Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10
Solid Development Platform
Overall, this is the best open source site development solution I've used. The learning curve is a bit steep in terms of creating a fully functional enterprise-level site, but a casual user can get a small, good looking and flexible site up and running in a few hours.
Very easy to maintain and manage with decent flexibility. It also makes use of very reasonably priced add ons through a user marketplace.
Upgrading versions in recent years has become a somewhat harrowing experience. I'd actually suggest not upgrading until you have a compelling reason; say, for instance, you want the functionality of a new add on or theme or the installed add ons stop working correctly.
Best CMS I've ever used, very flexible
Allows you to build a website exactly how you envision it. You are forced to structure your site to fit it's framework - Concrete5 is very flexible to your needs. Extending C5 is also very straight forward.
The in-context editor is extremely easy for non-tech users to use. IMO, it's the best user experience compared to all other website editor type CMS with in-context editing.
Not as many developers making plugins/extensions like for other tools like Wordpress. That said, if you are technical you could port a Wordpress plugin to Concrete5 fairly easily.
Have we lost 15 years of work?
The theme we paid hard-earned donor money for was never upgraded to keep up with the updates Concrete 5 made to its operating system. Our theme no longer works with current versions of Concrete 5 (5.6) and I have no idea how to fix it. "Explanations" online require a Computer Science PhD to understand and I don't have the knowledge to figure out what they say to do. We've just let it go for years, but now we have t to change servers and I don't think the new server can handle the outdated version of Concrete 5 needed for our site to operate. YEARS of work are going to go down the drain if I cannot somehow salvage this. I have NO IDEA WHERE TO TURN for a plain-English response as to what to do.
Concrete 5 was OK in the beginning but now it looks like our choice to use this is going to cost us YEARS of hard work.
It is VERY hard to understand what to do with this software. Support is poor to nonexistent. Vendors are not required to keep up their products, leaving customers hanging. See our dilemma, below.
Response from concrete5
I'm disappointed to hear this Marybeth.
You're right that in the 10 years we've been open source we've changed a lot. Keeping your site on the latest version is something that does require ongoing attention from a somewhat technical resource. Version 5.6 is actually legacy at this point, we're all the way to version 8.5 and are looking at a version 9 release in 2020.
Today, to keep your concrete5 site running in a healthy manner it will need occasional attention from a web developer, who we'd happily make an introduction to if you filled out the contact form or the "We can build it together" overlay at the top of every page on concrete5.org. That said, I'm sure it will cost more than the $30-$50 you spent 10 years ago on that theme, and I completely understand if that's not the right choice for your non-profit.
This is pretty common with open source software, but we are working on some new hosting approaches that mitigate some of the challenges around this in the future.
Great for end-users and developers
Love it as a developer and I love providing Concrete5 powered websites to my clients. Doesn't get too much more ideal than that!
I love to provide Concrete5 powered websites to my clients for many reasons. In particular though, the in-context page editing abilities of Concrete5, easy-to-use dashboard, customizable theme styles and extensibility through the Concrete5 marketplace make it a tool that suits a WIDE range of needs.
My only dislike with Concrete5 is the lack of native e-commerce functionality built into the CMS. If Concrete5 and/or the C5 community were able to develop some simple e-commerce functionality (much like woocommerce) I think C5 could re-gain some market share from other CMS tools in the industry today.
Response from concrete5
Good news, there is ecommerce for concrete5 here:
Flexible, Customizable, Edit Anywhere Web Sites
We needed to upgrade a very old website and do it in stages, when we had time. We needed the website to work on mobile devices as well as computer browsers. Finally, we are a professional firm, so we needed a website that looked professional and not canned or weak. Concrete5 provided us with a solution that worked on cross platforms and provided templates that look professional from the start. We have also been able to develop the site in stages. While we are not completed, we are much closer, much faster than other tools would have provided us. Page styles give us some structure on different sections and multiple users also allow faster setup and maintenance. I will use this on other websites I manage.
Concrete5 is very customizable regardless of the template used, and many templates exist that let you hit the ground running. Most of the editing capabilities work on iOS, so you can perform most edits and design work on an iPad and mobile. The interface is clean and the version control allows some experimenting. I have used blog software and computer based software, but this allows the best of all worlds so far.
The learning curve to purchase a template and add controls to a web site took a little bit to figure out, but this is done very infrequently. Using a templated page, it also took some time to figure out some heading columns and other columns were fixed and not movable, but so many other areas are customizable, workarounds were fine.
Concrete5 Easy to use
It's easy and fast to post, edit, and update. The menus are comprehensive and simple and makes keeping your site running easy.
