5 Reasons To Love Craft

By Jessie Gilligan

There are a lot of awesome content management systems (CMSs) out there, but Focus Lab builds on Craft. Why? Because it's a flexible platform with a robust community. It's well documented and easy to learn. We've had tremendous success transitioning clients from other platforms to Craft, and they sing its praises too:

Craft
Craft CMS

“Creating a new site with Focus Lab on Craft gave us the needed shift in functionality, professionalism, and design that we needed to boost our company into our next phase of operations.”

1. Simple User Interface

"How easy will it be to make edits to my site?”

Users and Devs alike love Craft! From the control panel dashboard to managing users to the plugin store, the user interface is clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Once you’re in and get a sense for one element, you can anticipate the rest of the site. Getting back to where you were or finding an element is very easy in Craft.

Simple Ui
Simple UI

2. Notable Features

“Can I set different permissions for different teams?”

User Permissions: Managing users and setting up groups for different permissions is simple in craft. It is granular without being overwhelming. As you build out sections, you can grant varying levels of edit permissions at each level or create different permissions and then provide special access to individual users. It’s great for managing groups of users or limiting who can publish work. It's a flexible and highly customizable platform, if you want it to be.

“I need flexibility. If I want to add or remove a module from a page, can I do that with this?”

Variety of field types: My personal favorite, Matrix field. This field type allows for a highly-styled template with rich text flexibility, but even that can be tightly controlled within the template. Rich text editors, we can all agree, have more formatting issues than we’d prefer. With the Matrix field, you can apply blocks of content that can be rearranged. With some clever twig skills and clean HTML to start from, the Matrix field type can build some pretty cool templates.

“I’m afraid of editing my live site. Can I see what I’m editing or preview it somewhere?”

Live Preview: Craft has a live preview feature that allows you to make edits on your site while previewing them in real time. For blog posts or other entries with matrix fields, it's awesome to be able to drag and drop content order and see it update in real time.

Live Preview
Live Preview

3. Developer Friendly 

(Robust Documentation) The ability for new developers and seasoned ones alike to pick up this tool and run with it is amazing. In our experience, developers need little guidance after an initial introduction to the documentation to manage or maintain a site. 

Craft CMS Documentation Craft’s documentation is beyond robust. It is easy to navigate. It is clear. And any questions about the docs or where to find something is usually addressed in a Stack Exchange search. 

CraftQuest CraftQuest is a series of videos, courses, and tutorials where you can go to learn ALL things Craft. I reference it still today! If the documentation is too much at once, take a few courses and do a walkthrough of anything from setting up a development machine to writing your own plugins. These videos have it all and are constantly expanding.

4. Availability of Plugins

Craft has an array of available plugins. It can be extended to do all kinds of stuff, from eCommerce, to CRMs, to custom plugins; Craft’s Plugin Store and their documentation on writing plugins is next level.

Craft Plugin Store

While Craft comes out of the box with a slew of awesome features, the robust community has found many ways to expand on it for common needs. 

Craft’s documentation includes a comprehensive section for developing your own plugins. That, alongside the community, empowers developers to create new plugins to meet the unique needs of clients. 

Craft Commerce

Craft has an eCommerce plugin that works seamlessly with Craft. It's easy to add on and offers the same flexibility of Craft but as a commerce solution, making it the perfect addition for those with commerce needs. We’ve implemented a few of these in my time at Focus Lab, and it was every bit as friendly to navigate and as well documented as Craft CMS.

5. Craft Network/Community

The Craft community is supportive, encouraging and helpful. I haven’t felt intimidated or nervous to reach out to the community for help. From as early as my first couple of weeks, I was asking questions and getting great responses and feedback on ideas.

For the online world, the reach to help is as far as a dev’s keyboard. The same communities we use daily have dedicated areas for Craft as well.

  • Stack Exchange
  • Discord
  • Meet up

Additionally, there is a conference every year where folks can learn, showcase, and meet others in the field. (Dot All Conference)

TLDR

Content Authors love to manage content in a custom, easy-to-use CMS that's tailored to their needs.

  • Simple User Interface
  • Documentation
  • Community

Dev teams love the documentation and community. 

  • Notable features
  • Documentation
  • Plugins
  • Community

Decision makers like that their users love it, their dev teams can maintain/extend it, and there is a robust community to serve as resources or update an existing site.