Just Basic Usability!!!!

I have been designing and building websites since 1995. I cannot figure out how to make a website with Concrete5. No matter how I approach it, there are always several steps I needed to do before whatever I am trying to do. I have gotten nowhere!!!

Someone help me out! I have almost 20 years experience in web design and dev. I will write the effin' user manual if someone would just tell me what the secret is.

I have been battling this mess for more than a year!

The app is installed. How do you make a freakin' website with this?


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mesuva replied on at Permalink Reply
Hi Cassie, sorry to hear that you're hitting difficulties setting up your site.

From what you've described it sounds like you're simply not sure where to start with using the install. Perhaps you picked up the wrong impression as to what concrete5 actually _is_ and how it works.

I think the first website I put together was in 1998. It was a few basic HTML pages to help a corporate band I would do stage roadying for, they impersonated Elvis, Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond, Madonna, Dusty Springfield.. sounds cheesy, but they were a top notch band and we had a lot of laughs. I learnt that lugging drums up and down stairs is a lot of work and I swore that if I ever learnt a musical instrument it would be something lightweight.

Anyway, that website was just basic HTML with I don't even think much in the way of CSS.. it would have had tables everywhere, inline font tags. I'm pretty sure I wrote it by hand, but may have used Dreamweaver, back when it was owned by Macromedia and not Adobe. I recall making animated gifs of glittering rindstones in different colours.. it was sick.

This is now in heavy contrast to how we're building sites with concrete5 now. Instead of a folder with html pages in it, it's really a PHP application with a database to store content. Pages are no more than database entries, and our styling and theming is to _control_ the output of content.

So perhaps you're looking at editing your concrete5 site in the wrong manner? Are you looking at the folder structure and wondering where to put stuff? Unless you are looking to actually develop custom themes, blocks or packages, you don't actually have to ever look at the folder structure.. just log in and start editing.

I would recommend you start at the start of the official doco:

The documentation does have a comments area, so if you find things you feel are incorrect or could be explained more clearly you are certainly welcomed to provide feedback and documentation snippets.

But also keep in mind that when you log into a concrete5 site there are blue help icons (a question mark) on many screens that help to outline how the editing controls work. This fires up a dialog where it has videos and walkthroughs, and is perhaps something you've just not caught so far in your travels.

The important thing to keep in mind with forum posts here is to be specific with your help request. I appreciate that you may simply be frustrated here, but you've not really put any detail into your post to describe _what_ aspect of your site building exercise you are having trouble with.

Is it that you don't know how to edit a page?
Is it that you don't know how to add a new one, or link between them?
Is it that you're trying to apply a design to the site and can't get it to look right?
Is it that you can't even log in or get it installed?
Are you having problems with a particular block or dashboard page?

The better the description of the problem you are having the better responses you'll get, or at least that's what I've experienced. Add screenshots, steps as to what you are doing and an outline of what you are wanting to achieve. I've even recorded videos of what I've been doing when reporting bugs, just so that others know what I'm battling.

Perhaps it's worth taking a step back and considering _what_ you are trying to achieve and what the next step is.. then post another another forum post with the specifics.

doccarter replied on at Permalink Reply
Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!

I am on 5.7.something. I had hoped to upgrade to the 8.whatever version but that does not appear to be possible.

My problem is with the basic workflow.

I want to make a page about X. I create a page and let's say I want to have a slider. So I put in the slider. Then I need to select the stuff to go in the slider. But first I need to have uploaded everything I want in the slider. So I go upload everything and then the page I created is not in the site map tree. So I create another page. Then I realize I need to have some text content describing the images in the slider. To do that I have to go back to my files and write the content on the images. Then I go back and the page I created is not in the site map tree. And so on.

There must be a logical way to do this.
mesuva replied on at Permalink Reply
This sounds like you're not actually publishing the page. I think you might be _saving_ the page, without a name or a location, rather than entering these details and publishing it.

