I used to love Concrete5, but now......1 user found helpful
I thought - this would just be teething issues, and that it would be all sorted soon - that was 6 months ago and still it is awful. I tried to upgrade a site from 220.127.116.11 to the new 18.104.22.168 - Keeps telling me no upgrades are available!
I am at a loss as to how you could have released this to the market with so much wrong with it!
A very disappointed former concrete5 user,
c5.6.3.x is reliable. Its supported. There are few bugs and they tend to get fixed. There are lots of free and paid themes and addons in the marketplace for 5.6.3.x and more are still being released.
It is normal for programs to have bugs in the new updates.
Now unpack this version in the 22.214.171.124 directory (or whatever version you have).
And 5.7.2 is a bit older version which still has some bugs, so try out the latest version first or try and get some help before "shouting" about how bad a product is. The guys at Concrete5 do their stinkin' best to get the product out there FOR US and FOR FREE. We should really embrace all that (they only did a rewrite for all the new features PSR brings and all dem packages).
Just my 2 cents.
The move from 5.7.2 to 126.96.36.199 is significant.
188.8.131.52 brought many features, improvements, bug fixes, and improved performance.
5.7.4 is due next week. It looks to be an even bigger release than 184.108.40.206.
There are many changes coming.
As an open source project, if you have issues or ideas for improvements, please get involved. When posting issues, please be very specific. Non-specific generalizations of problems make it very hard to troubleshoot issues and make it hard to identify ways to make improvements.
Concrete5 220.127.116.11 is great! :)
Concrete5 18.104.22.168 is great! :)
All I'm saying is we've done simple sites and complex applications already with 5.7, and there's no way anyone should look back.
My typical process is to create a page beneath a test branch in my site tree, add a title or content block, then add one or more copies of the block under test.
Adding a page works, but takes more actions on my behalf than it would under 5.6. Time wasted.
Then I waste considerably more time trying to drag blocks from the panel to the area where I want them to be (they try to land anywhere but where I actually want them), then moving blocks because they landed in the wrong place (which is again a random process). Its a great idea for an interface, but it just doesn't work cleanly. Maybe the 'area click to add' that is being brought back in with 5.7.4 will help alleviate this.
The overall process is so time consuming, error prone and frustrating that I would never inflict 5.7 on a customer.
5.6 Add Block
- click add to area
- click add block
- click block you want and hit save
- click block
- click move
- click and hold block
- Drag block (which this is wayyyyy worse then 5.7s drag and drop)
- Click plus sign
- click and hold
- drag block
- save block
Sorry, but 5.7 wins for me. It wins for every client we've showed it to
EDIT: Mlocati had a pull request for 5.6 to provide an 'insert block'. It was fully functioning and tested but got denied.
Having to explain that there was a massive rewrite and everything had changed but it wasn't production ready caused some to doubt my choice of platform. Last weekend I built my first site in 22.214.171.124 and it was much easier than I thought given the negativity around the new version.
I cloned Elemental, gave it a new namespace, took out most of the editing design customisation and knocked out a reasonable fully responsive site based on bootstrap 3 in a couple of hours. With a few mods to the theme and a handful of custom block templates, it was rock solid and I won't be looking back. In fact, using 5.6.3x feels cumbersome by comparison. I have four client sites currently in development in 126.96.36.199 and I'm toying with the idea of moving them over to 188.8.131.52 before they launch.
I understand the hate and reluctance to change. I tried 5.7 when it first came out and thought that the platform I've been working on for all these years was making a huge mistake. I think I was wrong.
5.7 is very promising, you just need to give it more time for the updates, documentation and community to progress.
184.108.40.206 looks much better and once i get time will look at 5.7.4.
Glad you still believe in Concrete5, I think we have a great community here!
For the amount of effort I've put in, I've gotten very disappointing results. I will focus more on WordPress for now, as I've made much greater gains with it in the last year. Maybe I'll check back later to see if things have improved, but for now, working with C5 is just a waste of time for me.
C5.7 had indeed a few versions that had a lot of bugs which was very very very frustrating. But the newer versions are great and a ease of use I find myself.
I think you should give it another try with the newer version (220.127.116.11).
A few websites are running on this version and to be honest.... I think you would love the new features!
I quite working with WordPress/Joomla 2 years ago because my customers had a lot of questions about it, which I do not have with Concrete5.
In my experience is Concrete5 easier for the front end user than WordPress or Joomla.
...I think long and hard now before choosing it, because as a business model is only as good as the level of support offered by the C5 community (aka theme and app developers). And while in the forums the help is really, really good, unfortunately when it come to providing support by developers to their paying customers for apps and themes it's not generally not good at all. And why should the forum have to pick up the slack for slacking developers?
