Cubicflow's digital agency transformation - from WordPress to Jamstack

Image of Cubicflow logo
With Matt Ellison and Dan McNair, Founders

Natives of creative

As a team, Dan and Matt, the founders of Cubicflow, go all the way back. Starting as teenagers meeting online in graphic design forums, they progressed from smaller to incrementally larger projects together, which influenced their personal and professional interests in design and development. After beginning tech careers and gaining considerable experience, including working in the ranks of big tech, their paths eventually led them to found their own design agency - Cubicflow.

"There is no transparency in WordPress' plugins, and you are so dependent on them. When looking at the codebase, I would often ask, where is some of this coming from?"

The whole digital flow

Cubicflow is much more than simply websites. Their extensive experience and love of impactful design have made them experts who can own and advise on every stage of modern development, from start to finish and anywhere in between. Here is just some of what is offered by the team:

  • Website and native app development

  • Responsive and accessible UX/UI

  • Digital and physical product design

  • Marketing communication and strategy

Image of laptop showcasing Cubicflow's website

Frustration with legacy CMS setups

As with many origin stories, Cubicflow started out with WordPress for marketing websites. However, it wasn’t long until the drawbacks of the system began to show. WordPress is known to offer vast options, but interactions in the system were often unpredictable. Updates, often automatic or potentially initiated by clients, could cause plugin clashes and downtime, leading to wasted, frustrating admin time finding the source of the problem, and understanding how exactly the plugins work.

"We needed to figure out a way for our clients to work with static sites - we couldn't expect them to learn Markdown and other tools"

Customization is key for designers

In addition, as design professionals, the team also found many of the templates unpalatable and laborious to change. Not only that, they desired different hosting options and simply having a local development environment to make changes and experimentation easier. Unfortunately, these were restricted by the complicated setup and over-reliance on plugins. This ever-increasing set of problems led Cubicflow to seek a solution that would give them more control from the ground up.

Investigation of alternatives soon led to discovering static site generation and Jekyll. Jekyll’s simplicity made customization of designs easier, more powerful, and extremely portable. No database or complicated setup to worry about. However, while Cubicflow now had a tool for greater customization, static sites by themselves were only part of the solution.

Image of a mobile phone showcasing Cubicflow's Services page..

Removing roadblocks with CloudCannon and static sites

For static sites to be the alternative to WordPress that they wanted, Cubicflow needed to find hosted infrastructure to automate their needs and allow editing, without clients needing to learn new tools. After testing multiple options, Cubicflow was immediately convinced by CloudCannon’s easy setup and powerful interface for editing and sharing, as well as low maintenance needs.

With CloudCannon, Cubicflow was now able to launch powerful static websites live and quickly share visual editing with clients, while also allowing them to develop locally and easily manage content through Git syncing. The only issue remaining to solve was creating e-commerce solutions, which meant having to straddle two different systems. However, Snipcart soon came to solve the e-commerce game, and the team was finally able to move forward on one platform for everything.

Image of an ipad showcasing the contact us page of Cubicflow's site

More time for experimentation

With static sites and CloudCannon as the spark, Cubicflow joined the static site movement, free to design and work as they needed without complicated infrastructure and convoluted plugins slowing them down.

The world of Jamstack is also a fast-moving community working hard to implement the bleeding edge of technologies for fast, stable and scalable websites. Since working with Jekyll, Cubicflow have discovered a whole variety of other options to experiment with and increase their repertoire, rather than being confined to one limited ecosystem.

Image of an iMac showcasing the portfolio page of Cubicflow's site

No looking back - CloudCannon and Cubicflow together

Cubicflow is flourishing in the world of static sites and loves using CloudCannon for its CMS. Naturally, CloudCannon will be there to help them in their further journeys.

Image of an iMac showcasing the portfolio page of Cubicflow's site