October is a free, open-source and self-hosted platform based on every developer’s favorite PHP framework, i.e Laravel. I just used ‘platform’ instead of ‘content management system’ for a good reason. October is nothing like your typical CMS, but it cannot be called a framework either. ‘CMS’ is the closest word to define it, as it is more of an online operating system for building web applications. In fact, every CMS you have used for your projects to date can be made with October.
October is often described as a CMS that has a ‘developer-first’ approach, which is generally true. It does give you full control over your application like a developing framework, yet less work needs to be put into it. Despite possessing the basic characteristics of a framework, it allows faster development in contrast. It is similar to a starter CMS without assumptions, but some limitations. This makes it ideal to implement and use for both technical and non-technical individuals.
October goes against client-centric development, which is a big relief for programmers because it grants them the chance to exercise their true potential. The creators of this CMS hold onto the belief that developers are meant to create apps and clients are supposed to manage them afterwards. Therefore if you want to start working with the October platform, you should at least be equipped with basic knowledge of PHP, HTML, and CSS. When you want to make use of further plug-ins, then you’ll need some extra pointers as well. Therefore, the setting up and configuration is not a venture that can be accomplished by someone with no technical skills.
So, Why October?
Believe it or not, October was designed upon conventional programming principles that everyone is familiar and comfortable with. It is simple to understand and free of all restrictions posed by common content management systems. You can write your markup the same way you write it in a text editor, and the final markup in the browser will remain uncompromised. If you’re someone who is not a fan of surprises, you’re bound to love Laravel’s October.
As I mentioned before, October does not make any assumptions and only delivers what you ask for. It will not automatically generate code, so you can build exactly what you want. It utilizes a simple templating language called ‘Twig’, originally created for designers. It is extremely easy to learn and will help you handle so many humdrum tasks in no time. With Laravel + PHP in the background, it is even possible to go wrong? This CMS has everything you need to build powerful and quality applications, thanks to its flexible and candor features. Not to mention that anything you create with it is reusable anytime and anywhere.
October is a platform that seamlessly integrates with plugins on the front-end and back-end of an application. You can easily describe the plugins and select the features you wish to include in your project. When you get the hang of this CMS, you’ll realize that creating administrative interfaces never felt so natural. You can set up multiple back-end pages with minimum PHP code and elementary configuration files. It exhibits AJAX support, CDN support, minification of JS and CSS files, file-based templates and a built-in asset combiner.
October offers a free ‘Builder’ plugin which is a visual development tool used to reduce the timespan of plugin development. The plugins created with this tool are the same as you create by hand. The catch is that you get rid of many repetitive and tiresome tasks. Through automation it creates the product faster, which is fully functional and does not interfere with the ongoing development workflow. With October, development teams do not have to change the way they work, because it is a CMS framework that will adapt to their style.
October is a platform that was built for creative minds, so there’s a lot you can customize or personalize in the environment it creates. Also, in spite of being around for less than 5 years, it has a large community and thorough documentation. You can find numerous big projects on GitHub that use Laravel and October CMS at their core. In the world of CMS it appears as a breath of fresh air because it is continuously growing; you’ll discover new plugins and updates on a regular basis.
October vs. WordPress
Many programmers who considered shifting from WordPress to another platform, have leaned towards October. Some might say that comparing the two is a joke, but there’s no denying both have strengths and weaknesses that are worth being mentioned. We’ll just look at some generic facts and then you can decide which seems better. Frankly speaking, both platforms are well-suited for different situations. Ultimately, it depends upon your business demands and personal priorities.
Many developers have claimed that the famous “5 minute installation” promised by WordPress is just a pretense. On the other hand, October supports an efficient installation wizard and a Command line option. WordPress emerged 15 years ago and October hasn’t even reached its 5th birthday, so it’s no surprise who has more followers/supporters. WordPress has almost 20,000 queries on Stackoverflow, several forums and unlimited discussion threads. If you look at October’s community, it appears extremely naive in contrast; it’s far from acquiring a thousand queries on Stackoverflow for now.
WordPress is still the most popular CMS in the world and powers more than 25% of the web. October might never live up to that market share, because the awareness is limited. At present, the majority of its users are concentrated among UK, US and France. On the matter of usability, October has managed to excel with its self-explanatory back-end and highly organized layout on all user interfaces. The navigation of WordPress is somewhat complicated and the front end is often misaligned.
October is a clear winner when it comes to UI and UX. It’s beautiful color schemes, responsiveness and live preview feature is something you won’t find in WordPress. The design and interaction that October brings is definitely a lot to make it stand out. A glance at WordPress suggests that there’s lack of inspiration and it’s constantly showcasing the same flat persona since the beginning of time. While both platforms allow customization, October demands lesser effort.
Taking plugins into account, WordPress is the indisputable front runner in terms of quantity. It offers almost 50,000 plugins, including paid and free ones; unfortunately the free ones are usually poor in quality and the paid ones are quite expensive ($100 on average). Being relatively new, October has about 750 plugins at present, but majority are free and good quality; the paid ones are also quite economical ($20 on average).
Additionally, October has managed to impress users with it’s faster performance and higher security features. It is better at blocking suspicious activity and untrustworthy plugins, unlike its contender. In conclusion I must say that October is one of a kind – a happy place between a framework and a CMS.