Sometimes, you literally have to wait WEEKS just for a response, which is usually in the form of a question you've already answered in the support request and then wait WEEKS AGAIN for the follow-up reply to your answer! Honestly I'm not unreasonable and don't expect people to drop everything they are doing just for little 'ol me - but come on guys "weeks", ...really? Sometimes you don't even get a response at all.
But I'm not saying it's all bad, as there are a few developers (John the Fish being among the best) on here, who go above and beyond to volunteer help and I'm blown away by their spirit of generosity and time offered for free (I have even sent posted bottles of wine to some for their help - so it's not all take from me). Even developers with free apps and themes have given a better level of service than some of the paid-for app developers. I have even had developers offer me support and solutions for apps and themes that weren't theirs when the app developer didn't and this restores your faith in the C5 model for a short while, that's until you have another issue that should be sorted by the developer who created it and has sold it. After all, you wouldn't buy a car from Ford and expect Toyota to put it right for you when it goes wrong and you'd be incredibly peeved if they just ignored you. Wouldn't you? Or is that unreasonable lol????
I have even bought support tickets for apps and in the end (weeks later) got support from the forum and not the developer, who ignored (or forgot - nah!) the support request. ...Jeez!
Unfortunately these few (and a couple of them are on the "C5 Beta Crew" and "Important Members of The C5 Community" too) must be effecting peoples decisions when is comes to choosing this platform (it definitely effects my decision about whether to use Concrete5), when there are so many other challenger brands out there catching up with Concrete5. And as such, must be effecting the businesses of the good developers on here?
And it's a sad state of affairs when you have to email the CEO of Concrete5 to get a developer to respond (thanks Franz btw - there is a guy who love his brand - max respect to you) and he has to run around after developers who aren't being professional.
I think Concrete5 is fantastic, but I only use it when I really, really have to. Concrete5 really needs to clean it's house up and get rid of the bad apple developers who aren't interested, aren't committed to the Concrete5 brand values and it's success, are just here for a quick buck and take no or little responsibility for what they create ...and sell!
Any open source ecosystem has a mix of developers with various levels of commitment and quality of work. Their commitment varies with events and time and the quality of their work can change with experience. Its not just a c5 problem. I think c5 fares better than most. But being a long established CMS it has had more time than some of the more recent systems to accrue problems in that area.
In particular, there were some serious and committed developers who were very active 18 months ago who became disillusioned by the way the changes to the core and the community were handled when 5.7 was announced.
There are occasionally new developers who submit something to the PRB 'fire and forget' , and those who just about see something though review then ignore it, under the illusion they could hack something together and have a steady stream of dollars coming in for no further effort.
Its impossible for the core team or even active members of the community to police such developers.
What we need is more site builders to post reviews. Not just when an addon or theme is first used, but follow on reviews later when it is or isn't updated, when great new features are added, when support is or isn't answered, when it breaks after core update and stays that way.....
Its impossible for a developer to have a perfect score, no matter how hard they try there will inevitably be an issue somewhere. However, with dynamic and ongoing reviews from users, addons and themes with consistently repeated 1-star reviews will sink to the bottom and those bottom and those with a stream of 4 and 5 star reviews will float to the top.
And on the subject of reviews, I have seen people that have given quite reasonable (and "unreasonable" also) less than favourable reviews to get blasted by the developer with all their woes and Concrete5 moans (which btw, doesn't instil confidence in the brand) and then you worry if you do this that you are going to get a worse service or ignored next time.
I say all this, not because I want to moan although I am frustrated, but because I still really like Concrete5 and I want it to succeed. But at the end of the day, it not me that will suffer, because I will just move on to another platform (which is what I have done for a few clients, although it's not yet as good as C5, but it is getting there), it's you guys the developers who are losing money.
People just want a system that is going to work and can get a "reasonable" level of support when it doesn't. I don't think that is unreasonable, ...do you?
@thebigideasman describes a situation that can only be possible in the absence of choice. Waiting weeks for a developer to answer tickets and help fix problems only happens when the plugin has no competition.
I hate to use Wordpress as an example but for each plugin you have hundreds of competitors and I don't think anybody would wait a week to get an answer. They'd get their money back and move on.
With C5, unless you're buying a gallery, you're pretty much dealing with (near) monopolies.
- Core Team = Franz, Andrew, Korvin and others who works for Portland Labs.
- Community Leaders = Those who have been in the community a while and have done enough work, either helping people or developing or promoting.
- Beta = open to pretty much anyone who has asked to be on it and no cleanup of lapsed participants
- PRB = Peer Review Board, a few developers from the community who review marketplace submissions, usually also community leaders.
