I have started using concrete5 for web site design.


Over the years I have tried creating a variety of small web sites. I started out doing my own custom HTML and CSS, but that always seemed to leave me struggling to make sense of floating divs and re-sizing columns.

Stage two in my evolutionary path saw me experiment with some CMS systems – I tried Drupal and and Joomal but I didn’t find either of them quite fitted my fitted my style of development. I then cam across Typo3. Typo3 was interesting, and noticeably different from the others. I liked the tree view of pages, and the ease of moving pages within the tree. I liked the way the elements could be added amd moved around within the page.

Typo3, however, is extremely idiosyncratic and at times a real challenge to work with. To set page layout and display options requires a combination of the usual HTML and CSS resources, tied together with TypoScript. Despite the name, TypoScript is not a scripting language – it is entirely about assigning values to elements, but using an extremely convoluted set of nested structures. Making changes like adding a new text style, or altering how columns are arranged at different places in a page were a challenge.

As well as the challenge of TypoScript, at times the on-line resources were themselves a challenge. Typo3 has a lot of extensions, but an awful lot of them are not compatible with the latest version of Typo3, and I often installed an extension only to find it no longer worked. Another running sore for me was that the introductory package had a very restrictive “no derivatives” license, and it took years for the community to actually change this.

It should come as no no surprise that I recently threw in the towel with Typo3 and looked around for an alternative. I have new started trying concreate5, and on just a few weeks I have made more progress than I ever made with Typo3. Concrete5 has an intuitive in-place editing system for page blocks, and makes changing the column layout trivial

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