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Why We Shifted From Wordpress to Craft CMS

by Luke Peters | Aug 1, 2016 | [[ readEstimate ]] min read

According to TechTimes, 25% of websites that run on a content management system are Wordpress sites; it's hard to work in the web industry and not come across a Wordpress site or five. When Sean and I first started working on projects together, we built several websites in Wordpress.

Although we still offer to build websites in Wordpress, and appreciate how powerful a platform it is given its huge community and available plugins, we most often recommend a different CMS: a relatively new option called Craft CMS.

Craft CMS came into our lives in 2012 after a former colleague recommended we check it out. It was created by the folks over at Pixel and Tonic who were formerly involved with ExpressionEngine, and it continues to make our lives and those of our clients much easier!

Although Craft CMS comes with a one-time license fee of $200 (versus Wordpress' $0 price tag), here are a few reasons why we recommend Craft CMS.

Blank Slate

Instead of dealing with a default theme and it's templates, in Craft CMS you start with a completely blank slate. You only write the exact code you need and don't waste time stripping out unnecessary bits and modifying generic templates/functionality.

Concise and Simple Admin Panel

In WordPress you might need to go into the Widgets section to find the piece of content you're trying to edit. Or it could be under Pages, or maybe Posts. The WordPress admin panel is littered with buttons, and it's not always easy to figure out where you need to go to find what you're looking for.

Craft CMS, on the other hand, has a very simple and elegant admin panel. There is one major section you go into to edit almost all of your content - it's called "Entries."

Custom Fields, Right Out of the Box

To create more advanced data fields for content in WordPress we must install a plugin (for example, the Advanced Custom Fields plugin) to extend it's normal field capabilities. Craft CMS has custom fields built into it's core, which means no extra steps or configuration.

Relationships

Craft CMS has powerful in-built relationship capabilities. You can easily relate any piece of content with another, no matter the type. For example, you can have Products that have related Case Studies, and Case Studies that have related Authors, and Authors who have related Blog Posts, etc. Everything can relate to everything else. This is not as easily done in Wordpress. 

Custom Sort Orders

Sorting content in a specific order is simple in Craft CMS. You just drag and drop content items into the order you like and they are immediately saved and will be displayed in that order on the page. WordPress does not have this capability built-in, and we've seen some very unintuitive solutions for custom sorting in WordPress over the years.

Designed to Manage Website Content

It's been said before, but we'll say it again: WordPress was designed as a blogging tool, not a CMS. It can be morphed into just about anything you want with enough effort, but at it's core it is a blogging tool. Craft CMS, on the other hand, was specifically designed as a website content management system.

Less Development Time

Due to all of the above reasons, building a website in Craft CMS takes less time. All of the core tools we need for a regular website build are already there waiting for us. The resultant code is also cleaner, because we are able to start from scratch and only build exactly what we need.

In Conclusion

All of that said, WordPress is an amazing piece of software. It wouldn't be so extremely widespread if it weren't, but that doesn't make it the right tool for every job. For website content management, Craft CMS is the most seamless, intuitive and time-maximizing tool to use in our opinion.