The Benefits of Craft: Craft CMS Review
If you’re hating that Wordpress life, maybe it’s time to switch things up and try a new CMS. Craft CMS is a modern, open-source option that has some tangible benefits worth considering.
About Craft CMS
Craft CMS is a flexible content management system that gives you an insane amount of control over the structure and design of your website without adding the plug-in bloat of other systems like Wordpress.
Out of the box, Craft CMS can do a lot. Here are some highlights:
- Content blocks that allow content creators to drag and drop elements into unique page layouts on the fly
- Live preview to see what you’re building in real time
- Custom field types
- Sections that include “Singles” for unique page types, “Channels” for unordered content types, and “Structures” for content you want to organize in a specific order.
- Content relationships with categories and tags
- Multiple site tools within a single CMS - great for multiple brands or even sub-brands or branded campaigns
- Localization tools that support multiple languages or unique content depending on location
Usability for Admins and End Users
Because Craft CMS websites are built to your specifications (no off-the-shelf buggy templates), finding your content to edit is easier. The admin side of the CMS is just as customizable as the user side of the website, so custom fields with helpful explainer text make the experience of managing content more delightful.
And, only the features and functionality users need is built. So, there’s no weird content blocks, awkward transitions, or unnecessary scrolling for users to find what they need on your website.
Customization and Design Flexibility
Craft CMS also encourages customization and design flexibility because it is built to your needs. It is perfect for design system thinking or reusable content blocks that are combined to create unique page layouts rather than static page templates. By using Craft CMS to define the types of content you need on your site, you can create a flexible system that is scalable and more robust than a set of defined page templates that usually don’t support future site needs very well.
Speed and Site Performance
Have you ever waited 10 seconds for a website load? Probably not - unless it is a site you’re managing. According to Forrester, 47% of consumers expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. And 40% will abandon a site after 3 seconds of loading time. So, the stakes are pretty high to get page load times down. Craft CMS is lightweight and allows you to build only what you need so you’re not loading a suite of tools in the background that you’re not even using. Wordpress sites often have a web of plugins that create unnecessary bloat weighing sites down and dragging out page load times. In 2020 average page load times are in the 5-6 second range while the outliers can be much, much worse. Using Craft CMS will give you an instant advantage here.
In 2018, 90% of hacked websites were built with Wordpress CMS. Because there are so many makers of unverified plug-ins, themes and tools, it’s easy for hackers to find ways to get in and cause trouble. And they do. Everything from stealing financial data to using your domain to sell their own products.
Craft CMS by contrast only had 3 security vulnerabilities in all of 2019. And only three in 2018, too, thus reducing your risk substantially.
Search Engine Optimization
SEOmatic is a Craft CMS tool available for $99 that adds powerful SEO tools to your marketing tech stack. Page titles, descriptions, and other metadata are available as well as social sharecards, combine with more technical behind-the-scenes tools that boost your websites search rankings with minimal effort by content managers.
A Craft CMS license costs $299 with an annual renewal fee of $59. While this is more expensive than “free,” it is definitely much cheaper to keep your site up-to-date for a nominal fee than to do constant maintenance protecting yourself from security vulnerabilities. And, these fees are much cheaper than many other proprietary systems that have annual subscription models that ding you every time you want content or design feature upgrades.
In summary, Craft CMS is a great choice if you:
- Want to build a customized website with a flexible design system
- Have site speed performance goals
- Want to protect against security threats
- Want to boost SEO performance
- Need to manage multiple sites or a site in multiple languages
- Don’t want to spend a fortune on a paid CMS