Megan Berg

 

Extra credit for Student Choice CMS Assignment

Concrete CMS (formally Concrete5) is a multi-purpose, open-source CMS that can be used to develop a variety of websites, from blogs to eCommerce sites. It launched in 2003 and as of 2021 there are over 62,000 live websites built with Concrete CMS.

  • What type (genre) of CMS is it?
    • Blog with eCommerce functionality
  • What are the key features of this CMS?
    • Intuitive, drag-and-drop modular building and templates that allow users to build websites without the use of code.
    • What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Style Editor allows users to see what their website will look like while building and editing in real time.
    • Extendable functionality through free and premium add-ons and modules.
    • Automatic mobile optimization & responsive design.
    • Search Engine O enabled without any additional code or add-ons
    • Built-in security features and access control.
    • Marketing tools, including form templates and integrated reporting for data collection.
    • Blogging capabilities that can support multiple authors and an integrated commenting system that give the user full control over comment moderation and spam blocking.  
  • How is this CMS rated by users? Provide a summary of some common user comments.
    • Most reviews rate Concrete very highly, often saying that it is the most steam-line and intuitive CMS that they have ever used, with very little learning curve for beginners.  Many appreciate that it has a lot of functionality built-in, reducing the need for 3rd party tool or plugins. Though, I did find quite a few recent negative reviews complaining that new updates have left their websites unusable, and support has been dwindling. Some also commented that switching to Concrete CMS increased their development costs.
  • What are the PROS and CONS of this particular CMS tool?
    • Pros
      • Open-source, and free to download and use.
      • Style editor is incredibly user-friendly, especially for beginners.
      • More built-in tools than WordPress.
      • The WYSIWYG editor makes building a website easy and saves time by eliminating the need to preview your site while working on it.
      • Multi-language support available.
    • Cons
      • Concrete is not a very popular CMS, especially compared to WordPress, so resources like tutorials and exterior forums are rare.
      • Not supported by all third-party tools.
      • Free modules are sometimes underdeveloped, requiring coding knowledge to make them useable.
      • Limited number of free themes.
      • While there are free options available for modules and themes, there are far more premium options, sometimes there is no preview/demo/free version available so you will have to purchase it without knowing if it will work for you.
      • Few free eCommerce solutions, most available are premium or require transaction fees.
      • Community forum is difficult to navigate, and many questions seem to go unanswered.