Concrete5 Reviews

62 Ratings
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Score 8.5 out of 101

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Reviews (1-25 of 38)

Dave Becker profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Our website is built on Concrete5. We are able to integrate our CRM and customer accounts system with the Concrete5 platform to give our customers a seamless transition between the two. We host all of our services and offerings on the site and customers are able to read all about our company and what we can do for them.
  • Concrete5 has a modular editing system, so you can edit the pages without having knowledge of coding. You just pick the module you want to insert or edit and click where you want it to go.
  • You are able to edit modules in an HTML format if you would like to, so if you have the knowledge you can have even more control over your modules.
  • You can also edit entire page themes by selecting them from the page layout menu. This allows you a greater versatility of the pages on your site.
  • The file sorting system can be clunky at times. It can be difficult to find the correct file when you are searching for files you have previously uploaded.
  • Sometimes the page will crash in the middle of editing, and there isn't an autosave feature to backup your work.
  • Without proper training on how to use Concrete5, you can easily get lost or overwhelmed. It's not exactly intuitive right away.
If you have some knowledge of coding or website editing, Concrete5 is a great choice. You can go into their marketplace and find additional add-ons or modules that you would like to add to your site. If you are looking for a simple web site hosting service, this may not be the option for you.
Read Dave Becker's full review
Anel Pasic profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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After using, customizing ad developing on most common CMS systems such as Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and others, Concrete5 became a clear choice for almost all of our projects. Unless you plan to develop anything but a webshop, then there is no need to search further.
  • Effective and easy to publish and edit content. You enter the page where you want to edit content, choose edit mode and all editable content is there for you to change. Great overview with sitemap feature, you get full view of your website structure.
  • Extremly flexible, you can define page-types and assign custom attributes to each.
  • Gives developer full controll over display, and lets the editor plot in correct values.
  • Easy to maintain, good security. No need for external plugins in order to preform advanced features.
  • Best plugin is no plugin.
  • Not suitable for webshops. Sure there are plugins for that such as WooCommerce on WP, but that's a poor choice. Best to go for PrestaShop or full-blood E-Commerce solution.
  • No list view edit of the pages such as Joomla, would make it more effective.
Best suited for any type of corporate website that is not a webshop, or requires a full-custom from scratch built CMS.

Whatever you imagine, you can build anything on it. All you need is a descent developer that has a few brain cells.

Not suited for webshops. You can make it work, but it's not an efficient solution.
Read Anel Pasic's full review
Collin Berg profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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With Concrete5, you don't have to explain to your clients on how to edit a site/page. Once they are familiar with the very basics, they can do their thing. Just go to the page where you want to edit something, and click on a so-called "Block" to edit it (a page is a collection of blocks).
  • 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 is a good CMS for small websites that are not updated very often. I've built everything I needed with Concrete5, from booking systems, shopping carts, e-learning systems for schools. Beautiful, fast and robust websites are easily built. Don't be scared off by the relatively (compared to WP) small amount of free add-ons. It is a GOOD thing that Concrete5 does not need much of them.
Read Collin Berg's full review
Tom Reitz profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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I built and maintain a few websites using Concrete5, both for internal use and for clients, over a period of several years. I've used both versions 5.5/5.6 and the newer versions 5.7/5.8 - in fact, I was around for the change and helped migrate a large website from 5.6 to 5.7. Concrete5 is unusual among open-source CMS software in that it is primarily maintained by a for-profit company, which helps give the project direction and stability which other open-source projects can lack.
  • 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 great for smaller content-based sites with non-technical managers. It's not well suited to large database-driven apps which need e-commerce features or many (thousands) of pages of content.
Read Tom Reitz's full review
Jack Wong profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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We currently use it for one of our company websites. This website acts as a marketing tool for us as well as a means for us to utilize Concrete5 as part of our business. If we are to provide Concrete5 implementation services, it's good for us to run a Concrete5 website ourselves.
  • 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 is well suited for clients who want us to recommend a specific CMS and don't have a preference or much experience with using another CMS. It isn't quite as appropriate when clients are already using another CMS.
Read Jack Wong's full review
John Smart profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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I discovered Concrete5 3 years ago. I was thoroughly disappointed with WordPress, and started to create my own CMS. Then an associate sent me a link to 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.
Concrete5, like any CMS, is a very complex program So if you are building a site that has a lot of code and database calls, you would usually be better off building it without a CMS.
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!)
Read John Smart's full review
Frank Smith V profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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Concrete5 was great for creating for small websites. If we had a client come to us such as a small business that needed an online presence we would use this because it is pretty intuitive when creating and managing content on a website. We would work with the client and build a coupe components that fit their needs to help them get what they needed online quickly and easily.
  • 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.
For a small website that is content driven this works very well to hand off to a client and [you] can put some faith that they will be able to manage it very easily on their own. This is not something I would recommend to have as an e-commerce website or any site that needs to be blazingly fast.
Read Frank Smith V's full review
Kelly Lee profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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As a freelancer, I have set up Concrete5 for several companies. I do not use Concrete5 in my organization.
  • 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.
  • Not as robust or well known as WordPress or Drupal.
  • JQuery conflicts seem to always be a potential problem.
Concrete5 is great for any website, but in particular real estate and marketing websites. The super easy, intuitive and drop and drag building is superb for non technical people to keep the site looking fresh and updated.
Read Kelly Lee's full review
David Zizza profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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As a web development company, we've seen the move from static HTML web pages to more CMS style pages. This has been for both our clients, who have requested the ability to maintain, update and add their own content, as well as ourselves to be able to better manage development and deployment. Almost all of our projects over the past two years have been done using Concrete5.
  • 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.
We have used Concrete5 for eCommerce, scientific, religious, non-profits, associations, clubs and professional sites. It's so flexible I can't really think of a situation where it couldn't be applied. And it's ability to be flexible is largely due to the development community. We have worked mainly with designers who are implementing the clients vision and then we implement their designs, but have also used third party templates modified for specific clients.
Read David Zizza's full review
Kobby Appiah profile photo
December 23, 2015

Concrete5 Review

Score 8 out of 10
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We use it as one of our go to CMS platforms for building web experiences for clients. It allows us to create versatile and yet systematic solutions for clients. Its reusable component architecture and being built on a LAMP stack makes it easy for anyone with moderate experience with web development to jump in and play around.
  • 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
If its a system with reusable web components, yes, if its a one off completely custom experience, no.
Read Kobby Appiah's full review
Joey Nizuk profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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We use Concrete5 for ninety percent of our client projects. Concrete5 is a perfect solution whether our clients need a simple CMS, a blogging platform or a complex dynamic site. Concrete5 is ideal for user registration, mass content input and display. The platform can also handle transactions via the eCommernce add-on and the best benefit for us is that it is easy to develop custom add-ons. Also, the sheer simplicity of the CMS allows all levels of users to manage their site which saves the site owner money by not having to hire a developer to adjust/edit content.
  • 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.
Concrete5 is well suited for any website that is going to be a static company website with maybe a careers section, contact form, portfolio, customer management, and dynamic features like that. Although when it comes to eCommerce it's a bit tricky because there are scenarios where Concrete5 works and doesn't work. For example if there is a client who needs a large eCommerce site with a 100,000 plus product catalog that is continually revolving and constantly syncing with third party commerce vendors such as Amazon, eBay etc., then I would probably not recommend Concrete5 because there are other platforms that are solely for this type of eCommerce site (e.g. Magento). Although if there is a client who needs a smaller scaled eCommerce site to showcase maybe their own product line or a niched group of products which requires more engagement with the users then Concrete5 is perfect for this.
Read Joey Nizuk's full review
Harold Blevins profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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Concrete5 is used by all departments as our primary intranet home page. Company links, news, and on call schedules are listed on the front page and each department has their own section. We included pages for training where Powerpoint or videos are provided.
  • Easy to setup and maintain.
  • End users can update their pages using built in forms. It's as easy as using MS Word.
  • Needs a few more built in forms
  • Allow end users to clear cache when updating pages
If you are looking for a simple web page that is easy to use and fast, this is it.
Read Harold Blevins's full review
Kevin Call profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Concrete5 is used for a variety of purposes to address our website needs. From college calendars, news releases, and directories on into marketing and internal support items. It's OOP based architecture makes troubleshooting AND development easy to handle. Since it is database driven, its ability to scale is excellent. The best thing about Concrete5 however is its ease-of-use with In-Context Editing abilities. It's very intuitive to use. As such, it has allowed me to take a supervisory role of the website as a whole, while empowering many editors who are experts on a given area throughout our company to post compelling content to the site, freeing me up for larger development tasks and fine-tuning. Concrete5 is the best CMS I've ever used on a large scale, empowering myself and many colleagues to easily setup, manage, grow and maintain our web presence.
  • 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.
Concrete5 is excellent for both small and large-scale enterprise sites due to it's excellent editing interface. Allows for easy development and deployment, and the ability to pass the project off to web editors to maintain. However, since it is database driven, I believe for small websites it can be seen as overkill, like any other database driven CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. I would consider it overkill only in situation where a small—under 30 page—website is needed and the content will not change often nor is there a need to publish new content via blogs or event posts. In those situations, a plain HTML based site works best, but will require someone with web knowledge to update it. Otherwise, Concrete5 is a rock solid choice—pun very much intended.
Read Kevin Call's full review
Francois Simard profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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I used Concrete5 on many occasions. I first started developing a few websites with it for different small enterprises. At cirque, I used Concrete5 to build what we call the 'url builder'. It's a tool where promoters and people working in marketing use to set query string parameters to their url so we can later track it using Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics.
