WordPress vs concrete5 -- A 1st-Day Noob's Perspective

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I offer a total noob's perspective of c5, which may provide an insight into the thinking of your non-techie clients when presented with a c5 website.

Until today, I was a WIX website developer. Ha, ha! I have zero experience with coding. But I decided to build a DIY website with WordPress. (After all, what 'home' user ever heard of c5?) Then I tried concrete5.

WordPress is intimidating compared to c5. concrete5 is more 'intuitive' than WordPress. It is easier to figure out how c5 works. I uninstalled WordPress.

UNFORTUNATELY, c5 HAS A FEW HUGE DRAWBACKS, presenting major hurdles for total beginners.

C5's worst shortcoming is the major shortage of educational material (in comparison to WordPress).

For example, there are oodles of first-rate training courses for WP, such as at Lynda.Com. But, I can't find a good coherent, structured training course for c5.

What a c5 noob finds is mostly a smattering of blog articles here and there of varying degrees of quality. Not many articles about the new v5.7. Too many c5 articles are several years old. It is hard to learn c5 from bits and pieces of info gathered from here and there.

C5's learning curve should be far less steep than with WordPress.
HOWEVER, the major lack of c5 educational material means a lot more learning through trial & error (than with WP). I am tempted me to return to WordPress...and enroll in one of MANY WP training courses!

NEXT! The shortage of 'current' c5 templates is a major issue for noobs.

Yes, there are a HANDFUL of excellent c5 responsive templates created since 2014. BUT the few good c5 templates have very 'all-purpose' layouts.

I dare you to find good c5 'specialty' templates, such as a 'magazine-style (multi-category blog); or a 'directory' template; or a Realtor template...and so on! Hah!

In WordPress world, there is no shortage of great templates for almost every conceivable niche.

NEXT! The c5 world of Add-Ons is totally mystifying for a noob!

A noob is confronted by a vast array of c5 Add-Ons. The poor benighted, bewildered noob thinks: "OMG! Do I need some of these Add-Ons? If so, which ones are essential or important? I have no clue!"

Sure, WP has tons of Plug-Ins. But at least a noob can quickly find excellent articles providing accurate lists of essential WP Plug-ins. I dare you to find one article recommending important c5 Add-Ons.

For a noob, the c5 Add-On marketplace is mysterious, terra incognita, causing anxiety over what to buy...IF anything at all!

ADDITIONALLY, NOBODY TELLS A NOOB NOT TO BUY c5 Add-Ons that say 'Compatible: 5.6.x'! Noobs are left to figure out that a MINOR VERSION UPGRADE from c5 v5.6 to v5.7 broke v5.6 Add-Ons (that were not updated for v5.7). I pissed away over $100 by learning that hard way!

MY NOOBIE VERDICT IS:
1. concrete5 is much more noob-friendly than WordPress.
2. The world of concrete5 is NOT noob-friendly...thanks to the lack of educational courses and material; the shortage of good c5 templates, especially for niche categories; and, the Byzantine marketplace for c5 Add-Ons.
3. The c5 community is a DEVELOPER community. It is not friendly for the ordinary person. Most of the forum posts sound Greek to the 'home' user. Like, posts for beginners are rarer than horse eggs.

THUS, I now understand why WordPress is the CMS of the Masses -- even though c5 should be the People's first choice!

Personally, I think the Tinhead Devos prefer to keep concrete5 as a profitable secret.

Hey, by keeping c5 as an arcane CMS, the Tinheads can build great websites for businesses...while delivering a CMS platform that even a non-techie client can figure out with respect to performing minor edits.

In c5 world, it is better to be a c5 website developer than a developer of c5 Add-Ons, templates, or educational material....since the Tinheads limited the market for c5 'products' by limiting c5's accessibility to the Masses.

Just Another Noob's Opinion.
And Happy Holidays!

prston
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OKDnet replied on at Permalink Reply
OKDnet
With all due respect, a lot of your post is nothing new to anyone regular here in the Concrete5 community.

