- The live editing (and its ease of use) for every page is THE best thing Concrete5 ships with.
- It is easy to use for (tech-unsavvy) users and still extendable for developers.
- The ecosystem for add-ons is small compared to WordPress, so finding solutions is harder or they get updated less frequently.
- The time between updates is slow and lengthy, which can lead to security risks.
- Concrete5 provides a very easy interface for website owners/administrators. Adding pages and content is simple and straightforward.
- Concrete5.7+ works well on mobile devices such as phones and tablets - including admin editing tools.
- Concrete5 has a good user community and support forums, as well as paid add-ons which provide advanced functionality which other open-source CMSs can lack.
- Concrete5.6 websites have no good path to migrate to 5.7, short of manual content migration. This is a big problem and affected the user community negatively.
- Some features that were available as paid add-ons in 5.6, such as discussion forums and e-commerce shopping cart, are missing from newer versions 5.7/5.8.
- Starting to develop add-ons and customizations for Concrete5 can be challenging as 5.7/5.8 documentation is not yet complete.
- Concrete5 is really good at providing a functional WYSIWYG for managing website content. It's the only CMS we tried that truly acts as such without any major issues.
- Similar to the above, in-context editing is a great feature. It allows non-developer savvy people to see exactly what they're doing.
- One click update is really handy. Don't have to download a bunch of files locally, then upload it, and then run a separate update process in order to update Concrete5.
It was all I wanted mine to be, and then some!
More recently, 5.7.came out, which has a new interface, and couldn't be easier for the end user.
The intuitive interface allows easy creation and management of pages, with help for SEO, and a wealth of plugins.
With different user roles, its easy to allow different departments to manage their own site areas.
We are a web host, and have an easy install solution for this program, but if you don't use that, the install is remarkably easy to do, with a friendly interface.
Like any online solution, it is not the best answer for every need. But it is the best answer for most needs. With an ever growing supply of themes and plugins, you should definitely look at this for your CMS solutions. Except for sites that we build needing a lot of custom coding, all of our web sites are now run on Concrete5.
- In-line Editing: 7 + has in-line editing, so you see your changes appear in the place they will be on the live site, in the font they will be and the size that they will be.
- File Management: Excellent file manager, allowing images to be grouped, tags added, lists of what pages use that image, so you can put the images in sets for being used together (in sliders, for instance).
- Very Human! Every contact you make with the site, the mail that comes to you is from the owner of the group. (Yes, Concrete5 is Open Source.) Very friendly, very nicely done.
- If you upgrade from pre 5.7 to 5.7, adding pages is rather tricky. Once you are familiar with it, it makes perfect sense!
- If you are using an older computer, the admin pages are very slow to render.
- In some cases, using the column tool will stop a responsive theme from being responsive. This is not the theme's issue, as we have used it many times in the same theme. Some pages stop being responsive, others do not. ("Stop being responsive" is technically incorrect, they behave improperly as they resize. This is with text-only content, and does not have images distorting them.)
- The only way to add h tags is to click on the html editor of a block, and add the the tag to the heading.
If a site is not heavily coded, then Concrete5 is an excellent choice. The only time we still use WordPress is if a client is very familiar with that platform, or it has plugins that the client needs that are not available on Concrete5. (This has only happened once!)
Concrete5 Review: "Admin section is great for the non technical people who want to manage their website."
- Built on PHP so it can be hosted easily and usually pretty cheap.
- Has plenty of quick start videos to pick it up fairly quick.
- Well focused content managment system.
- Tends to render a page slowly on some host providers.
- Not an extremely flexible platform if you are looking to do a lot of customizing.
- Have had some issues migrating a fully built website a couple times with Concrete5 so it is hard move from one server to the next.
- Concrete5 has a small learning curve. Easy to set up, quick to learn and easy to use.
- Concrete5 is perfect for the non-web tech (i.e. marketing or sales person) to update or make changes on their site. Drop and drag building makes it easy for anyone with no programming skills to update their site or make changes and edits.
- Concrete5 is fast. Lightweight and quick with minimal scripting slowing everything down.
