Concrete5 CMS: Themes and Add-ons
Adding themes or extensions to a Concrete5-powered website requires next to no technical skills. Users fill out a couple of online forms and click a few buttons to either get additional themes or add-ons to extend the sites capabilities.
Small business owners or managers are experts in their fields, but frequently that field is not web development. Often these entrepreneurs must either try to learn how to manage basic system administration tasks or hire a professional developer. With the Concrete5 content management system (CMS), however, installing add-ons, which extend the site’s functionality, or new themes is done via a connection to the Concrete5 community.
Joining the Concrete5 Community
The secret to Concrete5’s simple theme and add-on installation is that it connects the Concrete5 community directly to your site. This can be done the first time that you try to get an additional theme or an add-on.
From a Concrete5 website’s administration panel, select “dashboard” at the upper right. This will provide a few options, including one that reads, “Extend Concrete5 — Install, update or download more themes and add-ons.”
Clicking on either “themes” or “add-ons” for the first time gives the user an opportunity to join the free Concrete5 community. Joining this community will create a connection between your site and the Concrete5 site. A new project page will be created for your site in the community, and it is this page that will allow you to manage theme and add-on licenses.
It is important to remember that your Concrete5 community user name and password does not need to be the same as your user name and password for your own site. In fact, it is probably a good idea to make them different.
The connection confirmation page includes links to download add-ons or themes.
A new Concrete5 website comes standard, if you will, with a handful of basic themes, which in the most recent versions of the CMS have food names: Greek Yogurt, Plain Yogurt, Dark Chocolate, and Green Salad Theme.
Any of these basic themes may be activated and customized using either Concrete5’s theme editor, which does not require any coding. Alternatively, you can customize with code if you know how to write it.
Additional themes may be licensed from the Concrete5 community. Find a link to the community from your site’s dashboard as described above or at the bottom of the themes page in the dashboard.
From the Concrete5 community, you may browse themes. Although there are some free themes in the Concrete5 community, most come at a price — $35.00 to $40.00 is common.
Once purchased, the license will be associated with your Concrete5 community account. Typically, the theme may then be downloaded and installed with a single click.
In Concrete5, installing add-ons, is very similar to installing additional themes. Select the “add-ons” link from the “Extend Concrete5” line in the dashboard, and the Concrete5 community’s browse add-ons page will open directly in your site’s administration panel.
The available add-ons can add content sliders or image galleries to your site, improve search engine optimization, introduce ecommerce capabilities, integrate your site with social media, and much more.
Prices for add-ons vary greatly, ranging from free to a couple of hundred dollars.