Quick guide to Web development frameworks

Web development

Everyone wants their website to be coded correctly but understanding the different types can be confusing. As web developers we are often asked about the code that will be used when building websites. There are many different types of code, and then just to make it even more confusing, frameworks that this code can be created in.

The most common types of website code are PHP and .net, which have their own frameworks. All of them can do the same thing but work in different ways. To you or your visitors there isn’t much difference.

We’ve already looked at different types of code in a previous article. In this one we are looking at why frameworks are important and which are the most common ones.

Why should I care?

Most people don’t and for many this is not an issue. However, the larger the website and company, the more questions you should ask in order to address any risk and compliance requirements, and reassure senior management and c-suite.

The larger the website and company, the more questions you should ask about the framework in order to address any risk and compliance requirements.

What is a framework?

In basic terms, it is a basic underlying structure that provides support. In web development, the framework creates libraries for common activities, e.g. registration, managing navigation. These libraries will be tested and bug-free.

A web development framework is not dissimilar to a document template. Your template will have a structure and styles and you can apply the ones you need without having to make style changes. This makes it quicker and reduces formatting errors.

Frameworks makes development quicker and reduces errors.

Every website is different so don’t think that a framework is a cheap short-cut for development. If you have complex requirements then the code will be modified to suit your needs. Frameworks provide a reliable base for web development to start from.

Advantages of using a framework

The main advantages are:

  • Coding is more consistent so the are fewer bugs
  • Easier and quicker to build the  website

Common frameworks

There are lots of frameworks but the most common PHP ones are:

  • Zend
  • Symfony
  • CakePHP
  • Code Igniter

The main differences between them are the ease of learning, the quality of documentation and speed. There are pros and cons to each one. For example, CakePHP is known for being easy to use but has poor documentation.

At MintTwist we use the Zend framework. We chose Zend because it’s object orientated, modular and had an excellent community. For our web development team, it was the best fit for the way we code.

Should framework influence web development selection?

Probably not. The choice of framework is unlikely to limit the development of your website. You may want to consider asking the agency what framework they use, and if they don’t use one, consider if this is a risk.

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