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DarkGizmo

Framework or custom?

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When developing a website do you like to use a pre-existing framework or use something you've coded yourself? Eg: Do you use a CMS like wordpress or Drupal and then modify it to do what you want it to do or do you code something completely from the ground up? For me, it depends on what I'm needing out of the site. :)

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I had to make this decision for my upcoming site - for the first time, really. I've always just used WP when it's my own stuff, with other bits like phpBB or Coppermine tacked on wherever necessary. Since I'm not doing the dev work, it was quite hard to make a choice but I figured I'd rather go with a pre-built framework (Drupal in my case) because it would cut dev time (and therefore cost).

 

Of course, the down-side is that if the site becomes ridiculously popular in the future, I'll probably have to have it re-developed in core PHP or something. Ah, well... swings and roundabouts.

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Def use a pre existing framework if you're just starting out. Unless you already have a huge following of people and you have the people and resources to make something custom, i would save the time, money and energy by using something pre existing.

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It all depends on what you are trying to achieve, usually frameworks are used for custom forum/blogging softwares, while custom are used for much more simpler scripts. Custom is much easier to maintain because you built it, you know what you are doing, but it is time intensive. Frameworks are simple and make development easier, but it require more learning experience, which is time intensive too. So its a 1:1 ratio.

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I am not a programmer, so I use already made platforms. It would take me years to code something usable and it's not my thing anyway. As long as there are some excellent scripts out there, I'll surely use them. Having a unique design and good content can set me apart from other sites using the same platforms, so it all works OK in the end.

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I definitely go with pre-existing frameworks unless I am looking for something that can't be achieved by using them. Using pre-exisitng frameworks can save you a lot of time when you are starting out but I recommend that you make yourelf familiar with the system otherwise maintaining is going to be a big problem.

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Ah seems like a lot of people are going the pre-existing route. Can't say I blame you guys as stated it saves time and money in the long run. Also there's the possibility of security in mind. If you have a team of developers making a product such as wordpress or phpBB or xenforo. It's more then likely going to be secure because if someone overlooks a potential security flaw, another team member might stumble across that flaw and fix it before releasing the next version. Where-as if you're coding it yourself and you oversee something you won't know about it until you're potentially hacked.

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If you're writing an application that will remain on your server, there's almost no reason not to use a framework. However, if you're coding something you plan to redistribute, it might be better to start from scratch. For licensing reasons (clean IP), and because frameworks make some things like DB-based view files and global settings difficult. Using a framework may also make the purchaser think they're getting less of a deal if you didn't write most of the code. (The latter is based on experience, trust me on that one)

 

I'd like to add something else to the conversation... JavaScript frameworks. Do you use them, or do you prefer raw JS? What about CSS frameworks such as 960.gs? They certainly make things easier, but when you start piling on framework after framework and library after library just to write as little code as possible, your project will bloat pretty quickly. I remember migrating from Twig to my own template engine... the project got a little bit faster and the new engine was only one file. :)

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