December 7, 2023

In the world of web programming, recent years have given rise to a pure and simple explosion of frameworks! Should we really use them for all our projects? What are the advantages and disadvantages of frameworks? And then, finally: what is a framework? Apps built with Django are considered one of the best, but is it the right option for you? Let’s try to make everything clear.

What is a framework?

Simply put, it is a set of components that structures your application and constrains how you will develop it.

A framework is always associated with a programming language: PHP, Javascript… and is supposed to help you develop web applications.

There are several types of frameworks:

  • Open-source frameworks: they are developed and maintained by a more or less open community depending on the platforms.
  • In-house frameworks: they have been developed in-house by companies based on their experience.
  • Proprietary frameworks: these are paid frameworks developed by software publishers.

Now that we have a slightly more clear view of what a framework is, let’s get to the heart of the matter: should I use a framework to develop my project? To answer this question, let’s first turn to the advantages and disadvantages of their use.

The advantages of frameworks

Using a framework has many advantages:

  • We are framed! As its name suggests, the framework allows us to be more disciplined and not go in all directions simultaneously.
  • Saving time and efficiency: the framework provides many tools that enable you not to reinvent the wheel for all standard features.
  • Better structuring of the code: the framework and directives provided by the frameworks make it possible to give a structure and improve the code’s quality. They make it possible to build a coherent unit.
  • Simplified maintenance: a well-structured project is infinitely simpler to maintain than a catch-all project.

The disadvantages of frameworks

Using frameworks also has many disadvantages:

  • Limits on complex features: in fact, a framework may limit you. If you want to access language features that are not managed by the framework, you may encounter problems.
  • Additional complexity layer: depending on the framework chosen and the design patterns applied, entering the technology can be complex for an average developer.

When to use a framework?

The main objective of a framework is to harmonize practices. On the back side, it’s almost always relevant.

On the front side, it’s more questionable. A few years ago, front-end frameworks were still not widespread, and the question of using them did not even arise. But their spectacular growth has changed the game: today, there is no sense in developing a management web application without a framework. It is also recommended for somewhat substantial websites with many screens, pages, and actions.

When not to use a framework?

On the back side, there is only the case of a personal site in PHP that can justify not using a framework.

On the front side, a showcase site or other web creation without great user interaction can do without a framework. The pitfall is spending more time choosing and setting up the framework than using it. Using Javascript libraries such as jQuery may be enough.

How to choose a framework?

To choose a framework adapted to your project, you must know everything about the project beforehand. Define the practical goals, the features you want to use, etc.

To choose the framework well before starting a project, professionals are mainly interested in the following two indicators:

  • The use rate of the framework: yes, in the framework world, more than anywhere else, we have a significant rate of loss. Many are abandoned and are no longer maintained, so be careful and try to choose between the 2/3 most used frameworks in the desired segment.
  • The community: the more important the community, the more forums, and mutual aid, the better: you will find the answers to your problems more efficiently.

Be careful when choosing your framework not to rush headlong under the pretext that there is a big name behind frameworks. It’s not necessarily a guarantee of success.

Conclusion: yes to the intelligent use of frameworks!

To conclude, we would like to highlight that the use of frameworks is not mandatory! NO, it’s not obvious that you HAVE TO use a framework for your project; it all depends on the project.

But if you decide to use it, let yourself go into the philosophy of the tool and do not persist in trying to hack the frame to do something that is not initially planned. Just let yourself be guided by the framework (and if you don’t want to do so, don’t choose this option or simply choose another one).

In short, we say YES to the intelligent and measured use of frameworks! But also be sure to change your tools often: for those who remain stuck for years on the same framework, there is a great temptation to think that the way of working that it offers is the only, and by far, the best. Multiplying experiences is the best way to gain height!

If you have little experience, the best option is to contact professionals: they will help you clarify everything during the project discovery phase, so there won’t be any problems, and the final result is guaranteed to satisfy you. SECL experts can help you implement solutions of any type and complexity, so contact them, order high-quality services, and get excellent results.

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