Drupal 7 vs Concrete5

kingfisher64's picture

The swot analysis so far covers:

  • 1) installation of both cm's
  • 2) modules, plugins, core and concrete5.org
  • 3) user Interface and learning curve


Drupal 7

Further options available such as server settings and update notifications
Password match


  • Only two installation stages
  • Ability to install sample data
  • Very welcoming installation successful screen (screenshot cr5-welcome-screen.png)
  • Inline editing is comprehensive and easy. For example features like revisioning, permissions handling and most impressively design control is done in “edit mode”. This gives context to what the user is doing as they will associate these settings with this individual page.
    This “one to one” relationship design is user friendly does require extensive backend knowledge or digging into the theme to be able to add items like spacing, background image, css stylesheets (screenshot inline-edit-design.png).
  • Consistent way of entering content into the cms. Everything is a block and content is placed into that block and entered into the cms through the front end.
  • Due to the front end capabilities I think it's fair to say it's a very simple cms to learn.
  • Built in meta data, xml sitemap capabilities in core
  • Individual page caching capabilities? Not just on/off
  • Good video support to help get the user started with concrete5 core.


Drupal 7

  • Non-informative first page. Standard and minimal doesn't mean anything to new users. Instantly this requires research into what exactly the user is installing. A brief summary of the profile the user is installing would be useful. This could be a dropdown link.
  • Concrete5

  • Installation process includes no password match verification
    Little instructions on how to correctly fill in install form. Assumption of user knowledge
  • The user has to pay for some of the plugins. This is a massive drawback, however support by it's developer is provided. Some of these solutions are hundreds of dollars which make it completely in-practical for non-business users to realistically implement. The cost could quickly build up.
  • Duplicate dashboard link. Dashboard is open and clicked there is no indication that this has been selected as Dashboard appears in admin menu as well. (screenshot cr5-dashboard-duplication.png). Only minor fix required.
  • No drag and drop front end capabilities in concrete5 core like Panels IPE offers to re-arrange panels of content
  • Opportunities


    • To minimize the amount of stages to install Drupal. This could be done via a 2 column panel install which is responsive so this should work nice with mobile, tablet devices.
    • Links to different Drupal distros like spark on setup?
    • The choose language, verify requirements, set up database, install profile “stage” be moved onto the second page (stage) to minimize the amount of stages and therefore clicks?
    • Would it make more sense for the first page to have a list of system requirements rather than the user filling in several stages worth information? If they fail the system requirements they will have to keep filling this info in until passed
    • Could the language option and server setting options have a relationship? Eg, if the user selects english language to install could the default country be set to a sensible default dependant on Drupal user location statistics? Eg USA or UK. Maybe not a good idea as the server location and the language spoken could be different, but worth putting this out as an idea as a more plausible variation of this might could be spawned out of the idea.
    • Could the server location drop down list have a “commonly used countries” section at the top to save the user scrolling through the list. Eg, if Drupal is installed in say five countries more than others these would be added.
    • Panels has individual node caching built in so this rivals the one addressed
    • To give Drupal additional frontend “edit” mode options. These options could be on a page by page or “one to one” basis. Current http://drupal.org/project/edit & http://drupal.org/project/aloha modules provides these capabilities. Adding the ability to assign a theme variant on a page by page basis would be a great addition. Currently panels has this ability through IPE editor (panels-ipe-screenshot.png) to assign a theme on a node by node basis. So possible integration between panels, edit & aloha.



    • Simplicity of install
    • Less stages and a nicer (graphically) interface
    • http://www.concrete5.org/marketplace has a filter by skill level option. Would this be handy on drupal.org? to give users an indication of how easy it is going to be to implement that module.
    • The simplicity of the learning curve. Can master this entire cms easily within a month due to minimalistic approach


    Drupal does need to be concerned by how user friendly concrete5 installation process is. It's less clicks and appears graphically to be more welcoming.

    I believe the popularity of system is due largely to it's front end handling of system features. I know someone who regularly uses the system and says his clients love the cms. This should be our user interface mission, to make drupal simpler for clients and users alike to master. I believe some of these queries are being addressed with drupal 8 and the spark distribution.


    To break down the current 7 step installation of drupal into 3 (attached file install-stage2.png illustrates potential setup). This would result in a quicker installation with less clicks.

    Stage 1 is the system requirements test. It makes no sense to have this test on anything other than the first page, given that failure of this will result in user having to re-enter first 2 stages of information again.

    Stage 2 is the complete drupal configuration before installation (screenshot attached). This is by no means the completed "look" but just a potential layout.

    Stage 3 could be similar to screenshot attached cr5-welcome-screen.png. From this page the user is taken to the default theme homepage.

    install-stage2.png32.67 KB
    cr5-welcome-screen.png24.87 KB
    cr5-dashboard-duplication.png68.05 KB
    cr5-leftclick-menu.png5.34 KB
    panels-ipe.png2.42 KB
    inline-edit-design.png18.58 KB
    inline-edit-theming-layout.png32.31 KB


    Module/plugin/Add-on comparisson

    danon1981's picture

    Good points about the installation process.

    When it comes to module/plugin/add-on comparison
    There is a big downside with Concrete5

    Alle modules on drupal.org are free. Some module developers offer themselves to do paid customization work.

    I remember discussions on the Concrete5 community whether it was open source or not. A lot, maybe even most, of the concrete5 add-ons are not free. You can buy them inside the Concrete5 marketplace. A marketplace facilitated by the concrete5 main site.

    If I remember it correctly, paying for add-ons for Concrete5 kicked of the question whether it is open source or not. I guess you can say that most of the concrete5 projects are only partially open source depending on the add-ons used.

    I'll do some research on that

    kingfisher64's picture

    I'll do some research on that module/plugin issue for sure - thanks for mentioning it.

    New information added

    kingfisher64's picture

    Added 2 new stages of document. User Interface, learning curve & modules, plugins, core and concrete5.org


    danon1981's picture

    Still think this is a good initiative to compare these two systems. User experience is and will become even more important.

    That's also why

    I would like to suggest to make this growing body of text more user friendly by throwing in some html tags for readability :)


    kingfisher64's picture

    Right danon1981 i've formatted document. Apologies about that. I was wondering where the formatting capabilities were when doing (missed the link).

    Hope that's easier to read.