- Fast setup on both local and remote web hosting servers, either via "one button" installs or manually
- Does not require Windows hosting or software, so it's less restrictive and allows for a larger selection of hosting environments
- A very active and supportive community both developers and users
- Uses common, open source software like PHP and MySQL
- Custom theme development much easier compared to other platforms like Joomla!, Drupal and WordPress, or can easily integrate into existing design
- Many addons are free or reasonably priced, or you can write your own custom ones
- Migration from host to host relatively painless
- Page rollback and backup functions are great features for clients
- You have to really find a web host that runs well or maybe even a dedicated/virtual server to see the best response.
- Though you can often see live demos and documentation for addons and themes, it would be great to be able to try the product to see if it's a fit for your project.
- Though its UI is one of the easiest to use for clients, there is always room for improvement. Two things come to mind, the first being the Layout block needs improvement, updating or replacing. It doesn't always behave as expected and sometimes to make changes requires you to rebuild the whole thing (especially if you use layouts within layouts). The other item is that you don't always see the correct display while you are logged in. I fought the code for days trying to figure out a formatting issue, until my client said they were seeing it differently from me, and I realized it was because they weren't logged in. I had fixed the code and never knew it! I have to say here that this might not have been an issue with C5 directly, but maybe with the theme I was using. In either case, you have to make sure that you check it both ways.
- Modular reusable web UI components
- MVC Approach
- Easy extendability with package system
- Certain blocks could use some more expansion, I'm mainly thinking of the form block. I wish it gave choices for how to fulfill emails other than just using what seems like the regular mail method
- Having everything bound to naming makes things hard sometimes as multiple files with the same name can be open in a project and cause confusion
- From a designers point of view, Concrete5 is very easy to re-theme with your own custom web design. Any web designer with a basic understanding of HTML and CSS can re-theme a website.
- From a developers point of view, there are hundreds if not thousands of add-ons that will extend the the core functionally of your site to handle things such as full scale eCommerce inventory management, sales, transactions, customer management, fulfillment and so on. More importantly, there is a ton of documentation on the Concrete5 community site and it is very easy to develop your own custom add on if there is not one available.
- From a site editor's/owner's point of view, Concrete5 is very easy to use. If you can edit your LinkedIn profile and create a Word document then you can edit your Concrete5 website. All page edits are done on the page itself once you are logged in and in edit mode. Any custom add on or redundant task can be saved to the dashboard page for even easier access and use.
- Once area where I would like to improvement is the handling of bulk uploads to the database from the dashboard.
- I would like to see more free add-ons.
- Dead simple editing. Basic training can be performed over the phone in under 30 minutes if needed.
- OOP architecture makes development and troubleshooting a logical and easy to handle.
- Ability to override the system with customizations, and ensure those customizations do not break when the system is updated. Brilliant setup to allow this.
- Speed. As with any system, it's easy for a developer or designer to bloat the system. Attention must be paid to speed costs associated with any new functionalities.
- The user interface for page editing is very easy to use and very intuitive. Almost no training is required.
- It's flexible enough so that you can override any part of the CMS to make it suit your needs.
- It's the easiest CMS to install or move on different servers.
- It has a good caching system making the CMS fast without any specific settings.
- When looking at the code, there are a few legacy objects that could ne renamed or changed. The Collection object for example. Its actually a Page.
- The CMS is not multilingual by default. Even though i managed to 'hack' it so, it would be nice to have it included.
- Rapid production - Quickly go from static HTML and CSS to a full fledged CMS based website
- Ready made modules - With several modules already made for Concrete5 you can easily extend it's functionality and integrate it into your themes
- Ease of use - Super quick to get up and running in no time.
- It'd be nice to make use of custom PHP modules through shortcodes more straight forward. It seems the hooks are a bit contrived
- The site management and content production capabilities make it easy for most users to manage their content.
- The Concrete5 system is very stable and easy to maintain - adding modules, templates and performing updates can be accomplished quickly.
- The user community is growing rapidly which provides more opportunity for enhancements and sharing.
- More detailed statistics with historical data could be provided by the system.
- It would be helpful if additional user groups, such as editors and reviews were provided on initial install.
- Even thought the Concrete5 community is growing, it's still not up to the level as some of the other WCMS communities.
- Highly flexible theme development process with minimal work.