It's intuitive - the block system is much easier than Wordpress. This power is in the simplicity - but you can make it as complex as you need with add ons. It's much easier to organize your site with Concrete5, also.
There may be fewer add ons than Wordpress options? But I can't say for sure.
User Friendly Website CMS
I was able to come into my position having past experience with WordPress and easily figure out how to use Concrete5.
I like how modern and user friendly this content management system is. Many features are drag & drop so even a novice can create a web page, but there are robust capabilities that can be coded in as well.
I would have liked other options for viewing files, specifically images. And increased ease of navigation through the back end of the website.
Concrete5 made is easy for us to setup complete websites, including a built-in blog, for users who had little or no experience with blogging. Once we adjusted to the user interface and the customization methods, we were running smoothly in a very short time. Highly recommend it!
Concrete5 is like a breath of fresh air when it comes to content management systems. We have worked with WordPress for several years, but wanted to try something different. Concrete5 got the nod after some research showed that it is a solid platform with enough support behind it to make it worth our time and efforts. Setup is super easy and customization is pretty easy once you understand how it functions. Oh, and the fact that it isn't as popular as WordPress makes it almost a waste of time for hackers, so it's very safe.
Because Concrete5 isn't as popular as some of the other CMS systems, it doesn't have nearly as many free plugins or addons. Most of the time, what you need can be found, but it might require purchasing what you want or hiring someone to custom-create it for you.
Maybe Aptly Named for Non-Developers
I use a particular blogging/CMS platform for most projects but it is not necessarily suitable for every project. On numerous occasions I've tried to build a project out on Concrete 5 but meet with both usability challenges and prohibitive costs to integrate features.
I like the notion that Concrete 5 can be a replacement or alternative to CMSes like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and others. I like the ways others have taken ideas and realized them with Concrete 5. My own efforts over the past few years have been amatuerish. Concrete 5 has remained a hobby.
Usability challenges and prohibitive costs to integrate features. The platform is not easy to learn. The theming system is considered robust by some but doesnt have a wide range of good-looking affordable themes. The free ones are not easy to modify. Concrete 5 has plugins but they are costly to implement and the selection is not as wide-ranging as those for other CMSes like Drupal, WordPress or Joomla.
concrete5 - The Best of Breed CMS
For me as a developer, concrete5 is a great base to build almost any project on. The extremely powerful attribute system lets you add custom categories so you can reuse tried and tested code for free. You can even add your own custom attribute types which can pull from other data sources. The built in user management system, complete with support for Oauth is one less thing you have to code.
As a user, I love the in page editing features of concrete5. You simply click the edit button, click the content you want to edit, type in the content, save, publish and you're done. No messing about with the dark recesses of a hidden control panel. All that you need is right there in the page.
As a developer, the documentation is sometimes quite a way behind the product itself or doesn't actually exist at all. This can be frustrating because the underlying architecture of concrete5 is built on the best of breed open source components, and to do things correctly without modifying the core can take time to figure out. It's usually pretty simple once you've figured it out though.
Hands down best cms / framework
Even for complexly applications it's usually my preferable platform even over frameworks as it provides the functionality of a framework yet still provides additional functional that is almost always useful regardless of your use case.
The system is architected using modern object oriented php. It's very easy for front end devs to create websites from mocks that are intuitive to edit for end users using the cms. It provides a foundation similar to a traditional framework for more complex applications with enterprise level permissions and features out of the box. Extending the cms uses an intuitive pattern allowing changes to persist thru updates to the software. It promotes professional programming design concepts and favors traditional programming design patterns over strict convention. The editing experience from a end users standpoint beats drupal, wordpress and joomla hands down. The security track record is impeccable as well contrasted to other cms systems.
Off the shelf plugins are limited but the plugins that are available are properly vetted and less likely to be insecure than wordpress. Developer docs are lacking but if you have a good understanding of php it's easy to follow the code as it follows industry conventions and concepts and theming is a breeze.
Powerful Site Builder
Concrete5's page-centric approach makes this an easy win for custom websites. In page editing overcomes editor's apprehension. Site admins pickup basic page creation and updating quickly. Page versioning gives them confidence to make changes knowing they can be easily rolled back. File management is familiar.
C5's use of MVC architecture gives developers complete control over the end solution. Theming is straight forward. Adding custom block-types views is easy for even new devs. And C5's "single page" types can leveraged for powerful front-end and back-end solutions. "Express Objects" in recent versions of C5 is a welcome and powerful addition.
