Andrew Travers Andrew Travers is an interaction designer and researcher. He’s the author of Interviewing for research.

Andrew Travers


The invisible CMS

On the move from Textpattern to Statamic

This has been a re-design in stages. First, an iteration on my old Byekick design, making it responsive and addressing the many minor irritations I had with it. Second, a re-naming: from Byekick (my old freelance company identity) to Travers+co (or, as close, as Twitter and domain name registries could get me. Vwls r pplr.). And lastly, shifting from Textpattern to Statamic. And it’s this last bit that this post is about, for anyone considering doing the same.

Textpattern has been my content management system of choice for some time, and Statamic shares many of the same characteristics: a small footprint, stability, a lack of fuss or unnecessary features, and above all, an emphasis on writing. My favourite design decision in Textpattern was that it opened at a blank new post, ready for you to immediately start writing. It assumed you were there to write not manage. Statamic is, in a way, the next logical step, effectively removing the content management itself from the equation at all (it’s there via a browser-based Control Panel if you need it too).

Moving from Textpattern wasn’t without its trials. Textpattern doesn’t offer a export facility - something I really hope gets addressed, if only for politeness - so I had three options:

The last of these was the safest, if unquestionably laborious, way of doing it.

For anyone who has built a site in Textpattern, Statamic is a very easy shift - the mental model is very, very similar: for Textile, Pages and Forms; read Markdown, Layout, Templates and Partials. For Textpattern tags, read Statamic content markup. My Textpattern forms are, one for one, my Statamic Partials.

The biggest compliment I can pay Statamic is that, having set this site up in its current MVP-ish form, I haven’t given it a moment’s thought. It’s there and it’s not there, a near-invisible layer of management, unobtrusive, lean and out of my way. It’s how content management should be.