Concrete5 has recently become a quickly emerging enterprise-level content management system (CMS). It is rapidly surpassing other CMSs in its class and is on its way to competing with the world’s most popular CMS, WordPress. In this article we shall take an in-depth look at Concrete5 open-source content management system, compare it to WordPress, look at the differences between a CMS and document management software (DMS), and explain how eFileCabinet DMS solutions excel in tasks not suitable to CMS.


What is a Content Management System (CMS)

Having an understanding of content management systems will help us to make distinctions and appreciate the differences when comparing to document management software.

Content management deals with the systematic collection, logical organization, accessibility, and delivery of content and documents to a designated audience. Content management systems typically focus on the management of unstructured electronic file formats such as email, graphics, images, web page content, video, multi-media files, and other tangible assets.

A CMS can be thought of as an automated system with dynamic strategies, methods, and tools that have the ability to deliver information and content to defined audiences. It is for this reason that CMS technology is widely employed for use in managing website content.

Some of the main features of CMS are:

  • The ability to deliver the right information to the right people when needed
  • Ability to manage small interconnected units of information
  • Powerful publishing engine (templates, scripting, etc.)
  • Primary focus on page creation and editing

In addition to Concrete5, some of the most popular CMSs used today are WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, ExpressionEngine, DotNetNuke and ModX, just to name a few.


Background on Concrete5 Open-Source Content Management System

Concrete5 is an open-source CMS written in the PHP programming language.  According to their website, Concrete5 began as Concrete CMS in 2003 and was the glue behind many web applications, websites, stores, and forums between 2003 and 2008. In 2008, Concrete’s 5th major version release was rebranded Concrete5 and launched fully open source under the MIT license. Between 2008 and 2014, Concrete5 released 7 versions, further refining the interface and adding many additional features, including localization support and support for a full commercial and non-commercial marketplace.

Concrete5, like its main competitor WordPress, was designed for ease of use. It was designed with the goal of catering to users with minimum technical skills as well as advanced web developers. It enables users to edit the site content directly from the webpage using a drag-and-drop methodology.


Concrete5 vs. WordPress

Concrete5 prides itself in being accessible and user friendly. In fact, on their website, they themselves have stated that “Above all else, the goal behind Concrete5 has always been to make it easy for anyone to run a website.”  It is therefore only natural to compare Concrete5 to its closest rival and the world’s most popular CMS, WordPress.

As the two are fairly similar in functions, functionality, and operation, we’ll compare them on certain parameters to draw a clearer distinction.


Target Audience and User Base

Concrete5 manages to have a similar user base to that of WordPress.

The usage usually tends to fall under the following categories:

  • Portfolio purposes (artists, designers, photographers etc.)
  • Corporate/business websites
  • News/magazine websites
  • Blogging

The average user will most often be someone who wishes to have powerful and flexible customization without specific knowledge of coding and/or web development.

The only thing that sets Concrete5 and WordPress apart is the skill level of the user base. WordPress’s user base includes a great number of users that are absolute beginners (not just with regards to CMS but with web design and development in general). Concrete5, on the other hand, has a wider range of users, from intermediate users to seasoned experts. Although there are beginners on Concrete5, they usually tend to have some form of experience with CMS prior to engaging Concrete5 CMS.


Administration and User Interface

Both CMSs do a fairly even job when it comes to abstraction and efficiency. WordPress has made great strides in the handling of media with the advent of its new Media Manager (introduced in the 3.5 update). Concrete5 has also improved its administration with its drag-and-drop functionality in recent updates.

Both solutions possess interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use. Therefore, training and hand-off to clients is usually a relatively quick and painless process.


Plugins, Add-ons, and Community

If there was one area to provide a clear distinction between the two CMSs, this would be it. Due to its lack of market penetration when compared to WordPress, Concrete5 has far fewer available add-ons and plugins to choose from.

WordPress also has a massive community that is active on thousands of active forums. This community provides daily support and tips and tricks that help users in getting the most out of WordPress. The huge development community also churns out hundreds of plugins, add-ons, and themes daily.

Concrete5 also has its own user and development community; however, it pales in comparison to WordPress.


Concrete5 vs. eFileCabinet

The comparison of Concrete5 to eFileCabinet is simply the comparison between CMS and DMS. Though they both possess similarities with overlapping functionality, there are inherent differences that make them better suited to specific applications.

In terms of similarity, CMS and DMS both:

  • Streamline the information creation process from end to end
  • Offer enhanced collaboration and information-sharing

DMS is primarily concerned with and is most effective in managing documents of specific file types. These consist primarily of traditional documents such as Word, Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, and other widely used file formats. The main purpose of a DMS is to actively control the lifecycle of the documents in an organization. It manages how documents are created, reviewed, published, and eventually archived or disposed.

The difference between CMS and DMS simply boils down to:

  • The types of information that they manage—CMS is better suited to unstructured electronic file formats such as email, graphics, images, web page content, video, and multi-media files; while DMS is appropriate for structured documents and files like Word, PowerPoint, Excel spreadsheets, PDF, and other popular formats.
  • The main purpose of the system—CMS is focused on the delivery of content and documents to a designated audience, while DMS is focused on tracking and managing documents throughout their life cycle.

To further put the differences into perspective, please see our article: “Content Management System vs. Document Management Software”. Here we also define possible scenarios for choosing either system.

At the end of the day, CMS and DMS are apples and oranges, and their usage is dependent on the needs of the user.


Advantages of Using eFileCabinet

Should you be in need of a total document management system, look no further than eFileCabinet. Our solutions and automated processes excel in areas where CMS falls short.

Here are just some of the benefits to using eFileCabinet’s document management software:

  • The ability to retrieve records on demand (this is essential for compliance with regulatory bodies such as HIPAA and FINRA)
  • Access and share files from anywhere using eFileCabinet’s online Cloud environment
  • Powerful searching capabilities—search by document name or words and phrases within documents
  • State-of-the-art and redundant safety measures to ensure your files are kept private and confidential
  • Regular and multiple backups to protect against loss of files due to events such as natural disasters, fires, hard drive failures, theft, etc.
  • Save office space, time, and money by transitioning your organization to a completely paperless environment

To find out more on how you can take advantage of eFileCabinet’s complete DMS solution, please fill out our form for a 15-minute demo.