My first day with Sitefinity

26 Mar, 05:31 PM

JustinBaby

On Friday March 1st, I had the opportunity to attend the Sitefinity for Business course offered by Lino Tadros, at the Training Boss company. I was able to learn so much valuable information from his course and while I feel confident in my ability to use the application itself, I also learned how and why Sitefinity works the way it does. This knowledge allows for a stronger understanding of the program and the opportunity to use Sitefinity to design a website myself while I would otherwise require the assistance of a tech designer and developer. Sitefinity is by far the most user friendly and convenient web development software on the market today lending itself to experienced tech professionals and those without a technical background. This makes Sitefinity, in my opinion, the superior choice as it is a uniquely versatile tool cementing itself as a ubiquitous part of the modern CMS world. Convenient widgets are available to drag and drop and are fully customizable, I am a huge fan of the versatility of the Content Block which is programed with WYSIWYG editor “What You See Is What You Get” for clear and efficient editing. All templates use Bootstrap5 which was originated by “X”, Previously Twitter, but users are welcome to use other User Interface frameworks like Semantic UI, Foundation, Material Design, Pure, TailWind and more…

Templates:

The templates themselves are equipped with placeholders and can be altered to more closely fit the intentions and requirements of the designer. Templates can also be edited and modified to automatically integrate widgets such as icons in the header, navigation bars, and copyrights. This eliminates excessive and repetitive work allowing for more time spent on the rest of project.

Everything you publish in Sitefinity is also stored within a database which means there are no more files to find or lose track of. One can also share content within the database meaning you create less loose strings to manage. Ever evolving pieces like a copyright can be updated once and all instances on all templates and pages will follow suit. Your WYSIWYG editor comes with a fully functioning toolbar designed for ease of use, but alterations are easy to make. If there is a specific toolbar button missing you would like to add it is as simple as finding the proper name of the tool on Telerik ASP Demo site and copy paste the name into the JSON file in the backend interface which can be found in settings under administration. This ability gives full control to the person designing the website even if they lack the technical experience of a web developer.

I noticed that the Image widget does not allow for easily setting padding, margin and justification, but you can easily use the Content Block widget to accomplish the same task with images and use these attributes. The video widget requires the entire video be saved in the database causing the retrieval to take more time buffering so using a 3rd party Video provider like YouTube, Amazon S3, Azure Media Files, Vimeo, etc. is a valuable way to maintain efficiency while streaming.

Gotchas that I learned that day:

  • Press releases, blog posts, events, and lists can be published and unpublished on a schedule for convenience and punctuality.
  • I learned that while categories can have parent/child relationships, tags cannot be used in a hierarchy.
  • A huge takeaway was that while all press release URLs will be unique, their titles are fully allowed to be identical which is not recommended but still legal in Sitefinity.
  • I also learned you can split up who has control to publish, edit, and grant those authorizations to others. Administrators are gods and cannot have privileges stricken from them, however you can create a custom title like superuser that is just under the role of administrator. Creating these can help avoid mistakes, errors, and confusion.

The most powerful part of Sitefinity is the personalization ability. By starting the personalization engine under the marketing tab, you can tailor your website to the interest of your viewers by their responses to forms, navigation habits, time of day visits, duration of visits, etc… These actions can be combined or separated and create an overall useful interface with potential clients and an easier experience for those visiting your site.

Tags: