Craft CMS Developers
Cursor are experienced Craft CMS developers and official Craft CMS partners who have produced a vast range of websites, online software and mobile apps developed using Craft CMS.
What is Craft CMS?
Cursor recommends Craft CMS as the ideal choice of website Content Management System. Craft CMS is a commercial system developed and maintained by Pixel & Tonic, first released in 2010. According to Pixel & Tonic themselves, Craft CMS is "a flexible, user-friendly CMS for creating custom digital experiences on the web and beyond."
Who uses Craft CMS?
Now on its third major version, Craft CMS is trusted by big names such as Ikea, Intel, Netflix, Oakley, Associated Press, as well as agencies and web developers worldwide.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), run by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Web, conducted a comprehensive review of Content Management Systems to select a new CMS for its website. The final shortlist included Craft CMS, Statamic, and WordPress. The W3C determined that Craft CMS was the winner based on the flexibility of its features and commitment to accessibility.
All the research and selection information for the W3C's decision is available online: https://w3c.studio24.net/docs/cms-selection-report/
Why choose Craft CMS?
There are many reasons why Craft CMS is used and trusted by thousands of developers worldwide.
One of its major selling points is the level of flexibility and customisation available to developers. Unlike other Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Craft CMS does not use built-in themes, instead allowing users to build exactly what they want from the ground up.
Craft CMS also has an impressive set of built-in features. Many of Pixel & Tonic’s ExpressionEngine add-ons were repurposed and built into the core of Craft CMS, which means you can achieve more natively without the need to install so many plugins.
The intuitive control panel makes Craft CMS easy for content managers and administrators to use, so the CMS isn’t just designed with developers in mind.
Does Craft CMS provide value for money?
The Pro version of Craft CMS is priced at $299 (about £215). This price includes one year of updates, with subsequent updates costing an additional $59 (about £43) per year after that.
Though this may seem expensive, it is actually quite a fair price when compared to some other, prohibitively expensive Content Management Systems such as SiteCore.
Although some Content Management Systems such as WordPress are open source and free, the cost of plugins soon adds up. With Craft, you are paying for the convenience, as you can do much more out of the box than you can with WordPress.
So even though Craft CMS is not open source, the depth of functionality and features that come with it more than makes up for this drawback and makes it worth the price.
Why do developers like Craft CMS?
The lack of off-the-shelf themes in Craft CMS is a developer’s dream, as it allows for complete customisation and flexibility. Developers hate having to wrangle with built-in themes, and Craft CMS provides complete freedom to build every inch of a website however you see fit.
Craft CMS is also perfect for developer teams working on projects together as it uses Composer to manage the CMS, plugins, and their dependencies. The version-controlled compose.json keeps track of what version of Craft CMS and plugins you are using, so a simple compose install from the command line will bring everything up-to-date.
Dev Mode is another useful feature which makes it easier for developers to test and debug websites built in Craft CMS. If Dev Mode is turned on and an error is detected in your Twig template code, a full stack trace will appear in your browser showing you what and where the problem is, making it much easier to track down the issue and solve it.
Is Craft CMS better than WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world by a very large margin. This is largely because it is free, open source, and uses built-in themes, so anyone can use it.
However, WordPress does not have as many built-in features as Craft CMS, and requires plugins to do many of the things which Craft can do out of the box. These plugins cost money, so if you want to build a professional website, WordPress will not remain free for very long.
WordPress also has some security issues, owing to the number of poorly developed and maintained plugins available. These can leave your website vulnerable to being hacked; in 2018, 90% of hacked CMS sites were powered by WordPress.
WordPress may do the job for a basic, off the shelf website, but if you are looking for something more bespoke, Craft CMS is the way to go.
What types of websites can be built using Craft CMS?
The built-in functionality, customisation features, and available plug-ins for Craft CMS gives you the freedom to build whatever kind of website you want.
Craft Commerce can be used to build e-commerce websites, and there are plugins available to help manage memberships and subscriptions as well.
We have used Craft CMS to build e-commerce websites, membership platforms, a short-term loan application system, a digital open days platform, and many more besides.
What is the difference between Craft 2 and Craft 3?
Craft CMS is being updated all the time with the latest security patches and new features. However, every few years an entirely new version of Craft is released, which requires a major update for all existing Craft websites.
The latest version of Craft CMS, Craft 3, was launched in 2018. It provides numerous improvements over Craft 2, including multi-site functionality, an advanced image editor, support for PostgreSQL, and significant speed and performance improvements over Craft 2.
Craft 2 has already reached the end of full support, meaning that no new features are being added to the system. Security support will end on 31st January 2022, after which Craft 2 may be exposed to hackers and others seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in the system.
If your business is still using Craft 2, you need to upgrade to Craft 3 now. Read our blog post to find out more about the importance of upgrading to Craft 3.