A short guide to the best way to get started learning and using Craft CMS.
This guide is aimed at web developers new to Craft CMS and in need of information on how to get started. I am regularly updating it and adding new resources. Bookmark this and check back.
Jumping Right In
Okay, you don’t feel like reading a lot of stuff right now and you’re really just looking for how to learn Craft. Great, let’s get right down to it. (However, if you’re more of the researcher, then continue on with the article and dig deeper.)
- If you need to share information about Craft and its capabilities to non-technical stakeholders, like your marketing team, IT security, or content authors, then check out our Craft 101 video. We talk about Craft from the perspective of the different stakeholders in your company or organization.
- To get started right away working with Craft and building your first site, I shamelessly recommend Up and Running with Craft. Sure, it’s on this site and I created it. But it’s been vetted by thousands of students and proven over and over to help you figure out Craft. It’s completely free with a free CraftQuest account.
- You can also check out the written getting started guide from Craft CMS developers Pixel & Tonic. It’s clearly written and focused on the official way to get started with the Craft CMS content management system.
What Can Craft Do?
Perhaps you’re still testing the waters and want to evaluate what Craft can do. You are validating if it’s right for your project (or maybe you’re assembling some material to convince your boss or client to approve it as a technology solution). Check out these resources:
- Craft CMS Features — The official list of features on the Craft CMS site. It’s a nice high-level overview of what Craft can do and stays aways from impossible promises. Click on each feature to get more detail!
- Craft CMS Orientation Guide by Andrew Welch of nystudio107. Andrew and I collborate on the CraftQuest livestreams and regularly work and talk behind-the-scenes about all things technology. He is a great resource.
Here are some highlights of what you probably need to know about Craft right now:
- Craft CMS is a highly customizable and configurable content management system.
- Craft CMS is not a theme-based system like WordPress. You can build your templates in that way but Craft does not support a plug ‘n’ play theme model.
- That being said, Craft CMS doesn’t care about your design. And that is the beauty of the software. Companies love it because they can get their own design and brand exactly how they want it without compromising because of the limitations of a theme.
- Craft CMS is extensible via plugins and modules.
- Craft uses the Twig templating language for the template code. Twig is popular and easy to use.
Talking to Developers and Companies that Use Craft CMS
The best way to find out details about Craft is to ask people who already use, and, in some cases, have been using it for years. Craft CMS has two public forums:
If you’re stuck and need help, those two options are your best bet.
The Craft Mindset
Once you’re on the wagon with Craft and ready to implement as the solution for your next project, it will be helpful for you or your team to learn the Craft mindset. This sounds a little hokey, but before you throw a bunch of content at Craft, stop for a minute and learn how to approach content and Craft together.
- The Craft Mindset — a 4‑part video course on how to think about how Craft stores content. This will make it easier for you as you translate project requirements, designs, and content into a working, shippable website.
Staying in the Know
If you want to keep up with the changes in Craft, new releases, and community activity, check out:
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