Terence Sawtell, Founder & Strategy Director — June 30th

(Some Of) The Best Craft CMS Websites

Goat x Craft

by Terence Sawtell, Founder & Strategy Director — June 30th

(Some Of) The Best Craft CMS Websites

Here are Goat’s favourite examples of sites built with the power of Craft CMS:

Goat is an agency that always strives to create the best digital products possible with the budgets and timelines we’re given. While we’re always proud of our work, we love seeing other great digital products and websites that inspire, challenge, and wow us. After all, dropping the ego is one of our values. 

Read our Craft story here.

In celebration of our becoming Canada’s first Craft CMS partner, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite websites that were built on Craft CMS. The list is by no means exhaustive but should give readers some idea of where Craft shines. 

The Craft CMS Website - craftcms.com

Craft CMS website

Leading the charge and setting the standards is Craft’s own website. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s fast. Really fast. Even Google’s ever-hard-to-please Pagespeed Insights tool gives it some of the highest marks we’ve ever seen for loading time. The site leverages various content block types - image and text slides, split column content views, invisible tables used to showcase features, and more. Subtle animations are used to enhance the experience without slowing the site down.

Poki - poki.com

Given how much is going on here, I should feel overwhelmed. There is SO much information and content on Poki’s site, but it still feels… okay. That's because of Craft's powerful relationship system, plus built-in category and tag support. With those tools, hundreds of games can be organized in the back end with little stress. I wouldn’t call this site calming by any stretch, but I will call it ‘not anxious’. The site loads quickly, it feels very stable even when I play around with resolutions and a lot of loads, and there’s also a game involving goats. Win-win. 

Additionally: Poki is available in 46 languages. Craft's localization features help deliver a custom experience for each of these languages by creating new sites, as all content is stored on a per-site basis. Organizing multisite experiences is much more manageable and scalable in Craft. 

Seeking Blue Records - seeking.blue

Obviously, we are going to be biased and add a few of our favourite projects to this list. But all bias aside, Seeking Blue is genuinely one of the coolest sites we’ve ever had the pleasure of working on, and one of the coolest sites we’ve ever seen. Most client briefs are the same - “make things easy to find, make it seamless and intuitive”. That wasn’t the brief with Seeking Blue. In fact, one of the first things a user sees is a direct challenge to ‘seek and find’. Give it a shot - you’ll see what we mean. It’s a site so cool that it suffers from being unexplainable in pictures. If you want to read it, here's the Seeking Blue website case study. Craft gives developers more room for tackling innovative UI/UX without sacrificing speed or performance. 

IDE Global - ideglobal.org

IDE Global’s case study is live on the Craft website if you’d like to check it out, but we’ll lay out some highlights from both that case study and our own time exploring the site. First off, the amount of information contained within the site is huge. The Craft case study makes note of multiple languages, though we only explored in English. Given that IDE has so many different major areas of operation (we count 11 in the footer), there is more than likely a need for multiple content managers to create content on the fly without the need for devs. This is one of Craft’s strengths - content creation that’s customizable to the end user, repeatable, and intuitive.

The case study also notes a feature we love - the seamless integration of custom modules and APIs. For another blog, we asked our internal developers what their favourite Craft plugins were - they responded that they “prefer to build their own”. Which is really impressive, especially given how nonchalantly they said it.

OmegaBaars - omegabaars.be

Google asked me if I wanted this site translated when I landed on it, and I definitely said ‘no’ in order to experience Omegabaars in its natural state. It’s a beautiful site that seems to take advantage of Craft’s ability to design custom-but-replicable content rows and use them throughout a site as appropriate. In Craft, you can manage multiple types of content together in a single section with entry types. Each entry type gets its own field layout. This makes custom fields scalable and very manageable. You can build your entry type field layout to your own liking without restrictions. As someone who doesn’t speak the language, I found this to be a pleasant navigation experience. We also like to watch out for the overuse of effects like parallax, which can become a bit… overdone. Omegabaars uses this effect well, and also finds ways to combine multiple layers to breathe new life. 

Aces - acesincbaseball.com

The screengrabs we added there won’t do this site any justice - so go ahead and click. (Don’t worry, it will open in a new tab.) This site’s use of on-scroll animation to engage and wow the visitor is pretty darn impressive. While load times are a little concerning, Aces was wise enough to add a nice little load counter to set expectations, and it wasn’t altogether a long wait - though our office internet is pretty quick. Have fun scrolling around, playing with the site, and wondering if you could have gone pro had you stuck to baseball. We especially love how the About page incorporates both horizontal and vertical scroll on that smooth intro animation. Very engaging!

SFU Beedie - beedie.sfu.ca

This remains Goat’s largest-scale implementation of Craft CMS. Institution websites are HUGE. SFU Beedie’s site is hundreds of pages deep, with (seemingly) complex navigation and inter-linking structures. The amount and variety of content on the site meant we needed to think critically about client-side easy-of-use. SFU Beedie’s team has multiple content administrators and dozens of potential contributors in the form of faculty and other staff. The site’s intuitive workflow allows the team to minimize admin work while maximizing content creation. Although the site is massive, the easy-to-navigate Craft backend allows its users to easily find the desired entries, defined by section types - singles, channels, and structures, in one glance.

Bonus: it’s actually faster than its parent site, sfu.ca. That just goes to show the power of Craft CMS for speed. If you want to read it, here's the SFU Beedie website case study.

Have a site to recommend we add to the list? Want to talk Craft CMS builds? Just reach out

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Terence Sawtell, Founder & Strategy Director — June 30th

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Terence, Founder & Strategy Director
Terence, Founder & Strategy Director
Terence, Founder & Strategy Director