Concrete5 vs. Gatsby: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful CMS Options

Concrete5 vs. Gatsby: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful CMS Options


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Concrete5 and Gatsby, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in the market. As digital leaders and decision-makers, choosing the right CMS for your organization is a crucial step towards building a successful online presence. In this guide, we will explore and analyze the features, functionalities, and benefits of each CMS, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your specific requirements and goals.

Foundations of CMS

Concrete5 is an open-source CMS built on PHP and MySQL, offering a user-friendly interface and powerful editing capabilities. Its foundation is based on simplicity and ease of use, allowing content creators to make modifications to their website without technical expertise. On the other hand, Gatsby is a modern CMS that utilizes a static site generator and React to deliver high-performance websites. Gatsby's foundation focuses on speed, security, and scalability, making it ideal for developers who prioritize these aspects.

Concrete5 stands out with its intuitive drag-and-drop editor, which simplifies content creation and customization. It provides users with a visual representation of their website, allowing them to modify elements directly on the page. Gatsby, on the other hand, offers a more code-centric approach. Developers can leverage React components and GraphQL queries to build dynamic websites with ease. While it requires more technical knowledge, Gatsby empowers developers to create highly customizable and performant websites.

In terms of user experience, Concrete5 offers a straightforward interface that enables users to manage content effortlessly. Website administrators can easily navigate the dashboard, access various features, and make changes in real-time. Gatsby, with its developer-centric approach, provides a more advanced user experience. Developers have the flexibility to configure the CMS according to their specific requirements, resulting in a tailored and efficient workflow.

The foundation of a CMS is a significant factor to consider, as it determines the ease of use, flexibility, and performance of your website. Depending on your organization's needs and the technical expertise available, both Concrete5 and Gatsby offer strong foundations that align with different priorities.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design options and overall user experience, both Concrete5 and Gatsby offer compelling features. Concrete5 provides a wide range of pre-designed themes and templates that businesses can choose from. These themes are highly customizable, allowing organizations to maintain a consistent brand identity and create visually appealing websites without the need for extensive design expertise.

Gatsby, being a developer-centric CMS, offers extensive freedom and flexibility when it comes to design. With Gatsby, developers have control over every aspect of the website's design, allowing for complete customization. This makes Gatsby a great choice for organizations looking to create unique and visually stunning websites that stand out from the competition.

In terms of user experience, Concrete5 shines with its intuitive and user-friendly interface. The drag-and-drop editor simplifies the process of creating and customizing content, making it accessible to users with limited technical knowledge. On the other hand, Gatsby's user experience primarily caters to developers, as it allows them to utilize React components and other advanced features to build highly interactive websites. For organizations with a dedicated development team, Gatsby provides the opportunity to create a truly exceptional user experience.

Whether you prioritize ease of use or advanced customization, both Concrete5 and Gatsby offer robust design options and user experiences. Your decision ultimately depends on the level of control and customization you require for your website.

Content Management

Effective content management is a critical aspect of any CMS, and both Concrete5 and Gatsby offer powerful features to streamline this process. Concrete5's content management capabilities revolve around its intuitive editor and visual interface. Content creators can easily add, edit, and manage content directly on the page, eliminating the need for extensive coding or technical knowledge. Additionally, Concrete5 provides a versatile block system, allowing users to add various types of content blocks such as text, images, videos, and forms.

Gatsby takes a different approach to content management by leveraging Markdown or other static content formats. Developers can write content in these formats and generate static files that can be served quickly without relying on a database or backend infrastructure. This approach results in fast-loading websites that do not require a CMS backend during runtime. While this approach may seem more complex, Gatsby's content management capabilities excel in scalability and performance.

Both Concrete5 and Gatsby offer content versioning, allowing users to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed. Concrete5 provides a history log that shows detailed information about each edit made to a specific block or page, ensuring transparency and accountability. Gatsby, being a static site generator, also enables version control but requires the use of a version control system like Git.

In summary, Concrete5 excels in easy-to-use content management, making it ideal for organizations with non-technical content creators. On the other hand, Gatsby's content management capabilities are more developer-oriented, providing scalability and performance benefits for organizations with the necessary technical expertise.

Collaboration & User Management

Efficient collaboration and user management features are crucial for organizations with multiple individuals contributing to the website. Concrete5 offers a robust user management system that allows administrators to define user roles and permissions. This enables different individuals to have varying levels of access to the CMS and the ability to modify specific sections of the website. Concrete5 also supports community-contributed add-ons that enhance collaboration and user management capabilities.

Gatsby, being a static site generator, does not provide built-in collaboration and user management features. However, Gatsby can be integrated with third-party authentication systems and APIs to facilitate user authentication and access control. Developers have the flexibility to implement user management features according to the organization's requirements, leveraging the vast ecosystem of plugins, tools, and extensions available for Gatsby.

Organizations that prioritize collaboration and require granular control over user access rights may find Concrete5's built-in user management features more suitable. On the other hand, organizations with specific user management requirements or the technical resources to integrate third-party solutions may opt for Gatsby's flexibility in this regard.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting capabilities are essential considerations when choosing a CMS, as they directly impact the speed, reliability, and accessibility of your website. Concrete5 performs well for small to medium-sized websites with moderate traffic. However, its reliance on a traditional database can limit its scalability for large websites with high traffic loads. Hosting options for Concrete5 range from shared hosting to dedicated servers, providing flexibility based on your organization's needs and budget.

