Thomas Robbins

Thomas Robbins

I spend my time working with partners and customers extending their marketing and technology to the fullest.

Thomas ranks #342 in the community leaderboard with total of 0 reputation points.


Thanks and taking on new opportunities

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost five years ago that I left Microsoft to join Kentico. Being part of the tremendous Kentico growth over the last several years has been an incredible journey. The community and partner ecosystem has been an important part of this journey. Also, the many fantastic people I have had a chance to meet and work with at Kentico.  Unfortunately, I have made the tough decision to leave Kentico to accept another opportunity.

Get the May edition of the Kentico 8 hands on labs!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that provided feedback and ideas. I am happy to announce the second release of the Kentico 8 hands on labs manual. With over thirty labs and over 180 pages. It’s packed with lots of Kentico Version 8 hands on examples and information.
If you have any lab ideas or requests please email me.

How to Series: Forms with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Online forms are one of the best ways to interact and collect information from customers. With Kentico 8 the building of forms is done using a visual designer and then published to your site. In this video we look at how you can build and deploy online forms.

Webinar wrap up: Using MVC with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

The ASP.NET MVC Framework provides a powerful Model View Controller (MVC) approach to building web applications and provides separation of concerns, control over HTML output, intuitive URLs, and increased testability. We will start by looking at the -what and why of ASP.NET MVC. Then we will explore the various pieces of ASP.NET MVC including routes, controllers, actions, and views. If you are looking to get started with MVC then don't miss this session.

You can find the slides here

Webinar Wrap Up: Simplify integration with Connect and Conquer

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

This webinar will provide a demo of the integration possibilities which are achievable between Kentico EMS and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Valuable customer website behavior data can be gleaned and made available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You will see how Connect and Conquer can be configured in a fast and easy way to achieve this.

Feature Series: A/B Testing with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico A/B testing is a technique of online marketers to optimize pages of a website according to the reaction of visitors. This is done by creating a modified version of the page and running a test. The system then divides traffic between individual page versions and tracks how the changes affect the user experience and activity of visitors.  When a visitor navigates to a page that has a running A/B test defined, one of the page variants configured for the given test will be displayed to them.  In this video we look at how to create an A/B test with Kentico 8.

Webinar Wrap up: Here Comes Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

Kentico 8 is here! It includes an amazing list of technical enhancements. Attend this webinar to join Kentico’s CTO, Martin Hejtmanek explore these new Kentico Version 8 enhancements. In this interactive session Martin will show some of his personal favorites and why he thinks they are important for Kentico developers.

Slides available here

Feature series: Shopping Cart with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The shopping cart is one of the most important parts of your e-commerce site. It helps to organize the information for a successful transaction and ensures that things run orderly and smoothly. The shopping cart as a mediator between the payment processor and websites. A shopping cart that is easy to navigate and flexible enough to offer personalized experiences makes online shopping a pleasant experience for customers. In this video we look at the how to use the shopping cart with the E-commerce sample site in Kentico 8.

How To Series: Adding products with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Products are the most important objects in your on-line store. They feature the actual products and services that you offer and sell to customers. Your customers can purchase products separately or with options, which may include product accessories and attributes. In Kentico, products exist as product objects associated with product type documents. This means that if you want to present a product on your website, you need to display a product type document with a product object assigned to this document. In this video we look at how you can add products with Kentico 8.

Webinar wrap up: The Online Marketing Solution with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

Welcome Kentico 8 and the updated Online Marketing Solution designed to optimizes the digital customer journey by easily delivering actionable data that helps strengthen marketing campaigns, build customer loyalty, and generate higher conversion rates. Join this interactive webinar to learn how the integrated marketing solution provides easy-to-use tools for tracking and optimizing customer journey from discovery to purchase intent to conversion.

How to Series: Editing content with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Editing page content is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a site. In this tutorial we look at several ways this can be done with Kentico 8. First, we look at Live Site editing that allows page editors to make changes directly on public facing pages. Then we look at editing content through the Administration interface.

Webinar Wrap up: The E-commerce Solution with Kentico 8

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Welcome Kentico 8 and the updated E-Commerce Solution designed to quickly build a consumer-centric online store or donation center that’s easy to navigate and support. Join this interactive webinar to learn how you can win and retain new B2B customers, B2C consumers and non-profit donors, using fully-integrated marketing tools to manage the prospective customer journey and increase customer loyalty.

How to Series: Installing E-commerce Sample Site

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The E-commerce sample site of Kentico 8 contains an amazing amount of features. You aren’t able to access any of these great features unless you get it installed! In this video we look at at how you can install it on your local machine.

Webinar Wrap up: Say hello to Kentico Version 8! Your integrated marketing solution has arrived

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Thanks to everyone that attended
Kentico 8 is your comprehensive pain-free solution that works across multiple channels to provide customer behavior insights, nurture sales leads and strengthen engagement between your B2B and B2C customers. Kentico’s integrated marketing solution optimizes the digital customer journey by easily delivering actionable data that helps strengthen marketing campaigns, build customer loyalty, and generate higher conversion rates. Join Oldrich Januska, Director of Kentico Product Management for this first look at the new Kentico 8.

The Definitive Guide to the Cloud and Kentico

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Cloud computing is a broad industry term that describes a wide range of services and components. As with any other major development in technology, many vendors have started to push the term Cloud and Cloud computing. Unfortunately, they may be using it for product and deployment options that sit outside of the generally-accepted definition. In order to understand the value of the Cloud, it’s important to first understand the types of available Cloud services. This allows organizations to choose where, when, and how they use Cloud computing.
In this whitepaper we explain the different types of Cloud Computing services commonly referred to as:
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
We will illustrate how these services work, and provide some real-world guidance on using Kentico with each flavor of Cloud computing. This whitepaper explores the concept of Cloud computing and provides practical guidance on which flavors of Cloud computing and how Kentico may work best for an organization.

Get the first edition of the Kentico 8 hands on labs!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that provided feedback and ideas. I am happy to announce the first release of the Kentico 8 hands on labs manual. With twenty five labs and over 150 pages. It’s packed with lots of Kentico Version 8 hands on examples and information.

if you have any lab ideas or requests please email me.

How To: Kentico 8 Installation

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Now that you have downloaded Kentico 8 it’s time to install. In this video we look at the requirements and the installation process for Kentico 8.

Using the Firefox Responsive Design Mode

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
It may have taken a while to catch on but responsive design is here to stay. If you haven’t run across it - Firefox has added a few tools to make developing responsive sites a little easier. In the Firefox developer tools is a responsive design mode button. When selected this button provides a window within a window. Essentially, this allows the resizing of a displayed website to offer an experience like you would see it on the device viewport. The benefit is that, this is done without having to resize the main Firefox window. In this blog post we will take a look at how this works.

Introducing MVC Controllers with Visual Studio 2013 and ASP.NET MVC 5

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In Getting Started with Visual Studio 2013 and ASP.NET MVC 5 we created a new MVC application and took a look at some of the basics.  As a quick review it’s important to remember there are three parts to MVC.
  • Models: Part of the application that handles the application logic and contains classes representing data structure.
  • Views: Part of the application that handles the generation of HTML responses
  • Controllers: Part of the application that handles user interaction and incoming browser requests, retrieves model data and specify views
In this blog post we will take a look at Controllers and how they can be used

Getting Started with Visual Studio 2013 and ASP.NET MVC 5

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern separates an application into three main components: the model, the view, and the controller. The MVC framework is defined in the System.Web.Mvc namespace and is a part of the System.Web namespace. The MVC pattern helps you create applications that separate the different aspects of the application (input logic, business logic, and UI logic), while providing a loose coupling between these elements. The pattern specifies where each kind of logic should be located in the application. The UI logic belongs in the view. Input logic belongs in the controller. Business logic belongs in the model. This separation helps you manage complexity when you build an application, because it enables you to focus on one aspect of the implementation at a time.

Webinar wrap up: One Size does Not Fit All: Selecting the Right Mobile Strategy

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended our session and Jeff for a great session!
The key to a successful mobile strategy is aligning user needs with your business goals and evolving mobile technologies. Once you have alignment, the focus turns to determining the right strategy for your business:
 
•             Responsive website?
•             Mobile website?
•             Native application?

Getting started with MVC 5 and Visual Studio 2013

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the session at the recent South Florida Code camp!
The ASP.NET MVC Framework provides a powerful Model View Controller (MVC) approach to building web applications and provides separation of concerns, control over HTML output, intuitive URLs, and increased testability. We will start by looking at the what and why of ASP.NET MVC. Then we will explore the various pieces of ASP.NET MVC including routes, controllers, actions, and views. If you are looking to get started with MVC then don’t miss this session.

Attend a Kentico 8 Launch Webinar

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Featured Article
It’s almost here! Are you ready for the release of Kentico 8? To help you get ready we have planned a series of fantastic launch webinars. Hope to see you there!

Get the updated February book of Kentico Version 7 hands on labs!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that provided feedback and ideas. I am happy to announce the February release of the Kentico 7 Hands on labs. Now with over 30 labs and more than 180 pages. It’s packed with a lot of Kentico Version 7 hands on examples and information!
 
This month includes a new lab on building landing pages and additional formatting based on people’s feedback.

Download the PDF from here

if you have any lab ideas or requests please email me.

Quick Tip: Visual Studio 2013 Line/Region Move

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
One of the new productivity features I ran across in Visual Studio allows the use of the keyboard to move lines and regions in your code. This makes it easier than having to do a copy and paste operation. In this post we will look at how to use this feature.

Quick Tip: Visual Studio 2013 Using Navigate To

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
One of the new productivity features in Visual Studio 2013 is called Navigate To. This productivity feature allows you to search for objects, definitions, or references in your solution without having to open the Solution Explorer. Unlike the old Navigate dialog box this new way allows a preview of your code. In this post we will take a look at how to use the Navigate To feature.

Web Designers vs. Web Developers [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
If you don't work in the tech industry, many don't  know the difference between web designers and web developers. In fact there are many differences from qualifications, to job duties. In reality the two don’t always have a lot in common. I readily admit this infographic by wix.com has some old data but the top portion makes me laugh every time I see it! Any personal characteristics you think are missing?

Quick Tip: Visual Studio 2013 Using Map Mode

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
One of the new productivity features in Visual Studio 2013 is an improvement in the scroll bar called map mode. This productivity feature makes it possible to see a map of your code directly in your scroll bar. This makes it easier to see the big picture of the current file and click to access a specific area. Not only will this help to make navigation easier but it simplifies code refactoring by giving easier access to various sections of any code file. In this post will take a quick look at map mode is turned on and used.

Get the updated January book of Kentico CMS Version 7 hands on labs!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that provided feedback and ideas. I am happy to announce the January release of the Kentico 7 Hands on labs. Now with over 30 labs and more than 150 pages. It’s packed with a lot of Kentico CMS 7 information!
 
In addition to new labs, I continued to make formatting changes based on people’s feedback.
 
Download the PDF from here

if you have any lab ideas or requests please email me.

The Secrets of a Killer Blog Post [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
No matter what industry you blog in, you can guarantee that you have competitors. With an estimated 2 million posted every single day, you want to avoid being considered just noise. This infographic from WhoIsHostingthis.com shows some of the secrets of creating a killer blog post. According to the infographic is all about grabbing the reader’s attention. Anything you think may be missing?

Marketing Automation on CMS Connected!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
I always appreciate the opportunity to talk with the folks at CMS Connected! Especially when we talk about marketing automation and happenings around the CMS community.

Agile development – Who’s hiring and who’s hirable [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Yoh and job site CareerBuilder have produced a great infographic that shows if you are a software engineer skilled in agile development, be very, very, very happy. You’re in high demand. According to this infographic agile developers are getting above average salaries and being pursued in startups, development shops, and established enterprises such as Microsoft, IBM, and Northrop Grumman.

Why you need marketing automation

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Marketing automation solutions are designed to support marketing professionals as they create, run and evaluate campaigns. It's important to remember that automation programs are designed to support a company's marketing staff, not replace it. With automation marketing professionals free up time to focus on more productive tasks. Instead of wading through confusing website search data and trying to calculate conversion statistics from social media sites, marketing team members can instead focus on nurturing quality leads. Putting the focus back on actual interaction with potential clients can have major advantages where sales and revenue are concerned.  Here are my top 5 reasons why you should consider marketing automation. Anything I may have missed?

17 Linkedin Profile Must Haves [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Linkedin is one of the premier locations for managing your professional identify for networking with other potential employers. I’d be surprised if anyone reading this didn’t have an account. However, because it’s an online profile, it tends to get a bit sloppy. Maximize Social Business, created this infographic listing 17 Linkedin profile must haves. It’s the little details like adding a professional photo and using your full, professional name can bring a lot more coverage.

The Definitive Guide to the Cloud and Kentico CMS (updated)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Cloud computing is a broad industry term that describes a wide range of services and components. As with any other major development in technology, many vendors have started to push the term Cloud and Cloud computing. Unfortunately, they may be using it for product and deployment options that sit outside of the generally-accepted definition. In order to understand the value of the Cloud, it’s important to first understand the types of available Cloud services. This allows organizations to choose where, when, and how they use Cloud computing.

In this whitepaper we explain the different types of Cloud Computing services commonly referred to as:
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
 
We will illustrate how these services work, and provide some real-world guidance on using Kentico with each flavor of Cloud computing. This whitepaper explores the concept of Cloud computing and provides practical guidance on which flavors of Cloud computing and Kentico CMS may work best for an organization.

Get the updated book of Kentico CMS Version 7 hands on labs!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that provided feedback and ideas. I am happy to announce the November release of the Kentico CMS 7 Hands on labs. Now with over 20 labs and 100 pages it’s packed with a lot of Kentico CMS 7 information!

In this edition I made some minor formatting changes and also included a new lab on creating an advanced workflow for auto-posting to your social media accounts.

Get the updated Kentico Connections 2013 Mobile Application

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Are you attending Kentico Connections 2013 or just want to see what’s going on? Well I hope you will take a look at the updated Beta of the Kentico Connections 2013 Mobile app!  Based on the attendees feedback this year we went with an HTML 5 mobile application code optimized for the webkit-based browsers found on the IOS and Android devices. 

Visual studio quick tip – using regular expressions in search

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
How much time do you spend picking or searching through your code? Looking for things and trying to remember where stuff is. I was talking with someone the other day and realized that they weren’t aware they could use regular expressions within Visual Studio search. In this blog post I’ll take a quick look at how this is done.

Data never sleeps [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Next time you run a Google search think about the fact that it’s just one of 2 million that Google will receive that minute. In the same amount of time, Facebook users post about 684,478 pieces of content. Even crazier is that online shoppers spend an average of $272,070 every minute! That over $391 million every day! DOMO created this infographic, which shows just how much data is generated every minute. It’s pretty amazing to see the amount of data created across some of the key platforms.

Get up to speed with Windows Azure and Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Looking for more information about Windows Azure and Kentico CMS7? We have over seven hours of conference videos from Windows Azure and Kentico CMS 7 virtual conference you can use to get up to speed quickly.

Get the big book of Kentico CMS Version 7 hands on labs!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that provided feedback and ideas. I am happy to announce the update and release of an updated version of Kentico CMS 7 Hands on labs. With over 15 labs and 90 pages it’s packed with a lot of Kentico CMS 7 information!

Insights on Social Media Worldwide [infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Nobody should argue that marketers have taken to social media. Social media has become an incredibly important part of marketing success. The more time we spend on social media the more businesses are able to study who we are and what we like. This infographic from IDG provides some fantastic data on the importance of social media and its promotion of brand marketing.

Guide to Web Testing Using Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
If you've ever wondered why your digital marketing efforts haven't panned out, the fault may be in your lack of testing. Successful digital marketers live and die by the meticulous testing and tweaking of every aspect of their digital campaigns, until they find the combination of words, backlinks, media, and tone that draws the biggest returns. If you treat every marketing campaign as an experiment, you may find the success you've been missing. There are two basic forms of testing used in digital marketing analysis, and both have something to offer any individual or company looking for the best way to sell their products or services.

Best Practices: Making the Most of Your Tests

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
A test is only as good as the practices behind it. To make sure you're getting the most out of your A/B and multivariate testing, I have put together three best practices. Anything else you would add?

Testing Matters – Don’t forget

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In 2012, Adobe conducted a Digital Marketing Optimization Survey that questioned participants on their best practices for increasing online conversions. Sadly, their responses to question on testing revealed that it simply isn't a priority for many marketers. Over half of the respondents admitted that they perform little to no A/B or multivariate testing while creating a campaign or developing a website. Only 10 percent of survey respondents said they commonly use testing to improve their campaigns.

A quick guide to understanding web testing

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
If you've ever wondered why your digital marketing efforts haven't panned out, the fault may be in your lack of testing. Successful Internet entrepreneurs live and die by meticulous testing and tweaking every aspect of their digital campaigns.  Until they find the combination of words, backlinks, media, and tone that draws the biggest returns. If you treat every marketing campaign as an experiment, you may find the success you've been missing. There are two basic forms of testing used in digital marketing analysis. Both have something to offer any individual or company looking for the best way to sell their products or services.

Ranking factors and Rank Correlation 2013 [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
It’s a question everyone asks. What do web pages that are well positioned in Google have in common and what distinguishes them? To help answer this question Searchmetrics examined the 30 top search results for 10,000 keywords, analyzing over 300,000 websites to create this infographic. The infographic highlights great information about the power of backlinks, social, and content.  Backlinks are a huge factor in helping page ranks. Also, the study found that site speed is also incredibly important.

Who’s not online and why

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
I know it’s hard to believe in today’s world that there are still people not online. But it’s definitely still the case.  According to this recent study by Pew Internet  of May 2013 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.  Here are some of what I think are the more important highlights.

Webinar wrap up: Introduction to UI Personalization with Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

UI personalization allows the creation of a simplified user interface. It’s a great way to create personalized and extensible user experiences that empower people to get things done. System administrators are able to remove tabs, menu items, actions and parts of UI pages that aren’t needed. This allows users to not be overwhelmed by loads of unnecessary options. System administrators are able to deploy intelligent user interfaces. In this session we will examine how this feature is used within Kentico CMS 7. We will cover the basics of technical implementation, design concerns, extensibility and security. In this webinar we looked at how to implement the basics of UI personalization on your Kentico CMS 7 site.

Who’s minding your cloud? [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Security is an extremely important issue. Even though cloud computing is just as safe as traditional system when it comes to vulnerabilities and security holes. It’s important to remember that the nature of cloud computing, the public cloud gives lots of people access to the data. Regardless, according to this infographic by CA Technologies the cloud continues to grow but security continues to be an open questions.

The mobile revolution continues

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to Janus Boye and a great CMS Experts session here in Seattle!

Welcome to modern marketing! Desktops, mobile phones, Digital signage,  TV’s, tablets, netbooks, mini-tablets… the list of connected devices your customers are using to consume your marketing never stops growing! The modern marketing world is a myriad of screen sizes and effective calls to action. What are the best choices? The landscape of consumerism has changed in a few short years allowing our customers more choices for reading, watching, communicating, socializing, shopping, and making purchase decisions.

Get the updated Kentico Connections 2013 Mobile Application

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Are you attending Kentico Connections 2013 or just want to see what’s going on? Well I hope you will take a look at the updated Beta of the Kentico Connections 2013 Mobile app!  Based on the attendees feedback this year we went with an HTML 5 mobile application code optimized for the webkit-based browsers found on the IOS and Android devices. 

Get the application from your mobile device by going to:
http://bit.ly/KenticoConnections

Kentico Technical Learning – Introduction to UI Personalization with Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
UI personalization allows the creation of a simplified user interface. It’s a great way to create personalized and extensible user experiences that empower people to get things done. System administrators are able to remove tabs, menu items, actions and parts of UI pages that aren’t needed. This allows users to not be overwhelmed by loads of unnecessary options. System administrators are able to deploy intelligent user interfaces. In this session we will examine how this feature is used within Kentico CMS 7. We will cover the basics of technical implementation, design concerns, extensibility and security. In this webinar we looked at how to implement the basics of UI personalization on your Kentico CMS 7 site.

Three responsive design concepts

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Responsive design is definitely one of the most talked about industry topics. As I covered in this Introducing Responsive Design post, it’s an approach to web design that adjusts to the user across varying browser sizes. The popularity of responsive design has grown exponentially with the increasing number of tablets and smartphones and users accessing the Internet with these devices. This has made it essential that developers think about all the ways their information is viewed. This article covers just three questions I often get asked. What others would you add?

Help Kentico Win the 2013 Community Choice Awards

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
I am happy to announce that with your support Kentico has been nominated for the 2013 Community Choice Awards sponsored by Dev Pro.  You can find Kentico nominated for Best Content Management, e-Commerce Package and Best Vendor Support. Please take a moment and go here to help cast your vote for Kentico.

Get the Updated Kentico Connections 2013 – Mobile App Beta

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Are you attending Kentico Connections 2013 or just want to see what’s going on? Well I hope you will take a look at the updated Beta of the Kentico Connections 2013 Mobile app!  Based on the attendees feedback this year we went with an HTML 5 mobile application code optimized for the webkit-based browsers found on the IOS and Android devices.  This update includes the first our social services!

Get the application from your mobile device by going to:
http://bit.ly/KenticoConnections

Webinar wrap up: How To Propel Your Website Past Your Competition

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!
 
If you are planning out your digital strategy you need to think beyond your website and embrace the whole customer experience.  Today, marketers are trying to figure out how to attract the right people into their website with targeted and consistent content while converting them into the sales and marketing processes.  Don’t miss this webinar by Galvin Technologies and Kentico show what companies need to do to propel their website past the competition while increasing revenue.
This webinar will cover:
  • How to increase conversion rates with targeted content
  • Strategies you can implement now to beat your competition
  • Stop ignoring “Big Data” and use it.
  • Why your website is critical to your sales processes

Get the Kentico Connections 2013 – Mobile App Beta

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Are you attending Kentico Connections 2013 or just want to see what’s going on? Well I hope you will take a look at the Beta of the Kentico Connections 2013 Mobile app!  Based on the attendees feedback this year we went with an HTML 5 mobile application code optimized for the webkit-based browsers found on the IOS and Android devices. 

Get the application from your mobile device by going to:
http://bit.ly/KenticoConnections

How To Propel Your Website Past Your Competition

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
If you are planning out your digital strategy you need to think beyond your website and embrace the whole customer experience.  Today, marketers are trying to figure out how to attract the right people into their website with targeted and consistent content while converting them into the sales and marketing processes.  Don’t miss this webinar by Galvin Technologies and Kentico show what companies need to do to propel their website past the competition while increasing revenue.

The Definitive Guide to the Cloud and Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Cloud computing is a broad industry term that describes a wide range of services and components. As with any other major development in technology, many vendors have started to push the term Cloud and Cloud computing. Unfortunately, they may be using it for product and deployment options that sit outside of the generally-accepted definition. In order to understand the value of the Cloud, it’s important to first understand the types of available Cloud services. This allows organizations to choose where, when, and how they use Cloud computing.

Wrap up: Website “Build It” workshop – Kentico EMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Chad Heinle, a Senior Consultant from High Monkey Consulting, shared the steps we followed to build our own website in Kentico EMS 7.  This workshop will first review the planning and requirements stage and the creation of an Information Architecture and wireframes.  The majority of the webinar will be focused on the build process and the implementation of Kentico EMS 7.  In addition to seeing the public facing and CMS Desk views of HIGHMONKEY.COM, Chad Heinle will be doing some live site building on a Kentico demo site.  Everyone is welcome to attend; however, this workshop is primarily intended for webmasters, site builders, page and site designers, and content editors.  There will be some discussion about the details of how things are built but this workshop is not a “deep dive” into code or custom development.
 
This “build it” workshop will give you an overview of what goes into building a website using the Kentico EMS platform and some best practices to consider for your next website build.     

What is the Google Penguin Update?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
SEO is such an important ingredient for any website success and we shouldn’t forget that Google sets the rules. While Bing is starting to move up the search traffic list, most traffic still continues to be delivered by Google. When Google updates their rules we need to pay attention. If you’re not familiar, Google rule changes are delivered in the form of an update to the algorithm that regulates the ranking of a given page against a search query. The Google Penguin 2.0 update was released on May 22nd. With this update, Google continues to target black hat SEO techniques.

Getting started with Personalization

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Like anything with modern marketing, personalization means you focus on understanding your customer intent through engagement. This also includes focusing on context and letting context help to drive relevance for visitors. Here are several things to keep in mind as you develop your personalization strategy.

Website “Build It” Workshop – Kentico EMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Chad Heinle, a Senior Consultant from High Monkey Consulting, will be sharing the steps we followed to build our own website in Kentico EMS 7.  This workshop will first review the planning and requirements stage and the creation of an Information Architecture and wireframes.  The majority of the webinar will be focused on the build process and the implementation of Kentico EMS 7.  In addition to seeing the public facing and CMS Desk views of HIGHMONKEY.COM, Chad Heinle will be doing some live site building on a Kentico demo site.  Everyone is welcome to attend; however, this workshop is primarily intended for webmasters, site builders, page and site designers, and content editors.  There will be some discussion about the details of how things are built but this workshop is not a “deep dive” into code or custom development.
 

Personalization 101: Types of personalization

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
A non-personalized website typically presents the same content regardless of the user’s profile, personal preferences, clicking behavior and it is typically a static experience in that all users get the same content. Typically navigation and search are the main ways for users to extract information from the site. A personalized website in many ways is the exact opposite experience.  It will still have a navigation structure and search facility but the main difference is that the experience can be changed based on a number of factors. The best personalization tools rely upon a multitude of technologies to help companies personalize interactions and hone their marketing offers. Let’s examine some of the ways that personalization can be implemented. The two main types of personalization available today are 'Prescriptive Personalization' and 'Adaptive Personalization'.

Personalization 101

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
It wasn’t that long ago that all marketing was personal. I remember following my mother into the grocery store or bank and everyone addressing her by name. I can also remember my father dropping a stack of targeted direct mail pieces on the kitchen table. With the dawn of email and websites a strange thing happened. Marketers began relying on mass marketing techniques that allowed the delivery of a single message across these new digital channels. This initial evolution of technology made personalized messages obsolete. Today, that’s not the case. We expect our websites to act intelligently and to maintain our privacy, just like the best sales people. Let’s take a look at the basics of personalization when developing personalized digital engagements.

Video: Common questions for Windows Azure and Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the Azure Kentico Conference! You can find all the session videos available here.

Session description:
Got questions? Well the Kentico Cloud development team has answers! Join this session to see the most common questions and answers. Of course… make sure to bring your own questions!
 
Speaker: Kentico Cloud and SaaS Development Group

Video: Advanced development with Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the Azure Kentico Conference! You can find all the session videos available here.

Session Description:
Are you an experienced Windows Azure developer or architect looking to understand advanced development techniques when building highly scalable applications and services using the Windows Azure platform? Then don’t miss this session!
 
Speaker: Bryan Soltis, Kentico MVP and Director of Technology and Research at Bit-Wizards

Video: Best Practices for Kentico CMS and Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the Azure Kentico Conference! You can find all the session videos available here.
 
Session Description:
Are you looking for practical, immediate and usable real answers examples and scenarios? Then don’t miss this session as we look at the best practices for managing and running Kentico CMS on Windows Azure.
 
Speaker: Dominik Pinter, Group Product Manager/SaaS and Cloud

Video: Deployment options for Kentico CMS on Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the Azure Kentico Conference! You can find all the session videos available here.

Session description:
What is the best deployment option for your Kentico CMS installation on Azure? Kentico Installation Manager (KIM), Power shell, Webmatrix to name a few. It depends on your requirements! In this session we will look at the various deployment options available for your Kentico CMS environment.
 
Speaker: Bryan Soltis, Kentico MVP and Director of Technology and Research at Bit-Wizards

Video: Get set.. Introduction to Windows Azure Development

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the Azure Kentico Conference! You can find all the session videos available here.

Session description:
Got Visual Studio? Your almost there! In this session we will look at how to prepare your development environment for Windows Azure. This includes required components and setting up your Microsoft Windows Azure account.  Don’t miss this session to learn how to build a killer “Hello World!” application.
 
Speaker: Brian McKeiver, Kentico MVP and Partner/Senior Developer at BizStream

Video: Are you ready? Introduction to Cloud Computing and Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the Azure Kentico Conference! You can find all the session videos available here.

Session description:
Windows Azure is an internet scale cloud computing and services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers, which provides an operating system and a set of developer services which can be used individually or together. It gives developers the choice to build web application; applications running on connected devices, PCs or servers; or hybrid solutions offering the best of both worlds.  Don’t miss this session to learn what cloud computing is and what Windows Azure provides.
 
