We’ve been building and hosting websites with concrete5 since 2008 and one question we’re often asked is why we choose concrete5 over WordPress…
WordPress is a blogging system that has become popular in recent years as a tool for building for all kinds of websites. Typically WordPress sites are put together using prebuilt themes and a selection of different third party extensions.
concrete5 is designed first and foremost as a content management system. It’s raison d’être is to be a flexible tool to efficiently build and maintain websites of all different types.
Both WordPress and concrete5 are Open Source which means they can be used and modified without restriction. Both projects have communities of users who feed back on bugs and issues and contribute to development.
So why do we think concrete5 is the better choice?
With concrete5 you’re not limited by the blog structure of WordPress where a rigid set of fields are the basis of all pages. With concrete5 you can have the right content exactly where you need it in an easily manageable format. What’s more with concrete5’s in-context editing you can quickly add or edit content and move it around as needed.
As designers concrete5 provides us with the flexibility to create pages that look and behave exactly as each individual project demands.
The features you need built-in
concrete5’s built in WYSIWYG editing environment has always been at its core. This combines with a set of 'Blocks' to control a wide range of different content types including: Text, Image, Page List, Autonav, Form, Search, Social Links, Image Slider, Video Player to mention a few.
concrete5’s integrated features provide many benefits, here are a few:
- SEO | concrete5 pages can contain the meta information needed for SEO and content can be arranged flexibly for on page optimisation. Other core features like Pretty URLs and canonical pages leave you in complete control of your SEO without the need for added extensions.
- SPEED | concrete5 produces efficient fast loading websites which will help your search engine ranking. concrete5 compresses and combines code into the smallest number of files and provides built in caching options which optimise website loading times and keep will also help your search engine ranking.
- SIMPLE FORM SETUP | The Form Block allows forms with a variety of field types and appropriate validation to be created easily. With concrete5 there is no need to battle through a baffling choice form block extensions each trying to persuade you to upgrade to ‘professional’ paid versions.
- PROFESSIONAL PUBLISHING CONTROL | concrete5 has a content approval system which allows control over what is published and when. Every change you make to a concrete5 page is tracked with Versions so you can step back and forward through your changes easily.
- USER INTERACTION | The concrete5 Members system can be used to allow users to login and maintain website profiles with additional user information being easily defined and stored. Additional features include the Conversations system for messaging and commenting and Community Points to allow users to be recognised for particular actions.
These are just a few examples and all of this is possible within the core concrete5 system without the need for extensions.
With so many features built in the need to deploy third party extensions is dramatically reduced eradicating a source of frequent security issues with WordPress.
concrete5's sophisticated Permissions system works with the Members feature allowing access to pages or functions to be restricted to users in particular groups.
Other security features include: modern codebase that allows modifications to be made without over-riding core code, audit trail, Captcha on forms, content approval, email verification, login History and SSL compatibility.
Modern extensible development platform
concrete5 was totally redeveloped in 2014 embracing the very best modern development standards.
concrete5’s core system is designed to be redesigned! It is possible to safely override core functions in order to make your website behave exactly as you need it to without touching the core code. So if you do need a little custom development to make your site do exactly what you need for a particular application the code can be safely deployed and easily maintained reducing security concerns and development/maintenance cost.
The WordPress codebase is now well over ten years old and littered with practices now considered obsolete by developers. This leads to a system that will be more and more difficult to maintain in future and is inherently inefficient in use and in development.
Easier ongoing maintenance
One of the issues with WordPress sites is that the plugins change frequently. A site that needs ten or twenty plugins to run may need updating on an almost daily basis. With concrete5 the built in blocks are tested as part of each major update ensuring compatibility when your website is updated to the latest version.
Hopefully this article starts to indicate why we think concrete5 is a much better all around choice for the websites we build. If you’d like to know more about using concrete5 for your website please email or call us for a chat.