The Concrete5 Insider Blog

Dec
22

Concrete5 Version 5.5 is Out Now

From Concrete5 on their new release:

We completely changed the way installation works so it is much easier to build a starting point. You can even install completely from the command line. We also took the time to rethink Scrapbooks which had evolved “organically” and had any number of issues. Now there’s Stacks which let you clump different blocks together into one reusable element. Permissions, versions – everything you’d expect from a concrete5 page all work on a Stack. Very cool.

We also spent a fair amount of energy on performance concerns. Lots of cleanup on less than optimal queries, extra object loads, etc. We even consolidated and rearranged javascript a bit more to just create that snappier feel everyone likes.

Some other features that have been added is the ability to navigate to administration tools.  A feature that we like a lot!  Also we are a big fan of some of the ways that the new Clipboard (a tool that kind of replaces the scrapbook) works. 

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Dec
21

Concrete5 vs ModX

Been doing some research latley around the ModX content management system (CMS) and concrete5.  What I've found is that while the approach of each CMS is similar I found that the implemenation is different and that is where the devil is in the details.

ModX is seems to us to be very hands on and as such isn't for the less technical user. If you are willing to work your way through it we find it is a robust system. There is always a learning curve that comes with any CMS, but that curve seemed to be more challenging than it should be.  Adding a form to the website and then getting to work the way I wanted to was a bit frustrating and the documentation that we worked through didn't seem very clear.

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Dec
19

Happy Holidays from Pixo And a Very Special 2012 Offer!

We would like to thank everyone for a great year in 2011.  We saw tremendous growth in business and even more importantly saw great results for our customers.  Great clients make a business look good and we have some of the best.  We want to wish everyone a great Holiday season and a fantastic 2012!

We want to help you get your online marketing off to a great start in 2012, so anyone that mentions this blog post will get 75% off search engine optimization setup services with a new or redesigned Concrete5 website purchase.  This offer is only good until January 7th (we are giving away the farm here) so act now.

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Nov
29

Website Owners are Noticing what Pixo Has Know for Years; Concrete5 Rocks!

Water & Stone put out there annual report on website content management systems and in the Open Source space it was no suprise to us that Concrete5 made tremendous gains in 2011 and is the fast growing Open Source CMS on the market.

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Nov
18

Know the Successes & Pitfalls of Mommy Blogger Social Media Campaigns

At Pixo we've worked with companies large and small on mommy blogger social media campaigns and events. We've had a lot of fun with those campaigns over the years and have worked with some of the best brands in the world. Through the years we've watched companies try different strategies with great success. We've also seen some companies hurt their image more than help by not understanding their audience and not understanding mommy blogger expectations.

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Oct
22

New Concrete5 Looks Pretty Slick

From what I have seen of what will be the next release of Concrete5 the Core team is adding some great tools into the contentn management system.  From what I have seen so far, it isn't so much new functionality that has got me excited as much as polish.  The Edit Tool bar is being enhanced with mega drop down menus where now you won't have to click multiple times to access tools in the Dashboard.  The drop down menu will give you instant access to the Dashboard buttons from the front side of the website which will save time when doing site edits.

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Oct
14

Customizing The Concrete5 Login Page with Your Theme

Sometimes we are asked by clients if the Concrete5 login page can have the site theme applied to it.  The answer is yes and it is relatively easy to do. 

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Oct
03

A Guilty Pleasure of Ours. Online Marketing for Ski Resorts.

We feel honored to have worked with some of the best destination ski resorts in the world and we cherish the relationships and friends that we have built in the ski industry over the years.  Some days we almost feel guilty about the work that we do because it is almost too fun to call it a job.  Our work in website design, online marketing strategy, social media marketing and search engine optimization for destination resorts are what we best known for.

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Sep
22

A Big Thanks to the Core Team at Concrete5!

What other content management system at the level of Concrete5 can you get a reply from the CEO on a forum post that you made?  What other CMS system can you talk with the core development team and then see your ideas come out in the next release?  What other CMS team will give you tips, tricks and sample code for a tweak that you need to make for an add-on they developed?

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Aug
11

Concrete5 vs. Wordpress

Sometimes we are asked how the Concrete5 content management system compares to other similar content managment systems like Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal.  To put it unprofessionally, but honestly, all content management systems (CMS) suck.  No content management system will work ideally for all websites and all tasks and by there very design they are limiting in what they will let you do and how they work.  Once you understand that, then you can understand what content management system will work best for your particular needs.

