Every business needs a website in 2023, but many entrepreneurs do not have the technical skill to code their own. The good news is that the days of coding your own website are over. Modern content management systems (CMS) like Concrete5 and WordPress have replaced all that.
Instead, modern web design is very simple and involves picking out the design and tools your website needs, alongside creating the content visitors will see. Yet, the platform you choose to use can make this process quite different.
Concrete5 and WordPress have a lot of similarities, but they are unique tools, so let’s see what is right for you.
Overview: Concrete5 vs WordPress
Before I start pitting them against each other in specific categories, let’s cover what each one is at its core. On paper, they sound very similar to one another, but there are a few key differences everyone should be aware of.
What is Concrete5?
Concrete5 is an open-source CMS that utilizes a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. This just means you see what the final result looks like when you edit a post or page, which makes it a powerful asset to beginners.
The platform is very flexible and can be used to build a myriad of websites from blogs to eCommerce sites. This is all thanks to a good selection of add-ons called modules that come in both free and premium forms.
In terms of website design, you simply need to choose a theme. Your website will adopt that style, which can be edited to fit your needs. Once again, there are both free and premium themes to choose from.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source CMS that over 40% of the internet uses to build their websites. It comes with a block-based editor called Gutenberg that allows you to enter any element you need into a post or page.
It’s perfect for beginners.
As you might expect from its popularity, WordPress excels regardless of the type of website you create. Blogs, online stores, membership sites, or anything else…it doesn’t matter, WordPress can build it.
This is all thanks to the huge libraries of plugins and themes.
Plugins let you add features to your website without writing a single line of code. Whereas, themes dictate the appearance of your website, and are highly customizable. Both of these have free and premium options.
What’s the Difference?
In reality, Concrete5 and WordPress are very similar, but the main difference between them is really their popularity. WordPress has a controlling market share when it comes to CMS, and that really does give it a huge advantage.
As a result, there are far more support resources at your disposal from forums to tutorial sites, which help beginners get started. It also has far more integration options available. And when I say “more” I really mean all of them.
Seriously, almost any third-party tool supports WordPress. That said, they both serve the same audience, so let’s see how they stack up to each other.
Ease of Use
Not everyone is a computer whiz, and the good news is that you don’t have to be to build a website in 2023. Instead, the platform does most of the work, and most of your input just comes from choosing specific settings and creating content.
Both of these are quite similar in usage, but one has a slight advantage.
Concrete5 really shines at creating content thanks to the WYSIWYG editor. Being able to see the changes you make in real-time without having to use a preview can save hours in terms of editing.
On top of this, the editing tools give you a good amount of customization.
And if you find yourself in need of more, that’s where modules come in. They can add extra features to the editor, but this is where Concrete5 can get a bit tricky.
Most modules will work fine out of the box, but sometimes you may need to edit them on a code level.
This isn’t particularly hard as they use HTML, but to someone trying to avoid any coding, it is something to be aware of.
While there are free options available for modules and themes, there are far more premium options, so you will typically spend more on third-party tools.
WordPress Accessibility: Winner
WordPress offers users a lot of customization options, which can sometimes lean towards a slight learning curve. But in all honesty, you just need to learn where all the options are.
Luckily, this is really intuitive with the default features.
The Gutenberg editor makes creating content very simple. If you need to add a video, simply add a video block. Need to add a slider? No problem, just add a slider block.
Don’t see a block you need? Not an issue, just install a plugin to add it.
You can build a fully functioning website without writing a single line of code. That said, the option does exist and you can add custom CSS to your website to tweak the design to your liking.
That said, this is optional, so fear not.
The tool kits Concrete5 and WordPress bring to the table are very similar. While the editor in Concrete5 is a bit more user-friendly because you can see the final result as you make changes, WordPress has a more intuitive design that makes it easy to learn.
Combine this with the numerous options available at your disposal, and it’s not hard to see why almost half of the internet builds with WordPress.
Making a website that works is no longer enough. Instead, you need to create a website that is functional and looks great. Thus, the platform you choose to use needs to provide enough options to give you creative freedom.
While both can make great-looking websites, one has a big advantage in this category.
Concrete5 has a solid amount of themes, however, more of them are locked behind a price tag. And while it is completely possible to repurpose the free ones, it does require a certain amount of coding knowledge that is beyond most beginners.
Even if you like a theme, making even some of the simplest tweaks will require some coding, again, nothing difficult. After all, it does support custom CSS.
But designing a web page in Concrete5 is anything but code-free when you care about appearance.
