Before coming to concrete5 I had a look at a whole bunch of different solutions. Joomla came highly recommended from a number of sources.
My first impression of Joomla was one of complexity. I found it difficult to do simple tasks without referring to documentation ie adding Articles, Categories etc.
Seeing concrete5 was truly like a breath of fresh air! I knew straight away my users would be able to sit down and edit pages the first time they used the product. The layout of the dashboard made it so much easier for me to figure out how to do things, it just clicked!
I never got to templates or customization of Joomla, so I can't comment on that side. But we all know how good concrete5 is in that regard. So in terms of usability, I believe Concrete5 is streets ahead of Joomla and will remain there.
It would be interesting to hear other thoughts on Joomla, especially those who have had more experience with the customization side.
I'd love to see some more detailed breakdown (keyword heavy please) from people who have recently used both here..
I can tell you that after using mambo to build a local city website in 2002, and having to hack it so much we dubbed it "franzbo", I decided to sit down with a pint and started drawing blocks and block collections (concrete CMS v.1)
I used Joomla with my last employer and liked joomla at first. It opened my eyes to the open source community. Which lead me to C5...
I agree with Franz. You have to hack joomla so much to get it to do what you want. Which makes it more of a hassle than anything
Now I have a new employer (design firm) and I just recently started with them. They didn't want any restriction on design. I showed them drupal, joomla, and wordpress and they all take way longer to customize and all of those website look the same and it wasn't what they were looking for
So I showed them C5 (I had been using it for freelance stuff) and they have seen the light! They loved it so much and it gave me a great start to my new job
So thanks C5 for giving me a great start to a new career! and making life a little bit easier for everyone!
What are the differences in features? Does anyone know enough about Joomla, Drupal and Concrete 5 to create a comparison chart or is there a link to one already in existance. I recently used Concrete5 for a personal site and love how user friendly it is but I'm worried if I use it for a client I will not have customer support. I've emailed C5 before and never got a resonse. I'd rather pay $75 per year and have customer support, like vBulletin. I've had some issues with html characters being added when using HTML formatting in the editor and not being able to easily move an install to another directory due to cache. I would like to start promoting Concrete5 with clients but I don't know if I should risk having these sort of issues if there is no technical support to help resolve them. Anyone else feel the same way?
Features I need specifically for this client is tiered user permissions, rss, localization, moderation of edits, calendar, ecommerce, events and search capability. Do any of these CMS products have all or most of these desired features?
we're pretty swamped it's true, but i don't have a lot of emails in my inbox that go unanswered. Perhaps yours is one of them...
I'd like to point out there IS a customer support plan, there are partner plans, and we do offer hosting that includes support as well. I don't know if you're using a different email than the one on your account here, but I don't think you're in any of those support programs because none of the people in those go waiting for answers from us.
the forums are also super active if you're really looking for free support on a free product.
....STILL readin' the forums.
I'm about to take a staged site live so I'll let you know if I run into any road blocks with the cache. Previously I was trying to rearrange the directory structure and I did delete the cached files, but it still didn't work.
The tinymce editor adds extra tags even when choose the HTML format option. I would like for the content editor to be able to add XML content so I can format it's display, which would have worked great except for the extra tags threw the xml parsing out of whack and it was too much of a pain to resolve since both HTML and Plain Text options added tags. It would be nice to have an XML option for the type of block. I suppose I can code it myself eventually.
I agree with Remo. This is a great CMS and absolutely free, with upgrades and fixes always in the works. Support is support and I don't expect immediate responses to everything I haven't figured out yet. To boot, I'm new to PHP and MySQL so I have a very long learning curve for a lot of what I want to try.
I do think that even though Concrete is "free beer" there should be, as there is, some help available for quirky things that crop up or to address reported bugs/problems.
I expect to learn a lot out here, but this isn't a PHP/SQL trainging site. Read the basic docs, poke around. It helps.
I got introduced to CMS through Joomla and after the 2 exhausting weeks it took me to build my first site on it, I have developed a great love for it.
True, I have had to hack it much to get a desired effect, but I truly enjoy using it primarily because of the many entensions available for it.
I got introduced to C5 after a client requested it's use on a project; and I must say I was instantly impressed by its ease of use and it's stability. I even decided to convert some of my Joomla based sites to it because it is much more easy for a novices (clients) to handle than Joomla.
