Monday, April 26, 2010

Sitefinity CMS

My first CMS is going to be Sitefinity. A fellow geek had written a blog on his experience with Sitefinity, David Makogon did a write up on installing this CMS, so if you are planning on using this CMS I would recommend starting with his blog.
I did download and installed the software and started playing around with the different templates.
No matter which template you use the modules are all standard, each of them come with the News, Blogs, Newsletters and many others. Creating a “page” is extremely simple and you are able to customize the look based on the template you select or the ones you create using ASP.NET. Some of the features I like is that I can create the website locally on my machine and deploy to the web hosting service later. This is extremely easy to maintain the website as well. Individuals are able to keep their content up to date with having to hire a web professional. I would recommend hiring one though, if you plan on doing anything outside the standard functionally.
There are a few draw backs that I noticed. The first is the cost, not many individuals or nonprofits can afford the $900 cost that is needed for Sitefinity. However; this is minimal for a mid to large company. The next little problem was that Sitefinity does not have a “Form” builder. There is an easy work around, create a “Google” account and then use their Docs. Google Docs has a form builder that you can embedded into as HTML on the page and the results are saved into a spreadsheet. To change how the website looks you need to have someone that knows CSS, which is something that a novice could learn – if they had time.
Moving the application from the localhost to the web is easy also. You need to FTP the files up to your host, create a backup of your database, then recover the backup on your host.
So if you have little IT experience, have the $900 and want something that is professional looking and easy to maintain Sitefinity is an excellent option.

1 comment:

Terri said...

From the perspective of a non-IT-type, Sitefinity can be easy to maintain and update, but there are two caveats:

1) Whoever uses Sitefinity to build the website has to MAKE it easy to maintain and update once it's live. (Thanks, David!)

2) The person who maintains/updates the website MUST BE TRAINED to maintain/update it. Training isn't hard, but it has to happen. (Thanks, David!)

IMO/experience,
Terri