Speaker: Vince Mayfield, CEO Bit-Wizards

Deployment options for Kentico CMS on Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
What is the best deployment option for your Kentico CMS installation on Azure? Kentico Installation Manager (KIM), Power shell, Webmatrix to name a few. It depends on your requirements! In this session we will look at the various deployment options available for your Kentico CMS environment.
 
Speaker: Bryan Soltis, Kentico MVP and Director of Technology and Research at Bit-Wizards

Get set.. Introduction to Windows Azure Development

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Got Visual Studio? Your almost there! In this session we will look at how to prepare your development environment for Windows Azure. This includes required components and setting up your Microsoft Windows Azure account.  Don’t miss this session to learn how to build a killer “Hello World!” application.
 
Speaker: Brian McKeiver, Kentico MVP and Partner/Senior Developer at BizStream

Are you ready? Introduction to Cloud Computing and Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Windows Azure is an internet scale cloud computing and services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers, which provides an operating system and a set of developer services which can be used individually or together. It gives developers the choice to build web application; applications running on connected devices, PCs or servers; or hybrid solutions offering the best of both worlds.  Don’t miss this session to learn what cloud computing is and what Windows Azure provides.
 
Speaker: Vince Mayfield, CEO Bit-Wizards

Webinar wrap up: Usability Testing for the Greatest User Experience

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to High Monkey for this fantastic webinar!

How do you really know if you’re website’s user experience is great if you haven’t witnessed actual users using it? And how do you know that your new website is going to be great if your users aren’t the ones driving the decisions? The answer to both of these questions is, you don’t. Be wary of a web designer that offers all of the answers before ever talking to your users. Every organization and its users are unique in some way, and with usability testing you can gather the insights you need to take out the guess work and start designing human focused websites.  
 

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
I can’t imagine the work that went into this. But a great job by Backlinko and SingleGrain for putting together this infographic that attempts to dissect Google’s ranking algorithm. It walks through domain factors, page level factors, site-level factors, backlink factors, user interaction, additional indicators and social signals. Whether you believe everything is completely correct it’s a very comprehensive list that you can review and think about as your optimize your content.

Harnessing the content beast – Content marketing in the multiscreen world

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the webinar!

Desktops, mobile phones, Digital signage,  TV’s, tablets, netbooks, mini-tablets… the list of connected devices your customers are using to consume your content never stops growing! Unfortunately, this doesn’t match your marketing budget. When it comes to serving content in today’s world it’s a myriad of screen sizes and effective calls to action. What are your choices? The landscape of consumerism has changed in a few short years allowing our customers more choices for reading, watching, communicating, socializing, shopping, and making purchase decisions.
 
This webinar will examine the core concept and practical strategies for creating effective and responsive content in the multi-screen world we live in. 
Register now to gain actionable insights and learn:
  • Practical strategies to determine the appropriate screen sizes for your content marketing materials.
  • Building effective calls to action for multiple screens.
  • Practical strategies to use when building your content marketing plan in today’s multi-screen world.
  • Decision strategies for deploying content effectively.
  • Possible frameworks available
  • How best to integrate this approach with your marketing plan.

Microsoft Webinar Wrap up: Taking your CMS to the Cloud with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks for Microsoft in sponsoring this webinar for us!
Windows Azure is an amazing evolution in cloud computing! This evolution requires changes in how we deploy and manage our applications and sites. What are the architecture patterns you need to think about? How do you install? How do you manage your site? These are just a few of the questions that we often hear from our customers. In this webinar Thomas Robbins, Chief Evangelist for Kentico CMS will cover how to use Kentico CMS in Windows Azure. Once you have your site up we will cover how you can manage your site using both the Kentico CMS tools and the tools available from Windows Azure.

Kentico developer wanted - Interested in an African adventure?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
ExplainerDC (www.explainerdc.com.gh) is Ghana’s leading web development, internet marketing and web hosting company, established in 2001. We service more than 100 clients in Ghana and abroad such as Vodafone, The UN and Société Générale. Our projects range from corporate websites to information portals and marketing campaigns. We have also set up several e-ventures together with partners, such as YellowPages (www.yellowpages.com.gh) and RackAfrica, the first carrier-neutral data centre in West Africa (www.rackafrica.com).

Usability Testing for the Greatest User Experience

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
How do you really know if you’re website’s user experience is great if you haven’t witnessed actual users using it? And how do you know that your new website is going to be great if your users aren’t the ones driving the decisions? The answer to both of these questions is, you don’t. Be wary of a web designer that offers all of the answers before ever talking to your users. Every organization and its users are unique in some way, and with usability testing you can gather the insights you need to take out the guess work and start designing human focused websites.  
 

Video: Getting Started with Kentico+

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Kentico+ provides a variety of benefits:
  • Provides a pay as you go model that allows customers to pay only for the cloud storage they actually use.
  • Kentico+ allows you to focus not only on building websites but also in helping you achieve higher campaign ROI. With Kentico+ you can scale into the cloud and easily deliver high performance websites.
  • Tap into a the quick response of Kentico support or leverage any of the over 1, 200 Kentico partners in over 80 countries
In this video we take a look at setting up your Kentico+ instance and how easy it is to get your site started.

2013 The Year Of Responsive Design [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Nobody should argue that the market continues to add what seems like a limitless stream of mobile devices to the market. How you make your site engage with these devices is the question we should be asking. This infographic by Uberflip provides some great basic data and information about Responsive design. While I don’t always think Responsive Design is the answer, it is an essential part of the technology landscape today.  I thought this was very well done introductory infographic about Responsive Design that presents the information in an easy to follow format and very straight forward.

Are you ready for Cloud Computing?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
How do you know if cloud computing is right for your organization? Even though cloud computing is everywhere, is being offered by all major technology players, and all agree you need it, never forget definitions continue to vary. It’s important for anyone looking at the cloud to find the right balance of cost to benefit, availability, scalability, and capacity to drive the best decision. Understanding these in addition to your organizations risk profile is essential to determine if cloud computing and associated services are right you.

Getting Started with Kentico+

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico+ provides a variety of benefits:
  • Provides a pay as you go model that allows customers to pay only for the cloud storage they actually use.
  • Kentico+ allows you to focus not only on building websites but also in helping you achieve higher campaign ROI. With Kentico+ you can scale into the cloud and easily deliver high performance websites.
  • Tap into a the quick response of Kentico support or leverage any of the over 1, 200 Kentico partners in over 80 countries
In this video we take a look at setting up your Kentico+ instance and how easy it is to get your site started.

Announcing the Azure Kentico Virtual Conference - Registration open!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
We hope you feel that the worldwide Kentico community is a fantastic place for support and education on any technical topic.  Kentico is incredibly excited about the shift to the cloud and Windows Azure and couldn’t think of any better way to show that excitement than to spread the word virtually and provide some great content. This is your chance to either participate or become part of our first ever Azure Kentico Virtual Conference. Yes, you heard that right! You can sit in the comfort of your home, office or favorite coffee shop and be part of the audience and learn about Windows Azure and Kentico CMS.  If you have something to say you can step up to present your session and be part of the learning experience!

Webinar Wrap up: Questionmine/Kentico EMS – making video actionable

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!
By 2015, 90% of web traffic will be video (Cisco). That’s cool... but what do you know about who is watching YOUR videos? How are you customizing your prospects' website experience based on their engagement with your videos?

Watch this webinar to learn how Questionmine and Kentico have teamed up to help Savvy marketers who demand to know more than just "who clicked on my video?"

At the most basic level, Questionmine provides video hosting and a killer set of video analytics integrated into your Kentico EMS installation. When these two are combined they create instantly ACTIONABLE marketing data. For example, easily allowing customization of website content and marketing efforts based on an EMS activity like the length of time a video was viewed.

For marketers that want to take their videos to the next level, the Questionmine Kentico EMS integration allows you to:
  1. Generate leads by adding lead capture forms at any point in a video.
  2. Qualify leads by adding questions that appear during the video.
  3. Customize website content and marketing efforts based on how prospects and leads answer questions during videos.
  4. Drive Ecommerce by including call to action buttons during video such as "Buy Now" or "Add to Cart".

Cloud computing 101: Service models

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Personally, I believe that cloud computing is the next stage in the Internet’s evolution.  The cloud will eventually provide the way that everything from computing power to computing infrastructure, application business process to personal collaboration is delivered as a service wherever and whenever you need it.

Cloud computing 101: What is the cloud?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Cloud computing is a significant step in the evolution of the Internet. Cloud computing is an evolutionary step that combines the power of the Internet, outsourcing, increased bandwidth, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), mobility to just name a few.

Webinar Wrap up: Why community management is not enough today – Starting with social care

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

Social Media Customer Service, commonly called Social care, is becoming the next generation for customer engagement. With more than 1 billion people globally using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, the volumes of customer complaints and inquiries posted online are growing rapidly. This webinar organized by Kentico, in cooperation with Brand Embassy a global Social care platform provider introduced how businesses can easily identify, engage and analyze dissatisfied customers on the social web. In just one hour you will be prepared to start with social care for your business.

Questionmine/Kentico EMS – making video actionable

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
By 2015, 90% of web traffic will be video (Cisco). That’s cool... but what do you know about who is watching YOUR videos? How are you customizing your prospects' website experience based on their engagement with your videos?

Watch this webinar to learn how Questionmine and Kentico have teamed up to help Savvy marketers who demand to know more than just "who clicked on my video?"

Why community management is not enough today – Starting with social care

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Social Media Customer Service, commonly called Social care, is becoming the next generation for customer engagement. With more than 1 billion people globally using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, the volumes of customer complaints and inquiries posted online are growing rapidly. This webinar organized by Kentico, in cooperation with Brand Embassy a global Social care platform provider will introduce you to how businesses can easily identify, engage and analyze dissatisfied customers on the social web. In just one hour you will be prepared to start with social care for your business.

Cloud Computing – The IT Solution for the 21st Century [Infogrpahic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Cloud computing is having a tremendous impact on the IT industry. I suspect many people reading this post are already cloud based technologies  in their personal and professional lives. This infpographic by Multy Shades is using the term fifth generation of the computing industry. Cloud computing is clearly establishing itself as the next biggest leap in the transformation of the usage of computers at the work place.

Video: Kentico CMS 7 & Windows Azure Installation

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Windows Azure is Microsoft’s answer to the cloud and Kentico CMS has been a close partner in leveraging this cloud platform. For developers Windows Azure provides a fantastic opportunity for building and deploying applications like Kentico CMS. In this video we take a look at how you can download and install Kentico CMS on Windows Azure using publishing and leveraging the Kentico Installation Manager.

Are you ready to learn about Marketing Automation?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Version 7 introduced some amazing new features. In my personal opinion one of the most powerful is Marketing Automation. Marketing automation is used to manage automatic targeting, timing and content of your outbound marketing messages in response to the behavior and actions of site visitors. For marketers this drastically simplifies the planning and delivering of marketing messages to specific segments.

Ask the experts #2 is almost here!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
It’s just about a week away and I hope I’ll see you there!

Date: April 10, 2013 
Time: 8 AM PST/11 AM EST/4 PM BST
Location: Everywhere! Google hangouts and Twitter

For more information and to submit your questions please find the form.

Updated HOL: Kentico CMS 7: Custom table: Creating and Display available now

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
This is an updated lab. Thanks to everyone that provided feeback.

Kentico CMS provides custom tables as a way to store and manage custom data. Technically, they are SQL tables and coupled stored procedures. Once a custom table is created and contains data, the next step is to provide a display for site visitors. In this lab we will add a custom table and then use the Basic Repeater web part to display it on a page. We will also look at how to use the Kentico CMS API to add and edit an existing item.

Webinar Wrap up: Exploring jQuery Mobile

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!
jQuery Mobile is a unified, HTML5-based user interface system designed for all popular mobile device platforms. Built on top of the jQuery and jQuery UI foundation the mobile framework is built with progressive enhancement in mind.

In this interactive webinar we looked at:
  • What a mobile framework is
  • Integrating Kentico CMS into your jQuery mobile applications
  • How to design mobile applications using progressive enhancement
  • Understand how HTML, CSS and JavaScript work together to build mobile applications
  • Learn how to write a mobile web application using jQuery mobile

Kentico CMS 7 & Windows Azure Installation

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Windows Azure is Microsoft’s answer to the cloud and Kentico CMS has been a close partner in leveraging this cloud platform. For developers Windows Azure provides a fantastic opportunity for building and deploying applications like Kentico CMS. In this video we take a look at how you can download and install Kentico CMS on Windows Azure using publishing and leveraging the Kentico Installation Manager.

In preparation for this video you should already have a Windows Azure account. If you’re looking for additional information on tooling, Microsoft provides them on www.windowsazure.com.

Webinar wrap up: Building Websites People Can Actually use

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended this webinar!

This fast paced webinar will take you through the stages of how a website gets built the right way - based on a solid Information Architecture ('IA') and delivering what users actually need from a website.  With hundreds of websites and over 18 years of web design and development experience behind him, your presenter, Joel Baglien, of High Monkey Consulting will break down the entire process and best practices that should be followed when creating or redesigning a website and implementing the Kentico Content Management System .

Day 4: Marketing Automation: Extending our process

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this fourth video we extend our marketing automation we created to include sending an email. Once the marketing automation process is complete, we look at the entire process example from having a user sign up and becoming a contact to delivering them an email as part of the marketing automation process.

Day 3: Marketing Automation: Defining Steps

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this third video we begin to build our Marketing Automation process within Kentico EMS. We take the online form that we created in the previous video and connect this into a Marketing Automation process. We look at how to create triggers and steps and how they are used within a marketing automation process. Once the marketing automation process is built we look at how the online form we built can be used to create a contact within EMS and then make them part of a Marketing Automation process.

Day 2: Marketing Automation: Sign up

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this second video we build the online form that is needed for the sign-up of our Marketing Automation process. We look at how this on-line form is built and then connected into EMS contacts. Once the form is built we test and then deploy it to our website to see how it can be used to collect contact within Kentico EMS.

Marketing automation - intro

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Are you ready for marketing automation? Version 7 introduced some amazing technologies. The question is how can I use it within Kentico EMS?  That is a great question and one that I thought I would help to answer. What better way to do that than to actually have you sign up for a marketing automation to learn about building marketing automation! This video provides an introduction to the Marketing Automation Video Series. 