My only concern with C5 is a most major one.
It has no where near as many extensions as Joomla does, and this is too much of a risk to develop some sites in - especially because of the very slow pace that extension development is going. I believe too that the C5 team is going in the wrong direction by commercializing extensions such as the Gallery Block (I wrote about it already :http://www.concrete5.org/community/forums/chat/extensions_in_c5#114... If C5's team continue in this way, it is eventually gonna be too expensive to build sites with C5.
I hope the right persons read this post. You kill team spirit in a CMS by commecializing it.
But... for a final word... C5 wins in usability, but Joomla wins in features, extendability and cost.
I cannot speak on Drupal since I have never managed to build a custom theme for it.
Yeah, I'm the CEO here, and I can officially tell you, we totally hear that.
There's a bit of a double standard there though. I completely agree that add-on development is going too slowly. We have a few ideas in the works to address that. Being able to generate some revenue from the work that goes into them seems pretty basic however. Be it apps we build and sell in the marketplace, or apps YOU build and we help you sell in the marketplace - I can't help but to think we'll get better quality of add-ons if there is some reward to the risk and pain of developing stable/good ones.
Let me repeat, again, we are EAGER to have developers submit stuff they'd like us to post in there. Give it away, sell it, whatever. You think you've got a better image gallery and you want it to be free? Well if you can pack the thing up in a package and make it actually work with a c5 install that has all the other add-ons installed, we'll happily put it up there to compete with our "commercial" one.
Please. Beat us to it.
If I have to keep paying people to do em all, I'm gonna keep charging for em. We're not asking for five figure license fees here like much of the competition does, and we're giving you a path to reap the rewards as well. To be told "now that you've made the iPhone /free/, you should make all the apps free /too/" strikes me as feedback I can't use...
...unless you can write us a grant that will be approved by Obama or somthing.. you got another plan?
ps: thanks for leaving joomla - original concrete CMS was actually architected after a really bad Mambo experience of mine back in 2003.
as one of the few non-core-team-member who published extensions - my statement..
I intended to publish all my stuff for free. And so far I did but I'm actually thinking about this again.
Money is not everything but I do need to earn a couple of bucks too. Who doesn't..
I've got two addons which could be really useful. Another gallery block and a shop which is like 50% finished. I wanted to release them quite some time ago but hesitated because of one thing - support!
As soon as I publish it, it must work on different versions, different platforms and stuff like that. That needs a lot of testing and therefore a lot of time.
At the end, I end up having a lot of support requests for something which is free. Not many people send patches, most just complains. There are also a few annoying people that ask for the same thing 10 times and don't get the fact that it is for free but they still expect to get support like they get from a company..
I wanted to talk to Franz about something like this: "Publish for free, support not". But then hesitated because I'm not really convinced by that idea.
I'm open for suggestions too. In short my problem: "I'd like to publish stuff but not support it for free" - how?
I think kutis makes a good point by suggesting that demo sites be done for extensions.
I think this has much to do with my personal apprehension to support the Marketplace's paid apps. To pay $15 for something that I have never seen work is a bit of a risk for me. But I am more than willing when I see that what I am about to pay for actually works the way I want it to...or even close.
This is a great plan to put with those you guys are contemplating to promote Extension development. I am more of a designer than I am a developer, but even I will hack or even create an extension if I see the way one works.
If you as a developer create a demo site with a page for each Extension you create, it will not be messy at all. I also support the idea of donating the app and charging for support - without overdoing it of course. I see this trend with many other CMS's.
I think all developers should be encouraged to have their own demo page/s.
In Jamaica we say "No buy puss inna bag" or "Don't buy a cat in a bag" - which simply means, "Do not buy something which you have not seen. You stand the risk of being disappointed".
