Why Tower has gone Kirby

Fournova is a Germany-based software company. Their Git client Tower is loved by thousands of developers and companies world-wide. We talked to their CEO Tobias Günther about why they trust Kirby to run their websites.

Tower’s Kirby-powered product site is not just a fantastic eye-catcher, but also incredibly well built.

You are developing a very popular Git client for Mac and Windows called Tower. Could you tell us a bit more about your software and the team behind it?

Our goal with Tower is to make version control with Git easy and efficient. With over 70,000 customers in companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon, we make this true for developers and designers all over the world.

At the moment, we’re a team of 8 people working remotely from all over Germany.

The Tower website, your learning platform and your blog run on Kirby. What made you choose Kirby and how does it improve your workflow?

We have a long history with different frameworks and systems — from Wordpress to completely home-grown. The reason we stick with (and love) Kirby is its simplicity: it does things in a completely transparent way. And it’s absolutely lean, almost fat-free! It doesn’t carry any unnecessary “bloat” with it.

Tower’s learning platform shows in a unique way how much the team cares about high-quality content and about helping their users to become better developers.

Give us a glimpse into your administration and deployment process. How do you fill your sites with life?

Being a very technical team, we add and edit content directly in Markdown format (instead of using Kirby’s wonderful “Panel”). When it comes to publishing changes on our live server, we use Beanstalk’s deployment infrastructure.

Did you extend Kirby with any plugins?

By now, we have a dedicated Git repository with custom helpers and extensions, our “fn-kirby-toolkit”. We have our own plugins, e.g. for managing newsletter subscriptions (in Mailchimp) and creating support tickets (in Zendesk).

Could you give us an idea of the load Kirby manages for you?

We have over 200,000 monthly views (spread over the Tower website, our blog and our learning platform). One important topic that made us switch to Kirby is indeed performance: being a flat file CMS and having a really simple yet effective caching mechanism, we can be sure that even higher loads (e.g. when we launch a new version) are easily handled. This allows us to keep our setup dead simple: a single machine, a managed webserver.

Tower's intuitive interface makes working with Git more accessible and fun.

What’s your favorite Kirby feature?

Again: its simplicity. Even new developers quickly understand how it works. It’s a joy to maintain, extend and debug!

Apart from that, the easy templating system is something we also appreciate very much.

What features would you like to see on the roadmap?

Here’s the thing: Kirby covers all the basic needs that we have. I think this is its greatest advantage: it doesn’t try to solve everything and fail doing that. Like every project out there, ours have their own, very special requirements. We’re fine dealing with those explicitly, by extending Kirby.

Thank you, Tobias!

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