An Online Guide To Concrete5
What is Concrete 5?
Concrete5 is an open source content management system. In plain English, that means that it is a piece of software which allows a user to build a website simply, without knowing lots of code or having to understand the programming behind it. While it is not yet as popular as the most well-known content management systems (Wordpress, for example), it is one of the fastest growing website management programmes on the Internet. Partly, this is due to its open source nature, which ensures that it will remain free. Many users also enjoy its unique editing style, known as 'in context editing', which enables website owners to make changes directly to their webpages, rather than having to do so through an administrative page which does not resemble the layout of the page.
The Concrete5 development community do not offer webhosting services themselves, as is to be expected from an open source effort. They do, however, suggest a number of companies with which to site your domain name, including 'budget options' (costing under $10 a month) and 'premium options' starting at under $50 a month and going all the way up to over $1,000 a month. The attraction of the premium options is that support is provided by the developers of Concrete5 themselves, ensuring both accountability and expertise. As with all hosting options, the more you pay, the more storage, bandwidth and other features you can expect.
As with many other content management software, Concrete5 offers a host of different themes for your website. You can present your information in almost every way imaginable, and can even vary the themes that appear on your site depending on the subject of the specific webpage in question. While Concrete5 cannot boast the sheer number of themes available on some of the larger content management systems, its lively open source community is creating more all of the time.
Mambo Add Ons
The functionality available in Concrete5 can be augmented with a number of different 'add ons' to the basic content management software. Many of these are free enhancements, which can be found either on the official Concrete5 store or on one of the many online communities devoted to developing and improving the software. There are also premium options available, however, with the most expensive add-on - a complex translation management system - currently clocking in at $1,750! In a move typical of Concrete5, however, a basic translation programme can be added for free, allowing modifications to be made by the most basic user and preserving advanced functionality for commercial undertakings which can afford to pay.
There is no denying the honesty of the development community behind Concrete5. They state openly on their website that Concrete5 is excellent for some uses, and not suitable for others. They do not recommend that users who simply want to run a blog with no added functionality venture into Concrete5 - as they put it themselves, "why bother"? Similarly, those with very significant security or functionality needs - 'the next Twitter' - should probably look to developing their own code. However, for mid-range e-commerce efforts, community websites, and any marketing or news site, Concrete5 works extremely well. As with all content management systems, the key is to identifying your own needs, and finding the software which best meets them.