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 19 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
  • 22+ 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
  • ZenDesk theme customisation

Right now I am...

  • Working with Australia's premier racing data provider 'Racing and Sports' on their new online presence.
  • Working with Signet to lift their online presence. Interface design & code, EdMs and digital graphics are all part of the suite of changes underway.
  • Working with the NRL on an updated event-map application and membership search web-app.

Testimonials

We are so stoked with the results and Basketball Australia was absolutely blown away with the high-quality work that you were able to produce in such a short amount of time. Angelina, Signet
Thank you for your amazing work and website. Loving it! John Stewart, Tudor House
Thanks Dave, You’re a legend! Much appreciated. Al, Specialised Force
My Hero! What can I say. Finally a person who cares about all the details! Charlie, Charlie Chan Music
Thanks Dave, all looks perfect... The site is looking absolutely brilliant and is exactly as hoped for it to look and function. Tony M, NRL Wellbeing & Education
This is great. Thanks Dave! Fantastic! WOOOHOOOO! Sara, NRL
This is perfect thank you, great job as always. Eric, NRL
What an absolute superstar! Quite often we work with developers that are very slow on the uptake, thanks so much for completing these tasks so quickly. Eli, Castleford

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