At Tundra, we’ve been developing websites since 2004, and in that time, we’ve worked on our fair share of CMS platforms—Sitecore, Kentico, and Drupal, among them. But in recent years, there’s one CMS that’s stood out: Craft by Pixel & Tonic. We started working with Craft in 2017, and it’s often become our CMS of choice, due to its reliability and extensibility. Here are a few reasons why we’re still choosing Craft, and why we so often recommend it to our clients.
Craft offers a lot of flexibility to developers, with fully customisable templating and HTML. Craft has been built with usability, flexibility, scalability and ease of development in mind, and developers can easily create custom entry types based on the client’s requirements.
Core functionality, plugins, and custom integrationsCraft offers a number of out-of-the-box features. Multi-site, which allows you to define sites at different domains for microsites, regional localisation or multilingual requirements, is especially useful for businesses with region-based content or multilingual audiences. Common cloud providers such as AWS S3 are also supported for asset libraries, and Craft Commerce provides an eCommerce solution for clients needing point of sale solutions. On top of this core functionality, Craft’s mature plugin store has free and paid solutions for content authoring enhancements. On many projects, we’ll use these plugins to facilitate integrations to third-party systems like CRM and marketing platforms, or to manage contact and enquiry forms. And when the plugin store doesn’t solve a problem, our developers can build upon Craft’s extensible framework with our own plugins for data integrations, content import, performance enhancements and more.
A community of expertsWith tens of thousands of sites running on Craft, there’s also a strong and active development community, with forums and conferences dedicated to sharing knowledge and advancing people’s understanding of the system. So no matter how complex a requirement may be, there’s a wealth of knowledge for developers to draw on to get a solution up and running.The popularity of Craft also means there’s an extensive library of plugins to choose from. Whether it’s a customisable solution to version control, or an icon picker functionality for CMS authors, there’s a plugin for every requirement.
Craft is designed to support component-driven design and development, allowing for even greater flexibility in content creation. Pages are not created using rigid templates, but rather with modular blocks that the author has full control over. Authors can place these blocks in any order depending on their content needs, providing a wide number of possible combinations and page layouts.The component-based design approach provides both designers and CMS authors with far greater flexibility than traditional template structures, which are generally only suited to one type of content and require greater maintenance over time as business requirements change. The component-based approach therefore provides CMS users with a customisable, future-proofed solution to content presentation that can be adapted to suit business priorities.Full page templates can also be built out of these components and saved as a starting point for any future pages that require the same structure. This is especially useful for product listing pages, staff profile pages, or case studies, and provides CMS users with an efficient authoring process, whilst still retaining flexibility.
Craft was designed by CMS users, for CMS users, and features some of the best authoring tools around. The administration console is clean and easy to use, providing a breakdown of entry types, media libraries, and integration management.
Extensive and intuitive editing controlsAuthors can easily create new entries and edit or duplicate existing entries, and each entry boasts an extensive version history, making it easy to roll back to previous versions of a page. Authors can also create draft versions of an existing page and save them within the same entry, without overriding existing content. Craft’s Live Preview feature also lets content authors preview the page they’re working on side-by-side with their editing controls, allowing them to test out changes to content and layout without having to publish the page to a draft or live version.Media management made easyCraft offers desktop-class media management, with volumes, sub-folders, and the ability to view media files in either list or thumbnail view. Media files can also be stored in the Cloud and still show up right alongside locally-stored files.Authors also have the flexibility to transform and edit images within Craft, including scaling and cropping, making media management even easier.Customisable user and permission setupEvery web team is different, which is why Craft offers granular settings for user permissions. Users can be restricted to viewing or editing certain sections of the site, and permission to create, edit, delete, or publish entries can also be controlled at the user-level. This is especially useful for businesses with state-based teams or complex approval workflows, as user permissions can be restricted to the exact sections or actions required by each team member.
Over many, many projects, we’ve developed a tried and tested approach to development in Craft CMS, using a technology mix that is reliable, flexible, scalable, and personalised to our clients’ needs. We often happily recommend Craft to our clients, and are always willing to chat through their requirements and how Craft can be used to give them the authoring experience they’re looking for. If you’re still wondering if Craft is right for you, we’d be more than happy to take you through a demo of the CMS. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about what Craft can deliver for you.*This post is not sponsored by Craft CMS. We’re just big fans!