Well you may have noticed our concrete5.org site was being "renovated" for the last 24 hours. With the amount of community activity we've been having, we just couldn't find a reasonable way to stage and launch our updates any more gracefully, so thanks for bearing with us through this interruption in services. We'll do everything we can to avoid it in the future.
Here's just some of what changed:
- We completely revamped the home page and several landing pages to give the site a more friendly experience to the non-programmers out there. We also changed the footer around to be a bit more useful and friendly for everyone.
- A Marketplace now exists! You can browse Themes and Add-Ons, fill a shopping cart with them, make a real purchase with a credit card and instantly download the files.
- If you are a developer or designer selling something in the Marketplace, you now get credits in your account which you can choose to have paid out via paypal, or you can use to make other purchases around the site. You also get your own forums and ticketing system so you can provide ongoing support to your customers.
- Forums & Tickets got a bunch of small UI tweaks to make life easier. We now can easily set status of feature requests and bugs without going into edit mode. You can now drag and drop the posting window around your browser so you can see what you're replying to as you write (that one used to drive me up the wall.)
- We added member search, buffed out the profile, and introduced 23 new member "badges" that represent expertise and interest. Now you'll be able to see if that person giving you advice actually knows what they're talking about.
- We added a local user group map and search. If you want to have a physical monthly meeting of c5 folk in your area, we want to hear from you and link to you on our map.
- We put alot of work into making search more useful (i.e.: not suck so much). It's still got some ways to go, but it is way better than what we had.
- We seeded the marketplace with a bunch of free blocks we've made after listening to real world requests.
- Rearranged help and added some new screen-casts and articles.
- We added c5hosting and c5services Partner Program areas.
uhh… I'm sure lots of little things I'm completely spacing because it's all a blur at this point. Any rate, let us know if anything is off. Thanks for bearing with us while we rolled all that out.
Our hosting clients have long received preferential treatment from us. Pay me something, anything, to worry about your website every month and I'm obviously going to put a star next to your email in my in-box, whatever the subject might be.
The explosive growth of c5 this year has created a lot of new challenges for us as we look at prioritizing our already limited time. We want nothing more than to be worried about the core, promotion, and best practices around c5 – making it the most popular CMS on the planet. For that to happen, we all (c5 staff and community alike) need to consider the best ways to focus our time to help the project scale. We see several groups emerging in our young community already, and we're going to provide tools to help foster their growth.
c5network – The c5network members are simply anyone who has joined concrete5.org, or any of the local user group sites. We will connect this network of sites through openID, and by joining one you will be able to contribute and benefit from them all. Attend any meeting in the world you'd like to, get promotional discounts, early notice on exciting updates, everything you'd expect and more – for nothing.
c5services – Freelancers and webshops that are providing development services to customers using c5 are encouraged to join this affordable Partnership Program. Amongst many other benefits, a private forum ensures a timely response on any post from c5 staff.
c5hosting – Companies that host websites built with concrete5 are encouraged to join our affordable c5hosting Partner Program. Membership includes Whitepapers on how to centralize the c5 code base for a shared server, and how to setup the auto-generating demos we offer at getConcrete5.com/demo. Many other benefits are included as well as private forums with a guaranteed response by c5 staff.
Please don't take the existence of the c5services and c5hosting Partner Programs as any sign that we're less open source, free, or ‘good' than we were yesterday. We could have chosen a shareware or crippleware approach with c5, but we didn't and never will. We're not requiring you join any Partner Program to sell your goods in the new Marketplace, and we remain firmly dedicated to making the world a better place. Quite simply; we have to provide the same option for preferred support to the whole community, as we do to our hosting clients on getConcrete5.com.
More to the point, these are not private one to one retainers where big pocketbooks tie the core team up on the phone all day doing their work for them. These are more akin to Unions where you have the freedom and solidarity that comes from being surrounded by a group of your actual peers, in private. The real benefit here is instead of just getting access to us, members of these Partner Programs can openly share with one another as well.
For more information on what has changed, check out the release notes.
Additionally, updated language packs for French, German and Danish are available for download from SourceForge.
So, for a long while we just had a single shared c5 demo setup that would clean itself out every hour on the hour. Crude, but an easy way to get a demo up. We started to really understand the downsides when we were seeing 900 new users in there at a time. Seeing things randomly change to Japanese under you is disconcerting as well.
Now when you want to play around with concrete5, you can easily get your own sandbox to play in. After 15 days you can even turn it into a paid hosting account.
Grab your own demo today!
For more information on what has changed, check out the release notes.
Straight to the point:
Stop wasting your time installing c5, we'll do it for you in our super sweet hosting environment for just $15/month. No hidden fees or startup costs!
There's a very small handful of people who are paid to support this software. As I'm sure you know, the software is free, so the only revenue we get is consulting, merchandise sales, and… hosting!
I'm sure you will understand then why as CEO of c5 I have to pull the plug on having my team personally debug c5 installs on every server setup under the sun. The last few weeks we've found more and more of our time going into getting c5 running on super-budget hosts and windows boxes – neither of which we ever thought was a good idea in the first place. Deep down, we love helping people get on the web and of course we want as many people using c5 as we can get.
It is because we want to help the largest majority of people with the biggest problems that we've come to the decision that we can no longer personally pay attention to the installation forum every day. There is a good group of very smart volunteers who we dearly hope will continue to give their time helping others here. If one of those folks brings an idea or change to us around the install process we can easily implement, we'll be happy to do it. Beyond that we're simply killing ourselves debugging everyone's unique server setup by hand. I hear the frustration: "Hey I want to use your software and you won't help me?!?"… Actually, that's not true…
We're announcing we've slashed our basic hosting plan in half, and eliminated startup fees onhttp://GetConcrete5.com. For $15/month we'll gladly setup c5 for you, give you complete access, we're even going to upgrade your site with the latest stable codebase whenever it's made available. Frankly I think that's a deal you can't beat. We'll help you, the hosting revenue will help us, everyone wins.
By all means I encourage ongoing discussion around installation issues. I know there are intranets, other web hosts, any number of very valid reasons you might not want to host with us. But if you really feel like you need to find a cheaper deal some where else, please don't give us attitude for not helping you pull that off.
Thanks for your continued passion and excitement, we're gonna go back to thinking about the big picture again.
Okay, so I'm not sure that amount of sticker glue is healthy… but.. wow.. we're impressed…
Got some pics of where you put your stickers? Send em in. Want some stickers? Visit concrete5.org and let us know.