Should I use Gantry?

I was told that creating a site in Grav is ‘super easy’ and a ‘breeze’ even if I am not an experienced web developer (which I am not), still, after doing the installation and reading through basically everything in the Learn Grav section I feel like I basically haven’t a clue where to start. I just want to build a very simple page with some images and text sections, maybe some drop-down areas, etc, but this ‘Markdown’ thing doesn’t really seem to be the thing to do this with. Then I tried going with ‘Gantry’ but that seems very confusing and convoluted. So what should I do, should I continue with Gantry, even tho it seems pretty intricate? I just want to drag and drop images and content and that’s it.

I wish I never spent days on this, really. I want my time back. I mean if you keep promising in every other page in the Learn section that it’s going to be easy to use and I need no experience, then it turns out to be a lie, that’s just plain dishonest.

In my opinion Gantry is the framework to use for customizable setups for clients, not a simple drag’n’drop solution. If you are looking for the easy way to handle content and media, you want Grav Core + Admin. This gives you a basic theme that you can easily customize with CSS, or by just replacing content, and using the Admin-plugin lets you write content and upload media very easily.

We often recommend starting out with a skeleton that suits the design you are going for, which will also include some plugins and sample content, but if you’re just wanting to get a feel for how Grav works at its most basic, Grav + Admin should get you started nicely.

Some quick nomenclature: Markdown is content, easy to edit because it is pure text and simple in-text formatting (like we’re writing here). Twig is templating, the blocks you use to construct HTML and logic. CSS is styling, where you make modifications to how HTML behaves and looks. PHP is for developers, and largely the only thing needed to create plugins or otherwise develop with Grav.

Installing Grav + Admin is as simple as uploading the .zip-file to a PHP-server, extracting it, and visiting the folder where you extracted it. Barring server-errors, you will be redirected to /admin where you create your main user-account and can jump right into managing your content.

Thanks for the answer. The thing is that I have already done that - installing grav + admin and installing a skeleton, all the rest. Still, I really don’t see where or how to start without having to learn a lot of things beforehands first, like Twig and all the parts that make a Grav site run. I don’t need a lot of features but simply replacing parts of a skeleton with my content won’t do - I want to put images here and there, customize a few subpages, and the rest. This is not explained in a tutorial or the Learn Grav section and not a straightforward thing to do.

So the many claims about Grav being ‘super easy’ and a ‘breeze’ (and a whole lot of other cute and cuddly webdev lingo) are very misleading and made me spend days on making myself familiar with something I cannot eventually use.

The way I see it is that you would be much more honest if you claimed it is a good solution for people who already has webdev experience and are willing to put a lot of work into getting to know how this thing works. I wanted something as a replacement for a Wix site, but this is just not what you offer. Which is fine, but you should make it clear from the start instead of luring people into this quite complicated environment with baseless claims and promises.

Grav is not (and will never be) a replacement for services like Wix or Squarespace or, Shopify or similar. Those services skip all the technical details and let you build a site, but you’re limited with flexibility by a great extent, and they dictate what you can do, or not. Grav is not advertised as such a system, and if you got tricked into thinking this, it’s a communication problem.

But in any case even with those services, you need to know how things work, once you want to customize something.

You don’t need to have any technical knowledge to use an existing Grav site, but if you want to build a website, of course that’s different, you need to understand how all the different parts and concepts work together. I wouldn’t say you need to be a web developer, but generally being a “prosumer” is enough for creating any Grav site without touching a line of code, by picking prepackaged skeletons (which are complete sites you can use), plugins and themes, and the Admin plugin making it easy to change content and settings.

If you want to step out of the path of the prepackaged offering, or change something, you’ll need to know a bit of Twig and how Grav works, but many people use Grav without knowing PHP.

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