In short Concrete5's approach to CMS makes sense.
Concrete5 is incredibly easy to theme. Adding page templates is straight forward. "Single Page" types cover extensive customization.
Documentation can be limited. Caching is occasionally overbearing*. Scheduling pages or page versions is not consistent*. (*may be server related)
Probably the best CMS
I have been using Concrete5 for over 10 years and cannot see me switching to any other CMS
- You can achieve absolutely anything your customers require with retaliative ease.
- Happy customers
- The community are always available to help and you can easily communicate with the lead developers.
The lack of development documentation can cause a few issues.
Great CMS for 80% of websites on the web.
Concrete5 ease of use for the end user, is its clam to fame. Simple to learn on page editing and the ability to build out more complex pages.
From a development stand point, concrete5 can be hard to use for 3 or more developers on a project. There is no syncing process between local development environments and remote environments this can cause issues on large projects. Also scaling the CMS for very large project (250+ plus pages) might be an issue however, that is more of dev-op issue then a CMS problem.
Response from concrete5
Thanks for the great review Wayne,
We regularly use bitbucket/github to collaborate with large teams on concrete5 projects and it works very effectively. We've also got sites that are serving well over 10m page views per month by just turning on full page caching and storing some assets in S3, all very easy with concrete5.
Review on concrete5
This content management system is by far the most user friendly system in market. It has a lot of features implemented by default and allows an easy extensibility.
Unfortunatelly the concrete5 marketplace is not in the same level as marketplaces of other products.
Concrete5 is the Best Content Management System for Small to Medium Sized Businesses
We can build a beautiful, fully functioning website in a minimal amount of time and then train the client on how to manage their website with concrete5 in under an hour.
Concrete5 is very easy for users to learn. It is intuitive. With just a minimal amount of training, non-technical users can manage a fairly complex website. Also, development is made easier than concrete5. Creating custom templates, extending concrete5 and designing for it is very simple.
Community isn't quite as large as Wordpress so there aren't as many plugins/add-ons for it.
The greatest CMS
As a web developer, two considerations are important when chosing a CMS. The first is the codebase, the quality of the core code. It technically up to date, well structured and the security is up to date.
The second point to take into consideration is the usability for the user of a CMS. concrete5 has a very well thought and designed "In Page Editing" feature which makes it easy also for non experienced users to create and maintain their website easily.
I can highly recommend concrete5 as a very powerful yet easy to handle CMS
CLean & good code structure, Easy to create a website.
Response from concrete5
Amazing Website Editing Experience!!!
Open-Source with MIT License, soure code provided and is free, many blocks available and it can easily be modified to have different look and feel.
Drag and Drop editor, customization of blocks and layouts is a piece of cake. Really don't think that I would live without this software.
No mature ecommerce package available for this software, there is package but is outdated. It could have an ecommerce package that would but as awesome as the CMS.
Positive experience. We have used it for a project and also decided to use it for other similar projects because it is very easy to deploy
Very easy to use. A project can get running in no time. Very intuitive and good numebr of themes available
Limited amount of plugins for some specific purposes
Awesome, Professional.....Good for programming dumb like me
A brilliant CMS solution for the real web developer
If you're a web developer, this is a powerful solution for building a content management system without tricking a blog into being a website and without building a solution from scratch.
It's not as quick to get up and running as say a WordPress site, but the customizability and efficiency of not having to trick the system to do something it's not really made for is well worth it.
Concrete5 has all you need to get the job done!
We've been using Concrete5 for many years for one of our youth summer camp programs. I have very limited website management/design experience. But I find that Concrete5 has easy to use interface that allows me to change and update pages with little to no issue. In all the years we've been using Concrete5, there have been no major issues that would make me considering using different software. Very happy with this software!
Easy to use
Customer resources for issues
If I were to pick ANY con, it would be that there isn't a more customer service. But I've never felt like any issue I've had didn't have resources to solve the issue.
Easy, drag and drop type of website creator
Concrete5 allows its users a sweat-free creation of a website. It’s versatile and simple. Being a content producer, I am tasked to create websites to promote our clients and their offers. Concrete5 has helped me achieve that goal without the need for coding.
Package is good but outdated. Bugs are also noted a few times.
Besides that, it still works better than other similar software. Still gets the job done easily and without much hassle.
Not much to compare it to, but it works for me!
I did not choose it, but have learned to work with it. It meets my needs adequately. Any shortcoming that I have with the website are due to the design and not the CMS.
It's user-friendly for those who are not technologically savvy.
Custom modules are difficult to create and implement for an intermediate-level user/admin.