A review that is just bitching or disguised blackmail reflects poorly on the reviewer. A response that is just bullying and berating the reviewer reflects poorly on the developer. Both reflect poorly on concrete5. Hence the necessity for a balanced and rational stream of honest reviews backed up by clear evidence.
A nuisance with the mechanism of reviews is that an addon or theme user can post multiple reviews and then edit those reviews, but a developer cannot edit their response, so its possible for a response to be left out of context. I wish it were a perfect system. I am afraid I have to agree with you that it is not.
There have been products removed from the marketplace because they don't work and, having been given time to update, still do not work. But that is an extreme measure.
The difficulty arises where something works, but isn't supported. Or its core functionality works, but some fringe functionality is now broken. In such situations there will be those who are happy to go on using it without support and there will be those who run into lack of support issues.
Removing such an addon or theme from the marketplace is a judgement call that can inevitably then run into protracted arguments and re-evaluations, not just with the developer, but also with some of the users who are bemused their favourite unsupported addon or theme is no longer available. Especially if, as @mnakalay has noted, there is no competing product, (even worse, if it can be misconstrued as an attempt to give a competing product an unfair advantage).
A change that I would like to see is a list of 'reviews posted' and 'reviews received' on a member's profile and linked from other review posts. That way purchasers could easily look and assess the reputation of a both a reviewer and marketplace developer, not just that of a single product.
Despite all that, concrete5.org is way ahead of the morality of reviews in the travel business. In my other job as an underwater photographer I unfortunately meet too many locations that have been held to ransom by scamming 'customers' or deliberately smeared by competitors through Trip Advisor.
And again, I have no problem with anything you say, but having something where an element of the functionality doesn't work, might for some be like having a car where the gear box is screwed, but the rest of the car works perfectly - it doesn't help.
I think there has to be a minimum level of commitment from developers - or make it clear that there is no support offered, if that's the case.
And I also think that no one has the right to bully, be rude, or abuse developers either - I have sacked a client for this. And so have MD's of agencies I have worked for. These people should be warned and then if necessary be taken off Concrete5 too.
At the end of the day, we shouldn't forget that everything we do as designers and developers should be about the end user experience. At the moment in some cases, with some of the major apps from very senior developers in the Concrete5 community, this experience sucks! I'm sorry but it does.
I want to go and sell C5. I want to go and sell C5 eCommerce. When I show 5.6 or 5.7 to clients they love it, but right now I don't even have an eCommerce option to go and sell.
BTW for anyone who hasn't tried it lately, 5.7 is improving quickly. The first release was very buggy, but I recommend 5.7.4+ (haven't tried 5.7.5+) and I am currently building multiple sites with it.
First of all, we love providing quality products to the marketplace. That said, it's quite difficult to support them sometimes, but we understand that support is certainly a necessity (anyone looking for a part time job???). Personally we've gone from a modest sized web shop to a 1 person operation with a contractor or two. That will likely change over the next couple weeks. However, it's made this year a bit difficult.
So if we've dropped the ball, we're always willing to try and correct it, rather it's head on addressing the problem, fixing it and refunding, or offering additional products at no cost. We do what we can and am glad to have the community's business.
And I'm one of them. I had finally gotten to a point in my situation where I was prepared to devote serious time to developing and supporting new themes and add-ons for C5, but when I showed up and saw the state of affairs here, particularly with the v7 release, I had to reconsider. Should I just develop for v6, and hope the core team continues supporting it as long as I want to continue using it? Then have to re-do everything to stay on board with v7? Or should I bite the bullet and just develop for v7, and face a mountain of frustration working with a release that came out before its time, and not get any sales for a while because not many people are using it, and hope they eventually get all the issues worked out? Just too much uncertainty, either way, to base my own business model on.
C5 really pulled the rug out from under the developer community with v7. They threw the entire architecture "up for grabs" as they put it, and when I finally downloaded and ran v7 in my test environment, I saw they really weren't kidding! I was very pleased with some of the new features - the grid support, the degree of theme customization that could be made available to site content developers, etc. But there were three major things that bothered me.
1. Just the way they chucked the developer community to the curb. v7 imposed a very steep learning curve on developers and site builders, and would require just about all the themes and add-ons in the marketplace to undergo significant redevelopment to continue forward. I understand their desire to innovate - if that's what you'd call it, it's *different*, anyway. But the way they forced so much change all at once on the community leads me to think the core team must not value the involvement of the developer community in promoting and improving their product. Of course, they can do what they want, it's their product. I accept that completely. But I need a stable platform I can rely on to base my own work upon, and the lack of continuity from one release to another makes it unsuitable for my needs. I'm okay with having to make minor to moderate updates with each new release, but not okay with having to redo everything.
