Yesterday, I’ve downloaded and tried the latest version of concrete5, which is 5.3.0 at the moment. I just used it for one of my latest projects (I’m helping my cousin to set her website, she is an interior designer).

Frankly speaking, I wasn’t very attentive, so maybe I missed some features added in 5.2.1, but I really like this new concrete5.

The first thing to notice is the new logo. Of course, it’s not the main thing in cms. But it has been changed. I suppose there could be some copyright problems that forced the concrete team change their logo. Or maybe they just didn’t like the old one. I liked.

On the frontend I didn’t notice anything new. Pretty usable as always.

When I logged into dashboard, the latest news caught my eyes. The ‘latest’ one said: "Concrete 5.2.1 is now available" Concrete guys definitely missed something, it’s 5.3.0 buddies!:-)

Nothing new in ‘Help’ area. The last record refers to 2008 November, 1st. That’s not a problem. The guys are improving CMS instead of worrying about such stuff.:-)

What features I noticed:

Additional page URLs. Open page in editing mode and then click ‘Properties’, select ‘Page Paths and Location’ and you are there. You can set canonical URL and additional ones. Alternative way to access the ‘Properties’ is through ‘Sitemap’ section of the concrete5 dashboard.

Upload Bookmark Icon. In ‘Dashboard’, ‘Sitewide Settings’ it is possible to upload a favicon for concrete5 website. Pretty useful for someones who don’t know how to install favicon by themselves.

Tracking Code. I don’t remember in which version it has been added, but there was definitely no such feature in concrete5.1.1. The feature is very useful for anybody who use Google Analytics or Woopra Analytics to gather website statistics data. To access it, go to Sitewide Settings.

Marketplace integration. Again, the feature made for those who are not familiar with web technologies. It’s very good from concrete5 to be user-oriented. I don’t use it, but I believe many people would use. As far as I remember marketplace has been integrated in 5.2.0 version.

HTML block. I’m not sure if it was in concrete 5.1.1, but I believe there wasn’t. Or maybe I was simply blind. Very useful block for experienced webmasters. I will use definitely use it many many times.:-)

IP Address Blacklist. I’m not sure if it was in previous versions (maybe I just didn’t notice), but it is a definitely a step towards security. It allows to ban IP addresses used for brute force attacks.

To conclude, my experience with 5.3.0 can be described in few words: This CMS has been made more stable and easy-to-understand. End-user usability at the highest level, as always.

I’ll be releasing a new block for concrete5 in a week or two, stay tuned.;-)