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CMS Series: Perks of Kentico

When looking at CMS’ to use for a website, Kentico will quickly come up as a forward-looking option. Kentico has a good number of built-in features, including built-in drag and drop friendly page building, marketing tools, an open API and potential cloud support. And with a free, basic version, it’s easy to give it a try before making a final decision on a CMS software. 

Built on the ASP.NET framework, Kentico is aiming to keep up with Microsoft’s initiatives through full MVC support with Kentico 12.

For the uninitiated, MVC stands for Model, View, Controller, and is now the standard organizational pattern used in web development. The model controls what data to implement from the database; controllers catch and process requests by users, and the view is the end result of the controller’s processing of the model: a web page or component. Older versions of Kentico, while including MVC as an option, heavily relied on the Portal Engine’s Web Form-based solutions.

With an initial release in 2006 Kentico has had plenty of time to build out of the box widgets for clients to implement. A blessing at first, as clients now have lots of default widgets. But it was ultimately a curse as most would likely go unused. All of the extra widgets would just increase compile and website load times. Switching to the now market suggested MVC approach has led to a much leaner product with slightly more development time needed to get going. 

Kentico’s new “MVC-first” design still includes all the handy marketing automation features you would previously get and, through recent updates, has optional inclusion of inline page editing.

A true benefit of the design, however, is the ability to unmarry your content and the templates themselves. Kentico also has a cloud-based solution for a truly “headless” CMS. Users could use the open API to access key features, while having the actual content of the site on separate servers. 

Any website currently using web form-based approaches will likely need a full migration once Microsoft stops supporting the option, so Kentico’s aim of being 100% MVC-based by 2020 is admirable. They intend to fully drop support for web forms and their older releases some time during 2022, but any developer these days will want to implement an MCV approach anyway. Hopefully the days of clunky, overdone UI are behind us with custom and clean implementations being the future.