Leslie Camacho

Owner, Glimmering LLC Joined over 5 years ago

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  • Posted to Craft CMS, in reply to Zach Reed , Dec 01, 2015

    Hi Zach,

    Let's just establish that a solid freelancer/team can do amazing things with just about any modern CMS today, free or paid. Last I checked there are over 400+ options when it comes to a "CMS" ranging in price from free to well into the 7 figures (yes, really).

    For me, I find that Craft is a great fit for projects that need customized publishing workflows, a lot of dynamic content, and the design needs call for something considerably more than a "theme" can offer. I find its also a good fit for mid-sized projects where the client has established real business value that needs the backing of modern software but doesn't need/want (or simply can't afford) an "enterprise" solution (think projects in the $45k - $125k range). In short, they have real money they need to invest and they need room to grow.

    While its true that many people love WP for this, WP is not specifically designed for this, especially a tailored "author experience." In cases where clients have specific business value in such things, like the Associated Press for example, they will save thousands of dollars in production hours over the course of the year with a tool like Craft. You could probably build the equivalent in something like WordPress, but its unlikely you could do it without breaking the upgrade path, using a number of 3rd party plugins, introducing security risks, and increasing the size of the code base you have to maintain and the number of vendors you have to work with to keep the system stable.

    The main thing about Author Experience in a professional sense is to keep, as much as possible, a 1-to-1 relationship with what a thing does and what you call it. The more you take a tool like WordPress and customize it, the more you lose this 1-to-1 relationship. The outcome of this is increased training time, increased errors in production, and decreased output. The more people responsible for content on a site, the more true this becomes.

    Because Craft is built from the ground up to have a 1-to-1 relationship (and yes, it sometimes falls short of this goal), it means that clients often don't have to be trained on it because it is obvious how it works from start to finish if we've done our job right. I realize this may come off as a bit esoteric but it gets practical really fast on more complex builds.

    Plus, to get official support from WordPress you need WordPress VIP, which is an entirely different price/value proposition. Support is standard with Craft, though granted it is not "enterprise."

    This isn't because WordPress is bad, it is an incredible CMS in its own right (I use it myself as well, along with ExpressionEngine). It's because WP isn't built specifically for these use cases.The cost of Craft is laughable in ratio to the size of the client's budget and the value it brings to a project, so spending $300 or $1000 on it is a no-brainer if its a good fit. And if something does go wrong, I know exactly who to contact and what to expect support wise. I gladly pay for that peace of mind.

    To bring the point home, on a project that is $45,000 the cost of a Craft Pro license is .67% of the total budget ($300). The value I get for spending less than 1% of the project budget is unbelievable.

    Other solutions bring similar peace of mind as well (ModX, ExpressionEngine, etc...) so there are options and a lot of it is certainly subjective. But there are clear use cases where Craft is the best tool for clients and I love it for that.

    6 points
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