2. The entire overall look and feel has gone from eloquently simple, yet flexible and powerful, to become much more convoluted and restrictive. You work with more of your content from dashboard functions. Some of them are rather cryptic, while others require work to be done in multiple, distantly-placed areas of the dashboard functions. There are so many things now that have to be "just so" for some things to work at all. With v6 and prior, you almost didn't have to think, to make your content behave as you wished. My clients loved that.
The core team says they've gone this direction to catch up to more current expectations of how a CMS should work. In my opinion, they've merely caved to all the old school folks who are used to doing everything from a back-room dashboard, and can't seem to wrap their brains around the idea of in-context content development. C5 *was* the future of CMS frameworks. With v7, though there are some newer ideas implemented, I believe it has taken a step back to become more like its old-school competitors.
3. The irony that the work of 3rd party developers are run through a ringer to get on the market, while the core team can release something as flimsy and buggy as v7.
Anyway, I've moved on for now. I will check back occasionally to see how things develop, but for now C5 is completely off my radar.
As my strength isn't as a developer, I have been following 5.7 with interest and trepidation, as it meant having to invest quite a lot of time into an already heavy workload to learn new ways of doing things.
I tried installing 5.7 a few times over the past 6 months but always reverted back to 5.6 up until the 5.7.4 release. I have nearly completed my first site with 5.7 and will stick with it from now on. Thanks to Ryan at Mesuva I was able to use his basic Skeleton theme which he setup as a simple starting pointhttps://github.com/Mesuva/skeleton-starting-point-for-concrete5.7.... This has been successful in launching me into 5.7. I have a lot to learn and haven't tackled sass/less yet, but hopefully by using it, things will become more familiar.
Yes it was a bit premature when they did the first 5.7 release but they held to their promises and got it up to speed very fast. Thanks core team you knocked it out of the ballpark and my confidence is even higher than before.
Use the new 5.7 version going forward you won't regret it unless there is an addon you absolutely need that isn't available in 5.7 yet.
With the underlying code overhaul and all the new features, I have no hesitation in saying that 5.7 is now better than 5.6. I'll drink to that!
Of course the jump between 5.6 and 5.7 has been very disruptive, but it was an update that was inevitable when you look at the way PHP development has evolved over the last few years, with PSR, composer, etc. We've now got this VERY modern platform, one that is only going to get better. I think a lot of people don't quite understand how much of a code upgrade 5.7 has been. It's more like concrete6.
I'm feeling very positive about concrete5's future, I think we need to spend more time highlighting all the great things about the platform.
With 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 5.7, there is one thing I've constantly done: scratched my head and wondering why more devs aren't using it!
It's on a weekly basic that I'll use something like permissions or rearrange some layout on a c5 site and say something like 'I'm glad I'm not using a different system, I have no idea how that long that would have taken in a system like Wordpress". (my wife/partner Lelita can attest to that)
I need to do more videos...
I do worry a lot about the marketplace. I think some of the really talented developers have turned their backs, whether for valid reasons, general petulance, or just a knee-jerk resistance to change. Concrete5 - for many web designers/developers who aren't sophisticated enough to create their own add-ons - is only as strong as its marketplace. I hope someday soon to be adding my own to the marketplace, but for now it's still relatively slim pickings, and the support for some paid add-ons is non-existent. I'm not entirely sure what the solution is (other than of course to start contributing, which I sincerely wish I had the skill to do!). The catch-22 of course is, the more robust the marketplace, the more attractive it is to potential developers. Right now I think it's at this weird point where developers aren't sure it's worth the investment, thus perpetuating that uncertainty by not placing products in the marketplace. I think it'll take a handful of dedicated developers to get the marketplace up to speed, and then it will be a more attractive opportunity and really take off.
So, I'm not going to be a fair-weather fan just yet and still believe in concrete5...it's a solid platform, it's easy for clients to learn how to use, and it's super flexible and powerful. If/when the marketplace catches up, it's going to be a no-brainer. I hope those developers who threw up their hands come back and help concrete5 be great!
I too love Concrete5 and while I haven't yet dismissed it, I have certainly sidelined it and moved onto another platform that does, as a "less sophisticated" designer and non-code writer offer me the support I need to stay in business.
I understand that many developers have other jobs to do and indeed I never expect anyone to drop everything they're doing to help me, but when they abandon you and ignore you (especially even when you've paid for additional support), it really sticks in your craw.
Concrete5 should give these people the opportunity to mend their ways, or cut them loose, because it's these developers that are damaging the brand.
