Concrete5 is a free and open source, PHP built content management system for content on the web and also for intranets. It is optimized to support the creation of online magazines and newspapers. - a CMS with a good past, and a better futureI 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.,10,Concrete5 has made it much easier for us to stay on top of keeping our websites current. It also allows easy distribution of work load across departments. The "Stack" feature allows us to design something that can be incorporated on many pages. Then by updating the stack all those pages are instantly updated - saving lots of time, and preventing us from overlooking any element that needs an update. Amazing support. I have needed support once, and it was there - human and fast.,WordPress,Developer,100-1,000 pages,3,1,Ease of updating multiple pages. When changing a block that is used in multiple pages, the work load can escalate rapidly. With Concrete5, you just change the stack in one location, and all the pages using that are instantly updated. This is a huge time saver Team members can change a page without the changes going live. Then management can review, and publish or correct, then publish as needed. This removes any need for urgent fixes. Statistics help us to see directly which pages are doing well and which need a little help, allowing us to keep our site polished.,We use it as an intranet - we never bothered with an intranet before, but this makes it easy - and it is ever so useful. That was not something we intended to do - I installed a Concrete5 locally for testing, then as others tested it too, we started leaving notes, then sharing files through it, and without planning on it, we had our first intranet! We use concrete 5 to manage internal documents, CRM, even password management! (for a very carefully selected group of passwords, on a system that is not accessible from outside of our office) It is a most effective tool.,We are looking to do more with the ecommerce side of it, and rather than just developing plugins for our clients, we are planning on launching plugins for the general public to use.,10,Yes,Product Features Product Usability Prior Experience with the Product,If I could do it all over, I would have started using Concrete5 much sooner than I did.,Implemented in-house,Yes,Change management was minimal,There really were none. Its simple, and well done. Sometimes simple gets really complicated, but not with concrete 5,10,No,10,Yes,I confess to forgetting the details, but I asked the lead programmer a question, regarding optimizing the MySQL databases, and he sent me a full answer, and a Concrete5 tshirt! I stall have the shirt, and I still have optimized tables :),editing a page. You log in, you navigate to the page (looking at the site as you would normally see it, with a new menu at the very top) then click "edit". now you can click on any content, and change it in-situ - not on an admin pop up, but right there on the page. Same font, same size, same color. So easy! Stacks. you can make some content (say your social media links) and put it on one, some or all pages. Then, if you want to add another social link to it, you add it in one place, and it instantly updates all the occurrences of it Form building. It has never been easier to build a simple, or complex form. beautifully written form builder makes it so easy! SEO - a bis issue with many CMS's is the page titles are often :: page name Ugly, not great for SEO. Now, I often have to go back and do SEO later, as I am focused on other things - with concrete5, I can go to one page, and fix meta title, content and (now depreciated) keywords for every page, from one screen,As I mentioned before, when upgrading from pre 5.7. to post 5.7 adding pages is very awkward. Once you learn that, there is no stopping you! And once you learn that, you see how much easier it is in the new version. Sadly, upgrading from pre 5.7 to post 5.7 is not automated. All plugins need to be rewritten, all content needs to be copied by hand. Its frustrating, but given the scope of the upgrade, well worth it.,Yes,10,9Concrete5 is the most Rock Solid CMSConcrete5 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.,10,Higher ROI Better conversions Increased employee efficiency,WordPress,Drupal,Joomla,Grav,October,Pico,Developer,1,000-10,000 pages,,1,Online Directory SEO and Marketing Calendars and Events News Posts Program information,Sub-Sites Mobile Apps Online Directory Discussion Forums,Anything we can dream up for the web, Concrete5 can do for us.,10,Yes,Price Product Features Product Usability Product Reputation Prior Experience with the Product Vendor Reputation Existing Relationship with the Vendor Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor Analyst Reports Third-party Reviews,No change.,Implemented in-house,Yes,Change management was a major issue with the implementation,Various little details that needed to be addressed Ability to pick and choose feature posts and events for the homepage Ability to work with Google Calendars.,10,Yes,10,No,Bought an add-on that supported Google calendar imports. Noticed some quirks. Filed a support ticket with the add-on developer, who thanked me for pointing it out and quickly fixed it, then issued an add-on update for all users of said add-on to reap the benefits of—all at no cost.,In-Context editing interface. See a typo? Click edit on the page and edit it right there where you see it. You're not placed into a editing "backend" that looks nothing like the page the typo was found on. See it, edit it, publish it—all on the same page. Installing additional (and nice!) themes and functionality add-ons directly from the vetted/curated Concrete5 marketplace Adding new content, pages, or posts.,None,Yes,10Concrete5 or how to say "It's done" long before deadlineI 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.,9,Building our internal tool with Concrete5 increased employee efficiency as they are more independant in their processes and they understand more what they are working with. Quick development process definitely increases our ROI when using Concrete5 on small websites. Training sessions are shorter and occur less often as the interface is easy to learn.,Umbraco,Sitecore Web Content Management,WordPress,Drupal,Joomla!,9,Implemented in-house,10,Page Editing is clean and simple for anyone. Custom blocks are easy to develop or install. it helps your users You can override any part of the CMS simply by copy-pasting the file in your directory tree.,Building a multilingual site needs a bit of tweaking since its not handled by default. Managing a lot of data can be a challenge. Too many users working on the site can be another challenge,Yes,9Concrete5 - A strong foundation for your website.