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WordPress: CMS or Framework

Friday, July 4th, 2014 by Servage

WordPress a Framework

What is a framework? Particularly, a PHP framework? Why might we need it? What would we look for when deciding on our framework?

These basic, but vital, questions arise when a PHP developer, or specifically a WordPress developer, jumps into project planning. PHP, like any programming language, consists of a basic language structure. Yet, this basic syntax isn’t feasible for streamlining the development process. Advanced programming relies on rapid coding without being confined to repetitive tasks. A programming language needs to offer enough flexibility for different situations of writing code and the unique needs of a coder. Binding code structure to a stringent shape or architecture is not advisable. For this reason, programmers have historically developed frameworks to meet their particular needs.

Frameworks overcome the need for repetitive coding and possible errors from that, and more importantly, follow the MVC pattern for programming PHP. Good frameworks offer a toolbox of software components which you can quickly integrate into the project, plus code structures to avoid errors. All frameworks provide a solid methodology or an assembly diagram with a predefined structure that easily allows you to work on complex items . In turn, frameworks allow you to maintain and upgrade applications in a streamlined fashion.

WordPress as a Framework

Most developers consider WordPress a solid and successful CMS. Some even regard it as a possible framework, though this is not entirely understood, so let’s explore this. Can a developer really see WordPress as a good framework? With our answer to this question comes the following expectations for a framework:

  • First, it does provide database support
  • Documentation support is readily available for guidance
  • Community support is accessible for quickly resolving problems
  • Backend management is rather easy; plus there are other management tools available for end users of our application
  • It delivers scope of scalability and extensibility for developers
  • And it supports MVC-like patterns for efficient coding

With this in mind, let’s see what WordPress offers to modern web developers and designers as a framework.

Database Support

It is well known that WordPress is a fan of MySQL, due to the progressive qualities which match the demands of advanced users and their need for secure data. If you want to merge WordPress with other databases a porting option is available, though not built-in integration. If looking for a good database, MySQL is perhaps your best choice, with seamless integration of WordPress at your disposal.

Documentation Support

Documentation is very important when learning a new language. With WordPress, the guidance that comes from well organized documents is top notch. This is a primary reason why WordPress is suitable as a framework.

Community Support

WordPress has the biggest community for PHP open source topics, and you have access to support from the official WordPress website to resolve problems in a timely manner. The WordPress Codex is a wiki that is shaped by its ever growing community. But if you need specific questions addressed, there are plenty of forums and discussion threads run by sophisticated developers.

Easy Backend Management

With excellent user managed modules and ability to manage a wide array of a plug-ins, WordPress can extend and enhance your power. The admin interface, or dashboard, is amazing with modern features that most other frameworks do not offer.

Scope of Scalability and Extensibility

Nowadays, many clients come to us developers with huge website projects that often include hefty e-commerce propositions seeking to grow traffic, databases, and interactions. Thus, scalability is vital for a WordPress developer and extensibility is a requirement of clients for long term programming needs. Fortunately, WordPress includes Hooks and Filters, which establishes it as one of the most powerful frameworks on the planet. It further delivers: SEO friendliness, Caching, Templates, and CRUD supports. Conclusively, I must say, WordPress is not just a simple CMS, but a future driven and perfect framework for most web developers.

References & More Reading

WordPress as a Framework
Best PHP Frameworks for Developers
An Overview of PHP Framework Guides for Developers

WordPress: CMS or Framework, 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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