A CMS or Content Management System is a tool that is used to manage a website's content. Content usually includes the text and images on a website. Using a CMS you can add, edit or delete content on a website and typically it allows you add and delete pages of a website. A CMS such as Concrete5 gives someone without technical knowledge to make changes to a website.
Congrats goes to Concrete5 for winning the CMS Critic People's Choice Award for Best Open Source Content Management System. It looks like it was a close battle with CMS Made Simple for first place but in the end Concrete5 prevailed.
The following is our picks for the best Concrete5 add-ons based on general usability, functionality and support. We've blogged about this before but there have been a number of new additions to the Concrete5 Marketplace since then and a number of add-ons have been updated. So the following is our 10 ten picks for Concrete5:
Forbes writer Victor Lipman wrote an article today about Pixo Vice President Amber Johnson's speech in Steamboat this last weekend about the effectiveness of mommy blogging social media campaigns. You can read the entire article here. To quote Mr Lipman in his Forbes article:
A little over a week ago I headed to Oregon to meet with Franz Maruna, CEO of Concrete5 to talk about Concrete5, find out how the marketplace works and see where Concrete5 is heading. Everyone at Concrete5 that I had a chance to meet were great to speak with and a pleasure to be around. The corporate office is in a rejuvenated warehouse near downtown Portland on an upper level floor of the building. Franz mentioned that they are going to be knocking down a wall this week to expand the offices and to increase their space. They currently have 12 employees plus a lot of volunteers.
Pixo has just release a new Concrete5 form add-on that allows you to put your Concrete5 form block field labels inside the form field. This handy add-on allows you to create forms that are more compact which is great when you don't have a lot of space in sidebars and other tight spots to have wide form elements. This add-on also creates the form fields tableless so if you want to style the form elements using CSS it is easy to do. Two great custom templates with this one add-on.
Pixo has developed a new add-on that allows you to put the label for a text field for the Concrete5 form block inside the text field like you see below. Often site administrators have limited space for form fields in sidebars and other areas of a site and as a result the standard Concrete5 block doesn't work well because with the label to the left of the text field it takes up a lot of space. With the custom templates that install with this add-on you will now be able to create forms that have the lables for text fields and text areas inside the form field. You also get the advantage of tableless form fields that are easy to style if you want to give your form a particular look.
At Pixo we work hard but we also like to have fun! Guess the weight of Pixo President Jamie Johnson's giant pumpkin (all entries have to be received by September 27th) and win FREE search engine optimization setup for your website ($600 value). The individual with the guess closest to the correct weight without going over will be selected. Send your entries via our Contact page form.
Sometimes we get asked if Concrete5 is robust enough to manage a major, mission critical website. Major brands such as HP (http://www.openwebosproject.org) trust Concrete5 to run their websites. Why? Because it is easy to use, allows for work flow, includes advanced permissions, requires less training for employees, is scalable, has a lower overall cost point then most open source CMS avilable and is ready for enterpise content management.
The latest release of Concrete5 is now public. From Concrete5:
"concrete5 5.6.0 introduces a completely rearchitected advanced permissions system that is better in every way. 5.6.0 also adds a new workflow system (which uses these permissions), an updated UI, and over a hundred other bug fixes and feature improvements. Read on for a video of the new permissions and workflow systems."
Our recommendation is if your Concrete5 website is version 4.2.2 or older that there would be some real advantages to upgrading your website now.
There is now a beta release for Concrete5 version 5.6 now available. This new release includes a total revamp for how the Advanced Permission System works and we like it. The full release of version 5.6 is scheduled for August 28th.
Local vs. National SEO
Many businesses find that they are small fish in a big pond with it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Do a search for the type of business you are in on Google and you are likely to find that you are competing with 1 million national websites for 10 positions on page one of Google. If you aren’t on page one than more than likely you aren’t being found. What many website owners don’t know is that you can localize your search engine optimization to reduce the size of the pond and be found on Google. Even if you are selling your products nationally you can localize to get into many smaller ponds so that you can rank highly in the search results for specific keywords on a local level.
Concrete5 will be releasing the next release of Concrete5 on August 28th. Advanced Permissions will be getting a full revamp as part of this release. Watch for more details around the first week of August.
I have been doing search engine optimization (SEO) for organizations since 1997. Back then Yahoo and most of the other search engines were mostly just directories with a search functionality. Google really changed the game when they first started doing search and nothing has been the same since.
You see people doing it all of the time. Email, text and now web browsing have become common occurrances with mobile device (i.e iPhone, Android, iPad or any other mobile device) users on a daily basis. Is your business website ready for the mobile wave that is predicted to hit in 2013? Pixo can help you sort through the multitude of options with mobile websites and help you find a mobile solutions that fits your business needs.
