Some time ago I found concrete 5 among the featured products on SF. I was quiet interested in trying that software.

Starting with you. The archive of the latest version is just 3MB (usually heavy cms software takes much more space).

The software is released under friendly MIT license and that is good for developers I believe.

System requirements. No specific requirements have been noticed: PHP5, GD lib, MySQL, XML support. My basic web tool kit has passed the system requirements test without any problem.

Installation. User-friendly and easy. On the first step I was asked for:

  • Name Your Site
  • Email address
  • Database access details

Then I was given a randomly generated password. That was not very strong – only 6 digits (566040). I believe it must be improved as it can be hijacked through brutforce attack.

Installation done? Seems like it is. I’m presented with a website page and some administration buttons on the top.

Edit page The editing mode is very user-friendly. All blocks are highlighted with red dashed border. If you mouse over a block, it is highlighted and a popup context menu appears. For example, you can select there an "Edit this block" item and you’ll get a friendly WYSIWYG area to edit the block. I modiied the block and decided to check the html code it generates.

The changes are not applied immediately on the frontend. You should exit editing mode first. Then you’re presented with "Version comments" window and can type any comment about the change you’ve made. Really good. You can preview edits, discard them and publish it.

I checked the generated HTML code and it is good. No excessive tags and styles.

Dashboard Statistics data is very helpfull. You can see a diagram of your concrete5 views stats per days. You also see form submissions, last edit time, etc. The most important and usefull thing on the main dashboard page is the option to stick notes for yourself. Very useful.

Other sections:

  • Sitemap – view your site in explorer style
  • File manager – browse all the files uploaded for your site
  • Form results – check what users have submitted for you
  • Users – manage the site users
  • Groups – users group management
  • Page types – manage page types available through out your website
  • Themes – select a skin for your concrete 5
  • Add functionality – select block types, create new ones, etc.
  • Maintenance – special tools for cleanup, etc.
  • Logging – section for developers, makes debugging and easy thing
  • Sitewide settings – enable pretty urls, set name of your site, etc

Add new page Adding new page is very easy. All you need is just select a page type, name the page and click the ADD button. Then you can add necessary blocks to your page and be happy.

To conclude, concrete 5 is a nice content management system that is worth of looking and it. I’ll continue working with this software and maybe I’ll start a new site based on this user-friendly cms. Recommended!