Author: Thom Robbins
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Aimed at: Newcomers to Kentico CMS
Pros: Clear, well-illustrated instructions
Cons: It's a "do it" book - if you don't then it's hard to follow.
Reviewed by: David Conrad
If you are a setting out with website development with Kentico CMS 5 then will this book smooth your path?
It is targeted at web developers, designers, content editors and marketing professionals with no programming experience assumed.
Over the course of the book readers build a production website with step-by-step instructions using the free trial version of Kentico CMS. .
This is a how-to rather than a reading book and if you skim the contents page you will see that "Time for action", indicating that you follow instructions to perform a task, prefaces a very high proportion of the entries. The text is illustrated throughout with screen dumps. They are only in black and white but they are always clear and well-chosen leaving you in no doubt about how to proceed.
Chapter 1 gets straight down to work with installation and configuration and proceeds to start web site creation using Visual Studio 2008 (but you can use 2005 or 2010). Using the supplied Corporate starter site you discover how to manage your site with the CMS Desk and Site Manager by the end of this first chapter.
Chapter 2 imparts an understanding of the main components of the corporate starter site starting with the available pre-built document types. Next comes an overview of the standard modules available in Kentico CMS with a hands-on opportunity to create a poll. The open source FCK editor which Kentico uses as it main interface for updating content is the next component introduced with a blog entry example. Page management comes next and there ia two pages of discussion before you create a new ASPX template. Portal Engine pages and the Design tab, used to modify site structure are also introduced at this early stage.
Chapter 3, Managing the Content Process covers site security, user roles and secure pages and workflow management including document rollback. Chapter 4, Linking and Managing Documents looks at linking images and YouTube videos as well as document attachments and media libraries - which covers viewing, displaying and creating media libraries, batch operations and uploading files on the live site, media library security and restricting file types.
At Chapter 5 there's a jump in level - you discover how to extend the system using transformations and document types. For this you use not only built-in functions but also the Kentico API and C#. The code you need to enter is presented so it's still possible to follow along. Things go deeper still in Chapter 6, System Integration where you look at ways to syndicate site content, implement mapping and a tag cloud. It concludes with building a REST user control.
With Chapter 7, Adding E-commerce functionality to your Site, you create a second running website - an IIS (Internet Information Services) application based on the supplied E-commerce site template. After discovering how to use the default payment process you improve on it by adding an extra step.
Chapter 8 on Advanced Management introduces widgets to support page personalisation. It also looks at multi-lingual sites - adding Spanish -Mexico as an example and looking at translation - and efficient ways to deploy the site to a production server and to automatically synchronize updated content.
Taking a rather different approach from all that has come before, Chapter 9 SEO and Web Analytics, looks at ways to ensure the success of a website. It covers document aliases and meta-data and working with the web analytics module to track a marketing campaign.
There's a third website to build in the final chapter so Chapter 10 Building a Community Website opens by stopping the corporate website built dring the initial chapters. The chapter ties together much of what has already been learned and also goes into defining CSS sheets, creating master pages plus understanding community based features including user registration and membership and creating new groups for site users.
If you work your way through the whole of this book you'll have progressed from absolute beginner to accomplished site administrator.