Concrete5 vs Typo3 or Drupal

Today I had a question of a customer regarding the advantages of concrete5 compared to Typo3 and Drupal . Usability is certainly a big point . What other benefits or concrete differences you know ? Primary is about the use in larger companies who previously felt safe with Typo3 and Drupal . Furthermore, also plays a role , offering the established ERP or product information systems interfaces to Typo3 and Drupal . How does that relate with you and what experience have you ?


View Replies:
ob7dev replied on at Permalink Reply
Never used Typo, so I won't review that. But having worked for a marketing agency where they manage many customers websites, and sometimes the people managing them aren't developers, Drupal is not very usable.

Compared to Concrete, it wouldn't take long to go from absolute beginner to certified editor, as its very user friendly for the end user.

Having a client come to us with a Drupal site, and want some little updates, it always took longer than expected because we have no Drupal developers here, and most of any work we did had to be figured out first time around. If it was the same situation with Concrete, our team could have been up to speed with making edits or adding new features a lot faster than with Drupal.
Vuish replied on at Permalink Reply

Thanks for your answer. The most common question is often why nobody knows a Concrete5 or why it is not so popular like other systems. It therefore comes to the question of whether the community is large enough and concrete5 is also supported in a few years . That's why it would be usefull to have a comparison to Drupal or Typo3 . Which points speak for Concrete5 and how can you refute the concern regarding the other points .

ob7dev replied on at Permalink Reply
It's like a secret weapon no one knows about ;) ...

Another reason may be that most marketing firms (atleast in Alaska) are ran by knuckle heads who actually don't what they are doing, so they turn to products that take no coding know how such as Wordpress to meet their clients needs.

The thing about Concrete is it makes it great for the end user / editor / client, but it must be built by a developer, or atleast someone who knows somewhat about what they are doing.

Which means those cheap marketing agencies / people who make websites who just download wordpress templates and sort through the thousands of pre made templates until they find something that matches their client, will actually have to hire real developers or find someone who can really code, and maybe for most of them, this is outside their budget.
Vuish replied on at Permalink Reply
That's not exactly what I mean .
Decision makers are often uncertain whether Concrete is the right system . Compare it with Typo3 or Drupal . These two systems are very popular and have a great community . This gives decision makers a perceived safety on the right system to set.
What can you oppose this as reasoning for concrete5 .

ob7dev replied on at Permalink Reply
Cant say for certain as Ive only been around a few months. I know that it does what you need, if you know how to do it. There isnt as many resources or how to's. Theres no user manual that takes your hand and walks you through every step of the way. Its a framework built by developers, for developers, and in order to tailor it for easy management by a client. It can be used to build almost anything I would say, and give your client the best user experience ever (if you do it right). Once youve got the hang of it, Concrete is the greatest best kept secret in the world of cms web development.
Vuish replied on at Permalink Reply
Yes it is a secret :-)
Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply
Not sure if this is the kind of comparison you were looking for but at least some information that might interest some people.

Feature-wise it is very tough to compare these systems directly with each other because the lists of features would be endless. I guess it always depends on the situation where you want to use the system. Overall, all of these systems would probably allow you to build anything you want.

Feature comparison lists are available in many blogs and comparison tables over the internet, for example, go to and select these three system (not sure how up-to-date that is or how relevant). The blog comparisons also tend to bend towards the author's own opinion on the best system.

But to the point:

Typo3 marketing seems to be more geared towards the enterprise market. The word "enterprise" usually means that it is aimed towards large corporations with endless amounts of money and the system really cannot be used by anyone.

Of course, it might also provide some modules that can provide direct integrations to some existing enterprise applications or some modules that help with to manage the website in an enterprise context.

These needs are, of course, always case specific and I wouldn't claim that concrete5 wouldn't be as "enterprise ready" as either typo3 or Drupal in any way. Already the free core provides some enterprise level features such as workflows and very granular permissions system that can be configured for almost any purpose. What is missing regarding the enterprise customers in concrete5 are those modules/add-ons that can provide direct integrations to some other commonly used enterprise applications. It would probably require real clients in need of such modules in order for that to happen for concrete5.

For Drupal, the obvious benefit compared to concrete5 are the open source modules available that are free to use for anyone. However, being free might not always be the best thing. Many modules might have issues and you are basically then at the mercy of the developer who might or might not fix it or having to fix it yourself. I've also heard that many drupal developers tend to maintain their own set of these modules that they've tested and made sure they work together.

Drupal development and marketing efforts are also sponsored by the brands behind that system, so it has a lot more money to put into these activities. They have their own association which employs over 20 people that dedicate their time to these efforts. Overall, this also makes the system more appealing and trustworthy in many contexts.

Typo3 seems to have a similar association as well which is funded similarly to the Drupal association but they list the membership fees and membership levels publicly on their site. They have also their financial statements listed publicly up until 2014.

These associations are also responsible for organizing conferences and events regarding these systems or web development in general.

concrete5 is mainly funded by the clients of PortlandLabs by paying them to build new features into the core or to extend it through add-ons. On top of this, there is, of course, the marketplace revenue, which helps them with these activities as well.

For the "well kept secret" part, unfortunately it feels to be at least partly true. The fortunate thing is that concrete5 has been recently putting more and more efforts into marketing. They recently hired their own "tech evangelist" whose job is to make concrete5 more known and more popular. This person, for example, has been going into trade shows and putting efforts to making the system more known over the internet.

In numbers, here are some numbers I was able to find from public sources for all these systems:

Websites built:
- Drupal: over 1,100,000 * [1]
- concrete5: over 650,000 ** [2]
- typo3: over 500,000 [3] (should be pretty accurate according to the reference)

Registered members:
- Drupal: over: 2,500,000 ***
- concrete5: over 250,000 [2]
- typo3: over 79,000 [3]

Code contributions:
- typo3: 318 different people [4]
- concrete5: 171 different people [5]
- Drupal: N/A

Code contributions during the last month (20.3.2016 - 20.4.2016):
- typo3: 28 different people [6]
- concrete5: 11 different people [7]
- Drupal: N/A

Good to keep in mind, however, is that statistics always lie. For example, the usage count is very misleading by most, as also mentioned e.g. on the Drupal site. For Drupal, it only contains sites that are running a specific module and reporting the running version back to The same is true also for concrete5, I think this number either only consists of the sites that are linked back to the community (where some sites might no longer exist) or alternatively they are using the download statistics for the login page background image (which might be disabled on some sites).

You can always put numbers just the way that they look good in your perspective. According to a 3rd party (w3techs), concrete5 is still way behind typo3, although according to the numbers presented here it would be quite close or even ahead.

Also claims that concrete5 is behind typo3 according to their trend statistics. They are crawling through their own database of sites and using some commonly used patterns on these sites to identify the systems/scripts being used there.

As a conclusion for the numbers:
- Drupal is in its own league with these statistics. It has a lot of users and lots of brands behind it.
- concrete5 and typo3 seem pretty close overall, it is arguable which one is more popular.

[2] (front page)

* Only lists sites that are using a specific Drupal module, the actual number is a lot more.
** The measurement method is unknown. The actual number could be more or less.
*** Did not find this number publicly posted anywhere but if you go to try to access and replace the X with this number, it redirects you to login which means the user page is found. Note that some user accounts of course may have been deleted which means this number is not necessarily exact.