Getting Ready for Ask the Experts # 2 with Brian McKeiver

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Hanging out with Brian McKeiver, a Kentico MVP and the Partner/Senior Developer at BizStream. We talk about his thoughts around the First Ask the Experts session and what he's been up to as we get ready for the next ask the experts session!

Looking for more information on Ask the Experts #2 click here
Also, if you can attend please let us know here

Building Websites People Can Actually Use

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

This fast paced webinar will take you through the stages of how a website gets built the right way - based on a solid Information Architecture ('IA') and delivering what users actually need from a website.  With hundreds of websites and over 18 years of web design and development experience behind him, your presenter, Joel Baglien, will break down the entire process and best practices that should be followed when creating or redesigning a website and implementing the Kentico Content Management System . 
 

The Economics of Content - Opinions needed!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Content marketing has emerged as a powerful vehicle for buyer engagement, thought leadership, and demand generation. Aberdeen Group is launching a new research project to identify Best-in-Class practices across the content marketing lifecycle – from content development, management, and distribution, to analytics and optimization. Their analysis will quantify the value of content in the marketing mix, helping identify the new economics of content marketing. We’re pleased to support this great research and hope you will as well.


The State of Cloud Storage in 2013 [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
An exabyte of data is an astounding number! According to this graphic by Nasuni this is what is being stored in cloud. Even more interesting is the rest of the infographic. It covers a set of data they ran during November 2012 that shows Azure as the number 1 platform. Love it or hate it – the data is definitely interesting!

Getting Ready for Ask the Experts #2 with Bryan Soltis

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Hanging out with Bryan Soltis a Kentico MVP and the Director of Technology and Research at Bit-wizards. We talk about his thoughts around the First Ask the Experts session and what he’s been up to as we get ready for the next ask the experts session!

Looking for more information on Ask the Experts #2 click here

The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Everyone wants to use social media but the problem is how? Maximizing marketing spend and impact is something every CMO demands. A late 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project (available here) shows some great data that may help. 

The Kentico MVP Program

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Innovative people that participate and contribute their time, ideas and resources are the cornerstone of the worldwide CMS and .NET communities. This spirit has played an important industry role and Kentico wants to help continue to foster this type of community spirit. The Kentico MVP Award is designed to recognize individual who are part of this community. A Kentico MVP is an engaged community advocate who listens and promotes CMS and.NET

How Safe is Cloud Computing? [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
With the shift to the cloud there are questions that we should be asking. This infographic by Memset, contains several of the main elements that you need to consider for cloud computing safety. Ultimately, the cloud is as safe as the way you set yourself up. Where is the data going to be held? Can you trust your staff? Can your systems deal with Denial of Service attacks?

Webinar Wrap up: Responsive Design: Beyond the Buzz

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to Scott Noonan, CTO of Boston Interactive for this webinar.

Scott Noonan’s presentation on Responsive Design aims to break through the typical buzz around the topic and explore just what this trend means. Tailored for an audience of marketing professionals, the presentation provides the information to determine if responsive design is best for your business and how to be successful when taking on a responsive project.

About Scott: Scott Noonan has been the CTO at Boston Interactive since 2001. With 30+ years of software development, Scott has spent 15 years as a professional in the web/CMS space. Scott has been featured as a speaker as several technical seminars, most recently including his role as the keynote speaker as Percussion’s annual user seminar.

Are You a Marketing Hero? [Infograhic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Direct Marketing News asked their readers to share how the role of marketers is changing, what they are doing and what they didn’t expect they would have to do. They used the responses to create this fascinating infographic on what a marketer does. From what I can see the tasks covered are pretty close to what I see on a daily basis as I talk with marketers. Also, my favorite response is to the question - what’s your most important task? Strategy still rules as the number #1 task! What do you think?

Responsive Design: Beyond the Buzz

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Thanks to Scott Noonan, CTO of Boston Interactive for this webinar.

Scott Noonan’s presentation on Responsive Design aims to break through the typical buzz around the topic and explore just what this trend means. Tailored for an audience of marketing professionals, the presentation provides the information to determine if responsive design is best for your business and how to be successful when taking on a responsive project.
 

Wrap up: Multichannel Marketing – Connecting with the New Channels

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended the Charleston AMA Luncheon last week!

Session Description:
Today’s customers engage with your organization through a growing variety of channels. Your website is just one of them – don’t forget social media, mobile and e-mail. Understanding the customer journey across these channels is essential to the success of any marketing organization.

Is your website ready for Responsive Design?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Thanks to everyone that attended my session at the South Florida Code Camp! As promised here is the slide deck.

Massive flat screen TVs, desktop, mobile phones, tablets, netbooks, mini-tablets... Server side device detection is not the only approach available when it comes to servicing the myriad of screen sizes your users could be on. We’ll take a look at responsive web design and the core concepts of making a UI responsive, what tools and frameworks are available now and how best to integrate this approach for your website.

Why Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS is an enterprise Web Content Management and Customer Experience Management System that provides a complete set of features for building websites, intranets, community sites and e-commerce solutions on the Microsoft ASP.NET platform; on premise or in the cloud. In this video we take a look at why Kentico CMS 7 should your choice.

Google Chrome Developer Tools - Overview

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In this previous post we looked at how to use the Google Chrome Developer Tools to change user agents. That just scratches the surface of the available tools within Google Chrome. In this post we’ll take a look at the broad set of tools available. Please keep an eye out for additional posts that we will look further at how these are used.

Webinar Wrap Up: Future Web Design – Mobiles, Tablets, TVs and Glasses

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended and a special thank you to James Roswell Founder & CEO of 51Degrees.mobi for his presentation!

20% of web traffic in Europe and North America is now coming from mobile devices. Smart TVs and Glasses will soon add to the variety of devices accessing web sites. Web sites must now recognize different devices and do so in a way that is future proof and supports their varied characteristics. Responsive web design is only part of the solution. Find out how to create a future proof roadmap for your web site.

Wrap up: Ask the Experts – A Kentico CMS Virtual Panel #1

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Wow -That was a lot of fun! Ok well everything but our initial stream problem. Sorry, still learning Google Hangouts! As always the experts were fantastic and it looks like everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks to everyone on Twitter that asked some great questions.  

Well you asked for it – Are you ready for another?
Stay tuned for the date and time of the next Ask the Experts – A Kentico CMS Virtual Panel…

Webinar Wrap Up: Bureau of Internet Accessibility - Make the Internet accessible to all users

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that joined our webinar!

Kentico has partnered with the Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) to help make the Internet accessible to all users. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA.org) offers Free Web-based accessibility analysis using Section 508 standards, WCAG 2.0 standards and checks for broken links with the option of adding unlimited on-demand scans. Their service allows you to easily address compliance concerns for prospects and clients. Additionally, they have a unique twist on how you can use their free accessibility scans as a lead generator. Join this webinar to see how you can make your Kentico CMS site inclusive to all users.

Future Web Design – Mobiles, Tablets, TVs and Glasses

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Thanks to James Roswell Founder & CEO of 51Degrees.mobi  for his presentation

20% of web traffic in Europe and North America is now coming from mobile devices. Smart TVs and Glasses will soon add to the variety of devices accessing web sites. Web sites must now recognize different devices and do so in a way that is future proof and supports their varied characteristics. Responsive web design is only part of the solution. Find out how to create a future proof roadmap for your web site.

Slides are available here

jQuery Mobile – Pages and Dialogs

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In this blog post let’s continue taking a look at the basics of jQuery Mobile.  One of the best ways to approach a new jQuery mobile application is to think of it as individual pages.  The page based metaphor allows a quickly built applications or prototypes. In this blog post we’ll take a look at using Pages and Dialogs for your application.

Bureau of Internet Accessibility - Make the Internet accessible to all users

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico has partnered with the Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) to help make the Internet accessible to all users. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA.org) offers Free Web-based accessibility analysis using Section 508 standards, WCAG 2.0 standards and checks for broken links with the option of adding unlimited on-demand scans. Their service allows you to easily address compliance concerns for prospects and clients. Additionally, they have a unique twist on how you can use their free accessibility scans as a lead generator. Join this webinar to see how you can make your Kentico CMS site inclusive to all users.

JQuery Mobile List Views

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Lists are one of the most basic browsing experiences. They are a very simple and efficient way to display data. With jQuery mobile they are also incredibly flexible in how they can be styled and adapt to different screen sizes. In this blog post we will look at a few examples of how you can create list views with jQuery mobile.

Just getting started with jQuery Mobile?
Start with this article on Introducing jQuery Mobile.

Google Chrome Developer Tools Changing User Agents

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Google Chrome has quickly become one of my favorite browsers. A lot has to do with the pretty amazing set of included developer tools. With mobile applications quickly being able to change the user agent string has been really a nice way to test various looks. In this blog post I wanted to share a quick tip for how this can be done.

Getting Started with ASP.NET MVC 4 Mobile Development and Jquery

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

In this previous article we looked at jQuery Mobile and how it can be used to build mobile applications. Of course there is more to the story. Model-View-Controller (MVC) is probably one of the most quoted patterns in the web programming world in recent years. I am sure that anyone working in anything related to web application development has heard or read the acronym hundreds of times. In this post we will take a look at the architectural patterns for MVC and how ASP.NET MVC 4 combines the power of MVC and jQuery Mobile.

Kentico CMS Podcast #17 – Talking about Responsive Web Design with Steve Adams, Senior Web Developer

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Steve Adams, Senior Web Developer for Bit-Wizards a Kentico gold partner as he talks about his experiences with a recently completed Responsive design project and also provides some great tools and resources to learn more.

Take a look at his great list of resources for Responsive Design here.

Webinar Wrap up: Kentico Technical Learning - Responsive Design with Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that joined!

It’s not hard to see that your laptop computer isn’t the only piece of hardware that has a web browser. The web is on your phone, your tablet, your laptop and even your television. Web pages that take the multi-platform world into account are using Responsive Web Design (RWD). As we saw in a previous webinar, this is a set of techniques and ideas that look to adapt layouts based on the environment of the user’s browser. In this webinar Thom Robbins, Kentico CMS Chief Evangelist drilled into the tools and technologies for building a responsive site.

Webinar Wrap up: From Brochure to Funnel: Strategies for Increasing Website Conversions

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

Ben Cash, veteran Internet marketing consultant and owner of BlueKey Web Solutions, hosts a webinar on transforming your website from an online brochure into a marketing and conversion tool for your business. Learn how to analyze your target audiences, create more effective conversion funnels, and glean actionable insights that will produce measurable results.
 
For slides please contact Blue Key Web Solutions

Kentico Technical Learning - Responsive Design with Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
It’s not hard to see that your laptop computer isn’t the only piece of hardware that has a web browser. The web is on your phone, your tablet, your laptop and even your television. Web pages that take the multi-platform world into account are using Responsive Web Design (RWD). As we saw in a previous webinar, this is a set of techniques and ideas that look to adapt layouts based on the environment of the user’s browser. In this webinar Thom Robbins, Kentico CMS Chief Evangelist drilled into the tools and technologies for building a responsive site.

The New Face of SEO: How SEO has Changed [InfoGraphic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
We all know that Search Engine Optimization {SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a web page in a search engine’s natural or un-paid search results. What’s interesting and something often neglected  is the new face SEO post Panda and Penguin updates which is well presented in this infogrpahic by Fuzz One.

Kentico CMS Podcast #17 – Responsive Web Design with Steve Adams, Bit-Wizards Senior Web Developer

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Steve Adams, Senior Web Developer for Bit-Wizards a Kentico gold partner as he talks about his experiences with a recently completed Responsive design project and also provides some great tools and resources to learn more.

Take a look at his great list of resources for Responsive Design here.

Mobile marketing on the rise [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Marketers should definitely keep a close eye on the rising mobile trends according to this recent infographic from Microsoft Tag. Did you know that half of all searches are performed on mobile devices? By 2014, the mobile internet will overtake desktop internet usage. 91% of the internet are using mobile to socialize compared to only 79% of desktop users. Great information!

From Brochure to Funnel: Strategies for Increasing Website Conversions

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Ben Cash, veteran Internet marketing consultant and owner of BlueKey Web Solutions, hosts a webinar on transforming your website from an online brochure into a marketing and conversion tool for your business. Learn how to analyze your target audiences, create more effective conversion funnels, and glean actionable insights that will produce measurable results.

For slides please contact Blue Key Web Solutions

Webinar wrap up: Kentico CMS 7- Security improvements

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Thanks to everyone that attended!

Kentico takes security seriously and security improvements are an important part of any new release. Password expiration and policy enforcement, are just a few of the new security improvements in Kentico CMS 7. in this interactive and demo filled session we looked at  the new security improvements in Kentico CMS 7.

Introducing JQuery Mobile

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Using HTML and CSS to build a mobile oriented user interface is one of the more powerful features of HTML 5. Unfortunately, because of the complexity it may take some time to build even a simple user interface. This is where a web development framework like JQuery mobile can help to get the job done. This type of mobile framework is a packaged collection of interactive elements and code tools. In this blog post well take a look at why we would want to use a mobile framework like JQuery mobile and then build a simple application to illustrate the power of these types of frameworks.

Introducing Fluid Grid Layouts

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

In the previous post, Introducing Responsive Design we explored the basic concepts of a responsive website. We saw there were three major components; fluid grid layouts, CSS 3 media queries, and fluid images and media. In this second blog post we will look at the basics of fluid grid layouts and how they are used for designing responsive sites.

Introducing Responsive Design

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

It’s not hard to see that your laptop computer isn’t the only piece of hardware that has a web browser. The web is on your phone, your tablet, your laptop and even your television. Web pages that take the multi-platform world into account are using Responsive Web Design (RWD). This is a set of techniques and ideas that look to adapt layouts based on the environment of the user's browser. Responsive Web Design is often associated with terms like fluid design, elastic layout, rubber layout, liquid design, adaptive layout, cross device design, and flexible design to name a few. This is the first of several blog posts that will look at how you can use Responsive Web Design.

How much do small businesses spend on social media? [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
According to a VerticalResponse survey of 462 small businesses on how much time they spend on social media activities:
  • Small businesses are spending more time on social medial media, and many are struggling with the added workload
  • Small businesses are focusing on Facebook and Twitter while adoption on Pinterest and Google+ remain slow
  • Small businesses are realizing the value of content but again time is an issue
  • Small businesses are finding value in paying for social media.
Check out the following infographic for more information.

