What did you learn by using Kirby, except using Kirby?

What did you learn by using Kirby, except using Kirby?

Except from learning how to use Kirby, what did you learn? Do you work different or think different? I do.

My background is that I used WordPress for 7 years so I compare much to that.

I don’t need a UI for everything

I was used to set up everything in the admin. It was just the way it was. I’m surpriced how much you can do without a user interface. I’m talking about blueprints, blueprint fields, config and even content.

It’s even more affishent in many cases to work with plain text. Bug free too (if not the text editor hangs).

Add what you need, instead of remove what you don’t

When using WordPress it has tons of stuff, in the admin and in the html output. To remove it you need to install a few plugins and still it’s hard to remove everything.

In Kirby it’s the opposite. We start with a clean slate and add what we want. If we want a sitemap, we need to add it, but it’s really simple in comparison.

When everything is perfect it’s easy to be perfectionistic

Because the html output is exactly what we make it, it’s easy to start fine tuning on the details. It takes a little longer but get so much better.

I even removed jQuery from my sites because I found out I did not need it.

Even a flat file system can have relationships

I did not know before that a flat file system can have relationships. I mean like, get every page that has the category hats.

Build stuff like lego

I have started to think about building stuff like lego. It’s easy to get lost in a function mess if you don’t separate things clearly. I also avoid to code too complex stuff. I prefer knowing what I’m doing, instead of having a complex code that I get lost in.

Dependecies is a bad thing

Before I often used like select2 but as soon as I do, I lose control. I may need to update it and it’s not exactly as I would do it. Often I only use 5-10% of the functions which mean it loads more than it needs to.

Nowdays, I often use really tiny stuff, or build them myself. Sometimes you can even win time by doing it yourself.

Read something related here.

The best trend to follow is no trend

Before I was trying to always learn the new stuff. I still do but I don’t always start to use it just because it’s new.

Kirby uses stuff that work and often have worked well for years. Now I usually do too.

Get as close as possible to the output

Before I was used to work with a layer that is used by another layer and it was quite some steps before the final code was rendered.

The output will always be html, js and css and Kirby always keeps close to that. Not many abstraction layers.

When closer to the output the chance of breaking things are lower.

I often have great ideas, but not often the perfect solution

I always have tons of ideas. What I’ve learned about it is that I’m great to see where things goes wrong or when some feature something is missing.

What I’m not so good at is to have a clear vision of the perfect solution. It takes about 5 people in a discussion to find it. Everyone brings something to the table but not a single one have the solution from the start.

What does that say? That it require some brainpower and that one person might not have that alone.

I’m not building a theme, I’m building a site

In many cmses there are themes. In Kirby there are not. There are templates, but that’s far from the same thing. I’m building a site, not a theme.

What is also interesting is that people don’t give up on Kirby Themes.

I’m dedicated to a software that is not my own

I usually only care of stuff that I make and that I own. Selfish, I know. But with Kirby I’m quite dedicated. To create plugins for it and have ideas at least. Maybe it’s because it’s great. Maybe it’s because it’s easy to discuss and affect the next version. Maybe it’s because it’s not something everyone uses. Maybe it’s because of the leader or the other crew? I don’t know.

To trust a cms is to trust the leader

A main reason why I use Kirby depends on that I trust @bastianallgeier . He is the product in a way, almost like his brain i driving it. If the project would change author from Bastian to Bill Gates, I would probably leave (sorry Bill).

Have you learned something except how to use Kirby?


…speaking as someone who was once strictly front end, I’ve also learned more PHP. :wink:


Kirby was the second CMS I have ever used (after the first one someone recommended to me, MODX Revo). Before I found Kirby, I thought that that’s just how CMSs work.

After I discovered Kirby, I suddenly realized that it is of course possible to do something great and to think outside the box. That influenced me a lot and I care about code quality and optimal workflows since then.

