What is a web framework?
The web framework is basically software designed mainly for web developers. A framework can provide libraries to access a database. It also helps managing cookies and sessions, and it is a wonderful tool for creating templates or reusing the HTML code. One important thing to consider is that frameworks can be often confused with a content management system. Let me explain the difference. The main difference between those two is that the framework is a system that is much more general. Even if it deals with the same issues mostly, it is much more general than the content management system. Most people define the framework not as a tool, but rather as a collection of tools.
What is the framework used for?
Being a collection of tools, the framework helps the developer build a website easier and faster. Frameworks are very useful in providing tools that cover the CRUD cases. There are libraries that allow the access of a database and develop further actions, up to creating templates for displaying HTML pages. The reuse of code is widely promoted by the framework as well. For example, somebody needs to design a certain type of menu bar that can be reused, with minor changes for future projects that have the same type of requests for a menu bar. Since any website that will have to be build will eventually require further interaction, whether it is modifying or creating a record, the framework basically works like a portal that allows web developers to do just that without having to write the SQL over and over again.
How do I choose a framework?
There is a wide range of choices out there, and the best choice definitely depends on the personal preferences and the program a web developer is working with. It is also true that having a lot of framework systems to choose from, there might be a chance of making the wrong choice, but in the end every framework has its strengths and weaknesses. A web developer has to evaluate and understand them, in order to take the best decision in building a website. Here are just some of the popular frameworks used by web developers: Ruby on Rails (Ruby), Nitro (Ruby), Merb (Ruby), Django (Python), Turbo Gears (Python), Pylons (Python), Symfony (PHP), Cake (PHP), Fusebox (Cold Fusion), Model Glue (Cold Fusion), etc.
Why should I use a framework at all?
Basically the framework is a must for a professional web developer. First, the framework helps building websites a lot faster and encourages web designers to pay more attention to technical things like making the website more responsive, for example.
When do I need a framework?
There are many things to pay attention to and be concerned of while choosing a framework. There are some things everybody interested in web development should pay attention to when deciding if they need to use a framework or not. A professional web developer will need a framework almost all the time.