Concrete5 - A strong foundation for your website.
June 06, 2014

Concrete5 - A strong foundation for your website.

Nathanael Girard | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version

5.6.3.1

Modules Used

  • Designer Content - 3.1.1
  • Socializer - 5.6.0.0.4
  • Discussion - 1.8.6
  • Register User Pro - 1.3.8
  • Auto-Nav Pro - 1.2
  • PUG+ PopUp Gallery
  • Twitter Bootstrap Theme

Overall Satisfaction with Concrete5

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.
  • 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
Concrete5 has the simplest and most intuitive user interface that is easily understood without extensive training. Our training session literally was a two hour meeting and everyone was up to speed. All of the others required extensive understanding of the framework in order to accurately implement changes properly or fell short of our original business needs. Concrete5 was much more flexible with their permissions system than most of the others too. We found affordable plug in solutions on the marketplace already for every business need we had.
I have had nothing but good experiences with Concrete5. I have used it on several client websites and even several of my own sites. It is the leading CMS I will go to if I have a need to dynamically update content on a website by people who are typically untrained. They have solved every angst I had with the other solutions I have evaluated in the past and continue to be the simplest to implement and customize.
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.

Concrete5 Implementation

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.
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled - Just get a new hosting provider and make sure they have Unix or Linux servers with PHP and MySQL already installed. Follow the installation steps. Sometimes, some providers will even have auto install scripts already prepared for it. We built out the entire site on there and then just changed the URL routing to point to the new server when we were confident it was ready. Worked like a charm!
  • 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.

Using Concrete5

It is the easiest CMS I've ever had the pleasure of using. I literally could train everyone in a matter of a couple of hours.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • 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.