The State of Craft: End-of-2015 Edition


2015 has been an incredible year for Craft. The community has grown substantially, to the point where we feel confident saying that Craft is now the most popular commercial CMS in the world. We’ve issued over 12,000 licenses that have been deployed on unique public domains. Adoption is trickling into the enterprise and higher-ed, including Associated Press, Canon, Emily Carr University, Intel, Netflix, Salesforce, and Wired. Revenue is up more than 40% over last year, and we’ve reinvested it all right back into the platform.

As the year comes to an end, we thought we’d recap some of the big things that happened, and talk a bit about where we’re headed in 2016.

What Happened

We kicked off the year with a new hire (Benjamin David) and a week-long team summit in Orlando, where we started working on Craft 3. The first big step was porting the existing functionality to Yii 2. Yii is the application framework that Craft is built on, and Yii 2 was a complete rewrite of the codebase, taking full advantage of new PHP language features and modern coding practices. Craft 3, therefore, also needed to be completely rewritten, and in the process we’ve rearchitected how elements, assets, and plugins work, and implemented several codebase-wide changes that have resulted in significant performance improvements.

We publicly released the Yii 2 port as the Craft 3 Dev Preview in May, giving plugin developers a chance to familiarize themselves with the changes and provide feedback on them. They’ve certainly risen to the occasion—we have been completely floored by the enthusiasm surrounding Craft 3. It’s clear that we’re on the right path.

In April, we acquired an in-development e-commerce solution for Craft CMS, and hired its developer, Luke Holder. The vast majority of P&T’s development efforts for the remainder of the year have gone into Craft Commerce 1.0 and Craft CMS 2.5, both released just a few weeks ago on December 1. These were developed right alongside each other, and many of the features that came to Craft CMS 2.5 were added to address the needs of Craft Commerce.

We’re really happy with how Commerce 1.0 turned out, and the reaction from the Craft community has been very positive. Several people have already invested time into learning the platform, and we’re seeing higher early sales volume than any of us expected.

What’s Next

2016 is going to be an interesting year. Software-wise, we are starting to plan out Craft CMS 2.6 and Commerce 1.1, which will be released in the coming months. We’re also picking up Craft 3 development again—on top of getting it up-to-speed with Craft 2.x, there are a few remaining major changes left to develop. The next big Craft 3 milestone will be a public beta, although we aren’t anywhere close to ready to share an ETA for that.

Software updates will not be our only focus in 2016, though. As Craft’s community has grown, so have the opportunities to serve them. We’ve always felt strongly that we should be serving our customers with more than just bits of code—we want to help agencies get better work; help developers build better websites; and help authors produce better content—and we think that 2016 is the right time to start. More on that in a few weeks…

We’re thrilled with how far our little CMS has come, and we’re excited about what the future holds. But none of this could happen without the amazing Craft community—you folks make this whole thing fun, and for that we are eternally grateful. So thank you for being awesome!

Update: Originally this post said there were over 20,000 Craft licenses deployed to public domains, but that number was unintentionally inflated due to many domains having multiple licenses. Now it says there are over 12,000 licenses on unique domains, which is probably a more accurate representation of Craft’s install base at the end of 2015.

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