Testimonials from digital agencies which have chosen October CMS as their primary tool
The October CMS development team on its blog regularly publishes case studies of web studios that switched to October after a long and quite successful experience with other CMS. We compare our feelings and experience with the reviews of colleagues and at the same time we tell "Why October."
In our work, we previously used and still sometimes use Wordpress and ModX, we provide support for sites on these CMS, but October was chosen as the main tool. The article presents the arguments of other developers, which are true for us as well.
The article uses fragments of the articles of the October blog:
Customers like it
October is a modern and flexible CMS which provides the developer with the full potential of the Laravel framework. With October you can create sites of any size and complexity, but the most of its advantages you'll see while building sites with a branched structure and not too simple business logic. The most striking difference from other CMS is the ability to quickly deploy a convenient administrative panel, in which there will be nothing superfluous, and everything will be clear to the client without additional training. In our practice, when we transfered a clients site from ModX, Bitrix, Wordpress they were glad that the admin panel included only those sections and fields that need to be filled, nothing distracting. What do our market colleagues say?
The Backend UI of Joomla is too complex for clients. When you write a new article, you have more than 140 fields where you only need a title, content, publish state and publish date. After switching to October, we were able to reduce the number of hours for training clients to work with the administrative interface by about half. Customers can focus on working with content instead of fighting with the CMS.
One of the main problems with other CMSs is their inability to seamlessly create a back-end UI. MODX, which uses an outdated version of ExtJS for these purposes, makes the task much more difficult. With October, creating back-end UI components is a breeze.
October saves development time
One of the most powerful arguments. Why is this possible? Let's see what the representatives of different agencies say. "Reducing time" implies that we are comparing the development process with October with other CMS.
First let's figure out what made our colleagues search for alternatives.
Building custom components with Joomla takes a lot of time. It has its own framework which is much less powerful than Laravel. A specific example is the DB abstraction layer - JDatabase and JTable. Eloquent is much more advanced and powerful.
What would take me 3-4 days in Concrete5 at the time, I could rough in within October CMS in about 3 hours. It was an insane difference. For sure October saves time and money. I won’t develop on anything else.
Which features of October CMS make it better than other CMS, including Wordpress, Joomla, MODX?
"One common problem with other platforms is that they are designed to be a product that offers everything for everyone. This leads to systems that are bloated with features and complexity. October tries to be the opposite - it has a very simple core, with a number of features that are intentionally limited" - is stated in the October blog.
Several advantages follow from this:
- compare the speed of an average content-based Wordpress site with same on October, you'll see that overloaded with features Wordpress works more slowly,
- the core, while being minimalistic, provides a flexible development environment: its functionality is easy to expand and modify through plugins,
- the platform does not impose solutions, this means that the developer can use the CMS according to his vision and concept
- modular architecture that allows you to reuse and combine various components,
- based on the Laravel framework and uses the latest version of PHP, this solves the potential problem of plugin compatibility and allows the team to use modern techniques and patterns, such as loading dependencies through Composer
Agencies say that the development process is becoming easier and more clear due to:
- flat file structure: configuration YAML files and template files are stored in a well structured file system without using database, so working with versions (Git) and the deployment process is simpler,
- the MVC architecture and the flexible Twig templating engine allow frontenders to work with templates without interacting with business logic, there is no longer a need to work with static templates, and then integrate them with backend solutions.
Working with Laravel / October is often a plus for developers
LOVATA, among other things, was attracted by excellent documentation of the CMS - newcomers can easily get involved in the work process. The project structure in October is very similar to Laravel and easy to learn. Developers without experience with October CMS are not against working with this product, because they are simultaneously expanding their experience with the popular Laravel framework. October CMS provides a convenient API on top of the Laravel framework and takes Developer Experience (DX) to the next level. In addition, October allows you to apply the best modern tools and practices of web development: ORM and DB migrations, package management (with a wide Laravel ecosystem) and convenient integration of third-party components (Redis, Beanstalk, etc.).
Switching to October has changed life in the company - the guys are happier now. Before the transition they often were spending time on activities which were not directly related to the customer’s needs configuring, modifying and applying various tricks to Joomla code. With October CMS they spend much more time coding and making tools needed by the customer.
October allows you to focus on interesting logic, rather than solve problems associated with CMS as a tool. This increases engagement of employees. And we can confirm this. Programming with October brings much more satisfaction than with many other CMS. And it's fun as well!
Minimum needed editing options for the client - is that an advantage?
This question is controversial. The now very popular website visual builders like Wix and similar plugins for popular CMS give maximum freedom to the user. Without the skills of layout and programming, the user has the opportunity to post his information on the Internet as he/she sees it, and what is important - quickly and for free, without paying to specialists. Let's leave aside the question of the code quality, but discuss if all the users are really capable (and if they want?) to cope with the task and make it right. It all depends on the situation, on the design skills of the user and his/her understanding of what is good practice on the web and what is not. What do our colleagues say about this?
In Chad Cantrell's opinion, front-end WYSIWYG/drag-and-drop editing concept is highly overrated. In his practice, many clients applied with a request to re-create their site, and he quickly saw a recurring problem - providing design functions to people without an appropriate background was a bad idea. This led to poor outcomes with garbled, nonsensical “garbage.”
The original plan was beautiful and elegant, and then the editors "killed the site." Is that familiarto you? When compliance with a corporate brand book is required, too much freedom for a site admin will be more likely evil.
When developing a site on October, the user can be given enough freedom with the repeater widget in group mode, when the user can create entire pages or page fragments from pre-styled structural blocks. We'll describe it in details in the next article.
Is switching to October CMS easy?
For a small agency of 2-3 people switching to a new CMS is easy enough. What is the experience of larger agencies?
The evaluation process for the team took around 6 months. This gave the company enough time to test the platform and see all its benefits and possible issues.
LOVATA - a software and website development company that has been distinguished by the Clutch.co research firm as Top Software and Web Developer, as well as a leader in many other categories, including PHP and Laravel development. The LOVATA team in the past worked with WordPress, e107, Joomla, for 7 years MODX was the main tool. With time the platform technically started to fall behind and eventually became gravely outdated. The technical director of the team Pavel Lovtsevich conducted a comprehensive study, and after evaluating all the advantages, the team decided to switch to October CMS. This CMS turned out to be very good for corporate websites and portals, as well as for eCommerce projects.
Changing the main development tool is a complex and even frightening process, often associated also with business risks. Finding the perfect tools for you is a difficult task, requiring time and careful research. We hope that the experience of companies that have opted for October CMS will help your company make a balanced choice.