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Why Your Website Needs a Custom Web Development Framework

by Mike Kostrey - March 8, 2021
Choosing the right canned CMS or custom web development framework for your website is an important business decision. You need to assess all of your website needs, weigh the benefits of multiple solutions, and work closely with your web design professional to create and implement the best solution for your online business.
General Web Development Landscape

A standard CMS, which stands for Content Management System, is a canned website system. Out of the box, this is a functioning system that gives you the ability to manage your website's content. WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are popular options used to deploy a website. A canned CMS is typically targeted towards a specific user and its functionality. These platforms are generalized in scope, and they are not easily customized to meet all unique website needs. Most Content Management Systems are open source, which means their code is freely viewable and useable by the public.

A web development framework is software written with custom code and organized to facilitate the rapid development of custom features. JTech's custom framework allows web developers to develop functions and applications primarily using the PHP programming language. The developers can create lean, customized websites and content management tools to meet specific business needs.

According to W3Tech’s technology surveys, about 61% of the internet is powered by CMS websites. Many of these are personal blogs or simple marketing websites used by small businesses. For the vast majority of these simple websites, a traditional general CMS architecture is perfectly suitable. The content creators can produce and publish content that will be served to their visitors by their canned website system’s built-in or customized views and templates.

There are three main ways that you can build a website that allows you to manage its content:

    1. A website builder, all-in-one service like Squarespace or Wix. With these canned website creators, you do not own the website but just lease space on the platform using only their web design tools. 
    2. An open-source content management system such as Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla allows you to deploy web pages on various web hosts.
    3. Work with a professional web development company to utilize their web framework so you can completely customize a website and CMS for your business.

About 50 - 60% of the world’s CMS market is controlled by Wordpress, making it 12x more widely utilized than any others.
Later, we’ll discuss several issues specific to WordPress.
Differences Between a Canned Website System and a Custom Web Framework

The key difference between a canned CMS and a custom web framework is that a canned CMS is an application that primarily creates and manages digital content while a framework is software that contains robust functionality that can be modified by additional user-written code depending on the application.

Both CMS and web frameworks are software programs that develop applications. A CMS is just a Content Management System while a web framework is a reusable environment, and it is part of a larger software platform that effectively addresses the full scope of website development requirements.
Factors to Evaluate Both Approaches

The two approaches each deal uniquely with the core website issues of security, scalability, speed, business automation, customizations, updates, and integrations. A solid web framework with a custom-built website management system has notable competitive advantages over a canned one-size-fits-all approach.

There are multiple factors to understand and evaluate whether a canned CMS or custom web framework is the optimum choice to build and maintain a website for your business:
  • Security, updates, patches, fixes, and plugin issues
  • Content management complexity, customizations
  • Uniqueness, speed, scalability, functional capability, business process automation
  • UX, client input, support, client-centric approach
  • API and software other integrations
Primary Limits of Canned CMS offerings

Although a canned CMS such as WordPress can speed up the time to produce a website, there are several issues worth serious consideration.

Security Vulnerabilities

Since canned CMSs are open source, security is a paramount concern. While there are more people involved who can catch bugs and make security patches, hackers also can read the code and frequently take advantage of vulnerabilities that damage the online business. As opposed to open source, a closed source framework uses a codebase that is not visible to the public. 

Frameworks also have individualized functionality for the needs of the client’s site. Canned CMS systems, in contrast, add functionality through plugins, which can install a lot of unnecessary code that worsens performance and can cause hard-to-find lingering errors.

Various plugins, widgets, and extended modules are attached to the canned CMS, requiring heavy maintenance, upgrades, and monitoring. Not all of these added plugins come from reliable sources, and they may have unsafe problematic code from untrusted sources, degrading your website's performance. Third-party plugins and modules are needed to extend the CMS' functionality. This opens your site to malicious code that can expose private data.

Custom PHP frameworks are inherently more secure, based on custom code, and offer more security features to thwart attempted security breaches.

Website Load Speed

The speed at which your website pages load can directly affect whether you can convert customers and meet your online performance goals. Page load speed and web server response times are critical factors for your site's search engine ranking.

Slow load times cause a cascade of negative outcomes, ranging from e-commerce losses, diminished SEO, and losing users due to overall site dissatisfaction.

