Themes compared to Wordpress
I can't see anything in the c5 theme store that compares to what you get in Wordpress such as the pretty amazing page/layout builders that effectively allow you to easily build responsive layouts simply by dragging layout elements into place and then plonking in modules for various things like forms, image sliders, text areas, graphical elements etc...
Don't get me wrong I MUCH prefer the way c5 works but can anyone who has experience in working with themes in concrete5 and WP maybe give some pointers as to the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.
Honestly, some of the WP themes are totally stunning and at around the $40-$60 mark are no more expensive than the good c5 themes.
PS: I know it probably sounds like it but I'm NOT a WP troll... I really like c5 and would much prefer to be able to find the above functionality in c5 if it's there.
Yeah, there are other themes available outside of the marketplace. However, 450,000 + Google Results doesn't equate to anything even remotely near that number! @robodev, where do you see "thousands" of themes??? You can find maybe 25 themes (give or take). There's a few good ones on Theme Forest, but nothing like the Wordpress world.
The point @DanK made is the truth. I think there are so many theme developers in the larger WP market, many really great ones, combined with a lot of competition, resulting in some amazing choice and bang for your buck when buying a theme. I have at times looked at Concrete5 themes and struggled with this comparing them. And unfortunately now it's worse with version 5.7 . You also won't find any themes for 5.7 outside of the marketplace.
I hate to sound so negative though. But if you can't develop your own theme and you are looking to buy a really great theme, for now it is what it is. I hope we'll see that change quickly, but realistically it will pale in comparison for quite some time.
- There is no quality gate on such theme sources other than accumulated end user reviews.
- Many such themes have no testing other than that done by the developer.
- Read the reviews thoroughly.
- Also read reviews for any blocks included with the theme.
- Make sure you are reading reviews for the concrete5 version of a theme. Such themes are often ported from Wordpress and other CMSs and may have been ported with a less than expert understanding of concrete5.
- Check the dates on support. Make sure it is punctual and current.
- Be prepared for side effects, such as interference with the concrete5 dashboard and edit dialogs and interference with other packages.
Of course, much of the above applies also to the concrete5 marketplace. However, any theme or addon approved for the concrete5 marketplace will have been checked with some knowledge of common pitfalls.
When you look at marketplaces such as Themeforest for example there is a large selection of top quality themes that you can buy for decent money. Mainly these are Wordpress granted - but Wordpress has such a large community and is for one reason or an other the ''go to' system for many designers/developers and where they tend to put all of their eggs.
Having said all that, we have been using concrete5 for some time now and can say that from our point of view, building a cms site couldn't be easier than with concrete5. There may not be lots of choice in the marketplace (5.7) currently but this will slowly grow over time.
Some of the features you mention are already available in themes within the current 5.7 marketplace. Take our Fundamental theme for instance -https://www.concrete5.org/marketplace/themes/fundamental... This comes bundled with around 12 extra blocks and even a 'custom' page type that allows you to build your own responsive layouts to mention a few of its features.
On the suggestion of a friend I checked out some WP themes and eventually bought Avada. The ease of building pages just blew me away. Simply drag and drop columns into place and then drag elements such as sliders, content boxes, pricing tables, text area etc... Totally simple and looks REALLY good. Building complex pages takes minutes.
Now saying that, I MUCH prefer the way concrete5 works, especially the in-page editing, the way the sitemap works, the way you can easily keep images in sets etc... In fact I prefer just about everything in concrete5 other than the above (and how insanely difficult it is to add a WP competitive blog). For anyone in doubt, have a look at the Portfolio sections on the Enfold WP theme, they look amazing.
I swear I'm not a Wordpress troll but this has really opened my eyes. Is there any way our c5 theme builders could (or possibly already do and I just don't know about it) add this kind of functionality to concrete5?
In 5.7 you simply drag and drop blocks on to your page; couldn't be any easier.
Wordpress' origins are as a blog so that is why they have a lot of functionality on that front. If your main aim is to build a content managed site then concrete5 is a perfect fit. If you are building a blog then Wordpress has more bells and whistles currently. If you need both then you have a decision to make. Personally we choose concrete5 every time.