CMS or Framework: What to Choose for an Online Store

CMS or Framework

What to select if the CMS does not cover 70% of the desired functionality? In what cases will the Framework cost less than the CMS? What is the functionality of IT development on Django?

Choosing a Framework for an Online Store

According to the annual survey of SECLGroup, Python development is the most popular direction. Django web apps have shown themselves to be convenient developments with large databases. Nothing is surprising in this: after all, suitable interactive applications are created with the help of Django. The functionality of this language is extensive. The article will tell you which framework to choose for an online store.


CMS is a content management system with ready functionality. The most popular CMS for internet shops and other sites are Joomla, Drupal, Tilda, Modx, UMI, and others.

CMS can be bought or even downloaded for free. Then everything is simple: decide on hosting, create a design, upload a logo, set colors and fonts in the admin panel, and work with the functionality of the CMS business logic. And there are solutions for all occasions in the life of a small e-commerce project. But for large online stores with a vast assortment, there are better options than CMS, and you should think about the best solution in the project discovery phase.

Framework is an entirely different story. This is a set of tools for developing site functionality. You may use Python, Laravel, Yii, and The Laminas Project.

What Is the Difference Between a Framework and a CMS?

If you compare CMS and the framework regarding tangible things, then CMS is furniture from Ikea. It is simple and cute; you can buy it in a store, assemble it yourself, and use it comfortably. And when it wears out, buy another one of the same types. But if the apartment’s dimensions are not standard, furniture from Ikea may not fit or look weird.

The framework is custom-made furniture explicitly created for a specific apartment’s interior and a particular family’s requests. This option is suitable for more complex cases:

  • When you need to develop an online store with an assortment of hundreds of thousands of products, a complex marketplace with embedded multi-level business processes.
  • When an offline business with a long-established infrastructure goes online, the CMS does not integrate with the customer’s accounting system.

In some cases, if desired, it is possible to “finish” the integration with the new accounting system by adding it to the CMS “box.” But you will have to spend a lot of time on this, and there is a risk that the system will fail when some changes are made. In this case, any competent production company advises making a site on the framework because, in the end, it will be better and more reliable.

Why Do You Need a Framework?

The framework is used when the project needs performance, flexibility, infinitely scalable functionality, and adjustment to business processes. Many cases show that any custom solution can be implemented on the framework.

Imagine that the company has 500 branches across the country. Counting profit at each unit, tracking their movement, and allowing users to order goods at a specific department is necessary. They trade what is available in a particular store and realize an order of goods “on the way” from a second or central warehouse. And at the same time, it does not mislead the user that the product is already in place but predicts the arrival of the product and orients the buyer. It is precisely for solving such problems that a framework is needed.

It allows you to implement any business process or flight of fancy and integrate anything with anything.

By the way, the framework is suitable for classic online stores and service websites. For example, with the help of the framework, it is possible to realize the possibility of ordering food simultaneously from different restaurants with delivery at various times to other addresses. So the user will be able to order lunch at work during the day, cake for the child’s birthday for dinner, and pizza for friends on the weekend.

In principle, everything done on the framework can be done on CMS, but such development will be more expensive, will take longer to do, and will be more challenging to support.

When Should You Choose Django Framework?

When the project has big ambitions and investments, website development on a framework is costly and certainly not free. But if there are good plans for scaling, it is better to make a site on the Django framework immediately. Or one day, it will be necessary to stop product development for a long time so that instead of one system, it is possible to develop and launch another.

Which Technology to Choose: Final Thoughts?

Technology is the main factor that affects the price of online store development. It is generally accepted that creating an online store on a CMS is always cheaper than on a Framework. But it is impossible to say unequivocally which option will be more budget-friendly. Each project must be evaluated individually.

For example, for a store that does not have an admin panel and management takes place through 1C, it is more profitable to develop a framework since you will spend less time on store management.

If you need a solution for selling specific goods with non-standard measurement systems, creating an online store on the framework makes sense. Otherwise, there is a considerable risk of covering only some of the needs, even with the improvement of the CMS.

Also, when choosing CMS or Framework technology, remember to retreat and research the market. If you need to change the developer, it is essential to understand that there are still specialists on the market who will be able to monitor and understand your project. Cases are common when business owners request technical assistance for sites created on self-written CMS. In this case, the uniqueness of the CMS code becomes an almost unsolvable problem, and you are a hostage to the skill of one developer on the market.

That’s why an online store owner should delve into choosing technology and know the advantages and disadvantages of a CMS or Framework.

Also Read: A Quick Guide to Website Banner Sizes

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