CMS or PHP Framework – Which is Better?

There are many different options businesses, or individuals can take when creating a website. Currently, two common ways are content management systems (CMS) or PHP frameworks.

What are CMS and PHP Frameworks?

CMS are web-based applications that allow users to quickly create and update websites with little or no technical knowledge required. This makes it an ideal platform for small businesses or individuals that may not have the time or resources to create a website from scratch. Some popular CMS include WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

Fundamentally, PHP frameworks provide the structure on which to build your PHP application. By using the preexisting code, they allow developers to work quicker and more easily than they would have if they started completely from scratch. The disadvantage to this though, is that they require having a technical background as they aren’t as straightforward to use, meaning they might not be an option for non-technical users.

Ease of Use

CMS are designed to be easy to use, which allows non-technical users to create applications easily. You can add themes, plugins and content or simply edit with a click of a button. On the other hand, PHP frameworks are the complete opposite, they you to code each page or feature, and don’t have any user interface whatsoever.


The downside for CMS being easy to use is that they aren’t very flexible. Everything is pre-made, for most users that just want a web presence or basic online shop, this probably satisfies their needs. However, regarding what you can modify, it is constrained. This reason alone, is probably why a lot of developers prefer to use PHP frameworks over CMS, as long as they have the knowledge they can edit anything, from the frontend of the application to the backend.


For any website, it is imperative to ensure the security is of the utmost importance. There is a multitude of different ways hackers can attack websites, some of them being: SQL injection, denial of service (DDoS) and cross-site scripting (XSS). CMS are built using open source; as a result, updates are extremely frequent, which helps to keep websites up-to-date with the latest security features. However, since the code is freely available to everyone, it does make it more lucrative targets for hackers. On the other hand, websites built using PHP frameworks aren’t open source, giving them greater obscurity over CMS.

Which should I use?

In conclusion, there is no clear winner; both have their pros and cons, CMS are much easier to use but lack the flexibility and potential security of PHP frameworks. Ultimately, it will depend on each users requirements and resources they have available.
The SwiftCase.co.uk website has recently been migrated to use a PHP framework called Symfony, providing greater security than the previous WordPress site and more flexibility to edit the site.

If you’re interested in automating your business processes with a powerful, cloud-based software platform, get in touch today.

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