Why Craft CMS?
Craft is our content management system (CMS) of choice when developing custom websites. And we are not alone in this decision—Craft is trusted by brands such as Netflix, Adidas, and more.
Navigating through Craft
After logging in to Craft CMS, you will be greeted with the dashboard. The dashboard contains customizable widgets: recent entries, available updates, and more. These can be adjusted with the “New widget” button on the top right.
The sidebar on the far left is used to navigate through the Craft backend. From here, we will walk through the most frequently accessed areas in order:
Singles are for one-off pages—think the items in your primary navigation menu.
Channels are for repeating content which does not need to be sorted in a particular order, such as blog posts.
Structures are for expandable content which needs to be ordered in a particular way, such as a list of team members.
Globals are used for content that may appear in multiple places on your site—for example, copyright information or social media links. Changing this content will globally affect each instance of it.
Categories can be applied to both entries and assets, signifying a relationship between them. For example, several blog posts may belong to the same overall category, allowing only posts from this specific category to be shown.
Assets represent all media files within Craft: photos, PDFs, videos, and more. From this view, new files can be added by dragging-and-dropping or by clicking the “Upload files” button in the top right.
Clicking an asset’s title allows you to edit its existing fields, such as the title and alt text.
The utilities tab contains several tools but is most frequently used to update Craft whenever updates are available.
Working with Entries
Each entry uses fields to handle content. Custom fields are created to provide functionality unique to your needs. Because the logic happens in the code, you can focus on the content itself.
Regardless of type, working with entries is a similar experience throughout Craft. We will walk through updating existing content, adding new content, and more:
To edit an entry, select its title from the list. There are a few important action items to note:
- Current: this dropdown notes if content has been edited. It is also used to access saved drafts and the 10 most recently auto-saved revisions.
- Preview: this button opens an editing view showing fields on the left and an automatically updated preview version on the right.
- View: this button opens a preview link reflecting any changes.
- Create a draft: this button is used to save a draft of changes without publishing them.
- Save: this button publishes any changes that have been made. It will likely be your most frequently used action item.
An entry’s fields are often grouped into separate tabs to aid in organization. Although there are many field types, some of the most common ones are:
- Plain text: used to add plain text without any styling.
- Rich text: used to add multiple paragraphs with more formatting options, such as bold, italics, links, and more.
- Image: used to add assets (whether a previous or new upload). If an asset is already in place, it can be removed with the button to the right of the asset title.
The fields for entries within a specific channel or structure will be the same for each entry. When creating a new entry, these fields will be in place and blank.
There are a few new field types you will likely see in these entries:
- Entries: used to relate to another entry—for example, an author.
- Matrix: used to flexibly group multiple fields together.
In this example, we have a “Post Content” field with several matrix blocks: Text, Image, & Text and Image. These matrix blocks can contain one or more fields within them. To rearrange blocks, drag-and-drop the icon with four dots in the top right of the block.
The key difference between channels and structures is the ability to rearrange entries. Similar to matrix blocks, these entries can be rearranged by dragging-and-dropping the icon with four dots to the left of the entry’s title. A “new position saved” alert will confirm the new order.
User account information can be accessed by first clicking the profile picture in the top right and then the user. From here, the username, email address, password, and more can be adjusted.
After editing a few entries, working within Craft CMS becomes second nature. Its focus on content and custom fields ensures that every site we develop works for you.