Thoughts on Kirby

Hi all! Im posting this here because I’d like to hear members thoughts about using Kirby in a professional sense. First, let me say that I love Kirby and coming from WP, which I use almost daily at my job, there are times I really want to use Kirby for my clients. The one thing that holds me back is this view that I have read on the internet that flat file cms’s aren’t really geared toward bigger professional websites. The main argument I heard from my dev peers is that there isn’t a DB connected to it? So it cant be that good to use for the ‘bigger’ type of websites. Dev’s in my industry are using cms’s like site-core, drupal and other enterprize type cms’s. Obviously, this is a Kirby forum and of course everyone here loves Kirby. I’d just like to get over that hump of hesitation. I mean, is it just me? Am I crazy in thinking there is this view out there. Last thing any dev wants to hear, is “hey why did you use that?”

I know Kirby is solid, fun and easy to work with. I’d really like to just move away from WP completely because, first the WP community. Its very lacking to me. Second, I feel when I’m building with WP i have to keep adding plugin after plugin to do relatively simple stuff. Lastly, the admin panel can get slow at times which make for an unpleasant experience when adding simple content. Sorry for going on and on. Let me add lastly, Im not well versed like some members here, so I haven’t used Kirby to its full potential. Cheers! Lance

It is true that Kirby is often referred to as a CMS for small websites. But that is a misunderstanding, I think. Maybe more than words, use cases speak another language.

Two of the big sites I know of: (@bastianallgeier)

Some others, that are more than just small portfolio sites

And I think, there are many more examples out there, sometimes hard to find, because they are not advertised due to non-disclosure agreements.

Also, Kirby allows you to integrate other services, maybe this use case is an interesting example of using Kirby together with other technologies:

Check out this thread as well: Is it possible to "grow out of" a Kirby CMS?

I hope, this helps as a starting point.

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Since you already know how awesome Kirby is, I don’t need to talk about that aspect of it.

To me a key aspect of Kirby is the easy to customise and extend it. In my Wordpress days I remember the pain it was to just add a simple field to panel; the mess with plugins as you mentioned; the mess with the DB; and so on. I have needed a lot of functionality that didn’t exist in Kirby and building those was very straight forward. It’s much easier to add cache and a CDN to improve performance when that becomes a bottleneck.

Developer time is much more expensive than infrastructure (for most websites). PHP v7> is damn fast (I heard v8 will be twice as fast again). Fast SSDs are also a big advantage for flat file CMSs like Kirby. For those reasons I choose Kirby’s enjoyable experience over others CMSs pain.

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Thanks for the replies! All sound advice. Adding services or extending Kirby will be my next area to learn as sites tend to grow over time. Those sites that were listed above were pretty plentiful in terms of content and they ran very fast too. Thank you both for responding. I think this will help me get over that ‘hesitation’ hump and just put it to bed. :slight_smile:

I guess it depends :slight_smile:

My experience is if there isn’t complex backoffice administration going on (or it happens elsewhere) you can go crazy with Kirby, even for big sites which are meant to display information.

E.g. I created this site which has lots of products, in different languages, with faceted navigation, downloads of pdf’s and hi-res images, etc and it works perfectly smooth.

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And keep in mind that if you find you really need a database, you can do that too!

Connecting Kirby to a database

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Wow!!! Ok!! I’m impressed! Thanks for sharing!

I tried pretty much anything out there and for presentation/content websites kirby is the best. If you are making custom site then nothing comes close to speed of develpoment. We use wordpress from time to time but just for the cheapest sites - buy theme, change little things - finish.

Most of our work is custom websites where there is no boilerplate bullshit, you just code everything. The amount of pitfalls you will encounter with wordpress doing everything custom is huge.

Lot of the sites we do are basicaly site builders build on top of To do that in wordpress you will probably have to buy some plugin and more importantly - it will be nightmare for users. With WP we always have to make instructional videos for clients so they can actualy use it. With kirby its fine, we manage to make administration so dumbproof that clients almost never need our help. Its self explanatory and much safer.

About the speed - kirby must read files instead of database yes but Kirby is also much leaner. Amount of code WP has to go through is big compared to kirby. It would matter if you were doing queries in amount of thousands. Ive done site with essays where there were around 600essays and i was a bit worried, but it wasn’t a problem. The amount of time you would save using database isnt huge. Most of the people will waste much more time in things like using bazilion requests or blocking rendering. Only thing that is hugely better with database is search. If you need search, just slap your data into database and use it just for search. Ive done that with the essays.

By the way - most of the normal sites wont get to those quering problems at all because of cashing. If you set cashing on WP or Kirby it will be as fast anywhere.

So from my point of view:
WP - if you want something shitty done quickly using cut paste themes and plugins.
Kirby - custom websites that are not extremely dynamic (forums, big eshops etc)

You can do forums or eshops on wordpress somehow but it realy is not wordpress. Its big php forum/eshop chunk of code slaped into wp. You can do the same with kirby but you basicaly do everything from ground up in php.

If you want eshops and forums - use forum / eshop software - not kirby or WP.


LOL! Great write up! I feel the same. Caching can greatly improve the performance and negate any argument concerning which to use. Don’t I know!! :smile: about blocking yourself into a corner with WP. These page builders out there, while are appealing to the non-technical, hamper development if you want to customize something because you’re kind of locked into the plugin. I’m in that situation now where i have to override the plugins css and they said just use !important. So I have hundreds of lines of CSS with important att in there :unamused:. It just furthers my view to move totally Kirby. The industry Im in (finance), almost always the client wants something so they can manage but never end up doing that. So it becomes our job to update which is great because we can charge a monthly fee. But getting into the WP dashboard is just way too time consuming. Irk’s the heck out of me!