New Research Report: Mobile Health 2012

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
According to a new report by Pew Internet 85% of U.S. adults own a cell phone. Approximately half of those own smartphones which expand their mobile internet access and enables mobile applications. Well what are they doing with this mobile power?

Creating a Campaign Programmatically in Kentico EMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Hello everyone my name is Brian McKeiver, Co-Owner of BizStream and Kentico MVP. As some of you may know, Thom Robbins is busy this week at the Kentico Partner Conference in Sydney, Australia. So my fellow Kentico MVPs and I are taking over this blog in his absence. By the time he gets back he may not even recognize it!

My Background

Before I knew about Kentico CMS I was your typical ASP.NET Developer. I was very happy creating my own web applications and websites from scratch. I even had some pretty decent reusable code libraries and modules developed by myself and my team at BizStream, that made making web applications relatively easy. Then I laid my eyes on Kentico CMS. I was blown away at how easy it was to quickly deliver fully functional websites that looked great. Now Ihave been using the Kentico platform for over 4 years and couldn’t be happier. At BizStream we have delivered more than 40 Kentico websites, and our clients absolutely love using it.

Top 5 Things When Deploying Kentico CMS to Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
It’s not every day you get to hack into the Kentico Chief Evangelist’s blog and post whatever you like. Oh the havoc I could spread! Seeing how I’ve already written up some lovely SQL injections, copied a few thousand Trojan horses DLL's, and pretty much ruined Thom’s credit in every way, here’s a bit of useful information for anyone deploying Kentico CMS to Windows Azure.

Calculating Lifetime Value [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Lifetime value is an incredibly important to marketers to predict the net profit they may be able to attribute to the relationship with a customer. This infographic from KissMetrics provides a great overview of the term.

Kentico CMS Podcast #16 – About EMS with Manoj Shah, Digital Services Director for Pull Digital

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Manoj Shah, Digital Services Director for Pull Digital a UK based Kentico gold partner as he talks about his experiences with the Kentico CMS Enterprise Marketing Solution and his experiences across several of their projects.

Take a look at one of their case studies: Chaucer Direct

Kentico CMS Podcast #15 – Talking about EMS with Jonathan Healy, Development Director Netconstruct

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Jonathan Healy, Development Director of NetConstruct a UK based Kentico gold partner as he talks about his experiences with the Kentico CMS Enterprise Marketing Solution and his experiences across several of their projects.

One of their EMS Case Studies is available here: Kingspan Insulated Panels

Understanding the ROI of Content Development and Marketing

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended my sessin at Customer Engagement Technology World!

Engaging customers and prospects is no longer a single channel, one-way communication. Marketers must engage more deeply and communicate in multiple ways.  Content marketing provides materials that target customers and make them stop, think and behave differently through delivering high quality relevant and valuable information with the goal of driving profitable customer action.  Producing consistent and useful content is a competitive strategy to outpace your competition.  However, simply engaging is no longer enough. Marketers must be able to track and measure the quantitative impact of their efforts, clearly demonstrating the link between their programs and business results.  The failure of many marketing campaigns is not related to a lack of effort or creativity – it often relates to a lack of structured analytical thinking about the purpose and objectives. 
Attend this session and learn how to:
  • Identify business objectives: Why does the campaign exist?  What is its ultimate business purpose?
  • Define measurable goals for content
  • Define goals for each objective: What are the specific things the campaign must do accomplish the business objectives?
  • Define key performance indicators (KPI) for each goal: What metrics will be used to measure progress toward each goal?
  • Define thresholds for success and failure: What are the target values for each KPI?
  • Understand the content lifecycle and what is required to scale and optimize the right content to the right channel and measuring impact.
  • Focus on strategies that allow more effective connections with various stakeholders across a number of social channels, drive conversations, and influence customers.
 

What’s the margin of error?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
As a marketer understanding data and being able to craft it into a meaningful and accurate story is a job requirement. We tend to live into a world of data overload and the margin of error deserves a better understanding than the typical single tiny line you see on most slides. The margin of error is a statistic that expresses the amount of random sampling error in a set of survey results. The larger the margin of error, the less confidence you should have in the polls reported results. Remember, data surveys represent only a portion of the audience population and the margin of error naturally occurs whenever a population is not completely sampled.

Video response: Sage 50 – Integrated E-Commerce with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Love the video response by Discover IT on their Sage 50 Integration with Kentico CMS available on YouTube.

As social media comes under scrutiny with the Facebook IPO implosion, and despite the economic conditions, Forrester forecasts over 10% annual E-Commerce growth through 2016. But, effective back-end integration is becoming a key requirement for successful web stores. This session describes what was involved, using Kentico's facility to implement custom logic, to achieve REAL-TIME (shopper, pricing, stock, credit, order) integration of a Kentico E-Commerce store with a Sage 50 Accounts system.

What’s an LMS? [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
According to this infographic from Tellonline The value of a Learning Management System (LMS) is pretty clear.  Personally, I can report first hand the explosive growth of the e-learning market and continue to be amazed.

Video: Enterprise Web sites – Connecting with the New Channels

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
*** Recorded at IMS Boston 2012 ***

Today’s customers engage with your organization through a growing variety of channels. Your website
is just one of them –don’t forget social media, mobile and e-mail. Understanding the customer journey across these channels is essential to the success of any marketing organization. In this session we looked at the key recommendations you need to consider as you get started in multichannel engagement.

Kentico CMS Podcast #14 – About EMS with Brian McKeiver, Partner/Senior Developer and Kentico MVP

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Brian McKeiver, Partner/Senior Developer with Kentico CMS Gold Partner, BizStream and Kentico MVP as he talks about his experiences with the Kentico CMS Enterprise Marketing Solution and his experiences across several of their projects.

Links from the show
Get the Kentico CMS 7 Developer Preparation guide at http://bit.ly/RsEQ84
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Case Study available here

Enterprise Web sites – Connecting with the New Channels

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Recorded at IMS Boston 2012 ***

Today’s customers engage with your organization through a growing variety of channels. Your website is just one of them – don’t forget social media, mobile and e-mail. Understanding the customer journey across these channels is essential to the success of any marketing organization. In this session we looked at the key recommendations you need to consider as you get started in multichannel engagement.

Kentico CMS 7 – 15 Minute Overview

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Kentico CMS is an enterprise Web Content Management System and Customer Experience Management System that provides a complete set of features for building websites, intranets, community sites and e-commerce solutions on the Microsoft ASP.NET platform on premise or in the cloud. It supports mobile websites, SEO, document management, online marketing tools, multilingual websites, multisite management and it ships with over 40 modules, 340 configurable Web parts and source code available.

Kentico CMS customers can expect a highly flexible platform with a uniquely easy-to-use user interface. It’s currently used by more than 15,000 websites in 87 countries.  The clients include Microsoft, Guinness, Vodafone, O2, Orange, Brussels Airlines, Mazda, Ford, Subaru, Isuzu, Samsung, Gibson, ESPN, DKNY, Abbott Labs, Medibank, Ireland.ie and many others.

Enterprise Cloud Adoption By the Numbers [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Cloud Connect teamed up with the Everest Group to conduct the first of its kind research project around enterprise cloud adoption. The results are summarized in the following Infographic and look at how businesses are currently using cloud computing as well as how they are planning on using it moving forward.

Bit-Wizards Presents The 360 Degree Website!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
A 360 degree website is an online business, not just a website. It allows you to drive repeat sales with email marketing and analytics, gather leads through a built-in customer relationship management, integrate your e-commerce with your accounting and inventory systems, and allow people to share your content through social media.

Webinar wrap up: Learning Management Solutions using Kentico – the CPD Academy

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

In this webinar we will look at how the Kentico platform can provide a powerful learning management tool with the CPD Academy. CPD Academy is an integrated set of tools that delivers a powerful learning management system (LMS). In the webinar we will look at the features of the product, discuss the technical aspects of its production and look at the commercial opportunities that it presents to the Kentico Partner community. The event is a must for all those who seek to make more of their Kentico knowledge and who take a proactive approach in sharing new opportunities with their Kentico clients.

Kentico Connections 2012 - More Secret Videos Obtained

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

Smart search is one of the most widely used modules of Kentico CMS. Version 7 extends this module to include simplified development, faceted search, textbox filter types, search results extensions to name just a few. Join this session to take a deep dive on the Smart Search module.

Kentico Connections 2012 - More Secret Videos Obtained

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to recently borrowed and declassified video technology we have been able to make several secretly recorded videos available from Kentico Connections 2012. I am currently in negotiations to recover even more – so please stay tuned!

Bitwizards- Your 360 Degree Website

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
A 360 degree website is an online business, not just a website. It allows you to drive repeat sales with email marketing and analytics, gather leads through a built-in customer relationship management, integrate your e-commerce with your accounting and inventory systems, and allow people to share your content through social media.

Learning Management Solutions using Kentico – the CPD Academy

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this webinar we will look at how the Kentico platform can provide a powerful learning management tool with the CPD Academy. CPD Academy is an integrated set of tools that delivers a powerful learning management system (LMS). In the webinar we will look at the features of the product, discuss the technical aspects of its production and look at the commercial opportunities that it presents to the Kentico Partner community. The event is a must for all those who seek to make more of their Kentico knowledge and who take a proactive approach in sharing new opportunities with their Kentico clients.

Updated Guide: Getting Started with Content Marketing Available Now

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Let’s be honest, the world of traditional marketing may not be dead, but it’s on life support. Consumers simply aren’t paying attention and the plethora of new platforms has made the modern marketer’s job even tougher. Content marketing may be just the answer you need to help connect with your target customer. This Getting Started guide is targeted at modern marketers looking for a better way to connect and interact with their audience using Content marketing.

Kentico Connections 2012 - More Secret Videos Obtained

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to recently borrowed and declassified video technology we have been able to make several secretly recorded videos available from Kentico Connections 2012. I am currently in negotiations to recover even more – so please stay tuned!

Deep Dive - Smart Search

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

Smart search is one of the most widely used modules of Kentico CMS. Version 7 extends this module to include simplified development, faceted search, textbox filter types, search results extensions to name just a few. Join this session to take a deep dive on the Smart Search module.

Webinar Wrap Up- Responsive Design with Kentico CMS 7 – Are you ready?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

Massive flat screen TVs, desktop, mobile phones, tablets, netbooks, mini-tablets... Server side device detection is not the only approach available when it comes to servicing the myriad of screen sizes your users could be on. Join ecentricarts inc. in this webinar covering responsive web design. They will be looking into the core concepts of making a UI responsive, what tools and frameworks are available now and how best to integrate this approach with the new Kentico 7 features for mobile.

Get the Reviewer’s Guide for Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution Version 7!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
This evaluation guide, targeted at industry thought leaders and marketing managers, details the features and benefits of Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution (EMS), the integrated customer experience management platform introduced in the latest release of the Kentico Content Management System (CMS). The guide begins with an introduction to Kentico EMS and continues with a detailed examination of the value and features the Enterprise Marketing Solution provides. The evaluation guide also includes a useful feature matrix that allows readers to understand the capabilities available in each edition of the Kentico platform. After completing this guide, readers will understand why organizations should choose Kentico EMS for their marketing programs and how to utilize Kentico EMS for planning, managing, executing and measuring marketing efforts. This guide does not require readers to have any specific technical skills or previous experience with Kentico products. If, however, readers are familiar with Kentico, they can still benefit from this content.

Responsive Design with Kentico CMS 7 – Are you ready?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Massive flat screen TVs, desktop, mobile phones, tablets, netbooks, mini-tablets... Server side device detection is not the only approach available when it comes to servicing the myriad of screen sizes your users could be on. Join ecentricarts inc. in a webinar covering responsive web design. They will be looking into the core concepts of making a UI responsive, what tools and frameworks are available now and how best to integrate this approach with the new Kentico 7 features for mobile.

Slides available here

Sage 50 - Integrated E-Commerce (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

 As social media comes under scrutiny with the Facebook IPO implosion, and despite the economic conditions, Forrester forecasts over 10% annual E-Commerce growth through 2016. But, effective back-end integration is becoming a key requirement for successful web stores. This session describes what was involved, using Kentico's facility to implement custom logic, to achieve REAL-TIME (shopper, pricing, stock, credit, order) integration of a Kentico E-Commerce store with a Sage 50 Accounts system.

Learning Management with Kentico and CPD Academy (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

July 2012 sees the launch of the CPD Academy - an LMS product using custom modules to provide a quality, ready to roll learning environment on the Kentico platform. This session takes a look at Tellonline's work with Kentico in E-Learning with companies like Heinz and Associated British Foods. Also, how Kentico Partners can maximize marketing and sales opportunities in e-learning without the need to adopt new technologies and an insight into the future of CPD Academy and the market opportunities it represents.

Business Meets Technology (technical)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

This session reflects a typical day at the office where Jeroen Fürst, Kentico MVP, demonstrates a finished website to a customer, only to discover that there are still some last minute requests to be implemented. Witness the creation of out-of-the-box features, via the flexibility of Kentico’s portal engine.

QLICT - Custom development (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

 Evident has recently completed the development of  www.qlict.nl using Kentico as a base platform . It's an excellent project to demonstrate what you can do with the Kentico CMS platform and how you can reuse and extend standard functionality with custom code.

NetConstruct - EMS implementation (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

 How did we convince an international market leader that Kentico was the right solution for them when they initially thought it wasn’t? Some of the challenges we faced when implementing Kentico EMS and dealing with a multi-divisional, multi-geography company will be explored. The end result: a web presence that has achieved high praise and industry recognition.

Migrating a site to Kentico CMS – Best practices and Tips (technical)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 – Prague ****

Migrating an existing site to Kentico CMS can be a daunting and challenging task. Join Bryan Soltis, Kentico MVP, as he discusses the migration process and best practices along the way. Bryan will cover several areas of development, including data migration, page template creation and design, and personal experience with tips along the way to ensure a smooth transition.

Multichannel Marketing with Kentico EMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended Kentico Connections!

Today’s customers engage with your organization through a growing variety of channels. Your website is just one of them –don’t forget social media, mobile and e-mail. Understanding the customer journey across these channels is essential to the success of any marketing organization. In this Kentico Connections 2012 session we took a look at how this is done with Kentico EMS 7.

