As a web developer, your job is much more than just to deliver a beautiful, functional website. While you likely spend a great deal of time designing and developing your websites, I’ve found that I usually spend a lot of time with the customer, trying to explain how their website works and how to maintain it.
This is exactly why I have been looking at Concrete5, because Concrete5 has front-end editing. But, the more I look at Concrete5, the more I fall in love with several of its other features.
Easy Front-End Editing = Less Time Holding Hands
Trying to explain how to use WordPress or Drupal to a non-developer is like pulling teeth! I can usually explain to a client how to use WordPress enough to where they can add/edit a post or page. But, give it a week, and they’re calling me back expecting more help. The problem is that WordPress is so large and complex that it’s not that intuitive unless you have experience with it.
Concrete5 is much different with it’s front-end editing feature. When you are signed in and click the editing button in the nav bar, you are given a view that looks like this below.
Can you imaging how much easier it will be to explain to your client’s how to change their content using this front-end editing? But, Concrete5’s awesomeness doesn’t stop with the front-end editing. Concrete5 also makes it super easy to create a basic theme.
Build a Theme in 8 Minutes?
So far, with just two features of Concrete5, I hope you can see how this CMS can change your complete workflow and improve your efficiency. But, so far we’ve only really covered the benefits to clients and designers. What about the hardcore developers out there?
Calling All Hardcore Developers
Concrete5 is much more than just a way for designers to build websites though. Under the hood there is a lot of other magic going on, such as:
- MVC – As someone who has been playing with CodeIgniter quite a bit lately, I was glad to see that Concrete5 adopted the MVC approach. Although it takes a while to get used to, MVC is definitely a powerful tool for teams that include both designers and developers. All of the logic is handled on the backend and then passed to the view. This means a designer can focus on designing without code getting in the way.
- Helper Classes – Concrete5 includes helpers that will make it easier to do things such as: add elements programmatically, work with dates and times, decode/encode JSON, parse RSS feeds, send mail, and more.
- Encapsulated Core – All Concrete5 core documents are kept in a core directory. This makes it easy for you to update in the future without having to worry about themes being overridden.
- And more.
Concrete5 has some of the best, well-organized documentation that I have seen lately. As a developer, you might just fall in love with Concrete5.
As of now, I have only really had the pleasure of playing with Concrete5 for about two weeks. That being said, I have been very pleased with Concrete5. But, even though I like Concrete5, that doesn’t mean that it is the perfect CMS for every solution. As of now, I think Concrete5 is a perfect fit for design agencies and freelancers that work with many clients. I will reserve judgement on Concrete5 for larger projects until I’ve had the chance to test it out.
Do you have any questions or comments? Leave them in the comment box below.