Blog of a Freelancer – December 5th, 2017 My experience with CraftCMS

CraftCMS was created by the people that made my favourite ExpressionEngine plugins. And now they make my favourite content management system.

Like ExpressionEngine, CraftCMS is a system that comes blank - a clean slate for you to build up your content structure. It does not presume to know you will have pages, posts or events - it let’s you create any content item you wish.

There are just three main areas for the initial install: ‘Entries’, ‘Assets’ and ‘Settings’.

Entries are all the content things like pages, news stories, bios, whatever. Entries are divided into two buckets: Singles (one-off items like an About page) and Channels (for creating multiples of each item like news stories).

Assets are files basically: images, PDFs, downloadables etc.

Settings is the place where the developer spends most of their time. Creating content structure, plugins, hooking things up.

A better admin experience

CraftCMS allows me to build up the fields I need for each content type. It allows me to look after the admin users as well as their customers. It’s a better administration and authoring experience.

Once of the killer features is ‘Live Preview’ when adding or editing content. It allows authors to see the web page update in real-time as they edit the content:

Upsides of CraftCMS

  • Better security
  • Nicer and more customisable admin experience
  • Fast rendering of templates

Downsides

  • Fewer plugins than some other CMS
  • One-off license fee of $199 or $299 US
  • Expensive eCommerce option

I’ve found CraftCMS to be enjoyable to use on web projects. I like setting up an easier-to-use authoring environment. It allows me to single-handedly create smart templating and data manipulation. It’s my go-to content management system.

If you have a new project and would like to use CraftCMS, or an existing Craft project - let me know!

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I've been a freelance interface designer, UX / UI guy and front-end developer for over 16 years, and a full-time freelancer since 2006. Contact me if you're looking for a help with your project, or your freelance setup.

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Quick facts

  • Freelance web designer based in the Blue Mountains (just outside Sydney)
  • Prefer to work from my office
  • Hour rate: $ contact me
  • Project rate: $ will quote
  • I'm passionate about quality
  • Married, with two great kids

Read more about me...

Skill & software overview

  • Trained graphic designer
  • 16+ yrs commercial experience
  • User-centred approach
  • Advanced Photoshop & Illustrator
  • Advanced HTML & CSS
  • W3C & WAI compliant
  • Responsive / Mobile friendly
  • WordPress customisation
  • ExpressionEngine customisation
  • Craft CMS customisation

I have a few PHP, Javascript and CMS experts that I work with when required – which is handy.

Right now I am...

  • Designing and front-end coding an online software service for the Australian real estate / strata industry. This electronic strata voting app allows lot owners and strata managers to setup & vote on strata agendas.
  • Working with Signet to lift their online presence. Interface design & code, EdMs and digital graphics are all part of the suite of changes underway.

Testimonials

Great effort! I really like working with you as you can work off my short scribblings and make sense from the resulting in a cracking web page! Rickard, Corality
Ahh you are the greatest!! Thanks so so much. Cass W., NRL
A1 Dave!", "Boom!!!!", "Yeah that’s the ticket! Ben, Cognify
I just wanted to thank you for the work you've put in – you're a true professional and I will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone (except our competition!) Al, Specialised Force
Thanks Dave, You’re a legend! Much appreciated. Al, Specialised Force
Wow after months of collaboration with the fantastic Dave Rayner, we are loving our new website. Colourful, fresh, easy to navigate and so many pictures to get our travel juices flowing! A big thank you Dave for making our transition from old to new super easy. Hayley, Sisterhood Women's Travel
Thanks so much for your help with those changes, I really appreciate you turning that around for me on such a short deadline. You've been extremely accommodating and helpful in piecing the product together, and I know everyone over here will be thrilled with the final result. Gina, Manly Sea Eagles
This is perfect, well done. For future reference things like this is why we like working with you, so keep it up. Rickard, Corality

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