In terms of page design, Concrete5 has an excellent editor that is comparable to premium tools on other platforms, yet, modules that extend the functionality are not plentiful.
On top of this, they are often not free to use.
WordPress Design: Winner
WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from and each one can be customized by tweaking the settings. Everything from colors to fonts can be changed in seconds, which makes customizing them a breeze.
While the default editing tools are not that impressive, WordPress really shines when it comes to individual page design, and that’s because it has numerous page builder plugins at its disposal.
These tools have a nearly endless amount of options.
It’s also worth noting that it is easy to add extra features to the Gutenberg editor. There are plenty of free plugins that extend the functionality of default blocks, while also adding a variety of new features.
If we were comparing default tools, Concrete5 would be the winner. However, once we look at the other options available, it is no contest. WordPress offers users far more in terms of customization and design.
And most importantly, for some, the price tag to get it is far lower.
Many websites exist to sell products to make a profit, and both of these platforms can facilitate that need. And the good news is that it’s easy to do on both platforms, but one of these offers users more options.
Let’s take a look at what each one offers.
Concrete5 has quite a few eCommerce solutions to choose from. The solution you choose really depends on the size of the store you plan to build and the features it will need.
Regardless of what you select, most of the setups are simple.
One thing to keep in mind is that these solutions have different fees and payment gateways. So you really need to do some research. You can also look outside of the module solutions and integrate other platforms like Shopify.
It’s worth noting that a lot of modules you will need to run an eCommerce site are premium tools. You may even need additional modules to get the store running correctly, but the final result will be a great store.
WordPress eCommerce: Winner
WordPress is a powerhouse when it comes to eCommerce and that’s all thanks to the WooCommerce plugin. It powers over 5 million shops across the internet, and it is completely free to use.
The transaction fees only include the payment gateway fees (PayPal, Stripe, etc.).
WooCommerce also has a variety of add-ons that range from both free and premium. Most of these seamlessly integrate into the WooCommerce settings, so it’s always easy to find what you need.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can use page-building plugins to give you more control over product pages. Design-wise, WordPress gives you full control over how you create everything, and that can lead to better sales in an eCommerce environment.
Concrete5 has options when it comes to eCommerce, but they come at a price. Meanwhile, WordPress gives you a better experience, more customization, and it won’t cost you a penny to set up.
Those are just a few reasons why WordPress dominates the eCommerce space.
Not to mention you can have a fully functioning blog to help boost your store’s SEO and bring in more customers.
Building a website from scratch has a reputation for being expensive, however, that isn’t true. It’s pretty cheap to build a website, and in this case, both Concrete5 and WordPress are free.
That said, each one has costs associated with it.
Let’s find out which one will give you a cheaper option.
At its core, Concrete5 is a free piece of software, but like most CMS, you will need a web hosting company. This is the true cost of running a website, but it’s quite cheap.
In fact, it’s less than a daily cup of coffee.
However, the other costs you need to keep an eye out for are the add-ons for Concrete5. While there are some free options, most of the modules on the marketplace come at a cost.
And they can add up fast. In many cases, there are no free alternatives.
This is also true for the themes. And to be honest, the free themes are not coded well. In fact, most of them do need you to add a few things here or there to get them working right.
If you want to make a great-looking website, expect to spend money on add-ons.
WordPress Price: Winner
Similarly, WordPress is a free piece of software that you will need a web hosting service to fully utilize. And as the most popular CMS on the market, there are far more web hosting options available. Many, of which, are dedicated to WordPress.
After web hosting, it’s worth mentioning the premium plugins and themes available, but they really are optional. Almost everything has a free version available in WordPress.
To be honest, they all work really well. Free options are worth considering.
It’s also worth highlighting that due to its popularity, there are numerous tutorials and sample codes that are available. Most of these can be copied and pasted into the backend files and only need slight tweaks that beginners can make.
Coding the elements yourself often replicates some premium functions.
Both of these are free, which makes them hard to give a winner. But if I had to say that one was more affordable, it would be WordPress. It has more free options and they are of a higher quality than what you will find on Concrete5.
And since there is more support available online, you can find tutorials to help you get started, and even avoid premium options.
Final Results: Concrete5 vs WordPress
As very similar tools, it’s very clear that WordPress has the edge in just about every category. It simply does everything that Concrete5 does but better while giving you way more options in regards to add-ons.
Not to mention that WordPress has free options available for just about everything. Frankly, it’s a superior CMS, which is exactly why it is far more popular.
Which platform do you prefer, Concrete5 or WordPress?