Everyone that knows anything about websites know how popular WP is, and how many themes and plugins exist, which is a direct result of such a massive market share. It's also basic economics that explains why there is such a difference in the number of available themes, addons, as well as reviews and even documentation! That's the web world we live in today, whether anyone likes it or not. And it does influence choices, one way or another.

However, as you noted, sometimes the "better" mousetrap is less popular. It happens, maybe due to timing, dumb luck, or other reasons. And so then we are faced with choices where there are pros and cons either way. Of course, better for one person is not necessarily better for the next, be it "noobs" or experienced developers.

The C5 documentation is a huge priority here, and it's rapidly improving and being actively worked in. Besides just changing to a Wiki style docs section (a good move that will help), look here (and spread the word!)
https://www.concrete5.org/about/we-re-hiring/...

I'm not sure of the meaning of your reference to "Tinhead Devos", but if you are referring to the developers of Concrete5, I can assure you they are not trying to keep it a "profitable secret. Quite the contrary, they and probably most of the developers here would welcome a growing share of the market share,

I personally believe it's very possible. I think we probably could gain a big chunk from the Joomla market share, and maybe some from Drupal, and possibly even some from WP (although I'm fairly certain it will continue to be the majority for some time).

Some of where we're at sort of resembles a "What comes first, the chicken or the egg" scenario to me. We'll attract more of all the above, when we get more popular, but we'll get more popular when...

So I'd just like to end by saying thank you to all the developers who are contributing, and working hard,, and "placing their bets" so-to-speak with Concrete5, because I for one generally speaking tend to prefer the better solution rather than blindly following the sheeple.
mnakalay replied on at Permalink Reply
mnakalay
Hello,
I've been working with Concrete5 for a few years now and I am a developer with several add-ons in the marketplace.

So I am not a noob.

Still, I don't get Wordpress at all. Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that there are plenty of resources to study it and I used them a lot. But that's the thing. I started using C5 before reading anything about it and I had no problem doing most editing things (no development) after watching 1 or 2 quick videos.

With Wordpress, I know I won't get anywhere unless I go through lots of reading. I might be daft, but really that's my experience. Lately, a friend had problems with widgets on WP and I went totally crazy trying to figure out what was happening.

Now where I agree with you is that the difference between 5.6 and 5.7 should be made much clearer and obvious (although if you are $100 out of your pocket for that kind of reason you can ask for a refund)

I don't, however, agree with you when it comes to the add-on marketplace being mysterious. Most add-ons are very straightforward and you have:
1- reviews (sometimes)
2- pre-sale questions you can ask (if no answer obviously it's not a good sign so don't buy)
3- Demos (sometimes)
4- possibility to get a refund if the add-on advertises something it can't actually do

It is true that there are thousands of articles about WP best plugins for this purpose or that purpose and none for Concrete5.

2 things however about that. First, and unfortunately, for things other than galleries and slideshow, most categories of add-ons only offer a few (1, 2, 3...) add-ons. I'm thinking e-commerce for instance. So writing an article about the best mailing plugins for C5 wouldn't make much sense.

Second, those WP articles are often terrible and I always feel that they just look in wordpress.org or codecanyon for well-ranked plugins and wrote a title like "15 best plugins for..." and for 10 articles on the 15 best galleries you will have 15 different galleries making it the 150 best galleries really. What kind of help or choice is that?

I think, in the end, the only question worth asking is what exactly are you trying to achieve and which CMS will do that best (and you have to define what best is for yourself of course)?
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
Totally agree that we do a bad job about letting the public know about all the many glories of concrete5.

Sadly it's not an awesome conspiracy so we can just keep swimming in our dungeon of gold, but rather a collection of far less nefarious "well there's only so much time in the day" kind of issues.

Happily, we've got some pretty exciting plans around that Tech Evangelist role to announce in the new year, so I'm glad to report that we see the same problem and have some wheels in motion to solve it (finally.)
ramonleenders replied on at Permalink Reply
ramonleenders
Excited! Concrete5 deserves to be known (in a good way) all around the world.
OKDnet replied on at Permalink Reply
OKDnet
Looking forward to all that can mean Franz
mnakalay replied on at Permalink Reply
mnakalay
That's excellent news Franz