I hear ya.. on the one hand, you want to give people what they're asking for..on the other, its not fair to them to be unable to provide support. whatever they may agree to while they're looking at your add-on, the obvious assumption is that it's going to work and be dependable. we all know that's very hard to do in the software world. To me, if paying 15 bucks, or even 150 bucks means that the thing is more likely to work consistently, and you'll be more able to stop what your doing and help someone with a bug or just a "how do i use this" request, its a small price to pay.
in the big picture, i see our marketplace becoming more like slashdot in its architecture. There should be some place where you can put a add-on that is a bit rough around the edges, but a regular site owner that isn't going to be willing to get into the code and just needs stuff that works perfectly wouldn't see it, or at least would know at a glance that it was "experimental"
it's all about managing that relationship between site owner and site developer, and if we let the marketplace just be developer anarchy without a concern about the site owner's "shopping" experience (i use shopping regardless of its free or not) - then we have failed just like drupal.
came across c5 when we're re-evaluating drupal, as some sites stuck at drupal v4 (now at v6, v7 should be pretty soon).
we're considering the current version of joomla, drupal, c5, and expression engine (as v2 will be written on top of codeigniter)...
joomla is still a nightmare.
drupal will require us to double (even triple) the man power to update the core and maintain the required modules.
ee, after paid for the full version trial, found out that building a static site with the navigation automatically generated requires a hack. so, completely a no go.
c5 is the closest one to a final product for us, although it does not comes with a blog. most of the sites we've had has a short list of the latest news in front page (you know, a blog when they still called it news instead of blog)
ecommerce, we're still using magento. can't wait for the ecommerce on c5.
as for other add-on, imho, not really important, with the MVC architecture it's quite easy for me to add any simple pluggin, even though (for now) stuck with jQuery -- which is a good limitation.
Went through a similar process. Joomlah didn't fit clients workflow and required hacking, EE was similiar (though V2 looks interesting), and Drupal. Drupal is so powerful but way too heavy, and to get the backend into something usuable you have to install about a billion mods.
The closest competitor to C5 is silverstripe I'd say. It's a little heavier, a little more 'entreprisey', but still easy to use and with a similar interface. Has some more built in modules like newwletters and blogs but the main advantage they have a nice framework for building super quick CRUD applications (ModelAdmin). Lets you whip up a quick little CRM system customized to each customer.
I think we're probably going to go with C5 for smaller content focused sites, and dip into SilverStripe for clients who want something that's a bit closer to a web app so we can leverage ModelAdmin.
So, if we need to make sure that anything that we submit works on a site that has all other modules, can we get a copy of each block in the marketplace for testing purposes?
Mostly joking on that, but it seems like a demo time period or something might be a good idea for some things. I'm not sure exactly how you could make sure that it's only available when the site is in development mode.
Then whoever is making the site could show the customer how it works with the addons, and I think it would be a lot easier to show the client how a 25 or 55 dollar extension will enhance the site.
When the choice is between something they something that has a low, set price tag, and something that the developer has to come up with from scratch, I think it becomes a pretty easy sell...
I'm responsible for the visual appearance and usability of web sites and do not develop sites in person. However, what I really love about C5 is the beautiful design and usability of the CMS. This is the no. 1 reason why we decided to use C5 and this - I think sets C5 apart from other products out there.
I think there is nothing wrong with the idea of selling add-ons, plug-in's, extensions or blocks. Why should everything be for free? I'm more than happy to pay a reasonable price for a perfectly working extension including support which would enhance the overall functionality of a web site. If people can earn money by offering a good extension, they will be much more motivated to create something good.
That said - please make sure that you continue to develop C5 in order to bring it to the next level.
expect me to more or less suggest the cheapo way to solve any challenge and link to that post in the future. This point is already working well for us, everything is selling, and I'd like to see the majority of our revenue come from it one day.
I'm over this debate, I'm not spending enough time architecting the next great idea here..
Since when is paying $55 for a tool (or $15 for that matter) going to inhibit anyone from developing with a platform? Less than ten years ago we were paying some $20,000 for an annual compositing license for in the VFX industry. One license. The open source world has forced the entire digital business infrastructure to rethink how it operates, but that altruism has backed developers into a corner. It's getting harder and harder to make money with the internet. And the people doing the very best and most cutting edge work in computers mostly have other jobs that pay and create these things as side projects or even school projects. I think that the free service is as generous as you need to be. You should all be loaded by yesterday's standards (Fritz) but today, I approve of you making a little dough in order to make this tool better faster and open the world of themes and extensions more and more. It's the price we'll have to pay for improved tools. In the meantime, I will do my best to try and remember how recent the idea of getting anything free on the internet is.
p.s. as far as themes go, any chance you could screen people's themes that you recommend in the future? The ones you have now are fine, but I see terrible designs coming out of wordpress, et al. and would hate to see the further empowerment of amateur web designers at the high price of terribly designed sites.
