So, for the past couple years, I've been using systems like WordPress and now Drupal to construct client websites. Most of the development has been front-end with themes and simple widgets (or blocks in Drupal). Don't get me wrong, I love using those systems, but now I want to move on to something greater that I can truly say "I built that". A lot of people here seem to have that aspiration. The only problem is (and probably my biggest pitfall) is that I'm a perfectionist. I build websites that are pixel perfect, and when building my own system, I want it to be as modular as the great ones like WP and Drupal. This is becoming extraordinarily difficult as I am not a PHP expert, but I also want to build a system that will work on multiple client sites.

The question is, should I use a framework?

As mentioned above, I am no PHP expert and want a modular system I can call my own. Does it inhibit one's ability to learn PHP when using a framework like Zend or CodeIgnighter? What are the advantages and disadvantages to using a PHP framework to build applications?

You are perfectionist on what ? on drawing ? Don’t get me wrong, web design is an art science with not so many fields in universities yet, I don’t underestimate that job. But it is not programming, programming is something deferent. Frameworks will not make you a programmer experience and open mind will. Most frameworks in PHP aren’t clear to that. You talked about CMS projects , I am not going to judge their code (if I would have to write code for such generic use, probably I would come to same conveniences). But the key thing is first to learn programming , built your own individual view and then move to frameworks …

commented: Thanks for the advice, I will keep that in mind +3

basing on the title... want to get inside PHP? then you have to start at the basic, learn the native php then if you want to go advance learn OOP as most of frameworks are OOP

@jkon I have built multiple WordPress and Drupal theme frameworks for clients along with other code to improve the user experience. I know enough about coding to build a basic application, but my question was whether or not a Framework will enhance my ability to program further.

Thanks for the advice though, it was roughly what I was looking for. I just get so caught up in how other pre-built systems work that I lose track of what really makes things happen.

I am on the road to building my own little content management framework to use in my future applications. Mixing what I know about OOP (enough to do a few useful tasks) with my knowledge of functions to create a working system. Users, content creation, and custom taxonomies should all be complete tomorrow (should be fun).

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I find oop difficult. It's a totally different way of thinking compared to procedural. If you're thinking of building your own cms I think you have to go oop. Using codeigniter or zend or cakewalk or symphony etc will force you to structure your code a certain way. I hate them to be honest but they do, well most anyway, encorage mvc and modular approach. So, will frameworks make you a better programmer? Yes and no. It will help you structure you output but I don't see that they help you with learning and using the language. My 2p.

commented: Thanks for answering the question directly. +3
commented: well said sir +6