Concrete5 For Cool Corporatey Sites

concrete5 logoThere is much talk about WordPress, Joomla and Drupal being the coolest and the most elite amongst all the CMS packages available in this world. However, I have just discovered not long ago and toyed around with this nifty CMS called ‘Concrete5’.

It has been around the block for sometime now since 2003 but the recent update in the software put CMS fans on high alert to possibly convert into Concrete5 users abandoning the already fashionable CMS scene. This is because the anticipated stable release was declared official on 20 April 2010 taking the version namesake of 5.4.0.5.

Myself was a big fan of Joomla and WordPress since the yesteryears of my web design and blogging involvement. However, the recent stumble upon Concrete5 was a whole new experience for me and my perspective in CMS. Concrete5 is hell alot of FUN.

When I started my freelancing business, I was so determined to have Joomla and WordPress as part of the package offering, say migrating client’s static websites to a dynamically driven website powered by LAMP (Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP). Upon playing about with Concrete5 for 3 weeks, what surprises me is the easy of use, and in within that period, I was already able to deliver a template with working custom template page of my own.

C5's backend control panel
C5’s backend control panel

A Japanese Concrete5 group could convert hundreds of static CSS+PSD websites to C5 templates in a night. To have done so with WordPress is quite tedious so to speak.

For those who are in the web freelancing business who are actively involved in corporate website development, Concrete5 is one sure-fire package for you to work for. The only downside is all the cool modules/addons are premium stuff that you need to buy. However, some addon apps are available as free.

So what is cool about Concrete5?

  1. You can edit your layout on the fly, add new pages and changing templates while the website is live.
  2. Possible manipulation of layouts with custom page templates – upload, activate and use!
  3. Standard template with many possible layouts.
  4. Addons from Concrete5 marketplace can be retrieved directly and installed from your control panel. You can forget your FTP client completely!
  5. Very SEF friendly, permalinks are part of the core instead of using 3rd party addons like Joomla with ArtioSEF
  6. Onpage SEO on the fly prior to launching new pages while htaccess are all being taken cared off.
  7. Many functions who are 3rd parties in other CMSes are part of the core in Concrete5.
  8. For lazy template designers, you can simply grab a simple and crappy template and bashed it into a fully functional C5 template. Save your time buying premium templates!
  9. The API is pretty straightfoward – name the placeholders and fire up the addon functions.
  10. Save time duplicating layout/part if layout functions from scratch when you can add them in ‘scrapbook’. Store them and deploy them in other pages that uses similar functions from the previous pages that you have worked on.
  11. Their forum is lively and forumers are helpful. No worries bout’ being stuck. Ever.

Here is my show case of some corporatey websites I have done with this awesome CMS:

Industry: Construction
Industry: Construction

Industry: Construction (Thermal Insulation)

Industry: Construction (Thermal Insulation)

Their documentation is one of the best I have ever seen. Head over to Concrete5 if you want to know them better. It helped me in my projects, and I hope it will help you too.

Some resources: