Frameworks vs. CMS

Choose Between Frameworks vs. CMS

By Banjo • 2023-01-02

What is a CMS

A content management system (CMS) is a computer software application for digital content management. It helps with creating and modifying content online. There are two types of content here: enterprise content and web content. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) benefits businesses like e-commerce, transactions, and reservations. In contrast, Web Content Management (WCM) helps promote content for online educational websites, businesses displaying their services, and so on.

What is a Framework

A Framework is software designed for a specific function written using code. These are generally application-specific software, finding purposes in building and deploying applications universally. They have inverted control in that the control flow lies within the framework, not the user. But a user can extend the functionalities of a framework by using coding and necessary templates. Hence a framework is adaptable for different purposes using extensions but not alterable in its fundamental code, making it secure and robust.

The difference in operations: CMS vs. Framework

CMS Operations

A CMS helps format the layout and create and modify content. One can publish web pages, create indexes and searches, add multimedia files, and form new themes for the webpage. We can also include plugins and extensions to expand the application. A CMS can turn a website multilingual for multipurpose. Some of the standard CMS are Word Press, Drupal, and Joomla. These are WCMs or collaborative authoring websites, while an ECM is a multiple-user collaborative environment already including WCM functions. ECM incorporates digital document management, digital asset management, and record management. WCM includes program code to display content and relate with the user using multimedia images and graphics.

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Framework Operations

A framework used is for generating programming applications. A framework includes code libraries, toolsets, application programming interfaces, support programs, and a compiler. They alter generic functioning software for more specific purposes by altering it. One can build and set up applications to adhere to the necessary functionality. Other than organizing codes, frameworks can also help in reusing codes.  

Generally known Frameworks are CakePHP and CodeIgniter, written in PHP; Django and Flask hand, written in Python.

Image Source: GitHub

Differences in Learning and Usage Functionalities of CMS vs. Framework

Levels of Learning 

CMS is easier to learn than learning a framework since learning a framework requires some amount of time.


CMS manages digital content. A framework brings together the code to develop applications.

Opting between Frameworks vs. CMS

There are some factors to consider when choosing between CMS vs. frameworks.


Composite requirements such as specifications in UI or UX designs, specific functionalities, or code requirements require us to choose a framework for web development. Frameworks such as Laravel or React.js are helpful for these requirements. However, a CMS can’t handle such requirements and is more suitable for publishing a blog or a website.


A CMS requires fewer periods since it has the essential features to create a website or make developments. On the other hand, a framework requires time to build with codes; hence, it is unsuitable for minimum viable products (MVP) and urgent projects to go live soon.


CMS-based web applications cost less due to their less time. Frameworks’ cost depends on the features involved and the functionalities we want. The cost of implementing a framework is also higher due to the time involved. 


Scalability is the capability of a system to add resources depending on needs. Since frameworks already sport different features, they are scalable. On the other hand, a CMS may fail to support other features, and the single project architecture is a limitation.

Specialties of CMS vs. Frameworks

A CMS is suitable for template solutions. They provide temporary solutions and are hence opt-able for a shoestring budget to develop a website. On the other hand, a Framework is a need for any custom-made, non-template project. It is a permanent solution and adheres to ever-changing needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CMS vs. Frameworks

Advantages of CMS

  • Speed is the first and foremost advantage of using a CMS, especially in creating template solutions. CMS has an admin panel for easy use. It is easier to develop using CMS and doesn’t require prior coding knowledge.
  • A CMS provides the user with complete authentication and management.
  • A CMSalso provides the user with routes and controllers.
  • A CMS helps modify or create modules and quickly corrects flaws.
  • In a CMS, the features are open, scalable, and flexible. We can add modules as we need. 
  • A CMS is easy to maintain.

Disadvantages of CMS

  • A CSM has limited functions.
  • Adding custom functionality requires the desired level of coding knowledge and developer strength.
  • Also, functional developments cost more when developed using CMS.
  • CMS may appear disorderly, have operational inconsistencies and deficient foundations, and need to be more extensible given their lower code quality than frameworks.
  • CMS execution can be complex for users since they could have poorer design codes.
  • Most popular CMS systems are open source and can facilitate easy access to hackers.
  • CMS provide maintenance contracts (TMA – Tierce Maintenance Applicative) to its users to maintain security, but the flaw is that they require constant updating of modules.
  • CMS does not apply to all specific functional requests. 
  • CMS can be redundant, having a lot of functions, which affects the load speed.

Advantages of Frameworks

  • Frameworks are primarily flexible.
  • Frameworks sport better performance levels than CMS does.
  • PHP framework records have high security as they use custom code. Fortunately, this feature makes it hard to find the security levels.
  • Frameworks have in-built functions for data encryption and protection.
  • They are flexible to adapt to multiple needs and are scalable.

Disadvantages of Frameworks

  • A Framework cannot provide a jumpstart that a CMS provides.
  • Frameworks are complex to develop and require coding knowledge.
  • Frameworks need the administrative panel as a CMS does, and site edition needs independent codes.
  • Frameworks do not have default User Interfaces to help users. Developing User Interfaces need the help of Bootstrap, SASS, etc.
  • Frameworks need more time comparatively for development purposes.

When to Choose between Frameworks vs. CMS

CMS-based development circumstances:

  • When you are starting a new business and don’t have adequate coding skills
  • The website is simple and primarily designated for marketing purposes 
  • Investing in a framework-based development is costly and unaffordable
  • There is a time-specific need for the development of a web solution 

Framework-based development circumstances:

  • The business has successfully run using ready-made solutions, which now need tailored solutions.
  • Your web solutions need complex functionality.
  • When you need advanced security 
  • You can invest enough time and monetary resources. 

We have provided multiple aspects defining the functionality and uses of CMS vs. Frameworks because the choice is tough. It is entirely up to a person to choose between them based on the information and their needs.

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