Getting Crafty

Posted On: Aug 03, 2015

With a plethora of CMS (Content Management System) software out there, choosing the right one for your web project can be a daunting task AND the majority of clients will probably have heard of and ask for, Wordpress.

The problem is, Wordpress is NOT the best solution anymore, security holes, buggy plugins and no real control over the control of the quality of the open source code being written for it mean you are delving into an unknown quantity, one that could cause major headaches for a project during its lifetime.

Let me introduce an alternative, Craft.

Craft is a CMS that allows the developer complete flexibility in what they want to do with it. No pre defined templates, no bloated code, a very secure application structure and it is infinitely configurable. It also ties in with Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Storage and Rackspace Cloud out-of-the-box, meaning you can immediately help to improve site speed by utilising a CDN for all your assets.

The CMS back end is really user friendly and being able to build up page editing forms however you want, you can ensure that it’s as easy for a client to use as it is for a developer to build with. There are tools like image size and format control that mean the old issue of incorrect image sizes being uploaded are avoided as automation takes care of this to ensure images display as intended.

Going deeper into the guts of the CMS reveals that it has a powerful relationships engine and user management system. Templating is a breeze with the Twig Templating Language taking over from standard PHP code. Built in functions and classes that can be referenced and as a result, template developers and designers will find its easy to get pages springing to life in no time.

Yes there are some shortcomings, some things that maybe should be introduced in future versions of the software (Craft is still relatively young as I write this I’m using version 2.4.2) and there are signs that these features will make it into the soon to be released version 3.0.

The main commercial difference is that Craft does come with a price tag, for the limited Craft Personal version it is FREE, but for the CLIENT version it’s $199 (although commercially this still has heavy limitations), the version that you should be purchasing for enterprise use is Craft PRO coming in at $299 - which is a very fair price considering you get support from Pixel & Tonic (the creators) and community support from a very knowledgeable base of existing users.

Overall, Craft, for me, is the new King of CMS software for small to medium projects. For large scale sites and systems, something like Laravel may be more appropriate but I am moving forward with Craft for the majority of my work now, and I doubt the word “Wordpress” will cross my lips as a recommendation again.

  • CMS
  • twig
  • wordpress
  • content management systems
  • web design
  • web
  • UX