With content marketing emerging as one of the essential forms of digital marketing, there has been an unprecedented rise in the demand for an efficient Content Management System (CMS).
It’s because CMS software helps users create, customize, and manage their website content even without technical expertise or coding. It just makes everything pretty straightforward and simpler instead of building a site from scratch.
Let me give you the most popular example of a CMS, and that’s WordPress. Everyone in this field might be familiar with its popularity that has powered more than 38% of all the websites available on the internet.
So, is WordPress the best CMS?
The answer may be Yes and No based on the type of site, business needs, and traffic amount.
That means there are other considerable options available.
One size fits all strategy might not work for everyone. That’s why there are so many other CMS systems available such as Concrete, Shopify, Drupal, Wix, Joomla, etc., to cater to different businesses’ unique needs.
This article is about Concrete CMS review, which will help you determine whether it is suitable for your website or not.
So, without doing further ado, let’s begin!
Concrete CMS: A deeper insight
Concrete CMS (formerly concrete5) launched as an open-source platform in 2008 under the MIT license. It is written in PHP and combines the functionalities of a CMS, website builder, and web app development framework.
This implies that you can use it for free and evaluate, distribute, modify, or enhance it without any worries or limitations. It helps you set up, run, and maintain your website efficiently while enriching it with reader-friendly and engaging content.
It is easy-to-use by individuals of any skill level and is equipped with simple to advanced tools and features that help them customize the site and extend its functionalities.
Intuitive, In-context editing
Concrete CMS features a WYSIWYG editor that makes it flawless to customize your website the way you have dreamed of with no coding or creative limits.
You can generate forms dynamically for your typed content through drafts and auto-save. It also provides easy control of beautiful themes to create stunning sites, drag and drop content, and layout retaining responsive grid points.
Concrete CMS gives you a lot more freedom and power of customization that increases your site functionality through simple deployment, 1000s of add-on support, 1-click version update, and quick software installation directly from the dashboard.
You can get automatic notifications for add-on updates along with a large directory of flexible themes.
Responsive and mobile-optimized design with Templates and modular building
You get various templates and customize the design with the Style Editor for fonts, colors, layouts, images, galleries, blocks, stacks, page types, and more that are responsive.
Manage control of users and groups, and model your policies as per your organizational requirements. You can easily create groups, attributes, my profile, exclusions, and custom single pages. Besides, you can also create private web pages accessible to specific members only.
SEO and social media
A Concrete-powered website can be optimized for SEO without add-ons or extra codes. You can improve your SEO rankings through custom URLs, Meta tags, XML sitemaps, simple directory structure, easy control for headers, page titles, etc.
Add your social media profile with a click of a button to display your work in your social media accounts, credibility, and personal brand. It supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, G+, and more.
Concrete CMS understands how essential your website security is and therefore protects your site with SSL, login history, content approval, captcha, audit trail, email verification, and more.
You can create surveys and forms to collect insightful data in simple steps, minus writing any codes. Concrete CMS enables form validation, error detection, form-field validation, custom form fields, etc.
You can also get real-time results of your forms and surveys with intelligent reporting at one interface. You can track email logging systems, user session statistics, error logging, etc., to make mature decisions.
Blog & commenting
You don’t need to create a separate blog as you can include it inside your website to put forth your opinions, and display your expertise and services to educate and inform your visitors.
Create a customizable and beautiful blog, and enable RSS syndication, topics, categories, authors, likes, and options for post display. You can also include a commenting system supporting threaded comments.
Go one step further through comment moderation, avatars, commenter’s authentication, identify spam, enable/disable anonymous comments, and comment sorting.
Concrete CMS has a vast developer community where you can seek online help and various training and certification programs available for you to learn more.
With the above features of Concrete CMS, you can understand that you get a lot of benefits from this CMS, such as:
- Ease of use for newbies as well as experienced developers from installation to running and maintaining a site.
- Lots of flexibility and features that cover a variety of different customization needs from designing to content
- Powerful integration options and add-ons
- Multi-language support
- Backups versions and regular updates to always keep your site secure and performing
- SEO is enabled to improve your search engine rankings along with marketing tools to expand your reach
How does it differ from WordPress and other CMS?
WordPress and other CMS might look a bit similar. But if we narrow it down to compare just WordPress and Concrete CMS, both offer back-end and frontend widgets that are powerful, but WordPress is more smooth and simpler.
Another thing is that Concrete CMS, in a way, is more advanced for someone who is starting new. So, its ideal users are somehow got frustrated with WordPress, Joomla, and other CMS end up finding Concrete CMS and get settled for it due to its impeccable features that are advanced to carry out lots of extensibility.
Its frond-end features for editing are attractive for freelancers and agencies who build websites for non-tech small businesses. Its framework and themes are visually stunning with updated GUI features like parallax scrolling.