The most important skill I learned was how to properly write PHP code. Basically all PHP code I saw before checking out the Kirby code was kind of abysmal. Lots of PHP 4 code, strange indentation, functions that take dozens of arguments (looking at you, TCPDF), uncommented code, code that was commented in an enterprise style (huuge comment blocks that didn’t even tell you what the code does) and so on. Bastian’s coding style influenced me a lot.


i like your long posts :slight_smile:

well, i have started to work whit Kirby in 2015 and Before i have Use Wordpress Like you :slight_smile: BUT i never Really Created a website, or published a Website Before…

and now? i’m really happy to use Kirby.

and since i have work whit Kirby and Start To Work Whit Kirby
I have met many new and nice people and this is Really Important For Me :slight_smile:
ofcourse i will give the best for my Feature too, i will Learn PHP and i will never Leave From Kirby.


Yes it is an interesting topic, (i like @jenstornell’s topics ahah) I can’t give a long answer in english, but what I can say is that the combinaison of Kirby and its forum, the people who share their knowledge and help, give an access to a lot of informations to learn a part of using Kirby. Personnaly, I’m sur to learn the good practice of how to make a website through the learning process of Kirby. Just I should have learn PHP when I was young(er) :frowning:


@Constantin i wish you the best for your Future :smiley: !! i think we have the same aim… To Learn PHP :smiley: :smiley:

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In the early days of web development, I focused on trying to give my clients lots of features: every site had to have a blog, a cart, a forum, and a wiki! Wasted a lot of time with buggy mammoths, such as Drupal and Wordpress, believing I was providing “good value”.

As years passed, I learned that clients like to feel in control, like to feel empowered, and the only way to do this is to not overwhelm them: give them a site that is beautiful, but as simple as possible, so they feel they can manage it. Do not pile on unnecessary features: give them simplicity, and they’ll love you for it.

I have now ‘stolen’ several clients from my competition, who were all using Wordpress, simply because Kirby is simpler. They love it, they love their sites, and they love me. :wink:


With Kirby I discovered the „magic“ behind open source. I never shared my code before, but this is such a great thing.

Working together with people from all over the world, sharing and discussing ideas, getting feedback, learning a lot of new stuff and being part of a really great community. :blush:



I learned what others did wrong.

(other cms, that is).


I learned I could learn how things worked deep down in the code. I had never peeked under the hood of WordPress, Joomla, MODx, drupal, EZ publish, and other behemoths I used in the past. With Kirby, I feel confident opening up the core and reading through the functions.

Just today, I created my first Kirbytag with no prior knowledge of tags. I opened one that looked like what I wanted, copied it and made my changes, hit save, and it just worked! (It’s a tag that output’s the content of SVG in a figure like an image tag does, and I’ll share it soon).

I also learned how to help others as a mean to help yourself. I’ve been very active on the forum lately and I’ve learned more about PHP and Kirby in those weeks than I did in years before that. I’ve for years been a passive listener on the web, relying on other people finding solutions for the same kind of problem I had without ever asking for help or providing help…

Last week, while trying to help out somebody on the forum having trouble with the RSS feed plugin, I dove into some folders I had never seen before and was amazed by how clear and simple everything felt.

I learned that you can make something incredibly powerful without complexity. And as @luxlogica said, I learned that end-users who aren’t developers just feel way more comfortable with Kirby because of that.

And last but not least, I learned that helpful, cheerful and amazing communities still exist on the web. That’s a huge achievement !


SVG for the win!


Best thing I discovered last year… fully scale-able, interactive images… the best :slight_smile:

By the way - Android 4.0 also supports SVG, I made a lot of apps - fully powered by SVG and my native Android 4.0 devices also handles it.

When I came back to webdesign last year (after 5 years without touching code) I had the feeling that I could begin from scratch. WordPress, that I had used before, seemed to me a hydra: too many predefinitions, too many things I had zero use of, too much bloated stuff for websites that only consist of a couple of pages. I felt especially unconfortable with the customisation (and the customisable themes): like a puppet stretched out by the strings of a machine.

