After blogging about my favorite WordPress plugins, how could I possibly neglect sharing a list of my favorite Concrete5 CMS addons? After all, I’m probably one of the biggest fans of the Concrete5 content management system. The Concrete5 Marketplace has several addons that C5 users can get for free and some that you have to pay for. While I don’t want to overburden my readers with a complete list of every addon I personally use, I will highlight five of the ones that stick out as the best in my mind.
Breadcrumb trails are those handy little bits of navigation usually found at the top of a webpage that can help you keep track of where you’ve been on a website. It may not seem like much, but breadcrumbs can be very user-friendly. Some web designers may not like them, but I do. I don’t like getting buried in a website and then have to use the back button on my web browser to find my way out. For me, a breadcrumb trail is far more useful in these instances. Best of all, the Concrete5 Breadcrumbs addon is free.
Next & Previous
When you have several sibling pages to navigate, having a way to easily move between those pages can be important. That’s where the Next & Previous addon comes in. I use this addon where I have several similar pages that are basically all in the same family of pages and in the same folder/directory structure. It’s a pretty simple addon, but still very useful for visitors. The Next & Previous addon for Concrete5 is a free download.
I’m not a big fan of the default login page included with Concrete5. My personal feeling is that if you want users to login, they should be able to do that directly from a “real” page on your website. The Login Block takes care of that problem with a very simple and user-friendly interface. Yet another free addon from the nice people at Concrete5.
Not every Concrete5 addon is free, but for just $15, the Superfish addon is a real steal. Superfish allows you to add very nice expandable menus for user navigation. There are many customizable features that come with Superfish, including time delay fading, viewing permission, levels displayed and more. The menus can be fully stylized using CSS.
If you’ve ever wanted to insert other content types into your Concrete5 website, then the Dynamic Iframe addon may be just what you need. On the main Apheus website, I’ve used a Dynamic Iframe to serve up a special PHP file that contains some scripts that I didn’t want to place elsewhere. It definitely has its uses, and is another free Concrete5 addon.