Concrete5 vs. Hexo: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems

Concrete5 vs. Hexo: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Concrete5 and Hexo, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS). Choosing the right CMS for your organization is crucial as it will impact your website's performance, user experience, and overall success. In this guide, we will delve into the key features and functionalities of both Concrete5 and Hexo to help you make an informed decision.

Foundations of CMS

Concrete5 and Hexo differ in their foundations and approach to content management. Concrete5 is a user-friendly CMS that prioritizes simplicity and ease of use. It boasts a powerful visual editor that allows users to make real-time changes to their website. On the other hand, Hexo is a static site generator that focuses on speed and efficiency. It generates HTML files during the build process, resulting in lightning-fast page loading times.

Concrete5 is an ideal choice for those who prefer a dynamic and interactive website with various content types, such as blogs, forums, and e-commerce. Hexo, on the other hand, is perfect for developers and technical users who prefer a lightweight CMS for generating static websites. It is particularly well-suited for blogs, portfolios, and documentation sites.

When considering the foundations of the CMS, it is essential to determine your organization's needs and technical expertise to ensure the chosen CMS aligns with your goals and resources.

In summary, Concrete5 offers a user-friendly and dynamic CMS, while Hexo provides a lightweight and static site generator.

Design & User Experience

The design and user experience play a vital role in attracting and engaging your website visitors. Concrete5 offers a wide range of templates and themes to choose from, with customizable options to suit your branding and design preferences. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows users to easily modify the layout, add content, and implement design changes without any coding knowledge.

Hexo, being a static site generator, offers more limited design options compared to Concrete5. However, it allows developers to have full control over the design and layout of the website. Hexo supports various templating engines, allowing developers to build custom themes from scratch or utilize existing ones from the Hexo community.

Both CMS provide a seamless user experience, but Concrete5 caters more to non-technical users, while Hexo targets developers and those comfortable with coding. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your organization's design requirements and available technical resources.

In conclusion, Concrete5 offers extensive design options with an intuitive interface, while Hexo provides more flexibility for developers to create custom themes.

Content Management

A robust content management system is essential for efficiently organizing and publishing your website content. Concrete5 excels in this aspect by offering a user-friendly content editor with features like in-context editing and drag-and-drop functionality. With Concrete5, users can easily create and edit pages, add images and videos, and manage their content hierarchy.

Hexo, being a static site generator, follows a different content management approach. With Hexo, content is created using Markdown, a lightweight markup language. While it may require a learning curve for non-technical users, Markdown is highly versatile and allows for easy formatting and structuring of content.

The content management system you choose depends on your organization's content creation and management requirements. Concrete5 is well-suited for organizations with non-technical users who prefer a visually-driven content editing experience. On the other hand, Hexo is a great choice for developers and technical users who value flexibility and simplicity in content creation.

In summary, Concrete5 offers a user-friendly visual content editor, while Hexo utilizes Markdown for flexible and efficient content creation.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are crucial aspects of a CMS, especially for organizations with multiple contributors and content editors. Concrete5 provides robust collaboration features, including role-based access control, user groups, and permissions management. Administrators can easily assign different roles to users and define their access levels, ensuring content editing and publishing are streamlined and secure.

Hexo, being primarily designed for individual bloggers and developers, doesn't offer the same level of built-in collaboration features as Concrete5. However, its simplicity allows for easy integration with third-party collaboration tools, such as Git or GitHub, enabling developers to collaborate on content through version control.

When considering collaboration and user management, it's important to assess your organization's team structure and workflow. If you have multiple content contributors and require a granular level of control over user access, Concrete5 is the suggested choice. However, if your team is primarily composed of developers and you rely on external collaboration tools, Hexo can be a suitable option.

In conclusion, Concrete5 offers comprehensive built-in collaboration and user management features, while Hexo allows for seamless integration with external collaboration tools.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performing well in terms of performance and scalability is crucial for a CMS, as it directly affects user experience and website loading times. Concrete5 prioritizes performance and offers various caching mechanisms to optimize website speed. It also scales well and can handle large-scale websites with ease.

Hexo, being a static site generator, excels in terms of performance and scalability. Static websites generated by Hexo are extremely fast and lightweight, making them ideal for environments with limited server resources. Furthermore, static sites are highly scalable as they can easily handle high traffic and concurrent user requests.

When it comes to hosting options, Concrete5 can be hosted virtually anywhere, as it is built on PHP and utilizes a traditional server-client architecture. On the other hand, Hexo-generated websites can be hosted on various platforms, including traditional web servers, cloud storage providers, or even serverless architectures.