I remember working on a TeamSite project where the license had 6 digits and started with a 3.
concrete5 was just picked over SharePoint because the client got stiffed with /several/ 20k licenses they didn't realize were coming with the new year on a project. They were looking at paying more in license fees for their CMS than the site cost to build...
Frankly, it was mentioned in only half jest around the office that if concrete5 were dotNet, no one would have a problem with any of these add-ons costing $1k, and if it were Java we could charge anything. The reality is we're bringing that level of solution to the world for free, so yeah we're gonna start looking more and more to make money in the marketplace and hosting. What I think makes us better than a SquareSpace or ExpressionEngine that does this type of thing is we are and will really remain open source. The core is free, and moreover, the community can contribute and make money with the extras.
I really maintain that where we're going to compete in the big picture isn't in-context editing, it's the idea of a safe marketplace. Ours is still so young we really have the chance to make some cool architectural decisions with it that will change the game.
No, I don't think we're going to get overly judgmental about quality of concept behind designs or even add-ons, but we will be sticklers for functionality and UI. We want everything to work with everything as much as possible, we want the shopping experience to be safe, fun, and get your mind running about what else you can do - not shut you down with useless options and broken stuff.
So ugly, i dunno - that's subjective. But broken and redundant? No.
As in many things in life, you often get what you pay for. People naturally have an incentive to support things when they themselves get support (i.e. money, help, etc.).
I'm grateful that the people at Concrete 5 have made their system open source, so I try not to complain a lot when things don't go quite as I would want.
I think I agree with oneil1 regarding support. For free items, perhaps charge for support.
Tiered levels of support (no purchase/no support, with purchase/1 request,2 requests, 3 requests, etc. for support).
For standard things that should be explained but weren't covered in the original documentation, perhaps we could put together a Concrete5 add-on wiki? On the download page and in the add-on readme's, devs can include the wiki link to their add-on page. As common issues arise, they can be covered and commented on in the wiki. This might reduce the "no good deed goes unpunished" support load on devs.
People could post a problem (maybe others could vote to have it fixed or try to fix it themselves) and if the dev thinks that a lot of people would run into it he/she posts a solution or fix. If not, the dev indicates that the issue will require paid support.
I'm going to build into my quotes to clients the cost for various add-ons. Most of the time, they'll be cheaper than coding it up and testing it myself both for me and the client. If we need something special, I'll either code it up or hire someone to do so. After that, making it available for free might be another way of "paying" back others who have contributed.
Hi, I am fairly new to Concrete just following the dev and its progressing good. I like the easy of use when editing the pages and also the move of modules. About Joomla I have built some sites and also with Drupal and Wordpress.
For Joomla I can see there is a lot of great dev tools also like extensions like CCKs examplehttp://www.jseblod-cck.com/ where you can build flexible solutions that maybe C5 is missing?
i personally think one of the major differences between systems like joomla and concrete5 is user friendliness. like it seems like joomla was developed by techies for techies, where the configuration panels in the back end for most of this stuff is way over the heads of the average site owner.i tried watching some of those videos attached to those links, and they're pretty confusing as to whats going on. to give it some credit, joomla has been opensource longer than concrete5 so if you need to integrate with a bunch of 3rd party apps, it will have more extensions available. but i'd also argue that the extensions that concrete5 has are going integrate much better with each, and be a more seemless, intuitive experience for your end user. not all of them are going to be free, but they're peer reviewed and tend to offer much better support than what's typical. you can check them out here: http://www.concrete5.org/marketplace/addons/...
I'm a newcomer to C5, not sure if I'm going to stay?
The limited range of add-ons is my main concern. As a potential developer I need to have access to add-on functionality so I can get a grip on how they were developed and use them as tutorials and as learning tools.
The C5 add-ons I need to start learning from are going to set me back up to $100, just so I can see if C5 is going to be useful to me! This is a barrier to entry for me and other potential developers, so the add-on range remains limited.
I'd like to see more front-end data entry and editing examples.
As an end-user tool I can see its potential, but I'd be very nervous about adopting it for my clients because I can't guarantee the functionality they might ask for.
As often as this has come up, here are my thoughts on your concerns.