Because canned CMSs are designed to meet a broad list of needs — some that your business may not have — these large platforms typically have inherent architectural deficiencies that cause slower page loads. Shared hosting environments compound the problem with slow server response times. A custom website framework often has a more focused site architecture and a fine-tuned hosting environment to deliver faster page loads to all devices.

Upgrades

Getting the latest code updates for canned CMS websites is critically important. The website's optimal functionality depends on the latest updates, installed plugins, PHP and MySQL versions, and a properly configured HTTPS environment. A custom framework provider closely manages all underlying software systems to deliver fine-tuned framework performance. Many CMS are not kept up-to-date by their owners and frequently experience moments of insecurity because of this.
Benefits of a Custom Framework for Web Development

A custom framework like My JTech allows your business to develop a website management system to meet your exact requirements. Your unique requirements can be built into your business's website. You are a part of the design, and your specific needs can be addressed with customizations. For example, JTech includes unique features in its delivered systems so it meets the client's needs beyond content management. A custom framework user can operate their website and app, perform automated functions, and much more.

Security is far improved because the code is proprietary to minimize vulnerabilities. Additional layers of security can be implemented as needed. Close interaction with a web development partner can provide significant advantages over a canned CMS deployment.

Web applications - advantages of building custom web applications

A blog is the primary web application of a canned CMS such as WordPress. But, beyond a blog, there are serious limitations to constructing web apps using a canned CMS. On the other hand, numerous advantages become evident when building custom web applications.

Many canned CMSs are used to manage blogs with WordPress being the most popular example. If you are not building a blog, there are serious limitations to constructing web apps using these tools. On the other hand, numerous advantages become evident when building custom web applications on a custom framework.

Custom web apps are specifically designed to meet the needs of a target audience for a specific business purpose. The app can be scaled appropriately and modified to adapt to your customer needs. It is tailor-made to address your customers' online business problems.

Custom web apps are superior in design because they are unique to the tasks and demands of the users of that site. It is integrated with all of the other elements of that particular site architecture and design with custom structured database integration to save the client money and time in processing the information from the app. 

Once the app is running smoothly on your website, it is managed and maintained by the developers who built it to keep running at peak efficiency for your business. Since the app is custom-built for your business, clients will save money over time. Learn more about our Custom Web Apps.

SEO Performance

Canned CMS websites must be configured correctly to reach peak SEO performance. SinceWordPress is the dominant CMS, there are specific SEO problems to be aware of and compensate for. A custom web development framework can alleviate all of these SEO drawbacks.

    • Non-search friendly URL defaults and permalink structure
    • Incorrect meta tags
    • Image optimization with alt text and file names
    • Excessive plugins that slow load time
    • Render blocking issues for javascript or CSS
    • A plugin is required for an XML sitemap or robots.txt
    • Limited keyword focus in SEO plugins and weak on-page optimization tools
    • Schema structured data requires a plugin
    • Responsive design limitations
Advantages of Custom Framework Web Development

A custom framework allows your business to develop a website management platform and management system to meet your exact requirements. Your unique specifications can be built into the customized framework. You are a part of the design, and your specific needs can be addressed with customizations. Security is greater because the code is proprietary to minimize vulnerabilities. Additional layers of security can be implemented as needed. Close interaction with a development partner can provide significant advantages over a canned CMS deployment.

Using a custom web framework, we have complete freedom to implement design and your vision for any project. Your app can automate unique business functions and grow and change as your business expands. Learn more about the power of Automation.
Summary

Building your website upon a custom website development framework means it is tailor-made to address your online business challenges and serves a specific purpose for your business needs. The website is designed responsively and flexibly so it can be scaled and modified to adapt to the dynamics of your business.

Rather than being constrained to a canned CMS package and depending on a remote web host or learning how to update the system and plugins, your custom website is managed and maintained by the developers who built it to keep it running at peak efficiency for your business.

The platform is custom fit for your digital strategy to suit your website goals, content management specifications, and marketing needs. Our web development process involves deep client input to produce a custom-designed website that is more secure, has customized applications to automate your business needs, and is built for superior SEO and digital marketing performance. To learn more about how a JTech custom framework website can accelerate your business online, request a free consultation.

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