Get the Kentico CMS 7 Developer Preparation Guide!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
To sufficiently prepare for the Kentico CMS Certified Developer Exam, please study the Preparation Guide thoroughly in conjunction with the product documentation, Developer’s Guide, and other resources available online at http://devnet.kentico.com. Passing the Exam requires not only this “head knowledge” and academic understanding of the product’s features and functionality, but it also requires practical experience and a high-level of familiarity with the product itself.
 
To pass the Exam and be recognized as a Kentico expert, it is expected that you have extensive experience in the following:
  • Designing, developing, and implementing Kentico CMS web sites
  • ASP.NET development and the intricacies of the .NET Framework
  • Creating data-driven web user interfaces
  • Writing programmatic code in Microsoft Visual Studio
 
If you pass the Exam and gain acknowledgement for being a Certified Kentico Developer, then you have successfully proven your skills and set yourself apart from the everyday developer. Earning your certification is a mark of approval and distinction that builds your credibility, makes you more marketable, and gives you a competitive advantage over the other developers you will encounter in your career.
 
For more information about the benefits of being a Kentico Certified Developer, please download and view the Kentico Certified Developer datasheet at http://www.kentico.com/getattachment/Training/Developer-Certification/Certified_developer_datasheet.pdf.

Migrating a site to Kentico CMS – Best practices and Tips (technical)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
***Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 ***

Migrating an existing site to Kentico CMS can be a daunting and challenging task. Join Bryan Soltis, Kentico MVP, as he discusses the migration process and best practices along the way. Bryan will cover several areas of development, including data migration, page template creation and design, and personal experience with tips along the way to ensure a smooth transition.

Marketing Automation Overview with Kentico EMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
***Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 ***
 
Marketing automation streamlines sales and marketing organization by replacing high touch repetitive processes with automated solutions. Watch this video to see an overview of this new feature of Kentico EMS 7 and learn how to automate your marketing department.

Marketing Automation Demo with Kentico EMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
*** Secretly recorded at Kentico Connections 2012***

Marketing automation streamlines sales and marketing organization by replacing high touch repetitive processes with automated solutions. Watch this video to see a live demo of this new feature of Kentico EMS 7 and learn how to automate your marketing department

Making the move to Windows Azure – Building a Kentico Windows Azure Practice (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
***Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 ***

 So you know Kentico CMS, but want to understand how to leverage Windows Azure and the Cloud to increase options for your customers. Vince Mayfield, CEO of Bit-Wizards and Microsoft Virtual Technology Specialist for Windows Azure will explain Windows Azure and how to sell it and make a profitable business practice to produce highly available and highly scalable web sites with Kentico CMS deployed on Windows Azure.

Announcing Version 7 Training and Certification!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Are you ready for Version 7? I am happy to announce that starting October 2012, that both the Kentico CMS Certified Training and the Kentico CMS Certified Developer Training has been updated for Version 7.

Integrate the World with Kentico CMS (technical)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
***Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 ***

So many choices for developers to integrate with Kentico CMS! In this session Brian takes a look at some of these options. Using the integration bus, REST services, tips for WCF services, using the new auto publish features in Kentico CMS 7 to social networks, using the Kentico CMS API outside of Kentico, and some general tips, tricks and best practices.

Interim Health Care - Kentico CMS (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
***Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 ***

Interim HealthCare® (www.InterimHealthCare.com) is the nation's leading home care, hospice and medical staffing company and includes a national network of more than 300 independently owned and operated franchise locations.  With a shifting of their business model from provider / franchisor to exclusively a franchisor, Interim was in need of rethinking their online marketing strategy, as well as rebuilding their outdated technology infrastructure.  In this secretly recorded session we will look at how BlueKey helped them to build an integrated solution leveraging Kentico CMS.

Bell Media - multi site platform (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
***Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 ***

Ecentricarts inc. recently launched a new website for Bell Media. Built with Kentico CMS 6, the first site (www.flow935.com) features: Best practices from over 50+ Kentico sites developed by ecentricarts inc, a reusable site template that the client can use for multiple radio station sites (up to 100+ sites in the works) , Custom form controls to extend Kentico CMS, Content staging extensions, A few evil but necessary hacks. In this secretly recorded session, they look at the design, development, training, and operational challenges we faced and solved using the Kentico platform.

Bacardi - a Global Marketing Platform (case study)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
***Secretly Recorded at Kentico Connections 2012 ***

BlueModus architected and support the launch of bacardi.com, the new flagship digital portal for Bacardi built on the Kentico platform. Designed to allow 15+ worldwide markets to build their sites, share content, build and integrate custom initiatives, and interact with social services and content providers. In this secretly recorded session, they looked at the design, development, training, and operational challenges we faced and solved using the Kentico platform.

Kentico CMS 7 - Customer Experience Management (CXM) For Everyone

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS is an affordable Web Content Management and Customer Experience Management solution providing a complete set of features for building websites, community sites, intranets and on-line stores on the Microsoft ASP.NET platform. It supports WYSIWYG editing, workflows, multiple languages, full-text search, SEO, on-line forms, image galleries, forums, groups, blogs, polls, media libraries and is shipped with over 70 configurable modules. It's currently used by more than 15,000 websites in 84 countries. The clients include Microsoft, McDonald's, Vodafone, O2, Orange, Brussels Airlines, Mazda, Ford, Subaru, Isuzu, Samsung, Gibson, ESPN, Guinness, DKNY, Abbott Labs, Medibank, Ireland.ie and others.

Kentico CMS 7 Feature Series: Device Profiles

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
With Kentico CMS 7 device profiles are an important part of building and viewing mobile websites. They enable the categorization of similar devices and provide an easy and intuitive way to manage mobile devices within a site. Device profiles also allow mobile preview within CMS Desk. Once device profiles are enabled within Site Manager you can then change the default view port of CMS Desk for a live preview of iPad, iPhone, Android or other devices.

Kentico CMS 7 Feature Series: MVT Testing

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Multivariate (MVT) testing is the process of market testing multiple variables at one time. In simple terms, it can be thought of as numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. A/B tests are usually performed to determine the better of two page variations, while MVT testing is used to determine the better of two content variations on a page. In this video we look at how to create an MVT test with Kentico CMS 7.

Kentico CMS 7 Feature Series: Advanced Workflow

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
With Kentico CMS 7 advanced workflow is available as part of the Enterprise marketing solution and is designed to provide enhanced features for the creation of workflows. Any site that has several editors usually needs the ability to approve content before publication. The advanced workflow module with features like branching based on macro conditions, user choices, automated actions and timed actions brings more advanced features to websites.

What’s the minimum amount of emails your customers expect?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
How often do you struggle with sending to many emails to customers? Why not change the question – What’s the minimum amount of emails your customers expect? Customers are far from tolerant of anything that appears as spam. Fall into that category and you may lose the customer forever! Here are my three basic emails you SHOULD send your customers.

Kentico Feature Series: Advanced workflow

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS 7 advanced workflow is available as part of the Enterprise marketing solution and is designed to provide enhanced features for the creation of workflows.  Any site that has several editors usually needs the ability to approve content before publication. The advanced workflow module with features like branching based on macro conditions, user choices, automated actions and timed actions brings more advanced features to websites.

Kentico Feature Series: MVT Testing

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Multivariate (MVT) testing is the process of market testing multiple variables at one time. In simple terms, it can be thought of as numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. A/B tests are usually performed to determine the better of two page variations, while MVT testing is used to determine the better of two content variations on a page. In this video we look at how to create an MVT test with Kentico CMS 7.

Kentico Feature Series: Device profiles

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS 7 device profiles are an important part of building and viewing mobile websites. They enable the categorization of similar devices and provide an easy and intuitive way to manage mobile devices within a site. Device profiles also allow mobile preview within CMS Desk. Once device profiles are enabled within Site Manager you can then change the default view port of CMS Desk for a live preview of iPad, iPhone, Android or other devices.

Webinar wrap up - Kentico CMS User Group Presents: Here Comes Version 7!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

It’s almost time for Version 7! It’s an amazing list of productivity and feature enhancements. Attend the Kentico Online User group to hear Kentico CTO, Martin Hejtmanek. In this session Martin showed some of his personal favorites and why he thinks they are important for Kentico users and developers.

Kentico CMS Podcast #12 – About CPD Academy, a learning management system built on Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Alex Johnson, Senior developer of Tell Online and CPD Academy as he talks about how he came into the technology field. He also talks about the technical architecture of the CPD Academy, the fantastic learning management system that is built on Kentico CMS. Also, be sure to check out our previous podcast on the CPD Academy available here. For more information take a look at the quick demonstration video available here.

Kentico CMS 7 – Achieving Marketing Success

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Marketing automation, visual designers, enhanced social media integration, SEO enhancements, and banner management are just a few of the new ways to achieve marketing success with Kentico EMS 7. This webinar looked at how to achieve marketing success using Kentico CMS 7.

Slides available here

Kentico CMS Podcast #12 – About CPD Academy, a learning management system built on Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Alex Johnson, Senior developer of Tell Online and CPD Academy as he talks about how he came into the technology field. He also talks about the technical architecture of the CPD Academy, the fantastic learning management system that is built on Kentico CMS. Also, be sure to check out our previous podcast on the CPD Academy available here. For more information take a look at the quick demonstration video available here.

Whitepaper: Content Staging with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
 This whitepaper explores the features, design and best practices for utilizing the Kentico CMS content staging module. This document focuses exclusively on content staging and does not provide an in-depth analysis of other Kentico CMS features or the Kentico CMS platform, except where necessary to provide context.
After completing this white paper, the reader should understand:
  • The purpose of content staging
  • Example business scenarios for leveraging the technology
  • The business case for implementing content staging
  • Configuration of the Kentico CMS content staging module
  • Architecture, design and implementation best practices

Weekly Marketing Question #5: which strategies do you plan to publish and distribute content?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Have an opinion or question you want answered? This is your opportunity to give an opinion and get some information. Each week we’ll introduce the marketing question of the week. Take a minute to provide your answer, get your friends to answer and see the results!

Have a question you want answered? Email me your marketing questions here.

Kentico CMS Podcast #11 – Hanging with Chris Butler and Chris Haff from mTribe mobile applications

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Chris Butler, CEO and Chris Haff, CTO from mTribe applications as they talk about how they came into the technology field. They also talk about building mobile applications for the event space that feature GPS tracking, lead retrieval, QR code, real time transactions, social media and more all using Kentico CMS on the back end!
Take a look at some of the screenshots.

Kentico CMS 7 – Mobile web development

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Mobile development is requirement for any modern websites. Kentico CMS has always been an innovator with their support of mobile devices. Learn how version 7 extends support for mobile developers and dynamic sites. In this webinar we'll look at how the power of mobile comes to Kentico CMS 7.

Slides available here

Kentico CMS Podcast #11 – Hanging with Chris Butler and Chris Haff from mTribe mobile applications

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Chris Butler, CEO and Chris Haff, CTO from mTribe applications as they talk about how they came into the technology field. They also talk about building mobile applications for the event space that feature GPS tracking, lead retrieval, QR code, real time transactions, social media and more all using Kentico CMS on the back end!

Take a look at some of the screenshots.

Get the updated Kentico CMS Cookbook!

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
 Welcome to the Version 1.1 of the Kentico CMS cookbook! I have to send a huge thank you to everyone that either downloaded, read, or provided feedback. We have made some minor formatting changes, added 5 new recipes, updated to include support for Kentico CMS 7.

If you would like to contribute or have any comments or recipe requests please don’t hesitate to email me or complete the following form.

How to do Keyword Research [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Keyword research is an important part of any website’s search engine optimization and an important search engine optimization (SEO) tool. It helps to drive web traffic to your website, especially those pages with highly searched keywords. Also, providing content relevant, unique, fresh, and extremely useful to the reader’s increases the success of any keywords. Content and keywords always help each other from the SEO perspective. Keyword research also will help in optimizing the web page and get it in the top search engine results page.

A nice infographic from Promodo that shows the keyword research process.

Kentico CMS Podcast #10 – About CPD Academy, a learning management system built on Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Simon Budd, Managing Director of TellOnline as he talks about how he came into the technology field. He also talks about CPD Academy, the fantastic learning management system that is built on Kentico CMS. Take a look at the quick demonstration video available here.

Updated HOL: Kentico EMS 7: Campaigns

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Executing successful campaigns is an essential part of any marketing organization. Campaigns are a way to engage and interact with your customers. They provide an ideal mechanism to generate sales leads and collect customer information. This set of exercises is intended to show the process of creating a document based campaign for the Services page that collects customer information using an online form.  Then using the collected customer information we will then score the leads for later use by the sales department.

Kentico CMS Podcast #10 – About CPD Academy, a learning management system built on Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Simon Budd, Managing Director of Tell Online as he talks about how he came into the technology field. He also talks about CPD Academy, the fantastic learning management system that is built on Kentico CMS. Take a look at the quick demonstration video available here.

Weekly Marketing Question #4: How often do you run A/B or MVT tests on your home page?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
 Have an opinion or question you want answered? This is your opportunity to give an opinion and get some information. Each week we’ll introduce the marketing question of the week. Take a minute to provide your answer, get your friends to answer and see the results!

Have a question you want answered? Email me your marketing questions here.

Kentico CMS 7: Feature Series - Twitter Web Parts

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
What may seem like a simple technology has become a worldwide phenomenon with a projected 200 million active users. Many companies are looking to Twitter as a key part of their integrated marketing campaigns and a key source of real time customer connections. With Kentico CMS Twitter web parts provides an easy way to integrate your site with the micro-blogging platform. With an extensive and well documented API, Kentico CMS provides a set of out of the box web parts that make Twitter integration as easy as possible.

Get the Hands on lab here

Kentico CMS 7: Hands on lab: Integrating Twitter

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Technically, Twitter is a micro blogging platform that limits real time comments (tweets) to 140 characters. What may seem like a simple technology has become a worldwide phenomenon with a projected 200 million active users. Leveraging this platform many companies are looking to Twitter as a key part of their integrated marketing campaigns and a key source of real time customer connections. With an extensive and well documented API, Twitter looks to make site integration as easy as possible. In this lab, we will add Twitter functionality to the Kentico Corporate sample site. This will enable site users to tweet and engage about the things they find on your site and enable site owners and administrators to extend their reach. In completing this set of labs you will perform the following tasks:
  • Add the Twitter feed web part
  • Add the Twitter follow button web part
  • Add the Twitter tweet button web part
  • Update the Home page template

Feature Series: Twitter web parts

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
What may seem like a simple technology has become a worldwide phenomenon with a projected 200 million active users. Many companies are looking to Twitter as a key part of their integrated marketing campaigns and a key source of real time customer connections. With Kentico CMS Twitter web parts provides an easy way to integrate your site with the micro-blogging platform. With an extensive and well documented API, Kentico CMS provides a set of out of the box web parts that make Twitter integration as easy as possible.

