Concrete5

Concrete5 is an open source content management system based on the PHP programming language. Concrete5 burst on to the scene in 2009 with a simple and easy to use interface that allowed  users with minimum technicals skills to build professional websites.

One of the core elements of Concrete5 that makes it so appealing is its ease of use that doesn’t compromise its extensibility. Even though it allows you to build a website without writing a great deal of code, once you get to grips with the API you can fully exploit it’s potential to be an enterprise CMS.

It’s editor is another area in which Concrete5 stands head and shoulders above similar alternatives with. It’s essentially a case of pointing at a section of your page and clicking on it, whether the page is dynamic or static, the WYSIWIG editor makes editing your content painless. This is also the reason why so many web development agencies recommend it to their clients.

How much support is available with Concrete5?

Concrete5 has an active community and user base, with loyal enthusiasts regularly sharing their insights and code. Perhaps one of Concrete5’s biggest assets is its excellent documentation. Every element of the CMS is clearly detailed in a way that meets needs of both content editors and web developers.

I heard this is an alternative to Squarespace, Wix or Weebly?

This is a common misconception about Concrete5. Yes it’s simple to use, but is so much more powerful and adaptable.

Are addons the Concrete5 equivalent to WordPress plugins?

This is definitely the case, although the number of addons freely available are quite scarce in comparison to the large reposittory that WordPress boasts. The beauty of Concrete5 add-ons is that they very rarely break or conflict with each other.

Is Concrete5 only suitable for smaller websites?

No, this has more than enough core functionality to form the backbone of larger websites. If you are proficient in PHP, and can understand how to fully utilise it’s libraries, objects and functionality, then you have a very powerful CMS at your disposal.

Concrete5 system requirements

Version 8:

  • PHP 5.5.9+
  • MySQL (with PDO extensions)
  • DOM
  • SimpleXML
  • GD Library with Freetype
  • Fileinfo
  • Mbstring
  • CURL
  • Mcrypt
  • ZipArchive (For automatic updates and community functionality)
  • PHP safe mode turned off
  • A PHP Memory Limit of at least 64 MB
  • MySQL 5.1.5 or Higher
  • MySQL InnoDB Table Support

Pros

  • Creating custom themes is simpler than with alternatives such as WordPress or Drupal
  • Straight forward to set up with a small learning curve
  • Minimal scripting makes it  fast and Lightweight
  • Easy for non technical users to make content changes
  • MVC Approach

Cons

  • Limited choice of ready-made premium themes available
  • Other than the Concrete5 forum, there is a lack of 3rd party resource available
  • JQuery conflicts can be problematic
  • A smaller community than its open source content management system rivals

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