What Is Craft CMS? Explained for Beginners

What Is Craft CMS? Explained for Beginners
Dave Rodgers

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Dave Rodgers

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What Is Craft CMS? Explained for Beginners

Craft CMS is a flexible, user-friendly content management system designed for developers, designers, and content creators to build custom digital experiences on the web.

Table of Contents

What Is Craft CMS?

Craft CMS is a focused content management system designed by Pixel & Tonic, offering a unique blend of flexibility, power, and ease of use. Craft CMS powers over 150,000 sites worldwide, demonstrating its widespread adoption across various industries. This expansive use underscores the platform's versatility and its capacity to meet diverse digital content management needs, from small businesses to large enterprises. Craft CMS is especially popular among small companies, with 65% of its users being small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and 76% generating under $50 million in revenue annually. The platform's market share in the Web Content Management sector is about 0.2%, illustrating its niche but impactful presence.

The user base of Craft CMS is predominantly located in the United States, which represents 26% of its overall clientele, followed by significant usage in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Australia. This geographic distribution underscores Craft CMS's worldwide appeal and its capacity to serve a diverse array of business sizes and types, including notable organizations and educational institutions such as the University of Maryland and The University of Texas at Austin.

Craft CMS distinguishes itself in the crowded market with its emphasis on providing a customizable and user-friendly platform for content management, which, despite not having the same extensive market share as competitors like WordPress, offers significant value through its customization capabilities and user-centric design.

For an in-depth look at Craft CMS's market positioning, and user demographics, consider exploring the detailed reports and analyses provided by sources such as W3Techs and Enlyft.

Types of Websites You Can Create with Craft CMS

  • Blogs: Starting with the basics, Craft CMS is perfectly suited for blogging, providing all the necessary tools for content creation and management.
  • Business Websites: The platform's custom fields and section types allow for the creation of unique business sites tailored to specific needs and branding.
  • eCommerce Stores: Through Craft Commerce, Craft CMS supports intricate eCommerce sites, offering detailed product management and custom checkout flows.
  • Portfolios: Craft CMS enables artists and professionals to showcase their work with customizable layouts and content types, ideal for portfolios.
  • Membership Sites: With comprehensive user management features, Craft CMS can handle sites that require user registration, membership levels, and permissions.
  • Multi-language Sites: For those targeting a global audience, Craft CMS provides localization features to create multi-language websites, each tailored to specific languages and territories.

Craft CMS's flexibility is further highlighted by its features like the Matrix field for managing mixed content types, categories and tags for content organization, multi-site capabilities for managing multiple sites from one installation, robust asset management, live preview features, and extensive user management capabilities.

In conclusion, whether you're looking to build a simple blog, an extensive portfolio, a dynamic business site, or a comprehensive online store, Craft CMS offers the necessary tools and features to create a custom digital experience. Its comprehensive set of features provides developers and content creators with the flexibility and control needed to design precisely around their content needs.

For more detailed information about Craft CMS and its capabilities, you can visit their official website and documentation.

Who Made Craft CMS And How Long Has It Been Around?

Craft CMS was developed by Pixel & Tonic in 2011, with a vision to provide web professionals with an innovative content management system that prioritizes flexibility and user experience. The foundation of Craft CMS was laid with the intention to overcome the limitations of traditional CMS platforms by offering a more intuitive and customizable framework for web development. This initiative led to the creation of a platform that empowers developers and content creators to build bespoke digital experiences tailored to their specific needs. The release of Craft CMS was not just a new software launch but a significant milestone in the evolution of web development practices, emphasizing the importance of a tailored user experience and the flexibility to shape content management systems around the unique requirements of each project.

Since its inception, Craft CMS has undergone continuous improvements and expansions, driven by a dedicated team at Pixel & Tonic and the feedback from its growing user community. This collaborative approach to development has enabled Craft CMS to introduce features such as live preview, matrix fields, and a robust plugin architecture, setting new standards for what is possible with a CMS. The journey from Craft 1.0 to its current version illustrates the platform's commitment to innovation and the role of community input in shaping its evolution. Today, Craft CMS stands as a testament to what can be achieved when technology is developed with the user in mind, offering a powerful tool for creating custom digital experiences.

