Many hours of our time have been invested into making sure we invest our time and expertise into delivering projects on the right platform for our clients, so it makes sense to share our findings.
Whilst we know that "Wordpress" is the by-word for websites these days and it's certainly understandable from the sheer volume of websites that are built on it why that might be, but, whilst we have no specific issue with it, it's just not our jam, and i'll be honest, I feel like those Wordpress websites might be quantity over quality.
Of course, it would be easy to copy & paste the Craft CMS websites feature list or talk about their commitment and focus to accessibility or their incredible support or indeed point to our partner listing where we showcase our work and services using Craft. But, we would much rather just talk about how and why our platform choices make us a better choice for your next project.
Why use Craft CMS for your business?
With 20 long years of experience, I like to think there is very little that I haven't seen over the years. From consulting on and helping deliver huge local government websites to supporting local businesses with e-commerce sites, every website based situation has probably been and gone and distilled down into knowing what is important to people, for their website.
When we have an idea for new content for our site, like a new piece of content about a product we're excited to sell, or a blog post about some work we have just done, we want to be able to add that content and make it look good without barriers, without delay! The last thing we want to do is to have to speak to our web designers and wait for them to tell us when they can fit it in and when it can be done.
With Craft CMS, we are able to give you the freedom to create rich, visually engaging and SEO friendly content yourselves, whilst making sure it looks great. This is one of the biggest value elements we can create for you and it's one of the biggest reasons we are invested in this platform.
How secure is Craft CMS?
There is no worse feeling than worrying about if the website your business relies on, is secure or not. What is the cost to your business if your website is offline whilst backups are recovered and work is done to try and find why your website has been hacked in the middle of the night.
With Craft CMS, we know that it is an incredibly secure platform and that not only are the team themselves and third party security companies constantly testing it, but we are also testing our own installs on a regular basis with "Penetration tests" or security testing tools that we use ourselves to keep an eye on our client sites.
Our codebases and their dependencies undergo security reviews by our own team and third-party security researchers on a regular basis Brandon Kelly @ Craft CMS
What does Craft CMS cost?
An incredibly key question that we know is very important to our clients is the true cost of Craft CMS not only at the outset, but also over time measured in not only real costs to the budget, but also in an (admittedly slightly harder to calculate figure!) ROI sense. Certainly with ROI, it's whether it's compared to other content management systems, or indeed whether it's simply looking at savings to staff time in adding content/generally managing the website.
To answer that question, the headline cost of a Craft CMS licence is $299 initially, and then $59 per year for updates and ongoing support. I know, it's incredibly good value for money. As we like to say to clients when pitching, if you wanted to get the same level of support directly from the companies that make Wordpress or Drupal, you will be looking at five figure sums per year for the base level of support.
What about plug-in costs? Well, if we *did* need to extend the CMS with some kind of plug-in then that would be an added cost, but it would be less than the CMS licence itself, so pretty painless. Also, the same situation with the year on year support & updates cost. A small price to pay for knowing that the tools that keep your website going are fully maintained and supported.
Return on investment
ROI is a hard one to quantify, but we feel that an often overlooked part of a website build is the time your team need to manage the website. Whether it's managing content, managing products in your online shop, or handling support queries from your users that encounter an issue or just can't get something done, if you have a website that is hard to use, or inflexible for your needs, the ongoing cost to your business can be huge.
We choose Craft CMS for how flexible and customisable it is to support us in being able to deliver an incredible user experience to you. Of course it isn't all about the underlying system that delivers all of this and the lions share is how we design and develop your website and how well we have understood your needs and delivered a solution that meets those needs, but without the supporting tools to do the job we want to do, we would be hamstrung, and you would be counting the cost to your business of staff time locked up in administering a poorly built website.
Getting your information created quickly, your products updated on time and your sales in place when you need them, we know the ROI from using Craft CMS is significant to say the least.
Craft CMS Support
We value support for our business from our vendors as being pretty much the number one reason we choose to use anything, whether it's our web hosts, accountants, or software suites, if the support is poor we simply wont use it.
It's easy to use phrases like "fanatical" to describe a products support offering and then when you start to use it, it's anything but, however in the case of the team at Pixel & Tonic who make Craft CMS, the support they offer (not that we have needed it much) is constantly amazing.
Of course we support our clients and their websites with a knowledge stemming from decades of expertise, however modern web systems are highly complex animals and on occasion, you need to get the creators to look at it.
With support in the U.S and in Europe, you can absolutely count on support, when it counts.
We take our clients support seriously, so we pay for priority support from Craft CMS too, just to be certain!
Craft CMS for charities or not for profits
We have built a *lot* of websites for charities and not for profits over the years, from Barnardos to the Froebel Trust, we can safely say that we know what we are doing when it comes to charity websites.
Change has happened in recent years and now charities, not for profits and government (local and national) have to use what is called "Open source software" for their websites. What that means is that the website software (CMS aka Content Management System) has a codebase that is open to review publicly and not hidden away by some private company where only they can install it and only they can change and see the code. This obviously leads to serious trust issues and so is not permissible any more.
What is going on under the hood of these systems has to be seen and has to be open to review by security teams or external developers for it to be usable.
How does Craft CMS fit in?
Well, Craft CMS is known as "Commercial Open Source" which means that it's code is fully open for full review at any time by anyone which satisfies the compliance requirements, but as we have stated above for the low cost of the licence fee, you get full support too. We firmly believe that for charities, not for profits and government, this is a far superior choice to the likes of Wordpress or Drupal as you truly get the best of both worlds with Craft whilst staying fully compliant.
Are we the right agency, for you?
For more than 20 years, we have been building great looking, great performing and superbly supported websites for charities, not for profits, local government, small businesses, medium sized businesses and big business, we have truly worked on nearly any sector you can imagine!
That level of experience is invaluable in how quickly we can understand what you and your business need, we know how to solve your problems and we have a strong track record on delivery on time and on budget.
Whilst we extol the virtues of Craft CMS to anyone that will listen, we aren't locked in and we regularly design and build websites in other CMS systems, or sites that don't even require content management.
What we are, is fun and relaxed to work with, serious about your business and happy to have an informal chat any time you would like.