- Great core tools for content management with content specific blocks, front-end drag and drop editing, and on the fly layout editing.
- Easily add additional blocks allowing users to intuitively add elements to any given page.
- MVC - customize existing functionality with ease
- Passionate Community
- Because Concrete5 can be so extensible, the upgrade process is not without troubleshooting. Upgrade only if you have a development server. Upgrading can also force you to complete in stages, having to upgrade to each major release before upgrading to the latest version.
- The community has not necessarily worked out coding standards, so some add-ons are not as well developed.
- Great documentation and support
- Great community
- Efficient paid modules
- File manager
- Smooth updating process
- "on site" editing
- Flexible. A user has a lot of control to change things
- The cache system has improved, but i think there is still room for improvement. The admin bar disappears from time to time if a page has been placed in cache by the browser.
- I know a new version is on its way and it has addressed some layout problems (i hope!) The column feature is great, but while it is advertised as a flexible tool, it is not. Moving things in columns can be frustrating.
- The use of jQuery is great but, sometimes, abusive. Moving blocks is a great feature, but collapsing them before moving them is not.
- Another great feature is CSS overrides. The UI has to be improved and one can easily destroy a site since these "styled overrides" sometimes disappear or are too easily deletable. So Concrete 5 is like having dynamite in our hands. And for those who smoke...
Concrete5 has not yet earned its due respect. It is a pity. I have done small websites with it, so I can not say how it performs on big sites. It is very hard to sell it. Wordpress and Drupal occupy a lot of space because they are seen as 1) popular 2) stable 3) there to stay. Concrete5 still appears as a new kid. Its future is still uncertain. I recommend it for small to medium sized organisations that want a flexible and easy CMS.
- Super simple interface that even non-web developers can use and get the most out of. This made the training curve extremely fast and very easy to on-board new contributors.
- Built-in version control system so if someone screws up it can be rolled back without hassle.
- Very active marketplace with very cheap plugins that meet particular business needs. We have purchased and used several modules with successful results however we do try out our new purchases on a test bed platform before deploying live to ensure compatibility and verify functionality.
- Built-in permissions for every page that is easy to manage. This ensures that prospects only see what they have access to and clients can see what they have access to, even if they are passed a direct URL.
- It can be difficult to set up on a Windows server. Not impossible mind you, just a little more difficult than your typical Unix server where most even will do automatic installs for you.
- The plugins could be vetted by the company a little better to ensure that plugins that are on the marketplace are always compatible and fulfill the promises they make.
Recently, a client switched from Wordpress to Concrete5, because they felt that Wordpress was too confusing to use, and found Concrete to be much more user-friendly and easy to understand.
- User-friendly interface: both front-end and back-end
- Easy search engine optimization tools
- Lots of built-in features
- Innovative workflow and page archiving system
- Active and reliable community / support
- Highly flexible in way of presentation of content
- MIT-licensed - can be white labelled to match your own company
- Lacks complex features for more complex websites (eg. social networking and ecommerce)
- Customization options are a bit "buried" in the current version
- Some of the paid add-ons or themes are a bit pricey
If you are looking to build a large ecommerce website with thousands of products, you are likely better off with a platform that is dedicated to ecommerce. The same goes for social networking sites that require complex functionality.
However, Concrete can be used for medium-sized ecommerce projects (hundreds of products), or even as a private intranet portal or similar small- to medium-scale social platform.
If you browse Concrete's addon marketplace, you may find what you're looking for. If not, there are plenty of developers that can be hired for custom development.
In short, Concrete is most ideal for small- to medium-sized businesses. In some cases, even large-scale ones, depending on the site's complexity.
- A very friendly user interface based on Twitter's Bootstrap. The importance and value of having a polished, well-designed interface cannot be underestimated as it directly affects the "usability" of the system.
- A marketplace of free and paid add-ons and themes that are vetted by a Peer Review Board. Add-ons (a.k.a. plugins) are checked for compatibility before being made available in the marketplace and authors who sell add-ons have an incentive to keep their code up to date. Compared with some other systems there seems to be less chance that an add-on is going to conflict with others, or that the add-on will be abandoned.
