CMS Vs. Framework: Which One Is Better For You IMAGE

CMS Vs. Framework: Which One Is Better For You?

Author: Bridget

16 December, 2022

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Do you need help choosing between a CMS or framework for your web development project? It is essential to know the difference between the two. Making an ill-informed selection could result in selecting a platform that is not suitable for your business, causing you to restart and raising the cost of your project.

This article will discuss the differences between CMS and frameworks, their benefits and drawbacks, and some aspects to consider while choosing between them. This article seeks to make the framework vs. cms choice easier for you. 

Framework Vs. CMS: General Overview

Content Management System (CMS)

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software application that includes features and functions that allow you to quickly manage and publish content on a website or webshop without the assistance of a developer.

A typical CMS consists of two primary components:

  • A content management application (CMA), which allows you to add, modify, and remove content from your site.
  • A content delivery application (CDA), which works behind the scenes, compiling the content you enter in the CMA, updating it, and delivering it to the frontend of your site—what your site visitors see.

Examples of open-source CMS platforms include WordPress, Umbraco, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, DNN CMS, etc. 


A framework is a collection of codes that is used to create websites and online applications.

Unlike a CMS, it lacks 'ready-to-use' tools for managing and updating content. On the other hand, a framework has 'common codes' that act as building blocks for designing your website, making it a less difficult alternative than coding from scratch. 

Frameworks can also be modified by employing "libraries," which are sets of functions installed with frameworks, to provide additional functionality by expanding the framework's fundamental features in the same manner that CMS plugins do.

Examples of computer programming frameworks include NET, Laravel, CodeIgniter, Phalcon,  Symfony, etc. 

CMS or Framework For Website: Key Factors To consider

It is critical to have a fundamental grasp of how content management systems vary from web development frameworks. However, for many company owners, understanding the impact of this variation on the development process and the essential aspects of the online solution is far more crucial. So, let's have a look at the important factors to consider while picking between web framework and CMS development.

1. Security

Security is a key factor to consider when determining whether to use a CMS or framework for a website. CMS-based online solutions are more prone to cyber-attacks and are more sensitive to data leaks. This is because many prominent content management systems are open-source, which means that their source code is available to the public. Knowing how a solution is designed makes it easier for hackers to identify methods to access it. Extensions or upgrades received from untrustworthy sources might potentially jeopardize the security of your platform.

Framework-based online products are more difficult to breach because they are somewhat difficult for third parties to uncover security weaknesses in them. Furthermore, most modern frameworks provide a set of built-in security mechanisms that shield solutions from the majority of frequent cyber threats. Laravel, for example, has various security packages that include CSRF protection, data encryption, XSS and SQL injection prevention, and so on.

2. Flexibility

CMS-based systems have some standard functionalities that can be modified with numerous add-ons. For example, the official WordPress plugin directory contains over 58,000 plugins that users may install in addition to the standard features. Nonetheless, the number of possible adjustments is always limited by your chosen CMS capabilities. 

This means you can use a CMS to develop a functional online store, but you will only be able to customize it to a limited extent. In other words, you won't be able to implement needs outside the scope of the chosen CMS and its extensions with this development style.

If you choose to design a web application using a framework, you will be able to incorporate whatever feature you choose. Although developers may utilize some pre-written code, they will be allowed to update it as needed with no restrictions. 

Furthermore, a framework is only a base for a web product, and Programmers will design totally new, bespoke code to create certain unique features. As a result, you will be responsible for defining the criteria for the quality and amount of functionalities, third-party integrations, and the level of product scalability.

3. Content Management

A CMS includes content management capabilities by default. These systems provide pre-configured admin panels that enable users to easily edit information on a website. Even for beginners, adding, removing, and modifying information is typically not a difficulty. 

Take a look at the WordPress dashboard; for instance, if you  need to post a new blog article, you  simply go to the 'Posts' tab on the left sidebar and click 'Add New.' After you have filled out the necessary boxes (e.g. title, headers, body texts), click the 'Publish' button, and the post will appear on your site.

Frameworks do not allow users to manage content; rather, they assist developers in creating solutions (such as custom admin panels) that may include content management features. If enough work is put into this procedure, it is possible to create a bespoke admin panel that is as user-friendly as or even better than out-of-the-box CMSs. 

However, it is going to be a sub-project within your web development project. Alternatively, content administrators can alter information on framework-based websites by editing the site's files directly. However, this approach necessitates strong programming abilities, making it unsuitable for running a content-based website.

Which Path To Take: CMS or Framework?

The Framework vs. CMS selection may appear difficult at first. However, there is no right or wrong answer to the question, CMS vs. Framework: which one is better for you? This is because it all depends on the nature of your project and many other factors. Here are some broad tips to help you make the right decision.

CMS-based development is recommended if:

  • You are simply starting a new firm with no established processes, so you just have a basic idea of what type of online solution you require.
  • You want to establish a basic corporate website or blog solely for marketing purposes.
  • You operate a small to medium-sized firm, and investing in a framework-based web development solution is not a financially viable alternative for you. 
  • You need to produce a web solution rapidly.

Select framework-based development if:

  • You operate a big firm and have already tested various ready-made solutions, but you now want software specifically adapted to your organization's demands.
  • You have specific needs or seek a web solution with advanced functionalities.
  • You prioritize enhanced security and have the resources to invest in framework-based development.


Both applications have their pros and cons. Developing a web solution will take less time and resources if you choose a CMS, but the CMS's capabilities will bind you. Meanwhile, framework-based development will enable you to construct a feature-rich solution that is perfectly tailored to your company needs. However, the project expenses will be substantially greater, and programmers will take longer time to provide a finished product to you.

At ITHire we link you with the best freelance web developers for your projects. Therefore, if you want to hire a professional freelance web developer for your business, head to our website to hire one.

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