Opinionated frameworks are holding back your marketing growth

Opinionated frameworks are holding back your marketing growth

Content platforms have been going through a change for a number of years. Traditionally, the concept of a CMS involves a platform where front end (visual design) and back end (content management system) are one in the same. This means that design & user interface, URL structures, content delivery, page building, form styling and all other aspects of the ‘management’ of the website are entirely linked together. 


Whilst this seems like a reasonable solution, the issues that this has created for website managers has been getting worse and worse. The issue lies in the fact that these CMS systems are what’s referred to as ‘Opinionated’.


What is an opinionated web framework?


Framework: a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text.


Web frameworks make predefined and structured decisions around the architecture, conventions and overall format of the platform that they support. You can think of a framework as set of clearly defined rules around how a system should behave and be applied. 


Frameworks are helpful to developers as it speeds up the work that they do as they can re use code that has previously been written and follow the best paths for that platform in terms of decision making. 


Open source technologies such as Wordpress & Drupal a great examples of this. So many developers use these Opinionated platforms because the speed to build simple websites is high and the codebase is consistent. 


Where the problems start


The issue with these technologies, however, starts to rear its head due to the implicit simplicity of the platforms themselves. Even when two CMS’ are developed in the same language, they can hugely vary in how they are applied due to how well trodden the path is (how many websites have been built on that platform). This is why we refer to these platforms as being ‘Opinionated’.


The framework developers & architects build a simple path to make development easier for the mass development market (one of the reasons why Wordpress is so popular). This is great, except for the fact that developers then must follow specific assumptions in the framework.


If your needs match the intended purpose of the framework i.e. ‘I would like to set up a blog, Wordpress is blog platform = match’, then the platform matches its intended use. 


When you begin to move away from the intended application of a framework, they become intentionally difficult to violate. 


In practice, the problems start to range from a lack of easy extensions in one particular area (for example job search, candidate profiles) etc. 


When choosing an opinionated framework, you need to think of it more as a business decision, rather than a marketing decision. If you are running a business that wants to grow or take advantage of a constantly evolving set of product tools, then moving away from an opinionated framework is the best way to go. If you are happy staying still (or moving very slowly as a business), then choosing an Opinionated framework is the right choice.



The rise of Application Frameworks & Headless CMS’


As more and more companies (and in turn developers) realised that Wordpress et al have limitations in terms of their structure, it became clear that a new approach was required. 


The solution was to look at more sophisticated frameworks such as React, an unopinionated framework. React is fast, highly customisable, scalable and simple to make changes to making it perfect to compliment business who want purpose built products for their short, medium and long term plans. Facebook turned to React to build their entire front end framework for some of the reasons mentioned above and since then millions of websites have been delivered using the ReactJS framework. 


Headless CMS’ are relatively new but highly powerful and now used by the biggest organisations in the world. 


The concept of Headless CMS’ is simple; they aren’t opinionated. The content and User Interface (Design) are decoupled, meaning an incredibly high level of flexibility coupled with high performance (speed/load times). 




Systems such as Wordpress are beginning to be treated as ‘legacy’ due to the evolution of Headless CMS’ built on frameworks like React. 


If you’ve been on an Open Source CMS, the chances are you’ve struggled with some of the issues detailed in this blog. We’ve worked with thousands of Recruitment Agencies and their Open Source web CMS platforms all struggle from the same issues due to high levels of conformity to rules. Usually the initially build process for the website is straight forward and then additional features and products/tools freeze due to a lack of flexibility.


Moving from opinionated CMS’ and technology may be the missing ingredient in your marketing strategy when it comes to creating a hub for your content and jobs. 

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