Trying out concrete5

Im having a go at a new open source content management system called concrete5. I ported our company website from our old homegrown CMS to this new platform as the old one was getting to be a pain to manage and update.

Was pleasantly surprised at how relatively easy it was. I’ll have you know that I am not a neophyte when it comes to dynamic content management systems. I’ve practically installed and tried out most of the popular ones, and have put into production for some clients most of them. The list of platforms I have worked with include PHP-Nuke, PostNuke, WordPress, Mambo, Joomla, Alfresco, Nuxeo, Magnolia, DotNetNuke, and Drupal.

While some are standouts in terms of specific capabilities and features, none have met my personal need for something quick and simple enough to setup and migrate my old website to. None except for concrete5.

Concrete5 is unique in that the CMS flows or wraps nicely around your design. Other CMS usually force the developer to adjust to the structure and design of the application. It has really clean code, a consistent API for common functions, and neatly separates presentation from logic adopting an extensible MVC (ala Cake or Code Igniter) architecture. It has a slick and fast interface using a lot of AJAX effects (via jQuery).

Its really stable, having been around for many years, in its previous incarnation being a proprietary CMS for a web design studio. They just recently released it as open source–breaking away from most projects in that they use the really permissive MIT License (instead of the viral GPL).

Some neat features I found to be really fun:

  • In-Context, WYSIWYG Editing
  • Granular Access Control
  • Users & Groups. Community on your site is built right in.
  • Customizable Metadata for both Pages and Users.
  • Extensible features such as galleries, blocks, login pages, forms, etc.

The port took about 2 days, with the rest of the content another 5 days (probably less if I did it full time). The project I am working on is now featured in concrete5’s Showcase section.

Hope to contribute back to the project some of the modifications I did such as a Suckerfish style nav, custom blocks, and possibly work on new themes.

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3 Responses to Trying out concrete5

  1. Pingback: Spoke at the 3rd Mini Web Design Conference « The WebWonker

  2. Pingback: 25 Concrete5 Powered Sites « The WebWonker

  3. Joe says:

    good post. it convinced me to try out concrete5 and so far i’m loving it!

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