I can't run a business like this with an unreliable resource and when my new platform account manager asked me why I moved I said "I love Concrete5, but I can't use it because the support generally, with the few exceptions - sucks!"
Like I said, I haven't jumped ship yet and hoping Franz can sort out whatever the issues are, before it gets a such a bad name that no one will touch it.
Some developers say it costs a whole lot amount of time to convert their Add-Ons into 5.7. I do think that's the case when you have an eCommerce platform or whatever that's "big" (big is relative though). But honestly, if you have enough coding skills, it shouldn't take you days/weeks to convert from 5.6 till 5.7. I think people are kind of "scared" to make this step to change from 5.6 to 5.7. I did not want to convert in the beginning either, but that's just because it was the first version and there are always these bugs available that you don't want on a live site. But now it got to version 5.7.4/5.7.5, it's become real stable. Surely, some bugs exist here or there. But what a huge difference code-wise this version is! You've got composer (packages), namespaces and whatnot. Why should we use old PHP code where we can use new technology? It's never too late to learn new stuff and I think one should not be using 5.6 anymore for new projects, but contribute where you can to make 5.7 a real MUST HAVE. Even small Add-Ons matter. Each dollar sold is $0.30 for the Concrete5 team, which means more times being spent to make the core CMS better. So developers, go out there, make Add-Ons and sell some. Eventually this will support Franz and his team to make this better day by day.
Just my 2 cents! :)
I wish these developers that are turning their backs felt the same way, and I wish I could tell them directly how impressed and grateful I have been for their work in the past and how much I think they can offer this community.
However, a few individuals can't dictate the future of this brand.
This whole conversation just inspires me more to strive to be a contributor and not just a user. Got a lot to learn...but no one gets into this field if learning something new scares you :)
We have a list of pretty complex apps for C5.7, some of which are public, many aren't. But nothing is impossible.
- Store/eCommerce (and a million extensions nearly complete)
- HelpDesk ticketing system
- Member Map (map of members if that's not obvious)
- Store Locator
I'm really curious what people find keeps them stuck on 5.6. I feel like there can't be that much.
I have a client who I know would be interested in this and happy to discuss it further.
Looking through the 5.7 marketplace there isn't many add-ons missing, but more are paid apps compared to 5.6
When 5.7 came on the scene I endevoured to be positive and try and embrace the vision the C5 team had for the future. I tried a few times installing 5.7 only to go back to the 5.6 version. That was until a few months back. I am now on my third site using 5.7 and am really enjoying it.
I create my own themes, so add-ons are important to me. Looking through the themes and add-ons the other day I was surprised that quite a few new ones had been added of late. I use @ramonleenders block designer which is fantastic and his support is excellent.
I have always found the support from the C5 community very good when I've needed assistance with things. In particular @mesuva has been great and helped in launching me into 5.7.
It has been a challenging transition and frustrating at times, wishing I had stronger programming skills etc, but I feel I've come through that fog and have definately learned a lot. Of course I still have loads more to learn, but I feel confident in moving forward with 5.7 as a stable and intelligent CMS for me as a designer/developer and a very user friendly solution for my clients to manage their sites.
Keep up the great work C5 team!
I know I enjoy being paid for my time, and while I'm geeky enough to consider this a hobby, I'm not willing to give gobs of my personal time away for free, and I certainly don't expect these developers to either. $15-$40 for a theme or add-on that saves me hours and hours....that's basically a steal in my book. And on top of it, I know a cut goes to the c5 core team that help support this fabulous CMS that took hundreds upon hundreds of hours to develop and maintain...that we get 100% for free. I've never been sold on CMS's that claim to be 100% free...that just does not seem sustainable to me.
I'm all for paying the relatively small costs associated for themes and add-ons that support the developers and core team, and that make me look good to my clients. :)
And I second the motion to get a well-supported, robust calendar/booking add-on that can be used as a simple list/calendar of events all the way up to a payment booking system.
I think there could be more add-ons that support creating a document library, which i get a lot of requests for. I know we have various single-fileset-based add-ons and the core team's Document Library, but I think there's room for an file management library that combines the functionality of the core team's document library with the above-linked File/Image search add-on. Something that both allows the user to search by keyword, filter by set, and allows for a *controlled* file upload that requires a minimum of a good file title and at least one file set.
Pro Forms in 5.6 was AMAZING - an incredibly flexible, powerful form add-on that could be used as a base for everything from a contact form to a help desk system, and everything in between.
That being said, there are a lot of great add-ons available for 5.7...those areas above are just where it happens to be falling short a little for me.
We have ProEvents but no good forms add-on now.