The Edit bar
When you login, you will see the edit bar across the top of the screen.
The edit bar only contains a few buttons, but they are very important:
- Edit page
This button puts the current page into edit mode and allows you to make changes. When you are finished, you click the button again and you can discard, save or publish your changes.
- Page Settings
The page settings allow you to edit your pages attributes, title and meta tags and design and other settings too, like caching and version.
- Add content
Click this and the block panel will slide out where you can add new content to the page. It's quick and easy to drag a new block in and start adding images, text and other content such as forms.
- Add a new page
Let's you add a new page such as a service or blog page. When you click this you can quickly choose from frequently added pages such as a blog page. It's so quick and easy!
- Dashboard - Change site settings
When you click this button you get a slide out panel with the site settings as contained in the sites' Dashboard. The Dashboard is the main "back-end" area of a Concrete5 website.
The edit bar also contains a search which helps you quickly and easily find settings and pages within your site. The search is a really great feature of the CMS.
Adding & Editing Blocks
Nearly all the editable content on a page is made up of blocks, including text, images, forms, page lists, site navigation etc.
Blocks can be moved around between any area on a page. This is where some of the power of "in-context" editing comes from and what makes Concrete5 so flexible to work with.
Editing blocks is easy. You can even build powerful forms by clicking on the appropriate options or drag n drop the order of the fields in your form.
Just by moving blocks around, you can A/B test your layouts by creating different landing pages and seeing which has the highest conversion rate.
We often make custom blocks to offer our clients the easiest possible editing experience. For example, you may want an FAQ block or a Team Member block that you can easily update.
The File Manager & Sitemap
The sitemap and file manager are two very important parts of Concrete5 CMS.
- File Manager
This is where you store your sites files. From images to PDFs and videos, you can store them safely in the file manager and they are backed up with the rest of the site. The File Manager stores versions of each file so you can roll it back in case it accidentally gets replaced. There is also a download url for each file and you can add files to folders and sets to keep everything organised.
The sitemap lists all your pages and allows you to reorder, add, remove and edit page properties. For large websites, you can search the sitemap to find a certain page and the Page Activity page within the sitemap section of Concrete5 tells you which pages have been recently worked on.
Working with Page Types
Concrete5 gives us the tools to create different page types so that we can give you the choice of different layouts, that you can add "at the click of a button". Once pagetype could be a single column, another two columns etc.
Composer forms allow us to make it quicker to add specific content like a blog post because we can customise the composer form to just ask for title, date and introduction for example. We can also set the blog post to automatically add the page to the right place within the site, under the main blog page.
The advanced pagetypes in Concrete5 version 5.7 onwards, help make editing your site quicker and easier than ever before.
Attributes are bits of information that we can assign to files, pages and site members such as height, colour etc. We can create custom attributes in Concrete5 that allow us to attach this data and use it in all kinds of interesting ways.
Imagine you wanted to create a dating website. We could give members attributes such as gender, eye colour, height, weight etc. Due to Concrete5's in-built attributes system, the site owner could update these values not only for site members, but maintain the default values for each without needing to modify any code at all!
Concrete5 gives us the tools to create communities and member only areas. Concrete5 has special pages that can be activated to produce a members area and we can build on that to create powerful membership functionality.
Site Administrators can add and edit users and set permissions so different users can have different roles within the editing of the website.
And Much More!
Concrete5 has a wealth of functionality "out of the box", but we can always expand on this with custom add-ons and blocks.
In addition, the Concrete5 marketplace contains many third party addons which add powerful new functions to the CMS for minimal outlay.