- Security seems to be quite good. I have not even heard of a Concrete5 site getting hacked. As such, system updates are not mandatory just for security patches. This means there is potentially less upkeep to the system.
- The system was designed from the ground up to run a page-based site (as opposed to a system that was originally designed for blogging but can also now handle pages).
- Depending on the needs of the site and how the system is set up there can be multiple ways to edit content, which can be confusing if not handled well by the developer and training.
- No built-in way to migrate content from WordPress.
- Easy to use interface. Unlike many other CMS Concrete5 has a relatively simple and intuitive interface. This makes it easier to learn to use the platform.
- Consistent way of entering content into the CMS. Everything is a block and content is placed into that block and entered into the CMS through the front end.
- Built in meta data, xml sitemap capabilities included in the core distribution, unlike other CMS where you need extensions or plugins to get these features
- Easy to use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor window for non-coders
- Ability to revert pages to older versions
- Built in permissions
- Availability of add-ons is limited, especially when compared to Wordpress plugins.
- The number of free vs. paid (quality) add-ons is inferior to Wordpress, many paid add-ons are priced arbitrarily, if there were more competitors prices would normalize
- Drag and drop functions are not present throughout, this can be confusing for first time users. Some users may find drag and drop to be annoying.
- Validation errors in the core seem to be common, maybe not as common as Drupal, but the core should not be pushed to production with validation errors.
- Quick to set up
- Easy to understand and use
- Great community of help, themes and add-ons
- Not the easiest to set up for blogging
- Because there's a small user-base, there may not be as much support as other systems
- Not all plugins are free
- It is very intuitive right out of the box so-to-speak, so getting a basic site up can be done relatively easily.
- End users and clients also find the Admin very intuitive and easy to use, in large part due to the in context editing. Therefore, training and hand-off to clients is relatively painless. Not only that, a high percent actually will do "Content Management" . And isn't that the promise of a CMS after all?. This last point, however, is where other CMS's often fail (including the "Big 3" -Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla)!
- The over-ride system allows an easy way to make modifications to core functionality as well as add-ons without actually hacking the core code.
- While using jquery in a custom theme isn't necessary a problem, there is potential for conflicts with the system's use of it. However, this is being addressed in the 5.7 release (coming soon), which is a major upgrade with significant improvements.
- The lack of market penetration when compared to the "Big 3" (Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla) means there is currently far fewer themes available. However, it's a situation that is continually improving.
- Concrete5's editing features was the big one for us. If you can edit a Word document you can edit content on your website.
- Permissions was another deciding factor in my choice to use Concrete5. I wanted to give staff permission to only update certain areas. Not only does this help to protect the website but it simplifies the process for staff. They do not get confused with too many options. Their mission is simple.
- The Concrete5 Marketplace has several addons and themes available, many of which are free. This was huge for us considering we are a public library working with a limited budget.
- The Concrete5 community is great. Many communities have a lot of participation but sometimes the tone can be a bit pretentious thus helping no one. Although the Concrete5 community might not have as many participants as some of the others I've always found the people extremely helpful.
- I found the built in Composer to be cumbersome. I opted to purchase the ProBlog addon for more features and ease of use.
- At times Concrete5 can be a little sluggish.
- Providing a WYSIWYG interface for deploying enterprise-ready web portals for marketing and social media.
- Allowing non-technical designers to produce web technology using standard frameworks.
- Creating social media portals with role based authentication with very little effort.
- Better templating and cross-browser uniformity.
- A more cohesive framework for writing plugins.
- Expansion of the Concrete5 widget marketplace.
Concrete5 Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
concrete5 is a free and open source PHP built content management system for content on the web and also for intranets. Its emphasis is on management and editing with minimal technical skills and with an embedded editor allows most editing to be done directly from a page, rather than through an entirely separate interface or editor. It features integrated server caching, supports OpenID, version control, and SEO. As with most open source content management systems, its content management functionality can be augmented with many possible addons or via the developer API.
Online magazines and newspapers are the ideal target of concrete5's capabilities though many other sites can be made and managed as well. concrete5 is touted as being both developer and DIY friendly. Marketplace content to extend features are both free and not free, so cost of implementation will vary.
Concrete5 Technical Details