Craft CMS Web Development
Clearbold has launched a number of sites built with Craft CMS and supported custom add-on development and content migrations to Craft from WordPress and ExpressionEngine. Why should you consider Craft for your website?
Craft is a powerful content management system
Support for structured content and custom content fields is a requirement in a modern CMS. Your staff directory, product catalog, marketing promotions, and other bits and pieces of content that do not comprise a full page or resemble general page content are all what we call structured content. Structured content can be presented in different contexts, with its presentation tailored to fit particular contexts, such as small screens vs. large screens. Structured content can be targeted and styled distinctly, rather than embedding styles in large blobs of WYSIWYG text. These features are a requirement when we build robust, manageable, responsive websites.
Craft provides robust native support for a range of structured content types and the ability to extend the platform with custom fieldtypes.
Craft has a powerful templating engine
Craft uses the Twig templating engine and avoids prescribing HTML markup. Craft’s approach to template development allows us to code HTML templates per approved designs and our best practices for accessibility and maintainability. We can then pull content into those templates from CMS entries where, when, and how we choose. At no point does Craft dictate how we build sites or how we can design sites.
Craft is extensible,
when if you need it to be
ExpressionEngine is a content management system that, like Craft, supports structured content and a true templating system, with a long history. We migrated a client website from ExpressionEngine to Craft and eliminated more than 20 installed third-party add-ons in the process. Our Craft build includes just 5 add-ons, custom-coded for the site’s needs using Craft’s friendly API, two of which support payment transactions via Stripe. Craft simply does more out of the box, and when you need something extra, makes development easier.
Over time, reducing dependencies on third-party add-ons has become an important goal for us. Third-party dependencies can slow down or impede our ability to keep up with platform updates, or compromise security or site performance.
Craft is content editor-friendly
Craft’s site admin provides:
- A mobile-friendly, responsive control panel experience; also helpful on your computer if you like to put two narrow windows side-by-side during content entry
- A clean, modern, streamlined UI that allows you to focus on the task at hand
- Support for draft content and versioning
- Live content previews, even for content in draft mode
- A built-in updater, making it easier to keep up with updates
Craft empowers editorial design
Ever written a long blog post or article where you had to go through and manipulate div wrappers, CSS classes, or other styling elements in a big WYSIWYG blob? With Craft’s Matrix fieldtype, we can target those uniquely formatted elements as blocks with their own fields, which you can add, remove, and drag and drop to reorder. We can design for distinctive editorial experiences and you don’t have to think about HTML or CSS, or what might break when you publish.
Your website in any language
Craft has built-in support for localization, enabling you to publish translated versions of all your pages and content entries.
Craft is supported
While we appreciate the open source community’s efforts and philosophy, a one-time Craft license ($199 – $299) gets you access to a friendly, responsive support team. Craft’s codebase is also openly available to audit.
Craft is secure
Craft has history
We’ve relied heavily on Pixel & Tonic, the team behind Craft, since 2008, when we started including their ExpressionEngine add-ons in every site we launched on that platform. Craft emerged from Brandon Kelly & team’s experience optimizing ExpressionEngine and was first released in private beta in 2012. Since then the platform, and its widespread adoption, has only grown. We’re excited and eager to continue building websites using this powerful platform.
What about open source software?
Brandon Kelly points out that Craft is not FOSS (Free Open Source Software), but is open source in that the codebase is open for evaluation and they receive bug reports and fixes from the community around the product. He also describes ways in which the platform would live on if Pixel & Tonic ever went away.