making websites  /

Why I left Craft CMS for Kirby

My only previous coding experience has been using the Twig template language to build two small websites in Craft CMS.

Craft’s fantastic Matrix field makes it easy to inject almost any kind of marked-up content into its entry panel. And Matrix blocks can be custom built from a huge choice of Matrix fields to create both simple and complex layouts.

But for me, Matrix’s complicated UI was too distracting when writing and editing even simple blog posts

My writing seemed to lose all its sense of continuity whenever blocks of text were interrupted by larger Matrix blocks. Just re-positioning an image block often required splitting an existing multi-paragraph text block — in a clumsy routine of creating a new text block and then pasting text from the old block into the new one.

Of course there were other reasons I moved away from Craft — such as the hassle of managing Craft’s MySQL database, and the feeling I was out of my depth in its ‘professional-only’ community. Eventually I realised that Craft just isn’t designed as a lightweight personal blogging platform.

So, after many false starts, I’ve moved on to Kirby CMS, a flat-file system based on Markdown text, and Tailwind CSS, a new-fangled (and excellent) CSS utilities framework.

As a complete novice I’ve had to learn some basic PHP for Kirby, and I’ve struggled with the command line just to get going with Tailwind. But I’m pleased with the minimalist blog I’ve built… so far.