Since 2011 we have developed and delivered great websites using Modx. We still love it but have been on the lookout for a cms with a more modern touch and, if possible, built on our favourite php framework Laravel.
September 1st 2016 was just a regular day. We had decided to go up to the mountains here in Jämtland Sweden where we have a small cottage trying to find some cloudberries. During the evening i was browsing the web when i decided to look for a cms i had heard was being developed on Laravel.
That’s when lightning struck and we found PyroCMS.
1 - Field types
A website has many different areas of content, and they should all be easily editable.
Field types could be different types of content such as text-areas, wysiwyg, images, lists etc. They are attached to a page and editable to you as a user. Each field is then referenced by us in code to make up the design and structure of your website.
This kind of functionality allows us to deliver bespoke and “easy to edit” websites to all our clients.
2 - Creating content the modular way
You are probably familiar with the “what you see is what you get editor”. Honestly, its real name should be “what you see is not always what you get editor”.
It allows you to add all different types of content such as; paragraphs, titles, images, tables and lists. Being a developer It is difficult to prevent clients from unintentionally adding harmful pieces of code which in best scenario only results in design problems.
Grids to the rescue
In PyroCMS, they are called Grids, other content management systems call them blocks or modules. It allow you to add content to your website in a modular way. We have experience with the others but find the architecture of Grids to be outstanding.
Grids are put together using a single or multiple field types and are predefined section of your homepage. Simple example: Three columns next to each other with an image, headline and a paragraph:
To add such a section to your website you would select the predefined grid type and in the cms, you would be able to edit content for three columns, each containing: Image field, Text field and a Textarea field.
Other grids/sections could easily be added, and you would also be able to change the order they appear in by simply dragging and dropping them into place.
When you edit fields like this, you don’t have to worry about unintentionally add something that might break functionality or design of your website.
Grids are developer friendly
Mentioning that there are other content management systems out there with similar functionality i have to say a couple of words regarding content blocks for modx. It’s developed by Mark Hamstra from Modmore. From an end user perspective it’s awesome, works great and its UX is well designed! If you are running a website using Modx you should go get it directly!
As a developer though, grids are much easier and effective to work with since it’s possible to programmatically create grids and all the html structure is file-based. Meaning you don’t have to work with a database or administration interface.
Being file-based it also provide us with a better overview of the code and it’s easier to make changes or add new grids to websites in production. These grids can be nested and built to allow very flexible layouts.
3 - A great development platform
Earlier a website was often just great marketing for your company. Today, a website is much more than that. And the use cases will grow in a near future.
The number of clients having specific requests and requirements they desperately need to take their business to that next level, are steadily increasing. That is why we have to choose a cms built to develop with. PyroCMS is the greatest Laravel development platform we have seen so far.
You are able to spin up a module in only a few minutes. And you are able to develop laravel applications and use the cms only when / where necessary.
Example of common custom requests:
- Internal pages for staff members
- Scheduling of staff
- Automatic posting to social media when publishing blog posts
- Investor Relation pages with news feeds and reports from Cision
- Managing systems of applicants when hiring new staff.
4 - CMS based on Laravel PHP Framework
When we decided to look for a new cms we had our eyes set on it being based on Laravel since we have been developing web applications with Laravel since 2012 and love it. Laravel is probably the most popular php-framework today and it has a very large community world-wide.
Take PyroCMS for a spin
We are always looking for new projects
If you have an interesting project - don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org