Gone are those days, when you would manually create pages for your website, upload them in your web server and place hyperlinks here and there and then show your website to the rest of the world. If you are serious about your website, you must use a content management system to manage the pages, work flow and other aspects of your site.
A Content management system (CMS) lets you manage your website in a collaborative environment. There can be multiple users associated with your CMS and each one of them can create or update pages for your site. Furthermore, you can assign specific roles to specific users of your site so that they can carry out different operations on their own.
Kentico CMS is a brilliant content management system for anyone who need a website on the ASP.net platform. Kentico comes with an easy to use interface – you can build blogs, online stores, forums, websites for small business and much more. They also have an API which allows you to integrate your site with 3rd party software and other applications.
Without much ado, let’s see what Kentico has to offer:
Main Features of Kentico CMS
Easy to use editing with WYSIWYG editor
When you login to the backend of your website, you are shown a complete website tree in the left hand while a WYSIWYG editor on the right, as shown below:
From the left panel, select the page which you want to edit and it opens in the right panel for editing. You can then add textual content, images, links, videos etc in your page and save the document. Once saved, the changes can be previewed before publishing.
The content editors of your site do not need special training or knowledge of HTML for managing the pages of your site. The editors can work as if they are using a word editor. The WYSWYIG editor is capable of basic and advanced formatting, inserting images or flash movies and linking to internal as well as external pages on the web.
Custom document types and fields, content/design separation
With Kentico CMS, you can create structured documents so that they can be reused on other parts of your website. Should you invoke a newer design, these structured documents can be reused or incorporated on other websites or designs quite seamlessly.
For example: You can create a new document type as "phones" and then include the different parameters such as model number, price, memory, company name etc.
Now the editors or authors of your site can fill in the form and the page can be displayed anywhere in your site. There is nothing easier than this – you don’t have to know what codes are required to bring a particular module.
SEO Friendly Website with Widgets, Blogs, Message Boards and Forums
Kentico CMS is very SEO friendly and you can use tags and categories to organize your content and the different pages of your website. The URL structure of your site adheres to the latest SEO standards and you can create widgets to show dynamic content.
This can mean newsletters, forms, an array of latest news or may be a subscription box.
You can create new pages simply by using the custom layout and the widget sections and don’t have to wait for the developer to create a new page template. You can place the widgets in active widget zones defined by the developer. These widgets can be completely customized – you decide which widgets are available for particular user roles and so on.
Rapid development of your website
Basically, there are two development models:
1. Flexible portal engine: You can use the browser based interface to develop your website. This is ideal for webmasters who don’t have any knowledge of programming or coding.
2. Using ASPX page templates: If you are an ASP.NET developer and know the codes required to build a website, you can use the Kentico CMS server controls in Microsoft Visual Studio and build standard web forms. More information is available in this page.
For a full list of features, please refer to the documentation and the complete feature list here
How to Evaluate Kentico CMS
There are three ways to evaluate the Kentico content management system:
Download the trial version, working for 30 days: The trial version lets you test all the details of Kentico CMS on your computer. You also get 10 Free support tickets by email. You can download the Kentico CMS trial here
Download the Free edition of Kentico CMS: The free edition gives you a lifetime use of the CMS, with some minor limitations. You can have only one administrator, one editor and a maximum of 1000 pages in your website. In addition to that, you have to keep the Kentico branding in the footer of your website. You can download the free edition of Kentico here
The advantage of using the free edition is that it never expires and can be used even for commercial purposes.
Try the Virtual lab of Kentico CMS online: The virtual Lab of Kentico lets you try this amazing CMS online, you don’t have to install anything on your computer or in your web server. You will have 4 test websites setup for free and can evaluate all the features of Kentico online.
You can sign up for a free Virtual lab account here
Here is a brief comparison of the various packages that are available with Kentico:
What’s new in Kentico CMS ver 5.5
The latest release of Kentico CMS is ver 5.5 and it has several new features worth exploring.
- The latest version, which can be download from this page supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 with .NET 4.0.
- You can seamlessly integrate Facebook connect and use Open ID in your web application
- Using web parts, creating RSS feeds is as easy as child’s play
- New revamped admin interface with improved functionalities e.g pagination support, global admins may be denied access to the site manager and more.
- Easy integration and support with Third party map services e.g Bing and Yahoo maps
- Integration with MetaWeblogAPI which lets you create pages and blog posts from blogging editors like Windows Live writer, Microsoft Word etc
Complete list of features can be found in this page. The changelog and bugfixes can be found here.
This review has been guest posted.