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.,10,It has given us financial freedom from relying on third party vendors to update our website. It was extremely cheap to implement. It gave us the freedom to control our own branding rather than going through a third party vendor to create a site for us. It has been able to achieve all of the business needs we had starting out and also going forward.,Joomla!,Drupal,mambo,WordPress,10,Implemented in-house,No,Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled,Needed to set up the MySQL database manually. It was very easy though with the control panel and PHPMyAdmin. We needed to create our own custom template. I'm the designer though and I've done it before so that sped things up. We purchased the Twitter Bootstrap theme which is very extensive and very thorough to build ours off of. That way we inherited all of their button styles and other components for free that we are familiar using with our product line already.,10,Editing page content is as easy as loading up modules into active areas of the page and then customizing them. Editing user permissions was extremely easy and intuitive. Editing the sitemap is very easy.,Adding animations perhaps.,Yes, but I don't use it,10Concrete5: a powerful and user-friendly CMSAs 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.,7,As a developer Concrete5 has been a differentiator as a valuable product that was relatively unknown when I first started using it (in 2010). Many people were already looking for alternatives to "the big three" (Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla). Concrete5's stable marketplace has allowed the addition of some requested site features that I wasn't ready or willing to create myself at various points over the last four years. This enabled me to deliver on some projects that otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do.,Perch,Wordpress,5,1,1,Marketing websites that are somewhat large. Marketing websites that may require reshuffling pages and sections of the site. Marketing websites that may scale up significantly in the near future.,As an application framework.,No,Product Features Product Usability,The CMS landscape is constantly changing with new products appearing and established products evolving. The most important thing is that a CMS makes it easy for the site editor to update their site and Concrete5 provides all the tools to enable that. What I've learned about evaluating CMSes is that once a developer starts to "know" a CMS they will claim it's "the best CMS out there" so it's probably more valuable to get opinions of people that actually use the system. Beware though: the same system can be implemented well or poorly for each specific use case. In general people don't seem to love their CMS. They either use it and don't really notice it (a great outcome) or they actively dislike it because it gets in their way.,Implemented in-house,No,Migrating data,9,In-context editing: navigate to the page you want to edit and start editing The core system is built on pages so accessing data is pretty simple User management is powerful,Advanced permissions can be cumbersome, but not difficult,No,8Concrete5 - easy to use, easy to maintainWe use Concrete5 for various websites inside our organization where people need a clean and easy to use CMS. Concrete5 is easy to implement/install and gets novice clients up and working in a short time. Training for basic functionality is relatively easy.,Easy to upload and manage image and document files via the file manager. It groups images as sets to use on pages. Direct on the screen editing of pages. There is not a separate interface for managing pages. It is basically a WYSIWYG. A number of excellent simple themes. Numerous plugins that add a lot of functionality like forms, Google Calendar, Flash content, RSS feeds, Slideshows, etc,The dashboard can be a bit confusing for a novice user. Naming of items could be clearer. Searching for themes by free or cost could be made easier, this includes plugins (blocks) as well.,8,Managing a website became much simpler and straightforward. No more local desktop modification and then moving to the web host via ftp or other clients. Better looking web sites overall with the use of various themes Having web sites with forms that were easy to setup created a better client experience,,25,2,Business office needs Research labs Academic Support groups.,Concrete5 has a number of plugins or what they term blocks that you can add to enhance the web site. Forms, embed Google Calendar, embed YouTube,8,Implemented in-house,8
62 Ratings
Score 8.3 out of 101
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Concrete5 Reviews

62 Ratings
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Score 8.3 out of 101

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Nathanael Girard profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Build off of an existing theme to speed up the creation of custom designed themed. Bootstrap is a good one but there are many others that are probably much simpler to build from than the Bootstrap one was. Make sure you host on a Unix/Linux server so you don't have to install PHP or MySQL separately. It's just smoother on those platforms.
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Kirk Roberts profile photo
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It's important that any CMS is implemented by a skilled developer. Content management is not a commodity. One of the keys I've found with Concrete5 is to create a homogenous content-entry method (e.g. focus on in-context editing OR focus on using the Composer feature). This seems to make it more likely that site editors will be able to easily come back to editing after a layoff without having to "remember" too much.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

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

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

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