Get the Hands on lab here

Are you a “Connected Viewer”?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Based on new research available from Pew Internet, over half of adult cell phone owners use their phone while watching television. The research shows that the solitary TV screen is being replaced by multi-screen interactivity.

Weekly Marketing Question #3: Which social media buttons drives internet traffic to your website?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Have an opinion or question you want answered? This is your opportunity to give an opinion and get some information. Each week we’ll introduce the marketing question of the week. Take a minute to provide your answer, get your friends to answer and see the results!

Have a question you want answered? Email me your burning questions here.

Kentico CMS 7: Feature Series - On-site editing

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
With Kentico CMS on-site editing provides a way to work with the content of a website on the Live site. This allows editors to make changes to page content and manage documents directly. All actions within on-site editing are available in CMS Desk. On-site editing is simply a different way to edit the website and offers productivity benefits in many instances. In this video we will take a look at how it can be used.

What’s your Twitter marketing plan?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Technically, Twitter is a micro blogging platform that limits real time comments (tweets) to 140 characters. What may seem like a simple technology is a worldwide phenomenon with a projected 200 million active users. Leveraging this platform many companies are looking to Twitter as a key part of their integrated marketing campaigns and a key source of real time customer connections. It’s free, has a lot of people using it and indexed by search engine - what could be bad about that? Well, like any marketing activity make sure you have a measurable plan!

Updated HOL: Kentico CMS 7: Custom table: Creating and Display available now

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Kentico CMS provides custom tables as a way to store and manage custom data. Technically, they are SQL tables and coupled stored procedures. Once a custom table is created and contains data, the next step is to provide a display for site visitors. In this lab we will add a custom table and then use the Basic Repeater web part to display it on a page. We will also look at how to use the Kentico CMS API to add and edit an existing item.

Feature Series: On-Site Editing

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS on-site editing provides a way to work with the content of a website on the Live site. This allows editors to make changes to page content and manage documents directly. All actions within on-site editing are available in CMS Desk. On-site editing is simply a different way to edit the website and offers productivity benefits in many instances. In this video we will take a look at how it can be used.

Have a recipe for the Kentico CMS Cookbook?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The First Edition of the Kentico CMS Cookbook was really well received with over 2,300 readers so far! Community participation is essential and we want your recipes! Please take a few minutes tio complete the following form and become part of the next Kentico CMS Cookbook

Weekly Marketing Question #2: What social media outlet do you invest the most marketing dollars in?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Have an opinion or question you want answered? This is your opportunity to give an opinion and get some information. Each week we’ll introduce the marketing question of the week. Take a minute to provide your answer, get your friends to answer and see the results!

Have a question you want answered? Email me your burning questions here.

Visual Studio 2012 and Kentico CMS 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The success of Kentico CMS is rooted in so many different areas. One of the most important I think is our continued deep support and relationship with Microsoft and Visual Studio.  I am glad to announce that once again working with Microsoft Kentico will sim-ship support of Visual Studio 2012 and Kentico CMS 7!

Do you know your brand?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
A brand is simply a name, symbol or other feature that uniquely identifies your product. That’s a really simplistic definition, as branding is so much more. It’s important to understand that successful brands are built by customers, not companies. A brand is represented by tangible elements, like typefaces, logos and colors. These are combined with intangible elements like messages and product promises. When combined together these create consumer perceptions. As marketers, we push customers in a desired direction, but consumers create brands through experience and emotion.

Webinar wrap up: Kentico EMS+

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
 Kentico EMS+ is your cloud powered Customer Experience (CXM) solution. Built on the secure and scalable Windows Azure cloud platform and leveraging the industry leading Kentico Enterprise Marketing solution. Kentico EMS+ allows you to easily add more storage and servers on the go without adding complexity. How do you manage and implement a website using Kentico EMS+? In this webinar, Dominik Pinter, Technical Leader Kentico CMS shows how to manage and develop your website with Kentico EMS+.

Cloud reality check 2012 [InfoGraphic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
According to the latest Rackspace cloud research IT teams from mid-sized UK and US businesses polled still spend over half (56%) of their time on server management and troubleshooting and only 28% on strategic, ‘value-add’ activities. Despite the widespread availability of cloud and managed hosting, many organizations are clinging to physical servers, leaving in-house IT teams struggling with troubleshooting and capacity planning amid demands from their bosses to do more for less.

Weekly Burning Question #1: What channels do you currently use to publish and distribute content?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Have an opinion or question you want answered? This is your opportunity to give an opinion and get some information. Each week we’ll introduce the burning question of the week. Take a minute to provide your answer, get your friends to answer and see the results!

Have a question you want answered? Email me your burning questions here.

The science of bragging and boasting

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Science has proven one of the most basic of modern marketing principles. Talking about ourselves brings the same sensation as food or money.  Consider the power of case studies to name a few of the possibilities.

The Deciding Factor: Big Data and Decision Making [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed over 600 business leaders, across the globe and industry sectors about the use of Big Data in their organizations. The research confirms a growing appetite for data and data-driven decisions and those who harness these correctly stay ahead of the game. The report provides insight on their use of Big Data today and in the future, and highlights the advantages seen and the specific challenges Big Data has on decision making for business leaders.

Report available here

 Key findings:
  • 75% of respondents believe their organizations to be data-driven
  • 9 out of 10 say decisions made in the past 3 years would have been better if they’d had all the relevant information
  • 42% say that unstructured content is too difficult to interpret
  • 85% say the issue is not about volume but the ability to analyze and act on the data in real time

New Guide: Getting Started with Content Marketing Available

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Let’s be honest, the world of traditional marketing may not be dead, but it’s on life support. Consumers simply aren’t paying attention and the plethora of new platforms has made the modern marketer’s job even tougher. Content marketing may be just the answer you need to help connect with your target customer. This Getting Started guide is targeted at modern marketers looking for a better way to connect and interact with their audience using Content marketing.

The Definitive Guide to Critical Campaign Metrics

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Online marketing is always evolving. Engaging customers and prospects is no longer a single channel, one-way communication. Marketers must engage more deeply and communicate in multiple ways. However, simply engaging is no longer enough. Marketers must be able to track and measure the quantitative impact of their efforts. Leaders want more than soft metrics like brand equity; modern marketers must be able to show the link between their programs and business results. It can be overwhelming – moving between tools, managing spreadsheets, This paper, targeted at marketing leaders and professionals seeking a better way to manage and monitor their efforts focuses on several of the key organization metrics that should be captured to optimize their digital marketing campaigns.

Get your copy of the Kentico CMS Cookbook

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
A cookbook is a common kitchen reference that contains a set of recipes. Recipes contain instructions and a list of ingredients that when combined together hopefully produce a unique taste sensation. Chefs the world over use them as a base to deliver a fantastic culinary experience that tantalizes the taste buds and makes you want more. I don’t expect that Kentico CMS will provide the actual cooking feature anytime soon. But, the intent of this first edition cookbook has the same idea, to provide high quality recipes that any chef can use to deliver tantalizing and useful websites

A mobile storm in the cloud [Infographic]

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
As reported on the Engine yard blog, there are 3 billion more smartphones on earth than there are humans. As a result of smartphone adoption, app consumption has grown with businesses are now prioritizing mobile application development. By 2015 they project development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4:1. Cloud computing has enabled developers and business to focus on application innovation.

Satisfied with search engines and have a negative view of personalized search?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Well you may not be alone, according to a report by Pew Research.  

65% say it’s a bad thing that search engines collected information your searches and then used to rank future search results, because it may limit the information get online and what results you see.  An astounding 73% of respondents said they would not be okay with a search engine keeping track of their searches and using that information to personalize your future search results because they feel it is an invasion of privacy.

7 tips to build your Email lists

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Nobody should argue that Email marketing is important. I ran across a report from the Email Experience Council (eec) of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Econsultancy that I thought was interesting. Among the data was the following.

“The study found that, despite the challenges posed by the spread of social and mobile media, email continues to grow.  Agencies report that 60 percent of their clients are in fact increasing their email usage.  At the same time, 75 percent of marketers described competition from social media as “somewhat” or “very” challenging, and 69 percent said they believe that young people are abandoning email as a primary channel. 65 percent also report that they have problems getting email budgets that the channel deserves. “

You can read the full article here

How well do you know your customer?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Do you know your typical customer? Can you define their key behavioral characteristics? Putting a face on your customer with personas helps to identifying their needs and wants and is one of the best ways to optimize your inbound channels. A persona is simply a fictitious character that embodies a segment of your target audience. 

What’s in your marketing portfolio?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
 Recently I I’ve been talking with a variety of people around their marketing portfolios. It’s no surprise that PPC campaigns using Google and even Bing are everywhere. PPC is one of the ways to drive qualified leads for conversion to your site. However, like any marketing tactic, it’s one thing in a successful marketing portfolio. PPC is effective but can be expensive. Let me restate that another way – it’s not the only thing that you should be doing to successfully market your site.

Announcing the 2012 MVP Awards

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Wow! It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. I thought MVP Awards were tough last year – it was even tougher this year! The submissions we received and the things people are doing continues to amaze me.

Kentico Technical Learning - Using wire framing to architect great Kentico sites

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
James Cannings (CTO, MMT Digital - Kentico Gold Partner) talks about how they use wire framing tools in order to develop UI \ UX in parallel with transparent planning on page templates with the client. The talk will look at how wireframes are used to discuss the use of widgets, web parts, different widget\webpart zone layouts and the use of custom document types at an early stage as well as the use of wireframes in the development of bespoke Kentico modules. The talk will focus on the Axure RP Pro wire framing software although the concepts apply to any tools that you care to use.

Webinar Wrap Up: Introducing Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution Your 360 Degree Customer Solution

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Thanks to everyone that attended the webinar!

How well do you really know your customers? Customer experience includes everything from awareness to advocacy of your product or service. Isn’t it time to get to know your customer?

Most Customer Experience Management Solutions promise results. Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution is instant marketing results and customer insight. With KEMS you will deliver campaigns quickly and provide marketing and sales with useful and actionable data to get to know your customers. Isn’t it better to focus on driving traffic and optimizing customer experience than configuring web pages?

Join us for an exciting look at how you can use the Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution (KEMS) to drive your sales and marketing teams.

Introducing Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution Your 360 Degree Customer Solution

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

How well do you really know your customers? Customer experience includes everything from awareness to advocacy of your product or service. Isn’t it time to get to know your customer?

Most Customer Experience Management Solutions promise results. Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution is instant marketing results and customer insight. With KEMS you will deliver campaigns quickly and provide marketing and sales with useful and actionable data to get to know your customers. Isn’t it better to focus on driving traffic and optimizing customer experience than configuring web pages?

Webinar: Simplifying Sales Tax Through Automation

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Does the national debate on Internet sales tax reform leave you feeling, well – a little anxious? Is your company prepared to manage and remit sales tax for all states where you do business? With audit penalties averaging $23,000, you can't afford to be wrong when it comes to sales tax – and we’re here to help.

Please join us Dec. 7th for an educational webinar for Kentico users.by Avalara
Register here

Focus Group Initiation: Kentico CMS Deliver Now! Methodology

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
This is your invitation to participate in an online Focus Group for the Kentico CMS Deliver Now! Methodology. The Deliver Now! Methodology is designed to help customers and partners avoid potential pitfalls in any Kentico CMS project and benefit from lessons learned from over 7,000 active websites in 84 countries.  Based on the feedback we have received, this methodology has gained traction with our customer and partner base across the world.

Webinar: Kentico Technical Learning: Extending Kentico to meet any creative or technical demands

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
James Cannings (co-founder and CTO of Kentico Gold partner MMT Digital) works through some practical examples of how they have extended Kentico using the flexible framework provided by the CMS to achieve creatively complex websites that are easy for non-technical users to manage. The talk will also look at how bespoke Kentico "modules" can be created to easily integrate websites into 3rd party systems.

Feature Series: WYSIWYG Editor

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS the What You See Is What You Get Editor or WYSIWYG editor is based on the industry standard CK Editor. This default editor is available in many parts of the system from web parts to blogs. The default toolbar is similar to Microsoft Word with additional features for Kentico CMS. The toolbar is composed of action buttons. Each button can be hidden based on security requirements. Which is an ideal solution for editors who don’t need to use all the available actions. In this video we look at using the WYSIWYG Editor.

Feature Series: Inline Widgets

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS Inline widgets enable content editors to add widgets directly into the text of a page. Inline widgets are not presented in a widget  zone, this means they can’t be customized on the live site. The main purpose of inline widgets is to give content editors, who do not have Design permissions, the option of customizing editable regions by using widgets.  In this video we look at using Inline Widgets.

Feature Series: Image Editor

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS content editors are able to edit and modify stored images.  Images and their reuse are essential part of any successful website. This helps to create better brand awareness and content consistency for a website. Using the built in image editor you are able to resize, rotate, convert, crop, color, and manage properties of images across your website.  This enables content editors the ability to make the best use of stored images and how they are presented. In this video we look at using the image editor.

Feature Series: Dashboards

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS dashboards are sections of the administration interface that can be directly customized by application users. Dashboards are a great way for users to place frequently used tools or other sources of information which they can easily access from a single location. In this video we look at Dashboards and how they can be used.

Feature Series: Content Personalization

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS Content Personalization enables the display of customized content to site visitors. Setup is similar to a multivariate test that is based on a set of rules. When the user access the page, the available rules are reviewed and if a matching rule is found the alternative content is displayed. Personalized content is an ideal way to deliver unique and customized content to users of your site.  In this video we will look at using Content Personalization.

Feature Series: A/B Tests

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS A/B testing is a technique of online marketers to optimize pages of a website according to the reaction of visitors. This is done by creating a modified version of the page and running a test. The system then divides traffic between individual page versions and tracks how the changes affect the user experience and activity of visitors.  When a visitor navigates to a page that has a running A/B test defined, one of the page variants configured for the given test will be displayed to them.  In this video we look at how to create an A/B test.

