Craft CMS in 2019, plus a glance back at 2018.
We made it! 2018 is behind us. Welcome to a new year.
A busy holiday season didn't derail the prolific Craft community. That means we’ve got another issue of great posts, plugins and more to kick off 2019.
Before we get too far into this issue, if you’re near Portland, Oregon, there is a Craft CMS meet up on Jan 17. If you're in the neighborhood, see some of your Craft friends in person.
Thank you to this issue’s sponsors.
Spoon is a Craft 3 plugin that helps you create beautifully tailored matrix blocks for your clients.
Freeform is the go-to form builder for Craft CMS. Need to create a form in your Craft site? Look no further.
Let’s hit the links.
State of Craft 2018 ⭐️
If you read just one link in this issue, this is the one. Brandon reviews 2018 and previews 2019.
Top links from 2018 from the newsletter
As we bid 2018 farewell, let’s look back on what was popular in Craft Link List last year.
The links in the "Tools, tips and fundamentals" section of the newsletter are typically the most popular ones.
Here are the top links from 2018.
- The link pointing to the Craft 2.6.3016 changelog detailing how you can turn off optimization for animated GIFS.
- The StackExchange post ask "How do you handle SEO on your site?".
- The announcement of Sprout SEO plugin for Craft 3.
- The link encouraging you to add your own Craft CMS review to G2Crowd.
- The Craft documentation page on MAMP with Composer and MySQL on the Command Line.
- Made By Shape's updated-for-2018 post on Our 5 favorite Craft CMS plugins.
- The Lynda.com course on Learning Composer, the PHP Dependency Manager.
- How to get started with SEO in Craft CMS - The original link to this post was on Medium, which now shows a suspended account. I've updated this link to reflect the source change.
- New to Craft? 8 Important Lessons I Learned During My First Projects.
- Craft CMS 2 and Craft Commerce 1 End of Life Information.
My quick takeaway is that if you want to make a link popular, talk about SEO.
The next issue of the newsletter may introduce a name change to "Craft SEO Link SEO List SEO". Nah...
Stop using @web in base URL in Craft
If you’ve been using the
@web alias in your control panel for your base URL, you should move away from doing that. This issue page on Github discusses the situation in detail. I also saw this mentioned on Twitter.
I'm unsure who raised the issue first, but happily, the problem is being addressed.
@web alias to define your base URL had been suggested in previous versions of Craft, but as of Craft 3.1, that’s been changed. Using environment variables is now the suggested method.
Craft 3.0.36 released
Craft is now at version 3.0.36 officially, but with the progress of the 3.1 beta suggests we’ll be moving along soon.
Work With Craft free in 2019
Back in Issue 55, Work With Craft, the Craft CMS job board, announced it would be free to use for all of 2018. It is no longer 2018 and, Happy New Year, 2019 will continue to be free again this year as well.
Peers 2019 in New Orleans
Peers 2018 in Austin was one of my personal favorite events last year. If you want to join your peers at Peers this year, you’ll have to make your way to New Orleans.
Spoon - enhance your Matrix fields with groups, tabs and more!
Use Spoon to group Matrix blocks, hide blocks and / or fields, and organise your block layouts with tabs. Spoon lets you have different configurations for different contexts - you could have one Matrix field for all your block types, then choose which sections they appear in.
Spoon even works with Super Table so you can get super inception-y with a Matrix > Super Table > Matrix combo and tightly control the UI as much as you need.
Go on ... take the red pill ;)
Tools, tips, and fundamentals
Creating responsive emails with the Campaign plugin
If you’re using the Campaign plugin, check out this video on creating a responsive email template with MJML with Twig for use in Campaign.
About semver numbering
Andrew shared a helpful link to aid in the understanding of the semver numbers in package files, like your
Executing scripts with Composer
Andrew shares a tip on getting more from Composer.
A creative use for Craft translations
Andrew shares another great Craft tip on Twitter.
