Framework or CMS — What’s the better option?

Before deciding which option to choose, it is important to understand Framework and CMS and their role in website development.

The framework can be a collection of libraries or a collection of scripts that provides the foundation for the developers to develop applications. This will reduce the application development time when compared to writing from the scratch. Using a framework will improve the security, performance, and efficiency of the application. To utilize the full features of the framework, we should follow its standards.

CMS (Content Management System) is software, which helps developers to create instant websites and web applications. There are many themes and plugins freely available for CMS to reduce the development time. It has a default admin panel that allows business owners to add and change digital content without any programming knowledge. CMS is used in web content management and enterprise content management.

Checklist for choosing Framework or CMS:


  • In Framework, common security vulnerabilities including Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), SQL injection, Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) are handled by default. Websites that were developed using a framework are more secure than CMS.
  • Most of the CMS’s are built using open source. It is important to install a reliable plug-in from trusted sources on a CMS site. To achieve any additional features, we have to add external plugins. Whenever new vulnerabilities are identified in CMS, we have to update to a newer version or search for a security patch.

User Experiences (UX):

  • In CMS, anyone can easily change the digital content. CMS offers an engaging theme, so the module or plugin placed on the website can also be beneficial on a mobile device.
  • This is different from Framework. A framework usually does not offer standard user interfaces. However, the developer can customize the user interface using CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap or SASS for the best possible user experience. The user can also develop a responsive site using these frontend frameworks.


  • Customizing the code in the framework is easy and there are no restrictions as the code is developed from the ground up.
  • Sometimes it will be tough on the CMS, even if the developer doesn’t know the base code of the theme or plugin. There are certain restrictions on using third-party plugins in CMS.


  • In Framework, this will be an easy task for a developer since he was the one who has developed it. Therefore, he easily understands the code flow.
  • This will be tricky for CMS. A developer has no idea how the plugin was developed and what actually caused the error.


  • The framework contains various library functions and can easily be adapted to the requirements of the company.
  • CMS is not very flexible. Since the applications are prefabricated, the custom function can be restricted. In particular, a number of modules and plug-ins within a CMS website also require a lot of custom development.


  • The framework does not need to be updated frequently.
  • CMS should be updated with the latest upgrade as soon as it becomes available. Even if it isn’t updated, the website will still work, but the website is not that safe or easy to use. The following upgrade is common in CMS: Support for new plug-ins, Security patch, Support for SEO.


  • When following Frameworks standard the performance will be much better compared to CMS.
  • To improve CMS performance, we have to add additional cache plugins which may lead to crashing the website sometimes. We should be very careful while adding performance-related plugins in CMS.

Development time / Cost:

  • CMS helps speed up the development of simple websites because they contain pre-made themes and an administration window. CMS-based web development takes less time and cost.
  • The framework not only is development time consuming but also involves most functionalities and features development leading to higher cost compared to CMS.


  • Websites created through frameworks are able to handle adding resources to the system.
  • But in CMS, scalability is limited by the architecture and not meeting requirements sometimes.

Bottom line:

When developing a website or app, one of the first questions may be a framework or content management system. There are pros and cons in both, the best choice depends on the business needs.

For those, who are looking for something quick and easy and not dealing with a lot of sensitive information, CMS is sufficient and will likely be faster.

On the other hand, the framework is more suitable for larger organizations or those hoping to get bigger. It’s safer and more flexible. If the application is more complicated, then, of course, Framework is needed.

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