concrete5

Concrete CMS started as a commercial offering in 2003, it has been through several revisions and updates, and version 5 brought it to open source. It’s a flexible system that has a nice backend, yet uses edit-in-place functionality.

CMS Screenshot

CMS Screenshot
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You can sign up for free to test out the system

Current Version: 5.5.1
Cost: Free
Development: Commercial, Community
Source: Open Source
Hosting: Your Server, Their Server
License: MIT License
Programming: PHP, Python, XML
Database: MySQL

Our Impressions:

Concrete5 is best for non-programmers that want a static website. In other words, a finite set of Web pages like: About, Contact, Services, etc. The initial setup is extremely easy and creating custom templates (themes) is nearly as simple as creating the HTML files. Its real attraction may be inline editing of pages. All you need to do is click some content and a popup allows you to change its contents. It handles links, images, and all sorts of different “blocks” of content wonderfully.

Concrete5 was built from the ground up as a commercial CMS for actual clients. It was only recently that they released an open source version, so the community and custom module developers are still light.

  • 4.184.184.184.184.18
  • 4.64.64.64.64.6
  • 4.24.24.24.24.2
  • 3.83.83.83.83.8
  • 4.64.64.64.64.6
  • 3.73.73.73.73.7
Scores are based on 11 total votes

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User Reviews: Submit Your Own

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Voting has been open for this CMS since Thursday, January 1st, 2009. There are a total of 11 Reviews for this CMS. You can follow future reviews through the RSS feed if you'd like.

Review by Alex Wembley Stadium Parking May 30th, 2013 3:04 pm

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Strengths: I have just recently started looking at concrete5 and the options for adding a shopping cart type functionality, but heavily modified to work for a parking type system platform ( we deal with Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena Parking) and I think despite needing some heavy changes, the basis for it exists in the well written code. We are having some workload put on us for it to work with external payment processor APIs but I guess that’s just a case of unchartered territory.

Some web developers could probably pay for additions

Weaknesses: The only weakness is the number of addons available but then again those can be written (or commissioned). In many cases I think developers/website designers/creators could recoup their investment cost across multiple clients.

Review by Jay van Santen September 30th, 2011 11:38 am

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Strengths: Unparalleled end user editing experience.
The designer experience maps well to C5’s approach.
Easy to override any default behavior.
WIth a knowledge of HTML and CSS (and a touch of PHP) you’re up and running developing your own themes.
Well thought out architecture which means that as one digs deeper into the application, one easily can take advantage of more power.
The store has an approval process; add-ons tend to work and work well out of the box, and also integrate well into the environment.
There are a lot of “developer extensions” which probably solve problems in a more generic fashion.
The community is helpful and response.
Can create a website with the CMS right out of the box.
Remo’s Beginner’s Guid to Concrete5 is an excellent beginner/intermediate text.

Weaknesses: Not necessarily a weakness, but to take full advantage of C5, you do need a solid knowledge of HTML/CSS and an acquaintance with PHP. The more you know, the more powerful the environment becomes.
The marketplace isn’t as full or complete as The Big 3. But, the core product and free add-ons address all issues for typical business websites. Free or paid-for add-ons address a number of specialized needs.
There’s room for more documentation — a more basic text than Remo’s for the absolute beginning — and a more advanced text which goes into the architecture in greater detail for more sophisticated enhancements.
Better API documentation.
As with all CMS environments, nothing replaces your own research and practice.

Review by David Jorgensen August 5th, 2011 1:11 pm

  • 4.24.24.24.24.2
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Strengths: UI is very intuitive and interests all levels of expertise, ranging from the typical Secretary who only uses the typical Word Processor to the most advanced Web Developer.

Many add-ons, quite a few created by the Concrete Core team themselves.

The community is currently growing, and almost no flame-wars or trolls observed. Plus, it’s not often to be able to talk with the head honcho himself!

Weaknesses: Still buggy in areas. While the PHP is built to be versatile to hard problems thrown in its path, it can still get hung up over problems in SQL databases and other PHP errors. But then again, that’s to be expected in any CMS, right?

Add-ons are pricy.

Either your question in the community is answered quickly, or you watch your post sink lower and lower into the depths of the forums. Wish the community could be a little stronger in the responsiveness to the posts of newer customers getting used to the product.

Review by Steve Roberts May 23rd, 2011 5:47 pm

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Strengths: So easy to use, training clients on how to use it has never been so simple. The inline editing makes it possible for even the worst techno-phobes to easily update their web sites.

Creating themes for this CMS is probably been the simplest implementation I have ever had to do.

There is a good selection of add-ons available, many are free, and the ones that are not are affordable.

Weaknesses: The community is not as strong as it is for other CMSs, but it is growing.

Most documentation is around in the community forums and in the how-tos which sometimes means that you have to do some searching for the answers you need, but you can usually find what you are looking for in a few minutes. If not the community is usually quick to respond to questions.

Review by Presta May 22nd, 2010 9:27 am

  • 3.83.83.83.83.8
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Strengths: – Piece of cake to use – even my both proverbial and literal mother could use this!
– Easy templating
– Flexible (with limitations)

Weaknesses: – Community could be strongers
– While I have no problem with commercial modules, a few seem over priced.

Review by Tony Pollard May 15th, 2010 3:14 pm

  • 4.64.64.64.64.6
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Strengths: Easy enough for beginners to set up and use yet powerful enough for designers/developers to create someting unique. Community, addons and themes increasing rapidly. New, very detailed and dedicated documentation area but possibly most important, the clients love it!

Weaknesses: still a relatively small number of add ons, yet as I mentioned this is rapidly increasing. Errr, thats about it to be honest.

Review by Chad Cantrell February 15th, 2010 1:34 pm

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Strengths: – inline editing
– stupid easy to use
– easy to create templates
– open development
– growing community

Weaknesses: – addons can be pricey
– not very socially integrated with usable community functions out of the box.

Review by Markus July 23rd, 2009 7:59 am

  • 4.44.44.44.44.4
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Strengths: – very easy to set up
– inline-editing
– great starter package, packed with all the basic blocks you might need
– great implementation of the marketplace (where you can get extensions and templates)
– translations available
– friendly community
– very useful version saving (for every single page)

Weaknesses: – limited amount of extensions, due to
– still rather small community

Review by NingboWeather May 6th, 2009 2:18 am

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Strengths: – Probably the most intuitive CMS on the market today for end users
– Modifying or adding a page, doesn’t even need to open the control panel (!)
– Designing a page doesn’t need any knowledge of programming
– Automatic system allows to immediately go backward if modifications done were wrong
– Although still small, community is very friendly

Weaknesses: – Need even more guys to develop add-ons

Review by Dan April 8th, 2009 10:07 pm

  • 4.24.24.24.24.2
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Strengths: Very simple interface for the end user. Managing content is very logical and well thought through.

On the programmer’s side, the codebase is structured well, and the code is easy to trace through. Writing a custom module isn’t a huge task.

Templating is a breeze. You set up various areas of each page to be editable by the user. The user can then add various blocks of content (ie, html, gallery, form, etc) to each area.

It seems to be in active development. The latest release (5.3 at the time of writing) just came out, and 5.3.1 is already in the works.

Weaknesses: There aren’t a tonne of modules available (yet), and it is still a small community.

Review by Nathanael March 7th, 2009 7:41 am

  • 3.23.23.23.23.2
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Strengths: – Has a nice separation between page editing, and advanced features, such as settings.
– Good for editors that are not very technically minded.

Weaknesses: – Needs a blank database, can be frustrating if on a shared host.
– A little buggy in some browsers.
– Can be unfamiliar for those that are not used to in-page editing.

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