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

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
I like the sizing and fonts, I think it's a clean design and the key points are emphasised well! Paul P, Dasck
Thanks Dave – looks great! We are really happy with the look and feel... Good work team! Courtney & Michael, NRL
Perfect... the sticky nav scroll etc looks great! Victor, Fox Symes & Associates
Very impressive turn around! Thanks mate, I really appreciate it. In hindsight, this should have been done a long time ago. Looking forward to the next stage of development! Oskar B, Sino Resources Capital
Well done. Thanks a million. Quick and efficient. Peter R, Balmain Sailing Club
I love it man - You never disappoint, I'll pass on to the guys and come back to you... they all love it. Richard M, Marketing Consultant
Epic! Thank you! Legend... Perfect! Thank you, as always! Reece, NRL

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