New to flat CMS - clues on dev time?


Hello all

I have a website with 3 main pages/templates built in HTML, can anyone give us an idea of how long it takes to take those 3 pages and make it a Kirby CMS site (excluding adding all the real text and images, just the 3 HTML templates transformed into CMS where someone else will then add the content)?

I can code HTML/CSS (and some PHP) but don’t know much about other dev stuff such as MAMP, Github, command line, JSON, Markdown, etc.



Without seeing the design, its hard to judge. Personally I’ve built sites like that in less then a day, but it really depends what is in the design.

The key is forward planning. Can you show us the HTML version of the site, and we can perhaps offer some guidance on it.

Generally you break the site down into pieces, which become kirby snippets. This is basically anything shared like the header, footer, main menu, social media links. The “shell” you are left with after doing this becomes your template.

You say you have 3 main pages. Are they totally different layouts? It might not be 3 in terms of templates. Basically a template is usually 1 distinct page layout, but technically you can do it with one page template, if you get clever with the logic. It really depends on the site designs. You might have a site with 24 pages in it, 23 are are the same, so you end up with 3 templates, including error page, if that makes sense.

The next step is to make blueprints with custom fields in them to capture the data required to populate the content.

I would start out with Plainkit, add your css to it, and go from there.


I think the main work will and should go into structuring the content into useful fields that an editor can easily fill in and then prepare the forms for the Panel (called blueprints).

Since the HTML templates are there, all you need to do is remove the static stuff and replace with the PHP code that fetches the content from those fields. If you really plan to reuse that stuff as is.

You don’t need GitHub or the command line, nor JSON. You do need to set up some sort of server and the editors need some basic Markdown.

Since you are new to Kirby, you will probably need some more time, an experienced developer could do this in a couple of hours/1 day, I think, provided that the templates and styling can really be reused without changes.

See also this thread: Looking for help with Project Workflow, 1st Time Kirby user


Thanks for the guidance @jimbobrjames and @texnixe - really helpful!

@jimbobrjames Unfortunately I cannot share the HTML but the site is a magazine similar to Vice and the structure / 3 main templates are the home, article list and article page. Will take a look at plainkit.

@texnixe good to know the average time and thanks for that link, looks like there are some really good suggestions on there :slight_smile: