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Posted 5 years ago by Kris Jeary

Why we don't use CMS frameworks

Many web design companies use CMS frameworks such as WordPress and Joomla (to name but two), and let me state there are many benefits to this approach:

  • Quicker and cheaper development. 
  • In built CMS systems.
  • Great online community support.
  • A familiar system to many end users.

So why have we decided to only develop bespoke systems?

We primarily develop bespoke built websites and made this decision based on experience.

When you use a framework you are limited by the components available within that system. Whilst the array of components can be more than sufficient for the original brief, you do not know where the site's development will head to down the line.

When a client asks us if they can add new functionality to their website we can always say yes as we are in control of every line of code on the site, this is not always the case when working with frameworks as we can't ask the original developers to amend their code.

You can code around the limitations but by doing this you open yourself up to many potential pitfalls:

  • You can affect future updates and if you can't update the core framework you can open your site up to security vulnerabilities.
  • By amending one part you can break another, a lot of the extra development then becomes trial and error, this can greatly lengthen the development time (and therefore cost).
  • It becomes hard to pass the project on to a new developer as countless "work arounds" can lead to unintuitive (and often unreadable) coding.
  • It is also well known that hackers target the well known systems, if you manage to hack one WordPress site you will have great success hacking others

So in summary, it is our opinion that a bespoke system's benefits far out-weighs the benefits of a framework:

  • Full access to all code.
  • Standards compliant which allows a new team of developers to pick up and work with. (In case we get hit by a bus!) 
  • Secure.
  • Future proof.
  • Scalable.
  • Not bloated, you only have the options you need to run your website.
  • Quicker loading. Without the bloat the site loads much quicker which is also a benefit to SEO.
  • Greater scope for a better design.


About the author

A digital designer first and business development expert second, that's the approach Kris takes with his work. Kris ran his own agency (Squiders) for 10 years before it was acquired by Kayo and he became Head of Design. Born and raised in Kent, his pastimes include cricket, cricket and more cricket.

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