I have worked with Drupal, WordPress and Joomla (still do when someone is animate about using one of these). I found Concrete5 last year (February). Since then, it is the only CMS I use. Am I a steller top notch PHP person, NOPE. Am I the best designer out there, again NOPE. But what I can say about Concrete5 is that, out of the box, it is hands down the easiest CMS out there. Franz and his team in Portland, OR have created a once commercial product and moved it to the OS arena. They have to live, hence the Marketplace. Many items in the Marketplace are free.
The number one hands down best thing they have done when it comes to add-on's is to have a peer review. This is a group of people that are dedicated to the community and review items submitted to the Marketplace. This allows for testing on various platforms and configurations. It also allows folks of different levels of PHP, XHTML and CSS to test the product and give feedback to the author. It also works the kinks out of an add-on.
Is this the best approach. At this time I think it is. There are plenty of FREE add-ons that you can take a look at to see how things are done programatically. Your clients will be happy with the ease of use whether you do custom add-on's or not. IT IS THAT EASY TO USE.
As I have stated before, my mother is 76 years old. I showed her how to log in, and edit a page. She was editing a site in less than 30 minutes.
So Concrete5 is way better in many regards then Drupal, WordPress and Joomla. The core members ensure that code is tested, re-tested and released. The community here helps one another. There is very little arguing. Sometimes people have a TIF but normally it gets worked out and we continue.
You will NOT find add-on's thrown out on the Marketplace willy-nilly. Some contributors have their own sites and add-ons can be found on many of these as well. They just aren't supported by the core Concrete5 team.
We all are also trying to make a living. If it weren't for our full time jobs, we wouldn't have the technology available to contribute to the community. So charging for some add-on's that have taken hours and hours to create is a small price to pay to do it over and over again. The core is free. A lot of add-on's are free.
I truly hope that this community doesn't grow like the other CMS communities. There is little control as it pertains to code bloat and functionality. You are lucky if the add-on does what it is suppose too. Then some of the add-on's are so complicated, even experienced programmers/designers have issues.
So play around more in the community. I think you will find everyone more than willing to help when they can. There is also the IRC channel on Freenode.net that you can visit and ask questions.
My comment was more related to the "developer" learning process for Concrete5 versus other tools. I have no doubt that C5 is one of the best end-user administrator cms available - but it is not the easiest for a developer to learn.
I'm currently evaluating C5 and ModX as my cms development tools - not as end user tools. ModX is much more developer-centric in terms of support, examples, tutorials - probably because it is harder to use than ModX - I'd never recommend it as an end-user tool - so I think my chances of learning how to develop in ModX are much greater than C5??
My point is - C5 has terrific end-user potential, but developers won't adopt it if it is too hard to learn, which might mean it is less widely adopted by end-users too?
A few questions / comments on your doc that I hope you (or anyone else) can clarify for me please?
- Syndication and Newsfeed Management
"All content related core blocks (Add-On) can do that by nature."
Do you mean create a pagelist as an RSS and then distribute that? Or can this be done with the content of any block? I know there's an RSS block in the marketplace, but interested to know if I'm overlooking a powerful in-built feature in C5.
- Menu Manager
I think this is one of Joomla's strengths in that you can really shape the menu to anything you want (such as include various pages from various levels from your sitemap, external links etc. as links in your menu). My understanding with C5 is that, although being pretty flexible and meeting most people's needs, you can't mix and match your navigation contents like with Joomla.
On a side note, the fact that you can only show modules according to the link you click in a menu in Joomla is something else! A real flaw if you ask me, and massively confusing for clients (trying to explain it myself left me fried and looking for an alternative CMS).
- System features : speed
Joomla is pretty good on this (as is WP I've found). Most sites I've built in the past are a lot quicker tha C5, despite being on a shared host. However, I'm still more of a C5 fan because of the ease of ease and flexibility (also sounds like a cacheing plugin like WP's Supercache plugin may be on the way though based on what I've read...).
- Search function, sitemap and related pages
I agree, search function could be better and the sitemap layout becomes a bit of an issue with 200k+ pages. A related pages block would be great - is there one in the market place? Couldn't find it if so.
- "some Universities and Governments use Concrete5 and have millions of Pages."