To summarize, Concrete5 emphasizes performance and scalability while providing flexibility in hosting options. Hexo, as a static site generator, offers unparalleled performance and scalability, with multiple hosting options available.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

The ability to customize and extend a CMS is vital for tailoring it to your organization's specific needs. Concrete5 offers a wide range of add-ons, extensions, and themes through its marketplace. Users can easily integrate additional functionality and design options into their websites using these extensions. Concrete5 also provides an intuitive interface for creating custom blocks and components.

Hexo, being a static site generator, is more limited in terms of available extensions and add-ons compared to Concrete5. However, developers have the freedom to customize and extend Hexo's functionality by leveraging its rich ecosystem of plugins and themes.

Considering your organization's customization requirements is important when choosing the right CMS. Concrete5 offers a user-friendly customization experience with a vast marketplace, making it suitable for organizations without extensive development resources. Hexo, on the other hand, caters to developers and technical users who prefer a more hands-on approach to customization.

In conclusion, Concrete5 offers extensive customization options through its marketplace, while Hexo allows for developer-driven customization through its plugin and theme ecosystem.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Good SEO practices, effective marketing capabilities, and monetization options are crucial for the success of your website. Concrete5 includes built-in SEO features, such as customizable URLs, meta tags, and XML sitemaps, making it easier for search engines to index your content. Additionally, Concrete5 offers various marketing tools like contact forms, newsletters, and A/B testing to enhance your marketing efforts.

Hexo, being a static site generator, can be easily optimized for SEO by following best practices for static websites. Although Hexo doesn't provide built-in marketing tools, it integrates seamlessly with popular marketing platforms and services, allowing you to implement your desired marketing strategies efficiently.

In terms of monetization, Concrete5 offers integrated e-commerce features, making it suitable for organizations looking to sell products or services online. Hexo can also be monetized by integrating third-party e-commerce platforms or utilizing custom development solutions.

In summary, Concrete5 offers built-in SEO features, marketing capabilities, and e-commerce functionality, while Hexo provides the flexibility to integrate with external marketing tools and platforms.

Security & Compliance

Ensuring the security and compliance of your website is paramount to safeguarding your content and protecting your users' data. Concrete5 has a strong focus on security and provides regular updates and patches to address vulnerabilities. It also incorporates various security features, such as SSL support, user permissions, and password policies, to enhance website security.

Hexo, being a static site generator, is inherently more secure as it generates static files that are less susceptible to hacking attempts. However, it is still essential to follow security best practices and ensure the hosting environment is secure when deploying a Hexo-generated website.

Considering your organization's specific security and compliance requirements is vital when selecting a CMS. Concrete5 offers a comprehensive set of security features that cater to organizations with high security needs. Hexo, on the other hand, provides a more secure foundation as a static site generator, making it suitable for organizations looking for an inherently secure CMS.

To conclude, Concrete5 provides robust security features and regular updates to maintain a secure environment, whereas Hexo's static site generation inherently offers a more secure foundation; however, additional security measures must still be considered.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating from one CMS to another can be a complex process, so it's essential to evaluate the ease of migration and the available support options. Concrete5 offers migration tools and documentation to facilitate the migration process, making it easier to transition from another CMS. Additionally, Concrete5 provides dedicated support through forums, documentation, and a vibrant community.

Hexo, being a static site generator, requires a different approach to migration. Migrating from another CMS to Hexo involves converting the existing content into Markdown format and restructuring the website accordingly. Support for Hexo is primarily community-driven, with extensive documentation available for reference.

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure your CMS operates smoothly and remains secure. Both Concrete5 and Hexo require regular updates to address security vulnerabilities and introduce new features. Concrete5 provides a user-friendly update process through its dashboard, while Hexo requires a manual update process typically executed through a command-line interface.

In summary, Concrete5 offers migration tools, dedicated support, and a streamlined update process, while Hexo requires a more involved migration process and relies on community support.


Choosing the right Content Management System is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your organization's online presence. Concrete5 and Hexo each offer their own unique strengths and cater to different use cases.

Concrete5 is an excellent choice for organizations with non-technical users who value a user-friendly interface, extensive customization options, and built-in collaboration features. It is particularly suited for websites with various content types, e-commerce functionality, and interactive elements.

Hexo, on the other hand, is ideal for developers and technical users who prefer a lightweight, fast, and scalable CMS. It excels in generating static websites, making it perfect for blogs, portfolios, and documentation sites. Developers will appreciate the flexibility to customize Hexo and integrate with external tools.

Ultimately, the choice between Concrete5 and Hexo depends on your organization's specific needs, technical expertise, and desired level of control. It is recommended to thoroughly evaluate each CMS's features, try demos if available, and consider your organization's long-term goals before making a decision.


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.