Although it is not recommened by Concrete5, you can run the Concrete5 content management system on a Windows hosting enviroment with a mysql database. There are few little nuances with running Concrete5 on a Windows server but we have successfully done a number of Concrete5 installs on Windows.
For years Pixo Web Design & Strategy, based in Denver, has partnered with agencies to offer website design and development utilizing the Concrete5 content management system. These strategic partnerships allow agencies to leverage the broad spectrum of online services offered by Pixo, build revenue opportunities by offering new products and services and at the same time reduce costs. Pixo white labels the service or works as a partner with agencies in website strategy, online marketing, website design, search engine optimization, website hosting and social media marketing. Utilizing the Concrete5 content management system, agencies can offer their clients a world-class website that has the ability to grow with client needs at a very affordable price.
Have you purchased a Concrete5 theme from the Concrete5 marketplace but are finding that you need some custom design done to the theme? Pixo Web Design & Strategy can help you with all of your Concrete5 custom template/theme design changes.
From May 21 to May 25th save 20% off a new Concrete5 website, search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing Pixo service during Small Business Week. At Pixo we understand small to medium sized business's online needs. We see ourselves as online consultants just as much as website developers and online marketers. We will walk you through your different options helping you to understand your opportunities and goals. During Small Business Week mention this blog post and new clients can receive a Concrete5 website for 20% off the regular price and existing clients can receive 20% off the regular setup charge for search engine optimization or social media marketing services. Drop us a note to get us started for you.
Google's most recent update to its search algorithm called the Penguin Update is Google’s way to even the playing field between website’s that deserve to be ranked highly and websites that in the past have ranked well strictly due to search engine optimization. Many sites recently have fallen out of page one ranking with the Penguin update and the site owners are now asking themselves why.
We've built countless websites for customers with ecommerce ability. It always suprises us how much some companies pay to have ecommerce added onto their website. In our opinion ecommerce doesn't have to be expensive, clunky or hard to maintain. With our Concrete5 ecommerce solutions you can have a very robust ecommerce solution at a very affordable price.
With Concrete5 ecommerce you can add products, give products specific attributes (i.e. small, medium, large), categorize products in a thousand different ways, have a user friendly shopping cart and accept payment using numerous payment solutions (PayPal, Authorize.net, etc.) for less than $1,800 in most cases.
Have a lot of products to add to your website? We have numerous solutions to import and populate products on your website. We've created websites with thousands of products using Concrete5.
Congratulations to Concrete5 on winning the WebHostingSearch.com award for best web tool. This award is not something that many companies or sites can brag about. To receive this award you have to provide extra value to your users. This award is handed out only if WebHostingSearch has been convinced that it's a useful and qualitative tool and resource before they are even consider for an award. To learn more about Concrete5 visit our Concrete5 page.
A new minor relase of Concrete5 is out available. Version 5.5.2 comes with a number of new features including:
We talk with people every day that feel like there website has become stale and doesn't properly represent the image and professionalism that their company should exhibit. At Pixo we do custom Concrete5 themes (AKA website template) for business websites that not only exhibits a professional design but also incorporates a business strategy. Having a good looking website isn’t enough. Your website also needs to drive business and for each design we take our 15 years of website design experience and online sales research and build a Concrete5 theme designed to meets your business objectives. Looking to drive more sales? Looking to reduce your homepage bounce rate? Talk to a Pixo Concrete5 consultant on how an inexpensive Concrete5 theme investment may drive new business for your company.
Now available for Concrete5 websites with ecommerce is a new add-on package that allows you to export your products into Google Products (aka Google Shopping).
What the add-on does is create an export of the C5 ecommerce products to Google Products and it creates the export on a set schedule. In Google Products you can set the data to be imported on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. It takes a few days after a product is imported for it to show up in Google Products search.
The stable release of Concrete5 5.5.1 is now available. This release is probably the biggest release concrete5 has done to date. With it many important enhancements have been made and the entire Dashboard interface has been overhauled into a clean, fast and easy to use menu system. From the Concrete5 website the following are just some of the enhancements available in this release:
Amber Johnson, Vice President at Pixo, pointed out to me this weekend that Picnik is closing in April. Picnik is a great online editing tool that is integrated with Concrete5's File Manager. That integration was very handy for users that didn't want to use an image editing tool like Photoshop or for quick image resizing and cropping. The message on Picnik's website says:
We look forward to the coming release of Internet Explorer 10. If for no other reason it will mean the death of IE6 & IE7. Rumors indicate that a beta release of IE10 will be out this month and that IE10 will be out with the Windows 8 release. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Windows 8 will be out around June of this year.
One of the great things about Concrete5 is that it is easy to enhance the functionality of the website. There are many add-ons that we install for our customers to suite their website needs and adding custom code to Concrete5 is easier than any other content management system that we have used. For our social media clients we like to add a number of different tools to their Concrete5 site in order to get the most out of their social media campaign.