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Aug
05

Integrating Your Concrete5 Website with Facebook

There are a lot of great ways to enhance your social media efforts and Facebook presence with the Concrete5 content management system.  Add-ons for Concrete5 like the Facebook Like Button and Facebook Comment are great ways to bring interactivity between your Facebook page and your Concrete5 website.  But there are additional ways that you can make Concrete5 and Facebook interact with each other.

author: admin | category: Denver Social Media | comments (0)
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Jul
20

Concrete5 & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Often we are asked when we move an existing site into Concrete5 if the site's search engine ranking is going to drop with the change to Concrete5.  Our experience has been that in most cases the keyword ranking after the move to concrete5 actually improves slightly.  One reason might be the dynamic XML sitemap that is created by Concrete5.  Another might be the search engine friendly URLs.  Lastly, it might be that the page load time is sometimes faster with Concrete5 than other content management systems.
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Jul
14

The Myth: Social Media & Search Engine Optimization Doesn't Work in My Industry

Three years ago a long time client, while working on a new website for them told me that, "We aren't interested in search engine optimization. Nobody in our industry uses the internet to find commercial real estate." I had heard this once before and it didn't make sense to me either time it was told to me. If I was looking to lease new office space the first place I would go would be online to find a broker or to find properties. For the life of me I couldn't think of a better place to put a new business. Particularly since there was a prevailing attitude in the industry that "nobody was doing it" which to me says, "nobody is doing it SO I SHOULD BE DOING IT AND OWNING THE INTERNET."

For this particular client we did our basic search engine optimization that we do for all of our clients and three months later I got a call from our client. "Tell me more about that search engine optimization thing," he said as I answered the phone. I began talking about the strategies and benefits of SEO. The client then began to tell me that in the last two weeks they had got two new clients that found them on the search engines. The next thing the client said was, "We want to do that search engine optimization thing."

Three years later they are still doing search engine optimization with us and continuing to find success.

The beginning of this year that same client called us into their office and said, "We want to do social media optimization and we want you to do it." They had learned from their previous experience. I think some people would say that doing niche commercial real estate marketing through social media doesn't make any sense. Nobody does it! Which to them I would say, that is the VERY reason you should be doing it. In the first month, 12% of this client’s website traffic came through social media.

To learn more about Pixo's search engine optimization and social media optimization services contact a Pixo representative.

author: admin | category: Denver Social Media | comments (0)

Jun
30

Adding A Block in Concrete5 to Multiple Pages

childpages.jpgThis is one of those, "I wish I knew that before" blog posts.  After using Concrete5 for longer than I care to admit in this post, I just discovered a "new" tool that would have saved my dozens of hours over the last year if I had known about it.  The tool is the Setup on Child Pages tool that is found in the Default Page Types in the Dashboard.  With this tool you can add a block to multiple pages on a website by just click the block while in edit mode and then choosing Setup on Child Pages.  I actually brought up the need for something like this to Franz, CEO of Concrete5, a while back and he said, "Ya, I know."  Didn't know that he did it and it has been in Concrete5 for the last two versions.  Great tool to use when you need to make an update on mutliple pages of your website after the pages have already been created.

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Jun
16

Pixo on NBC's The Marriage Ref, Sunday June 26th

onstagesm.jpgEvery office has its troubles.  Sometimes it is the missing Swingline stapler.  Other times it is power struggles within the Executive ranks.  Pixo Web Design & Strategy is no different than other companies.  Presidents and Vice Presidents often don’t see eye to eye on business issues, but when the President and Vice President are also husband and wife a whole new level of sparks can fly.
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May
23

More than You Would Expect from an Open Source Content Management System; Concrete5

One of the cool things about Concrete5 is the number of tools that come with it right out of the box. 90% of the websites that Pixo builds don't need a bunch of additional add-ons or custom code because most of what our small business customers needs are already in Concrete5.  This post lists the tools that come with Concrete5 and describes some of the functionality that they can be used for.
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May
10

Using Concrete5 Ecommerce As a Product Catalog

We have had great success with using Concrete5's ecommerce add-on to create online catalogs for customers.  We have done this for auto dealerships, product manufactures and retailers alike.  Based on our clients needs we create categories of products with product attributes that allow our clients to sort and display products based on their needs. 

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Apr
16

Convert Any Monster Template into a Concrete5 Theme

Have you found the ideal website design on a service like Monster Templates but want to use it on a Concrete5 website?  We can help!  Pixo Web Design & Strategy are experts in creating custom Concrete5 themes and converting existing website templates into Concrete5 themes.

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Apr
14

Logins, Password Protected Pages & Site Permissions Setup for Concrete5

Often you have the need to have an area of your website that you want only certain people to have access to.  Concrete5 out of the box has a fair amount of functionality to allow you to create user accounts and permissions to lock down pages on your website.  The problem is that you don't get everything you need with Concrete5 to create a login area and it takes a little coding and a number of steps to create the login and permissions on the website.

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Apr
04

Business Marketing Blogs

It's been my experience that a blog is the most important tool in your social media marketing tool box. It benefits you by increasing your visibility on the search engines and within the "social web." Here's how to get the most out of your business blog:

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Mar
25

Our Favorite Concrete5 Add-ons

At Pixo we have used a ton of different Concrete5 add-ons for our client's websites and this list is some of our favorites.  If you need help with add-on installation or if you just want to talk about any of the add-ons we have tried drop us a note.

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Mar
22

Pixo's Concrete5 Attribute Gate--Capture User Information Without a Login

Pixo's Attribute Gate Concrete5 add-on is a unique tool for site owners that allows you to put content behind an inital registeration form page that a user only has to fill out once in order to view the content.  After the form is filled out the user is cookied and they are able to view the content on subsequent visits without having to login each time they go to your site.

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Mar
19

Nice Concrete5 Cheat Sheet

Very handy little blog post on Concrete5 code from Weblicating...http://www.weblicating.com/c5/cheat-sheet

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Mar
17

Concrete5 Training Videos

We've gathered some of our favorite Concrete5 training videos into one place so that you can brush up on your C5 skills or learn more about the Concrete5 content management system.  Learn how to add and edit pages in Concrete5 along with creating forms, adding products into ecommerce and using page properties to change pages.

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Mar
12

Concrete5 Link Attribute - Make It Clickable

The following little code is a handy way to create a new attribute type in Concrete5 that becomes a link.  We used this code to create an attribute that we called 'Website' for a client that wanted a linking URL to their retailers website include on their Product Detail pages.  Enjoy!  Code was compliments of Ryan at Concrete5.  Many thanks to him! 

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Mar
11

Concrete5 Bulk Deleting Products from Ecommmerce

The following is a handy little script to use if you need to delete a bunch of Concrete5 product pages and products from your ecommerce website.  It is particularly handy if you had a bad data import or need to redo your ecommerce products.

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Mar
07

Importing Products, Users & Pages into Concrete5

Are you setting up a new ecommerce website using Concrete5 and are dreading adding a ton of products one by one through the Dashboard?  Adding a buch of users to your website?  Or do you need to add a bunch of new pages that you have in a spreadsheet and you don't want to do the copy and paste thing?  Contact Pixo!  We can bulk import your products, users and pages for you to your website.

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Mar
04

Kish & Company Launches New Website Utilizing Concrete5 eCommerce

The famous Kish doll company (www.kishandcompany.com) found that they had the need to move from their Flash based website to a platform that would allow them to make edits and add new dolls to their website through an easy to use interface. 

Pixo utilized the Concrete5 ecommerce add-on to create an online catalog of dolls that are segmented utilizing product attributes to create a robust website with search tools that allow users to find dolls and retailers through an easy to navigate website.

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Mar
04

Pixo Launches Trust Hall Website with Concrete5

He are happy to announce the launch of the Trust Hall website (www.trusthall.com) the Concrete5 content management system.  Trust Hall saw the need to be able to react to market needs and approached Pixo about redesigning their website.  Pixo's solution:  a custom website design with the Concrete5 platform to all Trust Hall to add and edit website pages and interacte with their insurance customers customers through their website.

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Feb
11

Custom Concret5 Template Themes

The Concrete5 theme system allows for you to add templates to your website and change templates (what Concrete5 calls themes) on the fly.  Within the design of your theme you can define editable areas that you want to add content or other functionality to such as ecommerce, maps, forms or videos.

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Jan
10

Concrete5: The Next Generation Content Management System

About two years ago Pixo went in search of a content mangement system for our websites that had the next generation features that our client's demanded and the tool sets that our developers wanted.  By chance or by heavenly intervention we stumbled upon Concrete5.  At that time I think there were about 20 add-ons available for C5 but you could tell that the small crew in Oregon were on to something.  The in-content editing tools were unlike any I had seen before the intuitiveness of the editing interfaces were best of breed.

We started playing around with it for a few small projects and quickly we recognized that Concrete5 was going to become our content management system of choice for small to medium sized business websites.

Since then we have done more Concrete5 websites than we can count.  It continues to amaze me just how robust and flexible this system proves to be.

This blog is about everything Pixo and Concrete5.  We are going to share our sucesses, failures, tips and innovations with Concrete5.  Return here often and let's start a conversation.

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