  • 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.
  • Concrete5 higly depends on Jquery. It makes it hard to upgrade the javascript library since the control panel depends on it.
  • 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.
Concrete5 is awesome for small websites or web applications. It's a perfect tool when you have a few users editing the site with a small to medium sitemap. However, Concrete5 might be too minimal when it comes to building web sites with a lot of data to manipulate or content that needs to be managed by multiple users.
Read Francois Simard's full review
John Warren profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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Concrete5 is great for getting prototype websites from static html to dynamic content full CMS systems in a short period of time. The learning curve for someone who has no experience with creating themes for CMS' to using Concrete5 is almost negligible.
  • 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
I have recommended it to several people. While I would still suggest something custom engineered for a lot of complex sites, there is no reason why 80% of sites built ontop of WordPress shouldn't be made with Concrete5.
Read John Warren's full review
Thomas Cameron profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Most of my client websites are now built on Concrete5 to provide editing capabilities to non-technical content producers.
  • 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.
Obviously some knowledge of php and mysql are helpful when installing and configuring the system. Performance hasn't been and issue with any of the sites I'm managing, however they haven't received a significant amount of traffic. Authoring is very responsive and can even be done on various tablet devices. File sets are great! Take advantage of this great feature.
Read Thomas Cameron's full review
Bryce Wilson profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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We utilize Concrete5 as a base CMS platform for both small and large scale web development projects ranging from simple informational websites to full scale solutions with custom integrations with 3rd party APIs. One of the core competencies that is so appealing about Concrete5 is the ease of use and extensibility in being able to easily incorporate custom content management tools including page attributes that can tie into more complex solutions such as blogging, search, and calendar capabilities.
  • 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.
With each project it is best to approach it with the goals in mind. Concrete5 may not be the best fit in all cases. Given that there is such a large community centered around WordPress for example with a plethora of sound plugins that can accomplish much more that most CMS solutions, it is best to dive into Concrete5, understand how your team can best utilize what Concrete5 does best, content management. From there teams can decide how much resources they can lend towards developing tools that may not exist out of the box or within the community and slowly move towards inviting into the future of Concrete5 and what is going to be one of the best CMS solutions for some time.
Read Bryce Wilson's full review
Hamlet Javier profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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I've used Concrete5 for several websites in the past.
  • Very easy learning curve.
  • Fast, reliable, open source.
  • Lots of nice themes and add-ons.
  • In page editing.
  • SEO friendly.
  • Non-programmers friendly.
  • Can't think of any.
Concrete5 is well suited for small businesses with simple websites. It's good for information sites, for blogs, for e-commerce, for lead generation, etc. The only thing I would not recommend it for would be to treat it as a CRM, as that would entail a whole lot of custom coding (but I guess that's the same for any CMS).
Read Hamlet Javier's full review
Guy Verville profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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I have used this CMS for four sites, as a freelance for a company that is very satisfied with the product. And I have used Concrete5 three more times for personal uses. This CMS is impressive.
  • Usability
  • 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...
While you can build a site without programming a lot, it is necessary to grasp the whole API (it is always a good idea to know what's under the hood!) to go further and exploit the whole potential of this great piece of code. I like the file manager, the way you can reuse and change a file without any fuss. My experience with modules is also good since the developers who coded them are proactive. It is true that you have to pay a little amount for those modules, which is not, for me, a problem. I prefer to pay, hence showing my respect for the work done, and have in return a quick and professional response. So Concrete5 is a good mix of everything. Developers can develop, designers can design, and the most important, users can use it effortlessly! It is hard to compete with the big kids of CMS. I hope Concrete5 will make its place in this competitive world.

