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CMS V/s Framework: What is the Real Difference?

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These days there have been a lot of discussions about Frameworks and CMS systems. Which one to choose? Which is superior?

So we decided to put a blog at our site to be part of this very hot discussion. But first we want to make sure that folks understand the difference between the terminologies “Framework” and “CMS”.

Framework & CMS: What it is?

The term “Framework” is generally used when we are talking about web application framework. A framework is a library that makes it possible to develop a Web Application.  The web application framework is simply based on programming or coding and if you are a developer or programmer you would often go for choosing a web application framework for your projects. Some common examples of frame work include Zend, Django, CakePHP, Struts, .NET, and even Rails.


A CMS is usually a Web Application for managing web content. In other words, a CMS defines numerous categories of content (media, text etc.), allows a user to add, edit and manage the content through a simple user interface. The best part is you don’t need to have any special coding knowledge, anyone can handle it without much technical expertise. The good examples of cms are Drupal, Joomla, Word Press.

Which one to choose?

Certainly there have been a lot of argument between the cms as well as framework technology that which is the best. But there are some basic things that you have to think before you choose any framework or a CMS in my personal opinion:

1. How much time you can invest.
2. What do you want to do and how flexible your project has to be in the future.
3. How much budget you have for the project.
4. What the hosting environment will be.

With custom programming the project can be built in the way you want it. You can decide what you want, a programmer translates it into computer language and it works. The objective of a framework is to allow developers and designers to focus on building the distinctive features for their project, instead of re-inventing the wheel by developing common things, familiar features found across various websites and web applications.

Moreover you can protect this custom created code using technical and legal measures and your rights will be reserved. In this way you would not have any limitation as you can sell the code or provide it to the users in a software as a service model.

Developers use frameworks for very custom applications where customer requirements cannot be met with CMS. Furthermore these frameworks are used for very huge applications for better service. If we talk about investment the development with framework is expensive in the beginning and less expensive in the long run.

The frameworks are more secure because there is a contribution of experienced developers in building and testing it. There is a possibility that many security risks are addressed and tested when the framework is being built.

The content management system on the other hand creates product having pre-defined set of features and nothing extra. There are lots of complications related to use of CMS as it was written to serve the community of thousands of people and their needs sometimes differ.

The cms is best option for people who are not very web savvy, have less programming knowledge, doesn’t have much development requirements and don’t want to learn how to make the changes themselves. If you choose to create your website or application on one of the popular CMS software’s, all you need to do is download it and install it. Then you can hire an expert to customize the design and to add some features if necessary. After this your new website is ready and functional.

Also starting a project on a CMS does not require any additional testing or bug-fixing. But being an open source software has its code open which makes it more exposed to various security threats such as hacking. Therefore you need to regularly check for security updates.

An additional benefit of using a CMS is when you need to add a new feature a plugin can be installed into your system. WordPress, Joomla, and Magento have tons of free and commercial modules virtually for any purpose. This is not something so easy to do with your custom code.

And finally a conclusion…

So as to conclude at the end all we can say is it depends on your requirements and how much time you have to invest on the project. Moreover every tool or technology either cms or framework to name a few is built for a reason. Just choose the best tool according to your project and its conditions.


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