After much deliberation about what platform to use for my blog, I decided on Concrete 5.
I’ve used WordPress several times before, and whilst there was nothing wrong with it, I wanted to broaden my horizons and try something else.
I tried Fork CMS and found it very corporate and not what I wanted at all. It’s probably good for creating a small business brochure site quickly and easily, but not a personal blog
I then tried Concrete5 which I wanted to like. I really did. I found it to be hard work, and not very forgiving. For me it was easier to uninstall and upload again than try and see what had gone wrong, or wasn’t working the way I expected it to.
The dashboard area is to cluttered and not at all intuitive in my opinion. Too much time is needed to set things up. Important settings seem to be hidden away, and the easy things take much more effort and time than their WordPress equivalents.
I think it makes a good CMS for sites that want the control and flexibility of a CMS, and have the re and patience to set everything up.
I was particularly impressed with the support and the community which seemed to be very active and helpful.
One of my requirements from the CMS was that it was able to be responsive. I bought a responsive Concrete5 theme, Slate, and it was hard to install and activate compared to WordPress. The theme itself though is impressive, and with a few tweaks worked on my daughter’s blackberry as well as my iPhone.
I think that the problem isn’t with Concrete5, it’s with me. I haven’t got the PHP and CSS skills to make major changes to either functionality and layout of the site.
In all, I wanted a quick and easy blog platform, and for me, it’s WordPress.
And another thing, I’ve written and uploaded this using the WordPress app for my phone. Whilst on the train. Something I couldn’t do with Concrete5, as there’s no app and the CMS would be impossible to navigate using anything smaller than a desktop screen for me. I was using a netbook, and that was hard enough!
If you’re feeling brave, or have PHP and CSS skills and experience and want to try something then go and try Concrete5. Your opinion might be different, and it might be the perfect CMS for you.