Craft CMS is the product of a dedicated team led by Brandon Kelly, committed to providing a CMS that bridges the gap between developers' needs and content creators' desires for simplicity and power. The global team behind Craft CMS, spanning continents from North America to Australia, embodies the collaborative spirit and diverse expertise that fuel the platform's ongoing innovation and success. This collective effort ensures that Craft CMS remains at the forefront of the CMS market, offering a versatile, powerful, and user-friendly platform for building modern web experiences.

Who Uses Craft CMS?

Craft CMS is used by individuals, big businesses, and everyone in between! On an immediate note, we use Craft CMS! So the very site that you’re looking at right now is powered by Craft CMS. Lots of other well-known entities use Craft CMS as well. Here are some of our favorite examples:


The official Yale.edu website is powered by Craft CMS:


The University of Maryland uses Craft CMS to power its official website:


Even famous television network love Craft CMS! The PBS's website is powered entirely by Craft CMS:

Why Should You Use Craft CMS?

Ok, so over 150,000 websites on the Internet are using Craft CMS, including well-known entities like the Yale and PBS.

But what about you? Why should you use Craft CMS?

Well, no matter what type of website you want to create, there are plenty of reasons to use Craft CMS. Here are some of the biggest:

Craft CMS Is Flexible and User-Focused

Craft CMS offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing developers to create bespoke digital experiences. Unlike some CMS platforms that dictate how you should structure your content, Craft CMS gives you the freedom to build your website exactly how you envision it, thanks to its powerful templating system.

Craft CMS Is Extensible

With a rich ecosystem of plugins and modules, Craft CMS extends its core functionalities to fit your specific needs. Whether you need to add eCommerce capabilities, optimize SEO, or integrate with third-party services, the plugin store has a wide array of options to enhance your site.

Craft CMS Boasts a Streamlined Content Management Experience

Craft CMS emphasizes a seamless content management process, featuring an intuitive and user-friendly control panel. This focus on user experience ensures that content creators can easily manage their website's content without navigating through complex administrative interfaces.

Craft CMS Is Developer-Friendly

Craft CMS is designed with developers in mind, offering a clean and coherent API, extensive documentation, and a supportive developer community. These resources empower developers to build complex, dynamic websites with efficiency and precision.

Craft CMS Prioritizes Performance and Security

Craft CMS is built to deliver high-performance websites while maintaining robust security standards. Its focus on optimized code and security practices means that your website is fast, reliable, and secure from potential vulnerabilities.

Craft CMS Offers Comprehensive Support and Resources

The Craft CMS team and community are committed to providing extensive support and resources. From detailed documentation and tutorials to active community forums and professional support options, you have access to a wealth of knowledge to help you succeed with your Craft CMS project.

Craft CMS has proven itself as a powerful and flexible CMS option for businesses and developers looking for a platform that combines ease of use for content managers with the flexibility and power needed for custom web development projects. Its adoption by leading brands and organizations around the world further attests to its capability to handle complex web requirements with ease.

For more detailed insights and information on Craft CMS, visit the official Craft CMS website and explore the Craft CMS plugin store to discover how you can extend the functionality of your Craft CMS site.

So What Is Craft CMS? It’s The Best Way To Build A Website

Craft CMS has earned its reputation as a premier choice for creating bespoke digital experiences, catering to a wide range of website types, from blogs to fully-fledged eCommerce platforms. Its distinct approach to content management and site customization sets it apart from solutions like WordPress, offering a more refined and flexible toolkit for web development.

Unlike the dual nature of WordPress.org and WordPress.com, Craft CMS offers a singular, self-hosted solution that prioritizes full ownership and control over your website's infrastructure and design. This unified approach ensures that users benefit from a cohesive ecosystem, complete with extensive support and resources from the Craft CMS community.

Craft CMS's architecture is specifically designed to cater to developers and content managers seeking a balance between functionality and ease of use. With its intuitive content management system, extensive plugin options, and robust templating features, Craft CMS empowers users to build tailored digital experiences without the constraints often found in other platforms.

So, how do you plan to utilize Craft CMS for your web projects? The flexibility and power of Craft CMS await to transform your vision into reality, offering a path to create unique and compelling web experiences.

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