When you save a page without actually creating it, it ends up as a draft. You can find the drafts by clicking the Pages button next to the dashboard button - the drafts are listed under the mini site map.

I'd suggest you try creating a new page and going through the steps to actually name that page and place it at a specific part of the sitemap. Then go and find that page again, return to it and edit it.

It's actually fairly rare that I find myself saving a page, rather than publishing it, especially when concrete5 has a way to quickly make edits and revert back if something is incorrect.
doccarter replied on at Permalink Reply
So you just publish the page with nothing on it? Why would you publish a blank page? Doesn't "create content" come before "publish page"? When I create a new page I'm asked where to put it in the site map, so why doesn't it go there as a draft?

The problem of draft vs. published page isn't even really the main problem I'm having. I find the actual work flow very unclear. It seems like I have to do all of the content creation somewhere other than on the page I'm creating, and in multiple different places.

Perhaps someone could walk me through the process of creating a "portfolio" page that contains a text overview of a project and a gallery (of any sort) containing several images with captions?
mesuva replied on at Permalink Reply
I still think you might be skipping or misunderstanding a step here.

You don't have to publish a blank page first, you can add a bunch of content before publishing. That being said, when you are fleshing out a site it can certainly be appropriate to create the site structure first, creating all the pages that are needed and revisiting them to add in the content. I've even published an add-on that allows you to create a bunch of pages from a list of names, just to help speed things up.

When you start working on a new page you can add as much content as you want immediately, including uploading things like images and files. If you added an image block to the page for example, you can add that, start selecting the image via the block and in the same file manager dialog upload a file. You shouldn't need to visit other pages or sections in the Dashboard to add most content.

You've mentioned that you have many years experience in web dev - what other content management systems are you familiar with? Perhaps you are assuming the workflow of concrete5 works (or should be working) the same as another system, something like Joomla, and that's the cause of the confusion.
OKDnet replied on at Permalink Reply
Also include what version of Concrete5 you're currently using. It makes a difference. Even if one were to assume you are using the "current" version of Concrete5 (by current I mean as apposed to the Legacy version, which is different), there have been some significant changes in the past year you have been doing this. For example, the default editor for the Content block (and others) has been changed from Redactor to CKeditor.
shabbaranks replied on at Permalink Reply
Im in the same boat really. I am not a web dev but I can make sites and manipulate html code but Ive got to admit COncrete5 has got me.

A site I inherited has a Contact-US page, how do I find that page within the back-end so I can add additional captcha? Im searching the file structure but cant find anything?
OKDnet replied on at Permalink Reply
I think the way to look at the option to be able to Publish VS Save (to a Draft) is it's there for working on a live site, where maybe you want to make some change that are not so significant as to put the entire site in Offline Status, but you want to check your work before it's available to site users (or maybe you are making some changes but not all of them at once, and you don't want to Publish until ALL the changes are complete).

You can always navigate normally through the website to a page and edit it once on it, or you can go to the sitemap to find a page & go to it from there to edit it. The exception is what @mesuva explained, which only happens if you saved to draft and then navigated away from it i.e. if you hit Save and do not navigate away from it, you will be on that page, looking at your changes. But from there you must publish or edit further and publish for it to be live, and if it has never been published (a new page) then it will not be in the site map.

@shabbaranks read what @mesuva explained again about the file structure.
shabbaranks replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks, for your reply.
I did read up on how to manage pages which I don't seem to have a problem accessing and editing. Its more so the pages "location" within the backend more specifically the packages locations and manually adding packages. If I place the extracted folder or the zip folder into what I understand to be the packages folder I am unable to do a manual install within the dashboard.
OKDnet replied on at Permalink Reply
The packages folder is the correct location, where each subfolder is an individual package with the name of the package being the name of the folder (see for morehttps://documentation.concrete5.org/developers/packages/overview... ).
shabbaranks replied on at Permalink Reply
I managed to get the add-ons installing from the community after re-linking the site with a new Concrete5 account.