Web Marketing Today

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.”

Go to the site's dashboard to get new themes or add-ons.

Go to the site’s dashboard to get new themes or 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.

The first time you try to get an extra theme or add-on, you will have an opportunity to join the Concrete5 community.

The first time you try to get an extra theme or add-on, you will have an opportunity to join the Concrete5 community.

 

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.

Once you are registered that community is connected to your site.

Once you are registered, that community is connected to your site.

The connection confirmation page includes links to download add-ons or themes.

Adding 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.

Concrete5 has several basic themes included.

Concrete5 has several basic themes included.

 

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.

There is a link to the theme section in the Concrete5 community at the bottom of the themes page in your site's administration panel.

There is a link to the theme section in the Concrete5 community at the bottom of the themes page in your site’s administration panel.

 

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 the end, installing an new Concrete5 theme comes down to a single click.

In the end, installing an new Concrete5 theme comes down to a single click.

Installing Add-ons

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.

You may browse Concrete5 add-ons directly from your site's backend.

You may browse Concrete5 add-ons directly from your site’s backend.

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.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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