What are decent WordPress alternatives
As I discussed in my previous post, WordPress might not be the best solution to your problem. It's ideal if you have close to zero technical knowledge, but as someone with technical skills you should not automatically reach to install it for every project.
In all cases, it's important to look for the best tool for the job at hand. Here are some alternative options that you can consider when your next WordPress type project comes around.
"Bolt is the only CMS that aims to make all users happy. Whether you are developer, frontend designer or content creator."
This is the strap-line from the Bolt website. I would tend to agree with them, having built a handful of sites using Bolt over the last couple of years.
Bolt is based on the Symfony framework - so it stands on the shoulders of giants. It offers you everything that WordPress does out of the box, but with a much stronger focus on developer experience.
The majority of the configuration is done via YAML config files, so no wading through screens and screens of options trying to find what you want to change.
The documentation is pretty good too, and I must say a big shout out to the helpful people on the Slack support channel - it's amazing the help you get just a minute or two after posting a question!
Bolt is free and open source. It is easily extensible, especially if you have experience with Symfony.
Craft CMS is based on the Yii framework. Out of the box it provides you with an admin area but that is pretty much it.
Instead of this being a downside, it's completely liberating. There are no default Posts, Pages, Categories or Tags - you have to configure everything.
This is a good thing as it makes you think about your content and its structure, instead of blindly jamming it in to Wordpress Post or Page content types.
And boy, what a pleasure it is to configure. The user interface is so slick, and within a few minutes you have an admin area set up for management of whatever types of content your site needs.
Image and asset management is also included out of the box, allowing you to store your images locally on the web server or alternatively on a cloud provider such as Amazon S3.
There is a rich plugin ecosystem, with the plugin store embedded directly in to the admin area. Installing a plugin is a one-click experience.
Craft CMS has a free tier (for a single admin user), and a paid for tier if you need to grow beyond that. For most small sites the free tier should easily be sufficient, but if you want to upgrade, paying for it will not feel like a burden as it's a joy to use in the first place.