Galvanised for Accessibility: Concrete5

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A look at the content management system that has seen a rapid rise over the last year

Right now, the one CMS which is the world's favourite is WordPress, with Drupal second and Joomla! third. With the big three having such a hold, there's a silent revolution in Portland Labs. Though the CMS has been active since 2003, it has only just started to make an impact.

Recent figures have seen a 40% rise in the uptake of Concrete5. Since development began 11 years ago, its ease of use has won new friends. A fair number of which have defected to Concrete5 from Joomla! and Drupal. Where it differs from the big three is its user interface. Websites are edited in the back end with a user interface more akin to your favourite word processing program. This makes for an attractive option for less technically minded users.

Concrete5's roots stem from its construction of the now defunct Lewis and Clark project, the official site for the Ad Council's National Council for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. In October 2008, it won Sourceforge's "Project of the Month". Though lagging behind Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress, it saw a meteoric rise from 2010 onwards. There seems to be no stopping its appeal.

Like the three most popular CMSs, it is open source and based upon a PHP platform. It has been taken on by a number of prestigious clients and has an active community. There is a host of add-ons to boost your site and a range of themes, either paid-for or free to download. There's even a Tetris clone as well as the usual mix of social networking buttons and SEO tools. At this moment, Concrete5 could be the content management system to watch, though challenging the might of Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress is a feat and a half.


  • Launched: 2003
  • Latest Stable Version:
  • Number of Sites: 70,803 (29 September 2014)
  • Used By: McDonalds, LG, Mini, US Army, Cambridge University Press.

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