The 10 things we love most about Craft CMS.
We’ve been using Craft CMS since 2013, the same year of its release, and we’ve now brought 50 Craft CMS sites into the world. In this blog post I’m going to cover the 10 things we love most about Craft CMS.
Craft CMS makes no assumptions about the sort of site we want to build, so one of the things we love most about Craft CMS is the empty box starting point so we can add only the fields and tabs to the user-interface that our clients actually need. It’s also easy to add instructions and placeholders to fields to give clients additional guidance. This makes Craft really easy to use for our clients and means often minimal training is required and the site ends up being more frequently updated as it’s a less daunting task.
Craft CMS has a large and growing selection of open source plugins so if we need to augment Craft’s already considerable out-of-the-box functionality there’s often a robust and battled tested plugin that will fit the bill. If there’s not Craft still has us covered, as building a plugin for Craft is simple thanks to a well designed API and good documentation.
Craft CMS has a growing and friendly community found on Slack, Stack Exchange and if you’re lucky a Meetup near you. It’s quick and easy to get answers to questions and more often than not someone will chime in who has already tackled a similar problem and is more than happy to share a solution.
When we started our Craft CMS journey we were in touch with Craft CMS support more than we are these days and the support was nothing short of amazing. I can recall a couple of occasions when we made smaller feature requests that were then released later the same day!
Pixel and Tonic are very forward-thinking and work hard to make sure Craft keeps pace with the wider web development community. Support for PHP 7, 7.1 and 7.2 was quick to arrive and unlike other content management systems Craft can be deployed in more sophisticated architectures with ease such as load-balanced, stateless configurations or behind a caching HTTP reverse proxy such as Varnish.
Craft CMS becomes a formidable e-commerce tool when paired with Craft Commerce, which is a plugin also developed by the developers of Craft CMS, Pixel and Tonic. We’ve found Craft Commerce to be very versatile in enabling us to build quite bespoke e-commerce solutions. There have been a few bumps in the road but those have been smoothed out as Craft Commerce has matured as a product. We would have no reservations in selecting Craft Commerce for an e-commerce project.
7. The Matrix
Still one of the much loved features of Craft CMS is the Matrix field, which transformed the content management experience for our clients. Enabling them to build up rich content pages by using one or more content blocks of varying types such as image, video, rich text, quote, etc. With the ability to add additional content block types as projects require.
Craft CMS was built from day one with excellent translation and localisation features, which has enabled us to deliver very comprehensively translated and localised websites and we’re looking forward to the functionality in this area improving even further with the arrival of multi-site and more capabilities in Craft CMS version 3.
9. Multi-environment ready
Craft CMS makes it easy to set configuration variables in production, staging and development environments, which makes our lives as web developers that little bit easier.
Being able to use your website’s CMS on a mobile device might not seem that important but once you have it you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Craft CMS performs really well on mobile and tablet devices and I can guarantee you there will be more than one occasion when you’ll be thankful it does.
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