Back in May, we launched a Craft 2 CMS site with a Craft Commerce plugin for one of our clients, The Wine Explorer. Since then, we have continued to work on the site as we look towards upgrading it to Craft 3, where the added functionality of this update, along with its compatibility with Craft Commerce 2 will enable us to add a subscription service to the site.

While working on the site, we took some time out to showcase the CMS, so that other clients can see just how suitable it might be for their future projects.

Is Craft CMS like any other Content Management System?

While the layout of Craft CMS is a lot like that of WordPress, it’s tidy structure could also be compared to that of a tidier and more stripped back version of Drupal.

Unlike Wordpress, however, Craft has a simple structure that allows developers to build up their own sections and content interface – all without the need for any plugins to be installed.

Another advantage for Craft is the templates, which use the HTML twig format and are known for being easier and more readable – perfect for any developer looking to code quickly and efficiently within a project deadline. On the other hand, WordPress uses PHP, which, despite its advantages, can be very complex.

Have new clients heard of Craft CMS and would they use it for their website?

While many clients will be aware of WordPress and Drupal as the go-to Content Management Systems, less will have heard of Craft – although it is slowly becoming a popular CMS in its own right.

Furthermore, it depends on what is on the client’s project brief; if a client requires a very complex website, Drupal may be a better solution. For less complex sites, we may look to WordPress. However, for any site with a commerce plugin, we would certainly recommend Craft as the way forward.

What is good about the commerce plugin in Craft?

Craft Commerce was built by Pixel and Tonic, the same team who built the Craft CMS. It has a great framework for developers to build commerce efficiently. The flexibility is strong, with the user in control of everything from product modelling, to the customer checkout process and order processing workflows. Pixel and Tonic are currently working Craft commerce 2 for the Craft 3 system, which contains all the elements from the previous version, but also introduces subscriptions. Despite having challenges while working on the commerce part, we are proud of what we have done for our client so far.

The main disadvantage of the plugin is that it’s not free. However, we consider it more worth the price, as users will have access to ALL the features and the support from Pixel and Tonic. Furthermore, the company offer a free trial for Development and UAT sites, so that prospective users can see the plugin at work first-hand before purchasing the licence key.

Is Craft CMS an ideal Content Management System for our clients?

In the future, we would certainly recommend this system to any client that needs a quick and simple site, as well as those that may require an efficient commerce plugin.

By Ruth Shepperd

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