Concrete 5 VS. WordPress

by | May 23, 2013 | At Checkerboard, Integrated Marketing, Web Development | 0 comments

Let’s face it: There are many ways to skin a cat online. I hesitate to say definitively which system is the best. I will say that for producing site updates that have the greatest reach, and to streamline your communication processes the most effectively, WordPress is the hands-down winner. I looked at four areas to demonstrate how I came to this conclusion. 


When implementing a solid content strategy, it is important that the system you choose will last. There is nothing worse than having to re-train your staff on a different system after working to get your content team up to speed. WordPress wins on this variable. Concrete5 has only shown real potential over the last couple of years. WordPress has been a solid platform for more than 10 years.

We have been developing websites for 16 years. For most of that time we worked with a multitude of content management systems. Three-and-a-half years ago we made the strategic choice to pick one system so we can get really good at it. You can understand the risks of such a choice, but WordPress was our clear choice because it is most likely to still be around in five or ten years.

Community Size

When it comes to adding large technical features to your site in the future, the community size affects two important considerations:

  1. The cost of development and availability of support. The more end-users, designers and developers using it, the more choices you will have when it comes to hiring firms or individuals in the future. Additionally, the more people using the system to more likely you will be able to solve any problems that should arise through Google searches.
  2. The number of add-ons. These are often times the most cost effective way to expand your site’s features. Plug-ins registered with WordPress: 24,897 Concrete 5: unlisted


Out of the box WordPress wins this battle hands down. Several online sources online have pointed out that you can tweak Concrete5 to do much of what WordPress already provides. Our approach to SEO is two tiered: 1. Build a locally targeted, SEO-optimized starting point. 2. Optimize the process for adding new content so every new piece of content adds to your overall search profile. We see websites as tools for communicating, not as database-driven brochure pieces. Disseminating coupons and updates is best for a publishing platform with CMS capabilities, not a CMS with publishing capabilities.

Even though Google has its own blogging platform, Matt Cutts from Google has praised WordPress for eight years for its SEO superiority in the market. WordPress lets you focus on the content, not the technical side of SEO.  See here, here and here.


I have seen WordPress do any number of things by utilizing its superior publishing tools. By using posts instead of CMS updates you create content streams for each type of update. For example, coupon updates are sent to search engines via XML, and added to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to be syndicated to your other promotions channels. Examples would include Twitter and Facebook as well as updating your email template so the latest coupon or event is automatically included in every mailing you do.

The common argument is that WordPress isn’t as customizable. This comes from typical CMS use of content blocks. Content blocks enable you to edit content in one place, then use it in multiple places throughout the site. Heavy use of content blocks is a mainstay of traditional content management systems. It is untrue that WordPress can’t do this through multiple ways. I maintain that it is better to customize a publishing system to perform CMS functions rather than trying to make a CMS perform publishing functions.

Here is a sample of the types of updates our clients publish to their sites: articles, used vehicles, events, scientific studies, coupons, specials, frequently asked questions, videos, recipes, tips … the list goes on.


Technically speaking, both systems are capable of handling your needs. Ultimately it comes down to how you will be using the site. Our goal is to remove any technical barriers between your customer-facing employees and your customers. WordPress has proven to be the best tool for achieving that.

Web Planning, Development, Training and Support

Maybe more important than the tools you choose to build your website is the planning involved for using it. We sit down with our customers to define their target market, the reasons their best customers choose them, what metrics will be used to track success and the content schedule they will employ over time. From this content schedule we bend WordPress to their needs, document the process for adding each type of content (including SEO) and train their staff to use the site. Even the very best marketing requires these steps to optimize effectiveness.

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