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Thread: CMS vs Framework

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    CMS vs Framework

    I am wondering what is the difference between a CMS and a Framework?

    From my understanding, a CMS is a pre-built system that allows you to quickly add/modify content. It gives the average user enough flexibility to change what your site does by installing modules and themes.

    A framework is a system, sort of like a CMS, but grants you even more flexibility with your site as you are to write all of the code yourself.

    I am wondering if my understanding of a CMS and Framework is accurate?

    If so, I am wondering why is it so important to use a CMS or Framework to develop your websites? What are its benefits? I still don't quite understand that part.
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  2. #2
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    With a CMS, all the programming code is already written, and the user just inputs data for the site (pages, blog posts, whatever -- see Wordpress, for example); unless, of course, you want to modify the underlying source code or create a custom plug-in for it.

    With a framework, you actually write the code to implement the web site (or whatever it is you are building), but you start with some ready-made code that defines the general structure of the software (not the site's structure, mind you) and which usually provides many functions/methods for handling typical coding tasks. The idea then is that the developer spends a larger percentage of his/her time on the actual "business" code and less on the detailed nuts and bolts (i.e. "framework") upon which that business logic is implemented. Check out the CodeIgniter tutorials to get a feel for what this means.

    If a particular CMS provides a large majority of the functionality as well as look and feel that you need, then it is probably a good solution for you (with a possible caveat being how efficient its code is and how scalable, should your site's traffic and growth require it). But if you would need to make a lot of modifications to a CMS to get it to work the way you want, you might actually be able to develop the site more efficiently on top of a framework, so that you don't spend lots of time trying to figure out what to change and how to change it in a bunch of CMS code you did not write -- also dependent on how well you know the framework you would work with instead, of course.
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  3. #3
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    So when you are working with a framework, do you develop it locally, then upload to your server?

    How about for updating your framework? Do you also develop locally, then upload to server?
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  4. #4
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    Normally I develop locally, then upload everything to the server when I think it's solid enough to try it out in the "real" environment. From that point on, I only need to upload files that change as I fix bugs and add features. I have never yet had reason to update the actual framework code once it was deployed, but if I did, I'd first update it locally and test it before uploading it to the live site, probably to a separate directory so that I could validate that it still worked correctly, then rename the directories once I was sure it was good to go.
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

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  5. #5
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    A CMS is usually a Web Application for managing web content. In its most common form, a CMS defines several categories of content (text, media etc.), allows a user to enter, edit and manage the content through a simple user interface (thereby making it possible for someone with no knowledge of HTML to create content).

    A framework is a library that makes it possible to develop a Web Application. Frameworks have been extracted from some CMSs, Ruby on Rails and Django being famous examples. But most frameworks were developed to be frameworks.
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  6. #6
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    Hmm...generally not a great idea to re-open a thread that's more than half a decade old.

    Closing...
    _
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way (not affiliated with this site, but well worth reading)

    My Blog
    cwrBlog: simple, no-database PHP blogging framework
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