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Photon CMS v1.0 Is Released

Years of development paid off. We are so pleased to release our first commercial version of the Photon Content Management System!

Tihomir Opacic

Tihomir Opacic

4 min read

How It All Begun...

Believe it or not, the earliest Photon CMS version was made in 2008! Almost nine years ago, working as a web developer, I was frustrated with the complexity and rigidness of the platforms still popular today. The team I was working in would use either WordPress, Drupal, or Magento no matter what type of project comes our way.

I personally got tired of fighting these frameworks, and eventually conceptualized the Photon CMS - a lightweight admin panel generator (thus the name Photon - a weightless particle). It really worked well for simple websites. The time it took us to wrap up an average website compared to building it using one of the aforementioned was cut in half.

Tackling some of the more demanding projects meant that Photon CMS needed to expand its functionality, and it gradually did.

Five years later we still used it for most of the projects we worked on. Photon was our closed-source secret weapon of choice that gave us an unfair advantage in a client-work niche we were in at the time.

Seeking A Foundation

However, as years went by, our MVC structure became bloated and it was clear that we desperately needed a refactor. We wanted to base our refactored CMS version on a PHP framework, but Zend was too complex and CodeIgniter never felt right. Seeking the right solution a small article in the net magazine caught our attention. The article about the Laravel PHP Framework that just got released as a v.4 beta. That was it!


At that time SPA (Single Page Applications) and RWD (Responsive Web Design)  kicked in. Seeking to improve Photon Admin Panel GUI and UX, we commissioned the design of our first official Admin Panel UI Theme. We made it responsive and based it on Twitter Bootstrap. To crowdsource the debugging process we published it on Themeforest

The theme was a success. Our clients loved it, and it earned decent money on Themeforest, too.

Having a theme available meant that we could speed up the process of designing custom control panels based on Photon CMS, so we eventually ventured into building our first version of Photon CMS control panel based on Angular JS

It worked great. Our clients loved it. We didn't. The project was hard to maintain. Angular didn't click with Laravel and didn't click with Photon for us. We gave it up.

Soon, flat design became popular and our first UI theme started to look dated, so we produced Proton UI. The UI theme current version of Photon is based upon.

Tackling Many-Headed Beasts

Three to four years ago, we started to see an increasing demand for API-driven projects where clients demanded a single point of content administration that powers their websites and mobile applications. That was exciting new ground for us, and it didn't take a lot for us to realize that having a CMS that is (RESTful) API driven would solve so many problems we were experiencing while building multifaceted apps.

Leading Up To The Now Moment

At that time a decision was made that the next Photon CMS rewrite should make it a commercially available software. Conveniently enough, right about that time Laravel community aided the affirmation of another JS framework at that time - Vue.js. This time JS framework clicked. This time there were no obstacles for us to slowly condense all of our experience into the carefully built product you see today.

Photon CMS - a headless CMS built on Laravel and Vue.js framework.

I truly hope that Photon CMS will help you and your teams to build some great projects in the years to come as it has helped us for the past decade.

Follow Photon CMS on Twitter and Like Photon CMS on Facebook.

Happy coding!

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