After review of, and development of sites, in WordPress and Joomla!, I've adopted C5 as my main CMS.
The choice of a CMS depends a lot on what you seek in that environment, as well as customer requirements.
The one aspect that is very attractive to end users is the editing interface -- WYSIWYG.
It's pretty straightforward to select a theme and just run with content. So, it's about as straightforward a design environment, if you don't want to delve into code. And, adapting an existing HTML-based website to C5 is quite straightforward -- in essence, creating your own theme.
And, if you want to get your hands dirty in HTML, CSS and PHP, you'll find a well-thought out architecture which makes it a snap to add and enhance.
Add-ons are much fewer than for WordPress/Joomla! And, the more complex tend to have a modest price tag. But, the solid membership base of C5, the solid architecture, and testing before availability in the Marketplace mean that add-ons will work together.
There's a lot of documentation, but it tends to address needs of beginning users -- how to use the interface -- and the knowledgeable developer, and it's not that well organized. Plan to spend some time asking questions and searching the C5 site/Googling. Also, I'd definitely recommend "Concrete5: Beginner's Guide." Don't be fooled by the title. It's a must read for moving beyond the interface to the intermediate developer level.
There are a number of reviews, and you'll find good discussions of the administrative interface on-line.
- Page creation and content editing are really, really easy.
- I especially like how you can create layouts, divide your page into columns right there in the font end.
- the auto navigation modules makes it really easy to manage sub page navigations.
- Images are stored in a not-so-intuitive directories. I tried to download back up of images once and it has hundreds of numbered directories going down many level. (9100/9177/14/36/pic something like that) While the images can be found without much problem within the CMS browser's, it's almost impossible to actually find your own images from their actual directories.
Personally I wish they'd let us categorize our images into directories ourselves instead of using that tag thing.
- Most hostings that I normally use (Thailand based hostings) all take a really huge performance hit with concrete 5. I don't know why but concrete 5 is always fast when testing locally. Once uploaded onto live servers, it's slow. Slow to load even the simplest of pages. A little note that these same hosts runs Xenforo at lighting speed.
I heard concrete 5 own hosting plans are optimized for their cms but it's too far from my country that it loads really slow, so it isn't an option.
I've heard this from some, not from others. And, I'm not surprised. I've not personally experience this, either locally or on US hosts. The very flexible architecture of Concrete5 means that you're simply doing more database access to render a page than many other cmses. So, it puts a pretty big load on the cpu in particular. A lot of hosts overload their systems to beyond capacity, and it's not a biggie for static or WordPress sites, but you'll see C5 slowdown on an overloaded system. You may need to go with a slightly higher priced host, but I'm sure you can find quality hosting at a fair price. The fact that these hosts also host xenForo is irrelevant, as this is likely a dedicated server configuration, so that is not a good measure of C5's performance.
In the latest version, the team put a lot of effort into performance. There are also a number of tweaks that can be made depending on your needs. C5 has run and does run some really high performance sites, so it is scalable.
Working with pages is so incredibly easy compared with Joomla! and WordPress. C5 was developed for web development, not the more restricted worlds of Joomla! for enewspapers and WordPress for blogs. A theme comes with multiple page template for various purposes -- full width pages, left sidebar, right sidebar, etc. So, your CSS can provide a consistent look and feel, while the various templates adapt themselves to your content. And, if that isn't enough, if you want to use multiple themes on a site, that's simple to do. If you want to test modifications on a theme, just install it in the user customized area and then add it in the backend -- the theme is totally independent of anything else.
What I truly like about C5 is that it gives the website developer a true development environment -- custom code is maintained separately from system code, there is a nice ready-to-use web development tool right out of the box, but the well-thought out structure allows customization at any level the developer is comfortable with.