I'd love to see some of these please - I have a project coming up that will potentially have loads of pages and would be interested to see how they've laid it out.
I have used Joomla and not C5 I like it very much and its easy to use and user-friendly interface.
Will try C5 but I think online step by step tutorial as available for joomla is not available for C5.
I have been using Joomla for a few years now. I ran across C5 and downloaded it… and… never used it! Most of the sites I was doing where bigger sites and needed a blog out of the box, so I thought that maybe I would wait for a smaller site to use C5 on.
I got a little job for a hotel and… I downloaded C5 again and put it to use. I was screaming at how difficult it was to do menus. I was cursing up and down with a dead line to meet and disappointed at my choice to use C5!!!!!
Then I realized it wasn’t C5 but a part of my code was wrong! I went to bed as it had meen a long day, maybe 20 hours, woke up and figured it out! Has anyone else done that or am I Robinson Crusoe here?
I have a lot of time in Joomla so I am pulled in two directions on this one. There are some great extensions on C5 and all the ones I used are free so far. There is a ton of stuff for Joomla but finding good extensions is a real pain. I have a tool box now for Joomla which has most everything I will ever use.
With C5 I wish that the menu was easier to manipulate, I was in a hurry and downloaded a free menu system that worked great. I also hate doing forms and with C5 I had to do a lot more than I am used to. All of those things are normal I think. I will say though that once you get your CSS done and you’re ready to go C5 goes a lot faster than anything else I have ever done. I used a free extension that created custom blocks (can’t think of the name right now sorry) along with the core blocks and it was over! So fast now I am waiting on the client to get me the copy and advertising material!
My conclusion is that they both work, Joomla 1.7, is nice, a lot has changed and if you know what you are doing it works great! I do not have enough time yet with C5 but, aside from the little things that I will get used to, I like it to.
Right now I am finally doing my website, I have been so busy for the last few years I have not had a chance to work on it at all, and I am embarrassed! I am currently pondering, as I have for a long time, of using C5. I am not sure though! In honesty I found this thread because I was looking for some answers on how fast C5 is compared to Joomla.
Anyways when it comes to Joomla and C5 I think they are both great, Drupal on the other hand… not for me I played with it for a while and to be honest I didn’t like it.
So thank you for all putting so much into C5 so far so good! And if anyone can send me to some info on how to tackle the forms and core menu block… please feel free to send it my way!
It sounds like you might be over thinking the menu problem.
With concrete5 your well served to just think of your site as a tree
of pages. If you build out your tree correctly, the menus should
basically build themselves. Particularly with the auto-nav block.
I know this is counter intuitive to a lot of cms approaches where you
make a content store centrally and then map what goes where..
I think that you are right about that… In fact after being on Joomla for so long I know most of my trouble right now is the fact that I have to think totally different than I have for the last few years. I can say that I went from never using C5 to a live site in less than a week. That should speak volumes for C5!
I have actually decided to use C5 for my website, after I wrote this post I finished up my index pages CSS and the ideas started to come in on how I can do this and that. I am excited!
Any system that you get used to as a developer is going to be hard to leave, especially if you've built up your own toolbox over time -- so I understand your hesitation. One amazing thing where Concrete5 always beats Joomla in my experience is when you finally hand over the site to your client. It is infinitely easier for a non-technical person to manage than Joomla, and every client I've had has been impressed with it (which usually rubs off on me as the developer).
As for the navigation menus, yes they can be a bit tricky to figure out at first. One thing that I found especially challenging is that the built-in template for the autonav block is rather messy and has a lot of logic intertwined with the markup. I've made a template that is much easier to work with, though: https://raw.github.com/jordanlev/c5_clean_block_templates/master/aut...
Save that page into a new folder on your site here:
...then edit that file to match your HTML/CSS. It makes things a lot easier (in my opinion).
Thank you for your input, I have downloaded and saved that file. I will play around with it in the next day or so. I am in the process of writing all the supporting CSS and putting most of the styling together locally. Next is get C5 uploaded to my server and finish it off there. I will keep you up dated on how the website is going… so far so good! I think it is looking good and when I am done I will let you know.
I am actually now thinking of converting one of the websites I have over to C5, it would be a big project but with the use of Designer Content (that was the extension I couldn’t remember earlier) I think I can make a much better system.
Thank you for your help I appreciate it!
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