About Coaster CMS

How it all started

Who are we?

Web-Feet.co.uk Ltd are a full-service design, development and marketing agency based in the South of England. We specialise in providing CMS solutions to a wide range of clients who need everything from a simple CMS to manage site content and news to full digital marketing services requiring control over redirects and things like meta tags.

How did it all start (Coaster CMS)?

As a full-service digital agency, we deal end to end with clients' requirements. Many solutions are provided by web companies in isolation without considering the whole package of requirements to make a website successful. Thus, we have used this end to end experience to build a CMS that meets the needs of the end user, not the developer building the website. So essentially, 8 years combined developer experience of multiple CMS systems both bespoke and "off the shelf" led to a belief that there was still a market out there for a "block based CMS system" that didn't confuse a user when they logged in to manage content. We had a pretty strong set of core ideas that keeps Coaster tied to being flexible in development and simple for the end user. Finally, we also wanted to incorporate proximity beacon technology into a CMS to give users the opportunity to make their creations interact with the physical world - we see the Physical Web as being a huge opportunity to improve how we all interact and engage with the Web. Some of the key elements of Coaster CMS are:

  • Pages:
    Pages are how people view and describe websites and it seems nonsensical to not have the "pages" section of the admin contain all of the content relevant to each page.
  • Developer Friendly:
    Built on Laravel (currently version 5) to provide a secure, modern updateable and extendable base for Coaster.
  • Blocks: Themes, templates and blocks for developers
    The content on the site needs to be potentially contained within a design so that content can be put in and the site layout and design not affected. This means blocks, rich text, plain text, string, image, dropdown, all possible types of admin controls for block content and we've also added an additional type of block we call the "repeater" for repeating containers of blocks on a page (image, text link for example)
  • Menus:
    Menus should be easy to create and also easy to understand where each link comes from (always a page - even if that page is just a link). Multiple menus should be possible for footer and other areas of the site.
  • File manager:
    Single file manager for all your files 

Why is it called "Coaster"?

We decided on "Coaster" because we had been struggling to come up with a name for a while and we just decided to choose an object and Coaster seemed to work. It actually does help explain what Coaster is, as we think the CMS is easy to use (you can "coast" through the admin) and that it is a place to put your drink (content) whatever, it is!

But aren't there already loads of CMS solutions like WordPress out there?

Yes, and some solutions will work better for different scenarios, for example, we believe that although WordPress is great for blogs (because this is what it was originally built for) it doesn't work as well when you start piling on plugins (update issues) or using it to "just" manage a website. In our opinion, Joomla is confusing for a user and Drupal is better but can also quickly become bloated and hard to upgrade.

Each of the popular CMS systems already in existence do have their good points and we've tried to take bits and pieces that work from each of them and combine them into a new flexible system that presents an uncomplicated admin to a user.

...and if you want to add a blog you can easily and seamlessly integrate WordPress within site settings.

Modern Framework

Based on Laravel 5

Constant development

Additional features always being planned/researched

Open source

"git" involved

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