Taecho is a small digital agency, proudly based out of Austin, Texas.

We love good design,
Craft & Wordpress.

CMS struggles: Leaving ExpressionEngine for Craft

Early this year we were introduced to an amazing content management system (CMS) called Craft and I'd like to say that the rest is history.

Take a deep breath

For those who don't know, Craft is a breath of fresh air for anyone who produces content based websites. It's lightweight and highly customizable. Out of the box there are no required "design" templates, extra html markup or the usual mess and fuss we’ve all come to expect from a content management system. As Craft describes it "Craft is a CMS with just the right blend of simplicity and flexibility. You and your clients will love it.".

Craft is a beautifully constructed platform by Pixel & Tonic who have been producing extensions for the Expression Engine CMS for years. At Taecho we used Matrix, Assets and Playa on almost every Expression Engine site we deployed, all built by Pixel & Tonic.

A door closes

I’ve been debating writing this post for quite some time because I didn't want it to completely disrespect Expression Engine (EE) just because we’ve chosen to make our exit. For the past ~4+ years EE has been our main go to solution for content based sites for clients. Expression Engine is an an established product with a huge community backing but things haven’t been prefect in EE land lately.

Between this post and EllisLab’s decision to sell CodeIgniter (the baseline for Experssion Engine [*1*]) we decided that it was in our (and our clients) best interest to move on.

Luckily Craft fills that sweet spot between platforms like Wordpress, Expression Engine, Drupal and Joomla [*2*]. It slices through the B.S. and gets down to what matters about content management sites: the content. With Craft, you are able to tailor each content type (pages, news, blogs, upcoming events etc.) to the needs of the site. You do not need to bend previously used content types like “pages”, “posts” and “articles” just to make things work. You can start fresh, with a solid foundation, customizing your field types and organizing your content as the site requires.

Our Exit

We’re not completely running away from Expression Engine just yet. We’ve got several clients that will stay on Expression Engine for the foreseeable future and some projects we will eventually migrate over to Craft. For those considering Expression Engine, it’s still a viable option for content based sites, it’s just not right for us or our clients long term.

We’re sad to leave the EE family but at the same time we’re looking toward a bright future with Craft. We’ve also got a pretty exciting announcement we’ll be making in a few weeks that is Craft focused. We can’t wait till we make it public!

If you’re looking to learn more about craft you should checkout buildwithcraft.com and this tutorial series from Mijingo .

Footnotes

1) We now use Laravel for our web applications.

2) We’re fully aware that these platforms can power some crazy websites.

3) The header image displayed at the top of this page was borrowed from buildwithcraft.com