Does "Pages" make more sense to your clients than "Singles"? You can rename just about anything in the Craft CMS AdminCP by leveraging static translations.
Craft CMS Tips & Tricks collected from Twitter
If you’re a regular CLL reader, you know how many great Craft tips show up on Twitter. Jalen Davenport has been collecting some of these Tweets as a Twitter Moment. Check them out here.
Twig Date Bug Work Around in Craft CMS
Sean Smith shares a tip on dealing with a PHP bug in
strtotime that can crop up in your Twig code.
A PhpStorm Primer
Ben Croker's Craft Plugin dev course has a new episode detailing the wonders of PHPStorm.
There was a recent discussion about wireframing tools in Slack. Whimsical Wireframes was mentioned as a top tool.
Truncate words macro
Sometimes you don't need a plugin to do basic tasks. This Twig macro was shared in Slack that allows you to truncate a text string by a selected number of words and append a string of your choosing, like ”...” or ”read more.”
Perfecting your technique
Writing Craft Plugins with Extensible Components
Andrew Welch comes through with another detailed article on making your Craft better.
Challenge #5 – Napkin Navigation
The Craft Coding Challenge had a holiday-themed Twig puzzler for everyone. The Napkin Navigation has posted solutions, but if you're up for a challenge, test your yourself before reading to the end.
Utilities in Craft 3.1
If you're coming from Craft 2 and have extended the
Tool class in a plugin, you'll find it missing in Craft 3. Fear not,
Utility is the new
Tool. The link in the title is to the 3.1 branch, but it's there in the 3.0.x branch as well.
Craft 3.1 Project Config in your plugins
From the documentation, check out how your plugin can support
project.config, coming soon in Craft 3.1.
What's the point of a headless CMS
One of the 2018 buzzwords was “headless cms.” Here’s a quick explanation of what it is.
How to control the format of an asset's Title
You’ll need a basic plugin, and this post provides some explanation.
Christmas in Tasmania and Reflections on Work with Josh Crawford of Verbb
Josh Crawford of Verbb talks about spending his Christmas in Tasmania, how he got into web development, and the future of Verbb and its plugins.
Craft Plugin Documentation Outline
Ben Croker has shared a reusable documentation outline for Craft CMS plugins.
Powerful form building. Flexible templating.
Freeform is the most powerful form building plugin on the market for Craft! The intuitive live preview field layout editor gives you full control to create simple or complex multi-column and multi-page forms. It also includes effective spam protection, conditional rules logic, flexible email notification options, powerful and flexible templating, and many API integrations are available.
Craft Self Licenses Manager
This is a plugin for plugin developers that auto-generates a license for their plugin. (Say that three times fast.) It eliminates the need to call the Craftnet API to receive a license and manually fill the license field for each plugin.
Doxter for Craft 3
Selvin Ortiz has released Doxter, a sleek Markdown fieldtype, into the plugin store.
Sprout Forms Tables
Custom tables field that integrates with Sprout Forms.
Craft Dark Mode
Dark Mode for Craft CMS
Craft Session Redis
Alternate session handlers for Craft CMS.
Yii, Twig, PHP & More
Understanding Yii 3 (Draft)
Yii 1 was the framework behind Craft v1 and v2. Yii 2 is the framework behind Craft v3. If knowing about the building blocks of Craft interests you, this WIP draft of documentation for Yii 3 should be on your reading list.
It’s not Craft, but it’s interesting.
Things I Don’t Know as of 2018
Dan Abramov is one of those developers who shares his knowledge online and seems to know everything. Does that intimidate you? Fear not! None of us know everything. Dan shares the stuff he doesn’t know in this post. It gives comforts and a roadmap on what you might want to explore in 2019.
Code Complete (Developer Best Practices) 2 by Steve McConnell
Andrew Welch, Craft tipster extraordinaire, mentioned this book as one of the best books on software engineering he has read. That is high praise.