Making our website faster and easier to manage with Statamic

Making our website faster and easier to manage with Statamic

June 30th, 2020 by Rachel Hickey

Statamic (pronounced stat-ah-mick) sits at the head of the table in a new era of content management systems (CMS), that websites are built on. 

While the platform itself has been around since 2012, it only recently began to emerge as a preferred content management system for many developers. While other content management systems have seen their popularity wane, Statamic has been steadily growing its base of developers.

At BitBakery, we’ve worked with almost every content management system. Recently we made the switch to Statamic.

“When we recommend a platform or framework to a client, we want to show that we’d use it too,” said Attila Schmidt, our Director of User Experience. 

We’ve done the research. If you want your website to stand out and take advantage of improved security, version control and speed then Statamic is for you.

Why flat-file vs. database Content Management System?

You’ve likely heard of WordPress, one of the most well-known content management systems. Unlike WordPress’s database and PHP system, Statamic is based on a flat-file content management system that runs on Laravel, a web application where the PHP framework foundation is already laid. This allows you to create without having to code any PHP yourself!

This structure means that instead of storing your website’s data in a database, it stores all the site’s content and configuration settings in files. This already eliminates database errors which can be the culprit of many late-night bug fixes, and there are even more benefits to creating sites without a database. Here are some of our favourites:

Better security

An estimated 90% of hacked sites are running WordPress. If you don't have a developer dedicated to keeping your site up to date–you are vulnerable.

Emergency developer support to bring your site can be expensive. So can lost business from an offline or broken site. But with Statamic there’s less of a chance of these issues.

Better version control

Another issue with databases is that they cannot be stored in version control systems such as Bitbucket or GitHub. However, static sites built with Statamic can easily be migrated, deployed and edited.

“Because everything is in a flat-file architecture, when somebody goes to make a change, we automatically have it committed to our repository,” said Schmidt. “This is a very important feature for us as it cuts errors and improves update speed.”

Build fast, run faster

All you need is a server running the latest version on PHP. Because you are not querying a database for content, response times are incredibly fast. This allows for rapid testing of patterns and allows you to sub in content as you're working on templates.

It’s 2020 and site speed is a major ranking factor in search results–particularly relating to speed on mobile devices. So, if you’re using a platform that makes your site faster, it makes it easier to use and get you noticed.

Cut the noise 

Because Statamic’s add-on marketplace is much smaller, it’s easier to find an extension that you want–and that works. Get more tailored choices and cut out the noise in the add-on market that is plaguing sites daily.

“In my experience working with WordPress is often a game of how can I make WordPress do this thing that it's not specifically intended for. Statamic, on the other hand is trying to do less for you, but still giving you powerful tools to rapidly create easily updated bespoke sites,” said Schmidt.

Ease of use for everyone

While it might seem easier to grab a generic out-of-box template for your company’s website, it could cause you a lot more trouble down the road. It also puts you among the rows of sites just like yours in what has essentially become, the suburbs of the internet thanks to WordPress. 

From a developers point of view, files are super easy to edit and manage with Statamic. There is no configuration or migration between local, dev and production. This speeds up the whole development and time-to-live process of a website. 

“Statamic provides a low friction way of having a completely custom content management system, without the added security risk of WordPress,” said Schmidt. “Once I figured out how to design the content model it was pretty much ‘go’. After setting up, the system is easy to use by content creators, and other members of your team, even without prior experience.”

Statamic definitely ticked all the boxes that matter for us–≠and our clients. While it may at first take a bit of getting used to when coming from an older content management system, once you start getting used to it you will wonder how you ever managed a site without it!

Get in touch with us to learn more about how you can benefit from this great content management system, we’re here to help you get set up! 

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