In the Loupe

10 Reasons Why Statamic is Most Excellent

10 Reasons Why Statamic is Most Excellent Featured Image

There is no shortage of options when choosing a Content Management System. In the past it didn’t matter what CMS you chose, you were stuck using a bogus database.

But now in 2013, a new crop of dynamic flat file based CMSs and static site generators has arrived, giving us even more options in the CMS world. I have spent the last year on a most excellent adventure using one of these dynamic flat file CMSs called Statamic. Say what?

My top ten reasons why Statamic rocks!

1. flat file based

Unlike most CMSs that use a database to hold your data, custom fields and settings, Statamic stores all of these in flat files. These files can be stored in repositories and deployed easily.

put the content in the database

2. easy to update

Updating a Statamic site requires replacing two folders — _admin and _app. That‘s it. I know it’s not as simple as one-click, but let’s not get too lazy.

3. simple template language

If you’re familiar with ExpressionEngine syntax, you‘ll feel right at home. No messy PHP to deal with. Templates are really easy to read. For example, if you want a list of your blog entries:

<ul>
    {{ entries:listing folder="blog" }}
        <li>
            <a href="{{ url }}">{{ title }}</a>
        </li>
    {{ /entries:listing }}
</ul>

Did you need those post titles lowercased, scrambled and with no orphans? Variable modifiers to the rescue!

{{ title|lower|scramble|widont }}

4. built around your content

There are no plugins injecting their JS or most non triumphant markup infecting your page. With Statamic you inject their CMS into your design instead of wrapping your design around their CMS.

5. HTML templates

Since Statamic templates are just plain ole’ HTML with tags, I can use jade to make my templates simple to read and super easy to refactor. And no more unclosed divs!

For example, this jade:

header#top
    .brand
        img(src="logo.png" alt="{{ title }}")

turns into

<header id="top">
    <div class="brand">
        <img src="logo.png" alt="Lorim Ipsum">
    </div>
</header>

6. full-featured out of the box

Unlike some other CMSs that require plugins to achieve basic functionality, Statamic is full featured with lots of fieldtypes, WYSIWYG, image transforms, routes and variable modifiers. There are still a few capability holes to fill, but I‘m sure we will get there.

beautiful control panel

7. simple control panel

Handing off a website to the client is a joy with Statamic. The intuitive control panel doesn’t require me to write up user manuals or record screencasts. Of course if you’re a nerd, you can completely lose the control panel and use some other app to create your markdown files.

8. built-in caching

This isn’t unique to Statamic, but I like how easy it is to setup — it’s automatic.

9. supported

Unlike free open source products where your at the mercy of the forums, the developers of Statamic are super helpful, easily reachable and are funny to boot. A well timed animated gif is appreciated. And beside the official support channel, there is a great community developing around Statamic.

10. API

OK, so this is placeholder for future awesomeness. Statamic has an API that will allow devs to extend Statamic. Until then Statamic will tease us with this placeholder page to the Trading Post.

Indeed, the future looks bright for Statamic. Of course, no CMS is a perfect fit for every job. Some sites may require robust user permissions or a complicated publishing workflow. So it’s important to be familiar with other CMSs that can fill those gaps.

Statamic is excellent!

As future website builds come my way, Statamic will be my starting point for evaluating what CMS to use. In the words of Abraham Lincoln ”Be excellent to each other. And… PARTY ON, DUDES!”.