As a result, it makes a website look high-end which breaks the monotony of sites where all the blogs look similar and boring, which can happen with other CMSs.
Now that you have some idea about Concrete CMS and that it can be of viable CMS option for you, next is its implementation.
If you want to use it as your CMS, you need reliable hosting that actually hosts your website on a server distributed to you. This is why we will next talk about some of the best Concrete CMS hosting providers.
Enjoy the fully-managed Concrete CMS hosting service by TMD Hosting to develop your site with confidence. Their service is reliable, straightforward, and super-fast with 10 years of experience, which is why Concrete CMS itself recommends it.
They deploy your server in the data center located closest to your place so your visitors would have a great time visiting your site and accessing the contents. Don’t just go by words; TMD Hosting guarantees 99.99% of uptime for your site as well.
Starting your website journey powered by Concrete CMS becomes easy as they do all the heavy lifting on your behalf. Or, if you already own a Concrete CMS site hosted elsewhere, they can migrate your site into a new TMD hosting account for FREE.
Expand your site functionalities and features by installing Block Designer PRO, Formify, Grid Gallery 2, Simple Gallery, ProBlog, and other plugins that you can avail FREE of cost. In this way, you get more design freedom, and to add more to it, they also provide free theme installation. If a theme is compatible, they will install it for you, be it Stucco, Genesis, Supermint 3, Pixel, Equinox, and more.
TMD Hosting provides regular updates for you, so your site’s security, performance, and features are always up to date, which you can avail of by writing to their support team. They offer a 3-layered cache combining Varnish, OPCache, and APC with SSD that results in 16x more speed for your pages for faster loading time.
On top of that, they also provide you with PHP7 in addition to curated plugins for easy management for a trouble-free experience. TMD Hosting takes security seriously by providing live malware protection and web-based firewalls by BitNinja. They together keep online threats at bay to offer all-round website protection.
With your hosting database’s daily and weekly snaps for FREE, your files are always backed up to avoid your chances of losing them. In addition to this, TMD Hosting is also developer-friendly with SSH access and the capability of tracking changes through Git version control.
You also get the power of Cloudflare for FREE to improve speed and reliability. With FREE Spam Experts, you can enjoy spam-free email security in your web hosting. They also provide a FREE domain along with premium support.
Their pricing starts from $2.95/month for 1 site, unlimited SSD and bandwidth, along with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Do you want a top-notch speed for your Concrete CMS website?
I know you do.
A2 Hosting is a great choice in terms of speed and affordability, which is a win-win for you. They offer superbly-fast, fine-tuned, read-to-deploy servers in their web hosting services that can satisfy all your site needs. They host your site on a high-performing SwiftServer platform, and their Turbo Server is capable of delivering 20 times faster loading speed, which is a lot higher than other competitors.
To help you increase your SEO rankings, conversion rate, and reduce bounce rates, they optimize their servers with free SSD, your preferred server location, LiteSpeed web server, along with AMD EPYC server and NVMEe drives featuring Turbo Servers. They also guarantee 99.9% site uptime.
As a result of these innovative technologies, A2 Hosting makes the CPU performance 40% faster, TTFB 2x faster, traffic 9x more, and read/write speed 3x faster. A2 Hosting protects your site from attackers with FREE HackScan protection, reinforced DDoS protection, rebootless updates by KernelCare, brute force protection, and a dual firewall.
Getting started and running your site does not have to be a trouble anymore because you get efficient management through Softaculous in the control panel. You would receive an automatic notification to update your software when a new version of Concrete CMS releases. Just login and start updating with just 1 click and get the latest settings and features.
The novices and experienced developers will have a great time working with A2 Hosting-powered sites with developer-friendly tools. They provide both older and new versions of various software like PHP, MySQL, MariaDB, Python, PostgreSQL, PERL, Apache, Free SSH, FTP, and SFTP, Node.js, and FREE SSL.
A2 Hosting also provides you with FREE site migration. Their pricing starts from $2.99/month for 1 site and 100GB SSD with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Cloudways is my personal choice for a powerful web host that you can take advantage of for your Concrete CMS web project.
Cloudways is powered by SSD hosting, efficient cache technology, and Cloudflare enterprise CDN to give your audience an optimal web experience.
Besides, you get a one-click SSL installation, free migration, staging, web firewalls, automatic backups, SSH & SFTP, etc., for a secure Concrete CMS hosting.
Additionally, the auto-healing features take care of the majority of server problems, and the IP allowlisting ensures only the authorized personnel gets server access.
Cloudways also permits role-based access to your team members, a free trial, and 24/7 customer support. Finally, there aren’t any long-term contracts and you pay-as-you-go for complete peace of mind.
By this time, I hope you now have a better understanding of Concrete CMS, which can be a viable option for your site.
And if you want to use it as your next CMS, choose any one of the hosting providers I discussed, as I have carefully curated this list to choose from that makes your decision easier.