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.
Read Guy Verville's full review
Nathanael Girard profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Concrete5 is being used as our Content Management System for our Corporate Website. It is being used primarily by the Marketing department but it also is being used to provide access to Product Documentation for our clients by our Customer Success department.
  • 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.
As far as Content Management Systems (CMS) go, they are the best you can get for free. I've used many other solutions before and this is by far the most intuitive and easy to train people on. If you are looking for a flashy attention-getting site it might not suit your business needs, but if you need to have the flexibility to update content frequently and with people who are less skilled, this is your tool. It works very well for corporate sites and personal sites. I haven't yet tried to implement an e-commerce site with their plugins yet but they do have some specifically for that. I would imagine though that there are much better solutions out there for e-commerce sites.
Read Nathanael Girard's full review
Brad Fogelstrom profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Reseller
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As a freelance web designer, I have been using Concrete5 CMS almost exclusively since 2009. I use it to build nearly all of my clients' websites, and it is easy to teach to novice computer users.
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
Generally, I tell my clients that Concrete is a "build-anything" type of platform. It is ideal for websites that are more basic in nature, such as informational websites. However, there are plenty of addons - some paid - that can be used to make Concrete more functional.

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.
Read Brad Fogelstrom's full review
Kirk Roberts profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
As an independent subcontractor Concrete5 is one of my primary solutions to provide content management capabilities to my clients and their clients. Concrete5 blends a polished, friendly user interface with extremely powerful behind-the-scenes technology that is on a par with better known systems such as Drupal. Perhaps its best known feature is its "in-context" editing.
  • 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.
Concrete5 is well-suited for use on general-purpose marketing sites and can easily handle a wide range of content. Add-ons provide many ready-to-go solutions for more particular needs, and the framework makes it relatively easy for developers to create custom applications that blend in seamlessly with the system. Although the system can handle specialized tasks like blogging or ecommerce as part of a larger site, if your site really IS a blog or a store there are better options out there.
Read Kirk Roberts's full review
Melanie Mumme profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Concrete5 is used when clients come to us requesting a new site built with the CMS Concrete5, or they have an existing site using Concrete5. Concrete5 is one of many CMS platforms out there, however it is in our top 3 for many reasons. A good CMS will speed up development time, and make extending a websites functionality easier, it solves the problem of reinventing the wheel for all the basic framework needed for various functions and features
  • 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.
When a client wants to be able to modify their own site, Concrete5 is a great choice. I tend to offer more than one solution when implementing a CMS. I give a demonstration of each option to the client (Usually WP, Concrete5 and Joomla) and then I let them decide. It is important that the client be comfortable with the interface if they are going to use it. It is also important to understand the scope of the project, as some CMS will handle certain applications and tasks better. With a good developer, anything is possible, with any CMS, but some CMS can make development times shorter, thus reducing costs for the client.
Read Melanie Mumme's full review
Daniel Caryll profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I've utilized Concrete5 for various projects, big and small. This content management system is ideal for projects of all sizes and is quick to implement a user-friendly CMS. As a designer/developer, I often recommended Concrete5 both to my company and the clients we are building websites for. Many CMS's don't give users the ability to easily know what and how to edit their content. Concrete5 helps to alleviate that issue.
  • 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
For a quick project that's landing in the client's lap when its done, Concrete5 is an ideal system to get up and running. If a client is looking for some advanced blogging requiring custom post types and more automated content, Concrete5 may take longer to get set up. But almost all needs can be accomplished by using Concrete5 and if it can't, someone's probably working on making it so that it can.
Read Daniel Caryll's full review
Owen Dessauer profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I've worked with Concrete5 for a number of different websites. This has included both personal as well as websites for small business clients. Use cases vary, including personal sites, marketing, an eCommerce site selling product, and for small business. Of course there are a tremendous variety of ways it can be used, and the number of add-on's in the marketplace for all sorts of additional functionality further support this, without any custom code.
  • 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.
As "easy" as Concrete5 is, it is still not perfect for someone completely inexperienced in putting together a website, unless that person is prepared to learn a bit and take the time to do so. I think sometimes people mistake what they hear about Concrete5 being easy to mean it is like a Squarespace or Weebly alternative. It's not. It's much much more powerful and extendable. However, to address this, Concrete5 will be doing something similar to what Wordpress does with wordpress.com VS wordpress.org . So there will be a hosted, simplified version in the probably not too distant future at concrete5.com , and concrete5.org will continue as it is currently (although greatly enhanced with the upcoming 5.7 release and accompanying redesign).
Read Owen Dessauer's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Role-based user permissions (16)
9.8
API (12)
10.0
Internationalization / multi-language (10)
10.0
WYSIWYG editor (20)
8.8
Code quality / cleanliness (16)
8.8
Admin section (18)
8.2
Page templates (18)
8.6
Library of website themes (17)
6.6
Mobile optimization / responsive design (17)
9.8
Publishing workflow (15)
9.7
Form generator (17)
8.6
Content taxonomy (18)
9.0
SEO support (18)
10.0
Bulk management (17)
5.2
Availability / breadth of extensions (17)
7.3
Community / comment management (18)
8.6

About Concrete5

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.

Categories:  Content Management

Concrete5 Integrations

Concrete5 Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No