This is the documentation for concrete5 version 5.6 and earlier. View Current Documentation

If I've got a news heavy website, can I have rss feeds?

Yes, the Page List block has that feature built in and can be easily turned on.

Normally I'd manage things like banners and other special content through the Components Menu in Joomla's administration... where do I go for things that would normally be found there?

You'll find that in concrete5 things like banners are directly editable as blocks - you can add a Slideshow Block for example and upload and select a group of images for it without leaving the page.

Some add-ons for concrete5 do require additional management features - packages may  create additional dashboard sections and pages. Add-ons that manage data like those for ecommerce and calendars will install new block types as well as create new dashboard pages.

You mentioned listing pages before, but it worried me that you said there were no categories. How can I categorise my pages so I can organise them properly? I love organising stuff.

There's actually several ways you can categorise pages in concrete5 and it gives you a lot of flexibility. You could for example:

  • Create some basic categorisation by the simply organising your pages in the sitemap
  • Create pages as particular 'Page Types'
  • Use additional page attributes such as tags to mark pages

For example, on your website you might want to categorise all pages that are considered 'news' items. This could be done by:

  • Treating all pages under a particular parent news page as news items
  • Creating a page type 'News' and using this for news pages
  • Adding a tag of 'news' to each news page

These different ways of marking pages give rise to a very flexible categorisation system, whilst being very easy to manage. You use as much categorisation as you want, or none at all.

Page Types? You said that there weren't Menu Item Types, so what are these for then?

Page types are something that Joomla doesn't really have. In concrete5, they serve a dual purpose. First, they are often used to provide variations of layout/design. You could change the page type for a page to something like 'right sidebar', or 'three column' or 'full page'. Different page types can give you different editable areas and page layouts, while still having the same header and footer.
Secondly, as mentioned before, Page Types can be used to make pages of a particular categorisation, such as a news page, a blog entry, a product outline or wherever you may need to mark a page as being of a particular type.

I think I've found an issue with not having modules. What if I've already got 100 pages and want to add something to a sidebar to all of them? Are you telling me I'd have to edit 100 pages? This fancy Auto-Nav block sounds great, but I don't want to have to add it every time I set up a page!

Neither would I. That's all covered though, and you'll find that concrete5 handles this problem better than Joomla.

First of all, concrete5 features two kinds of editable Area. There are normal areas on pages where placed blocks are unique. Your main area of your page where you place your main page content is going to be a normal Area.

Then you've got Global Areas. These are special areas that are common across all pages - any blocks you put these areas are going to appear in the same area across all other pages with the Global Area. Global Areas are often used for headers with logos and site menus and for footers, you know, stuff that's on every page.  The Joomla equivalent is where you configure a module to appear on all pages of your site.

One further thing to explore in terms of Global Areas is the concept of 'Stacks'. A stack is a group of blocks that you can add to a page in one go. Stacks are global, meaning that if you edit the contents of a stack, the update will display everywhere on your site where you've placed that Stack. Think of a Stack as a Global Area that sits by itself in the Dashboard, but can be placed like a Block.

You're telling me I can edit my footer from any page?

For areas like sidebars, which are likely to be normal editable areas, you might want it to have a small sub navigation across most pages. Instead of having to add an Auto-Nav block every time you add a page (and having to remember what settings to use), you can set it up as a default block on a Page Type. Default blocks on page types are blocks that are automatically created every time you create one of the pages.

So just say you had a page type 'Right Sidebar'. You could go into the Dashboard->Page Types and select 'Defaults' against the Right Sidebar page type. You can then edit this default page, add your block (or Stack) and save it. Anything you add to this default page will automatically be created when you create a page of this page type.

When I would add a new page in Joomla, I would often have to go in an make sure a module would appear on that page a well. You're saying that page type defaults take care of that for me?

Yes, using defaults means you don't have to remember to add blocks (or in the Joomla case modules) to a newly created page.

But I said, 'what if I already had 100 pages set up?', will it add this new block to existing pages?

When you add a block to a page type it won't automatically add to existing pages of that page type ...but if while you are editing the page defaults, you click on the newly edited block and select 'Set up on child pages', you can pick the existing pages you want to add the new block to. 

Well I think that's covered all the pages, but what about a Media Manager?

Concrete5 has a File Manager. Although Joomla's media manager can be configured to store any kind of file, it takes a bit of fiddling to set up to support more than just images. Concrete5's File Manager on the other hand is designed to handle all kinds of files such a PDFs, doc files, audio files, as well as images, out of the box.

When you insert links to documents or images into your pages, you don't have to worry about filenames and paths either - concrete5's File Manager allows you to simply click and choose files.  Make sure you have a look at the 'Upload Multiple' feature of the File Manager, a great time-saver.

HA! The concrete5 File Manager doesn't even have folders!

Folders? Folders are so limiting! Instead, the file manager has the concept of File Sets. Sets allow you to filter and group files in many different ways. Sets are similar to folders, but you can do more with them. You can't place a file in multiple folders in Joomla, but you can put a file in multiple file sets in concrete5. They're actually more like tags for a files. You won't miss folders.

So you're telling me I don't need a separate component to manage documents?

Certainly not. You can simply upload things like PDFs to the File Manager and then link to them from within Content blocks, or even use a dedicated File block to create document links.

by Ryan Hewitt

Part 2: Working With Content & Assets

Loading Conversation