications to the offered components, but may not have exactly what you need and it may be impossible to modify them to get the product you need.
Frameworks, on the other hand, are raw products such as flour, pepperoni, bacon, fish, etc and you can use them to build any pizza you wish, with anything you want in it, but you will have to cook everything yourself and that means significantly more time and effort.
So which one should I choose?
As was said above, the correct answer to this question depends on what you need. If the functions of your website are rather common and there are CMS that offer similar components, then you should go for the CMS and save your time and effort. If you need a custom system that uses many unique features, not commonly present on most websites, then you are unlikely to find a suitable CMS that can be modified to meet your needs, and it’s better for you to use frameworks to build your custom website. When choosing the way to realize your web project be sure to research all possible solutions and possible complications that may be caused by each option, and only then choose the way you want your projected implemented.