Gatsby, on the other hand, excels in performance and scalability. By utilizing static site generation and caching, Gatsby removes the need for dynamic database queries during runtime, resulting in faster page load times. Additionally, Gatsby websites can be hosted on content delivery networks (CDNs) for maximum performance and scalability. Gatsby's hosting options include services like Netlify and Vercel, which offer seamless deployment and automatic scaling.

In summary, if your organization expects significant growth or deals with high traffic volumes, Gatsby's performance and scalability capabilities make it a compelling choice. Concrete5, on the other hand, suits organizations with smaller websites or websites that do not require extensive scalability.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization options, available extensions, and a thriving ecosystem are crucial factors to consider when evaluating a CMS's suitability for your organization's specific needs. Concrete5 offers a wide array of themes, add-ons, and extensions through its marketplace, making it easy to extend and enhance the functionality of your website. From e-commerce plugins to social media integrations, Concrete5's ecosystem provides a variety of options for customization and expansion.

As a static site generator, Gatsby provides developers with vast customization capabilities. With the use of React components and GraphQL queries, developers can create highly customized websites tailored to their organization's requirements. Gatsby's ecosystem offers a wealth of plugins and starters, allowing organizations to leverage existing functionality and streamline development processes. Additionally, Gatsby integrates well with other popular JavaScript frameworks and tools, expanding its customization options further.

Both Concrete5 and Gatsby provide strong customization capabilities and have active communities contributing to their ecosystems. Your choice should depend on the level of customization required and the specific features and extensions available for your organization's needs.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

For organizations looking to drive organic traffic, implement marketing strategies, and monetize their websites, robust SEO, marketing, and monetization features are essential. Concrete5 comes with built-in SEO tools, allowing administrators to optimize content for search engines easily. It provides features such as customizable URLs, meta tags, XML sitemaps, and canonical URLs, making it easier for search engines to index and rank your website. Concrete5 also supports various marketing features such as A/B testing and analytics integration.

Gatsby, being a static site generator, offers inherent benefits when it comes to SEO. Static websites can achieve excellent page load times and perform well in search engine rankings. Gatsby's ecosystem provides numerous plugins, such as SEO optimization plugins, that further enhance its SEO capabilities. However, Gatsby requires developers to configure and optimize SEO features manually, which may require more technical expertise compared to Concrete5.

In terms of monetization, Concrete5 supports e-commerce functionality through add-ons and extensions. Its marketplace offers several e-commerce plugins that enable organizations to create online stores and process payments securely. Gatsby, on the other hand, requires developers to integrate third-party e-commerce solutions if e-commerce functionality is required.

Organizations that value strong built-in SEO and marketing features may find Concrete5's offerings more suitable. However, if SEO performance is a top priority, Gatsby's static site generation capabilities can provide an advantage.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are crucial aspects of any CMS, especially for organizations dealing with sensitive data or operating in regulated industries. Concrete5 takes security seriously and offers features such as granular user permissions, two-factor authentication, and protection against common vulnerabilities. Concrete5 also provides automatic updates and security patches to ensure the CMS remains secure.

Gatsby, as a static site generator, has inherent security benefits. Static websites are less prone to security vulnerabilities associated with dynamic CMSs. However, developers must still follow secure coding practices while building and deploying Gatsby websites. Additionally, since Gatsby relies on various plugins and third-party integrations, it is essential to ensure the security of these components as well.

When it comes to compliance, both Concrete5 and Gatsby can be configured to meet specific regulatory requirements. Concrete5 offers features to enforce accessibility standards and GDPR compliance. Gatsby, being a static site generator, can help ensure compliance by adhering to security best practices and leveraging compliant hosting services.

It is important for organizations to assess their security and compliance needs and evaluate how well Concrete5 or Gatsby can meet those requirements. Both CMS options prioritize security but approach it differently due to their respective architectures.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating from an existing CMS or ensuring ongoing support and maintenance are areas that require careful consideration. Concrete5 offers tools and documentation to facilitate the migration process from other CMSs, making it relatively straightforward for organizations to switch to Concrete5. Concrete5 also provides official support through its website and community forums, ensuring assistance is available when needed. Maintenance is simplified with Concrete5's built-in update mechanism that notifies administrators of available updates and allows for easy installation.

Gatsby, as a static site generator, may require more significant efforts for migration, especially from dynamic CMSs. Due to its different approach to website generation, content structure and data migration may need careful planning and execution. Gatsby has an active community that provides support and guidance through forums and documentation. Additionally, Gatsby's plugin ecosystem ensures a wide variety of maintenance and debugging tools are available to streamline the process.

Organizations seeking a straightforward migration process and official support channels may find Concrete5 more suitable. However, for organizations with dedicated development resources, Gatsby's community support and plugin ecosystem can provide the necessary assistance.


Concrete5 and Gatsby are both powerful and versatile content management systems, offering distinct features and functionalities to cater to different organizational needs. Concrete5 excels in its user-friendly interface, ease of use, and extensive customization options, making it a great choice for non-technical content creators and smaller websites. On the other hand, Gatsby provides developers with unparalleled control, customization, and performance, making it ideal for organizations with the necessary technical expertise and a focus on scalability and speed.

When choosing between Concrete5 and Gatsby, you must carefully consider your organization's priorities, specific requirements, and technical resources. Evaluate each CMS's foundation, design and user experience, content management capabilities, collaboration and user management features, performance and scalability, customization options and ecosystem, SEO, marketing, and monetization features, security and compliance, as well as migration, support, and maintenance aspects. By weighing these factors against your organization's needs, you can make an informed decision that will lead to a successful and optimized online presence.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.