Then I looked out for the opposite: something open, clean and transparent - and here I am. And I started to honestly be interested in coding, also thanks to the folks that help on this forum. In future I will most probably stick to Kirby.

At the same time I started to learn a lot about responsive design. Going into a responsive framework was the best school I could think of. So I had the choice between Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation. Zurb was the one because I always prefer the smaller business if it can do as good as the big one. This is also an argument for Kirby: support a small (local) business, don’t let the giants rule!

Now that I understood responsive design I eventually let go of frameworks too: Too many things that I won’t need in my life. So more feng shui is to come.


Great approach that a lot of devs go through! Dissecting frameworks as a way to learn html/css and define what you want to do and what you absolutely don’t want to do is the way I think :slight_smile:

Looking forward to your upcoming feng shui :slight_smile:


I discovered Kirby three months ago. So far I’ve learned three things:

1 There is a world outside WordPress (yep that took some time)
2 Having too many options reduces flexibility (I’m looking at you MegaThemes)
3 I love Kirby and this community : )


I’m in no way IT or web professional, but I digged blogging CMSs as long as they exist. I was tweaking Blogger before it was aquired by Google, I remember what Posterous was. ExpressionEngine, Textpattern - I tried them all. All but the Wordpress, cause any sign of PHP code was scaring me out. I was porting themes from WP, not to it. Now I realise that any special tags - and there’s no way to make CMS without them - is a substitute for PHP snippets. Now I fully agree with Bastian in his minimalistic approach and realise that only bad code looks scary. My friendship with Kirby goes along (and started at the same time) with Linux and CLI enthusiasm. It’s hard to tell about the causes and consequences here, but esthetically these things perfectly match.


I’ve been using REDAXO and WordPress for a some years. But when I started to work on my portfolio last year, I felt very unsatisfied with the daily routine with both. I had left REDAXO behind in about 2012/2013, but some of my client projects are still running on it. I really liked the way, how it was possible to build entire pages in REDAXO by using content blocks, rather than a large textfield for entering everything and the CMS is rather fast. But it came with a lot of major drawbacks, especially when it comes to clean URLs, content block creation or asset management.

After discovering Advanced Custom Fields, I finally switched to WordPress. With ACF, you can build basically any editing interface you want … but WordPress’s API is rather complicated and without having the documentation open in one tab you’re getting stuck most of the time, because fetching content or registering scripts is not very intuitive.

When I was trying out Kirby for my personal website, I instantly fell in love with the clean API and the uncomplicated process of database-free content editing. I really like Kirby’s panel and the ability to write my own frontend-code without having to look into the docs every few minutes. Kirby did also influence my coding style towards something cleaner and I started to care more about how I am naming things. I had some decent PHP skills before and writing backend code for REDAXO or Wordpress had never been a major issue for me, but it never was actually fun to mess with these pieces of software. Using Kirby allows me to focus on my frontend code. As mentioned before, I see myself more as a designer who codes, than a developer who also designs.

I think the software we use influences the way we think when creating stuff with it. I can observe, how my approaches to writing HTML, CSS and JavaScript also since I started to use Kirby. I really like to understand my tools, so I can learn from them. I don’t want to be confronted with a scary black box every day. Ever tried to write a Photoshop Plugin (I did for my master thesis)? There is this huge piece of software with a badly documented API and a very long and complicated setup until you can write your first line of code. Writing a plugin for Kirby? Dig into the source or the documentation and there you go. Everything is approachable and structured in an intuitive way. I’m constantly trying my best to apply the same principles to my own code. I also started to share the code of my plugins on GitHub, something I never did when working with WordPress.

If you want to know more about the reasons, why I switched from WordPress to Kirby, I recommend that you also check out my blog article on this topic.


As I’m a developer who also designs I can tell you that it’s the same the other way around.
Kirby allows me to focus on my backend code and to write better backend code as I very rarely need to fight against the internal operations.