Our web design company De Webmakers in The Netherlands has been making websites since 2003. Life was much simpler then. When clients wanted a content management system it was mostly only for news or products so we used to build taylormade solutions for each client in PhP and MySql.
Of course this was tedious and repetitive work so we started looking for an out of the box CMS that we could alter ourselves and easy to work with for our clients. In 2007 we tried Wordpress but it was only a blogging tool back then (it basically still is) an not suited for our clients. We did work a little while with Website Baker which was nice for that time.
The Decision Process
We always checked The Project of the Month on Sourceforge and in 2009 we stumbled upon Concrete5, a new CMS. We installed it we were very enthusiastic from the beginning. Even the programmers who are very hard to convince to use something new liked it for being open-source and easy to write new blocks and packages. We showed C5 to some clients and they were happy with it too.
The Implementation and Solution
Since the designer department found it also easy to work with C5 we started implementing C5 in a lot of projects for our clients. We also do hosting for most of our clients so we built a single core to update all sites at once.
Nowadays we design a new theme (in browser) and the designers implement the pieces of code for C5 themselves. Then we upload the theme to a dev installation of Concrete5. Converting from HTML to an installed theme takes about 5 minutes these days. When the clients wants some special blocks, packages or single pages, the programmers come in and do the codework.
With new projects we always consider if it can be done with C5 which now is about 95% of the times. We also do more complex things in C5 like shops in a shop for www.cardexhange.com , for example a very good mediabank (with extensive permission possibilities) for Heineken and a great extranet for a business-member association www.ikgo.nl.
We also looked into Google Pagespeed Insights and now have a score of 95/100 with a C5 installation on our corporate website www.dewebmakers.nl. We are planning to make a tweaked installation file for concrete so we don’t have to do the optimizing thing over and over.
We build dozens of Concrete5 websites, some more complex than the other and it’s a great tool. Sure there’s room for improvement like server load or the Ecommerce part but that will be solved by us or the C5 team (or together).
When we go to a new client we bring our laptops. We installed C5 on a local web server so no need for an internet connection. If we show the client how easy it is to work with C5 we sell the project. Sure, Wordpress is our biggest competitor but with a real installation of Concrete it’s easy to convince the clients that C5 is superior to Wordpress.
I’d like to thank the C5 team again for their brilliance.
We believe that (social) intranet is growing very fast right now. Action has to be taken. Furthermore we hope that Ecommerce with C5 will be as good as the core CMS.
About De Webmakers
We use Concrete5 in most of our projects and we are community leader for The Netherlands. Businesses who Google ‘Concrete5 Specialist’ usually come us with their questions and problems. We have three full time programmers and one designer, all specialised in C5.
We like laughing, music, lunches, gaming and good HBO and Netflix series.