How To: Development SMTP Server

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS Includes many features and modules that utilize e-mail messages as part of their functionality. This includes automatic notifications, confirmation messages, newsletters and many more. To allow the application to send out e-mails you need to register and configure an SMTP Server. In this video we look at how this can be done for your development environment.

How To: Preview URLs

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
As part of your business process, you may want to provide users that don’t have access to CMS Desk an opportunity to view a page prior to publishing.  This is where preview URL’s are used. They enable the sharing the of an unpublished page version outside of the Kentico CMS user interface. For security, preview URL’s are provided as a dedicated URL within the context of a specific user. For example, Preview links are included in workflow notification e-mail templates. In this case, the preview is displayed in the context of the user who performed the workflow action. In this video we look at how to use Preview URLs.

How To: Off-line Mode

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Maintenance is a normal part of your site. With Kentico CMS Off-line mode provides a one click site maintenance option to take your site offline to site visitors. However, both CMS Desk and Site Manager are available for content editors and administrators. This enables Content Editors to continue to update and manage site content. Site administrators have a choice of showing a customized message to site visitors or redirect them to a custom URL. In this video we will look at how this is done using Off-line mode.

Webinar wrap up: Kentico Technical Learning: Installing and Management on Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended our Webinar!

The cloud is an amazing evolution in computing! This evolution requires changes in how we deploy and manage our applications and sites. What are the architecture patterns you need to think about? How do you install? How do you manage your site? These are just a few of the questions that we often hear from our customers.  In this webinar Dominik Pinter, Senior Kentico Developer, will cover how to prepare your site for Windows Azure and then deploy it to the cloud. Once you have your site up we will cover how you can manage your site using both the Kentico CMS tools and the tools available from Windows Azure.

Kentico CMS Podcast #5 – Talking with Sean Kozy and Michael Kinkaid

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Sean Kozy, CTO and Michael Kinkaid, Senior Developer of Kentico Gold Partner Ecentricarts. They talk about themselves and how they came to the technology field. They also talk about their recent project with Calico Cottage, a very cool Kentico CMS project that leverages integration and web services.

Feature Series: Newsletter Module

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The Newsletter module helps you quickly setup newsletter, manage membership and author issues. You can create either a static newsletter based on editable regions or you can create a dynamic newsletter that sends a given URL to all subscribers on a specified interval. In this video we will look at how you can use newsletters within Kentico CMS 5.5 R2.

How To: Using Data Source Web Parts

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Data source web parts are a great way to build data centric pages with Kentico CMS. The data source web parts allow page designers to build a set of interconnected web parts that can retrieve, display and filter data. They enable the separation of web parts without any changes in functionality. This allows a higher degree of design flexibility for CMS pages. In this video we look at how to use the Data Source web parts to retrieve, display, filter and page product data.

Webinar Wrap-up: Kentico Intranet Solution - Building the Agile Intranet

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended our webinar!
Usability and productivity is the cornerstone of any successful Intranet. The Kentico Intranet Solution is a ready to use intranet site you can easily install configure and start using today. It's a perfect solution for those who need an out of the box intranet or who want to have a starting point where they can build on. In this webinar we will look at many of the features of the Kentico Intranet Solution including:

Webinar: Kentico Intranet Solution - Building the Agile Intranet

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Usability and productivity is the cornerstone of any successful Intranet. The Kentico Intranet Solution is a ready to use intranet site you can easily install configure and start using today. It's a perfect solution for those who need an out of the box intranet or who want to have a starting point where they can build on. In this webinar we will look at many of the features of the Kentico Intranet Solution including:
 
  • Content Management-
  • Document Libraries
  • Project Management
  • Workgroups
  • Social Networking Features

How to: Develop an Inline User Control

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
With Kentico CMS an Inline User Control is a .NET ASCX or Web User Control that is placed in the text of an editable region using a special format. At runtime the system dynamically loads the controls when the page is displayed on the live site. One major advantage of inline controls that any content editor can place them anywhere into the text without any programming knowledge. In this video we look at how to develop an Inline User Control.

Building a Windows Azure Practice using the Partner Eco-System - The Kentico CMS Story

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The Kentico CMS is in use by almost 6000 websites in 84 countries as an on-premise or hosted solution. Delivered as a Visual Studio solution, Kentico CMS includes 34 out of the box modules all on top of a SQL Server backend.  Learn how Kentico Software Azure enabled Kentico CMS by collaborating in the Microsoft Partner Eco-Systems in the way it was intended to deliver a superior solution using Windows Azure. Kentico teamed with Bit-Wizards, a Microsoft Gold Partner, Systems Integrator and Application Development Company in collaboration with The Greater Southeast Area Partner Account Team and the Microsoft Windows Azure Product Team. This Session is an in-depth look of using Kentico CMS to build a rich and compelling websites on the Windows Azure. It will detail the business case, though collaboration, and finally the technical details.

How to: Enabling WebDAV

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) is a set of extensions to HTTP that allows computer users to collaborative management documents on remote servers. The goal of WebDAV is to make the Internet a readable and writeable medium. WebDAV is enabled by client programs like Microsoft Office. Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 supports these extensions in conjunction with document management. In this video we look at how these extensions can be enabled.

Feature Series: Document Management

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS enables the creation of Document Libraries. These libraries are a flexible storage system for business documents in Excel, Word and others. They provide security, versioning and access to workflow. Additionally, integration with the WebDAV protocol enables documents to be opened directly from the browser with Microsoft Office. In this video we look at how you can use Document Libraries with your Kentico CMS website.

Webinar Wrap Up: Technical Learning: A lap around Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 and Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended!

Are you ready for Windows Azure? Are you a Kentico Gold Partner looking to receive the Kentico Windows Azure competency? In this technical session we will cover using Kentico CMS and Windows Azure. We will start by providing a technical overview of the Microsoft Windows Azure platform. We then look at how Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 can leverage this platform. We will look at the tools, technologies and tips and tricks you need to move your Kentico CMS sites to the cloud.

Webinar Wrap up: CMS Today - Automating Your Sales Tax Compliance Requirements for Kentico

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Thanks to everyone that joined us!

Your business should be focused on generating profits and cutting costs, not managing sales tax. Consider that calculating, filing and remitting sales and use tax is a pass through activity with no direct benefits to your bottom line. Any effort spent on sales tax compliance activities is 100% non-revenue generating. To overcome this challenge, Avalara’s Avatax solution provides Kentico customers a complete sales tax compliance solution – from the point of sale to filing returns – so you can focus on what’s important, growing your business!

During this session, we covered:
* The Challenges and Complexities of Sales Tax Compliance
* Using Technology to deliver the Sales tax Automation and Compliance your business needs
* Reducing your Risk and Exposure to potential costly Audits
* Automating your Sales Tax Calculation and filing requirements
 

Feature Series: Departments

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

Departments define the organizational structure of your company. They enable the creation of separate website sections for a company. Departments provide a set of communication, collaboration and project management tools for use within an Intranet portal. Content administrators can pre-define the structure of their departmental sites and then quickly clone it for every department. In this video we will look at how they are used within Kentico CMS 5.5 R2.

Kentico Webinar: CMS Today - Automating Your Sales Tax Compliance Requirements for Kentico

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

Your business should be focused on generating profits and cutting costs, not managing sales tax.  Consider that calculating, filing and remitting sales and use tax is a pass through activity with no direct benefits to your bottom line.  Any effort spent on sales tax compliance activities is 100% non-revenue generating.   To overcome this challenge, Avalara’s Avatax solution provides Kentico customers a complete sales tax compliance solution – from the point of sale to filing returns – so you can focus on what’s important, growing your business! 
 

Technical Learning: A lap around Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 and Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

Are you ready for Windows Azure? Are you a Kentico Gold Partner looking to receive the Kentico Windows Azure competency? In this technical session we will cover using Kentico CMS and Windows Azure. We will start by providing a technical overview of the Microsoft Windows Azure platform. We then look at how Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 can leverage this platform. We will look at the tools, technologies and tips and tricks you need to move your Kentico CMS sites to the cloud.

Thanks to both Dominik Pinter and Bryan Soltis for this session!

Building Your Web Sites with Kentico CMS on Windows Azure

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

Today, Kentico CMS is in use by almost 6000 websites in 84 countries as an on-premise or hosted solution. Delivered as a Visual Studio solution, Kentico CMS includes 34 out of the box modules all on top of a SQL Server backend. Do you need to build a highly available and scalable website for your business? In this session From MIX 2011 we will answer that question using Kentico CMS to build a rich and compelling website using Windows Azure.

Kentico CMS Podcast #2 – Talking with Bryan Soltis

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Bryan Soltis, Kentico MVP and Senior Developer from Bit Wizards. Bryan talks about himself and how he came to the technology field. Also, Bryan talks about his recent work with Windows Azure and Kentico CMS. He talks about his experiences with Kentico CMS on Windows Azure and some of the things he has learned.

Have you seen the new Kentico CMS Podcast?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
I am happy to announce that we released the first Kentico CMS podcast. My plan is to produce these at least once a month. We will talk with customers, partners, and Kentico folks to try and get a pulse of what’s going on around the .NET and Kentico community.  

Kentico CMS Podcast #1: Azure with Dominik Pinter

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
In this episode Thom Robbins is joined by Dominik Pinter, Senior Developer with Kentico CMS. Dominik talks about himself and what it’s like to become a Senior Developer at Kentico. Dominik is currently responsible for implementing Microsoft Azure support within Kentico CMS. We talk about what Kentico CMS 5.5 R 2 supports on the Azure platform and what features are being targeted for Kentico CMS 6.0.

Azure Series: Hello World

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Are you looking to understand the basic tools and technologies you need to work with Windows Azure and Kentico CMS? In this video we look at installing the Azure SDK 1.4 and building a simple application that runs in the Windows Azure Emulator.

Feature Series: Online Forms (BizForms)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The Online Forms (Bizforms) module enables Content Administrators to create and publish online forms. Building forms is done using a template driven model and publishing is available through the WYSIWYG editor. In this video we will look at how you can build a form, publish it and then manage the collected data.

Feature Series: Polls

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The Polls module allows site designers to quickly collect visitor’s opinions and feedback. Site designers have complete control over questions, answers and security. In this video we look at how you can create and deploy a poll to the sample corporate site.

Widget Overview

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

Widgets allow for the support of page personalization. This enhancement introduced in Kentico CMS 5, allows users to edit the structure of defined page templates. All personalization is automatically saved and depending on your role available both in CMS Desk and the live site. From a page designer’s point of view, widgets are a basic building block of page templates in the same way as web parts. As a matter of fact widgets are based on existing web parts or built by developers.
The real benefit is that users with the appropriate rights can modify widget properties, their placement on the web page, add and remove widgets from their pages. By default, when working with widgets users are divided into four basic groups:

UI Personalization

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
UI personalization increases the productivity of business users by enabling system administrators to provide a simplified user interface. System administrators are able to create intelligent user interfaces that allow users to focus on those things needed to do their jobs and not overwhelm end users within options they may not need. For end users this reduces the amount of tabs, menu items and parts of a page they see within the Kentico UI. Allowing them to focus on the tasks they need to get their jobs done. For new users, UI personalization reduces the learning curve and makes the system easier to use and understand. In this video we will look at an example of UI personalization using the sample corporate site.

UI Elements Overview

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The user interface of Kentico CMS consists of modules that contain UI elements. A UI element is a page or part of a page in CMS Desk that is shown or hidden to the end user. The UI personalization available extends to UI elements like tabs, menu items and groups of controls. UI Elements are edited in the Site Manager - Development - Modules.In this video we look at how UI personalization is used to add a new tab to the CMS Desk. This same set of steps can be used to add custom UI elements to any personalizable part of the CMS.

Using the New Site Wizard

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
One of the advantages of using a CMS system like Kentico CMS is the ability to easily create new web sites. Kentico CMS provides this capability in the New Site Wizard that enables the creation of a new web site using either a pre-built or custom template. In this video we will create a new e-commerce portal site based on the built in e-commerce starter site.

Sample E-Commerce Purchase

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The Kentico CMS E-Commerce Module provides web sites with an out of the box e-business solution. For customers the built in e-ecommerce module enables online purchases with an integrated shopping cart, order status, newsletter subscriptions and many more features. For Web developers the Kentico e-commerce solution provides an extensible e-commerce platform. In this video we will look at the Kentico CMS e-commerce shopping cart and purchase process using the sample e-commerce Web site.

Defining a New E-Commerce Product Type

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Product Types are a way to organize and create new inventory items within Kentico CMS. Product types are simply document types that contain information about a specific product. Kentico CMS 5 provides a wizard that allows these to be easily created. In this video we will create a new product type using Kentico CMS 5 sample e-commerce web site.

Adding Product Options

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Product options are an important part of defining the unique characteristics of your e-commerce products. Whether it’s for a single product or all products this can be done easily within Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce module. In this video we will add new product options to an existing product using the Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce sample site.

Sorting and Paging with the Product Datalist

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Datalist web parts are one way to display data within Kentico CMS. These web parts are designed to offer flexibility for easily changing the selected item view using sorting, paging and transformations. Sorting and paging provides a way to change the default display items using the “order by” option and built in names. In this video we will use the Product Datalist web part to sort and page products using Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce sample site.

Customizing E-Commerce Product Categories

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Product categories are a way for site owners to organize their e-commerce inventory into a logical order. This allows end users to quickly find items they may be searching for.  Within Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce this is based on the document model. In this video we will add a new product category using the Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce sample site.

Adding a New E-Commerce Product

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The heart of any e-commerce system is product maintenance. Kentico CMS 5.0 is designed to provide an easy and intuitive maintenance of your products based on document types.In this video we will add a new product to the Kentico CMS 5.0 sample e-commerce site.

Adding E-Commerce Products to Multiple Categories

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Product categories are a logical way to organize your e-commerce products. This allows site visitors to quickly locate items they want to purchase. The Kentico CMS E-Commerce module allows products to appear in multiple product categories based on a link. When creating a link to an existing product document, a product SKU is not directly tied to the link. The link represents an image of the existing product document. This process allows a product to exist independently of the link. The benefit of the linking process is that it allows the same product with the same SKU to appear in multiple product categories. In this video we will add an existing product to a second product category using the Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce sample site.

E-Commerce Featured Products

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The featured product option in the Kentico CMS E-Commerce module allows site owners to quickly select and highlight products on the front page. This allows end users to quickly see products that may be on sale or featured. The selection is based on the Random Products web part that displays four randomly selected products with their public status selected to selected as ‘show as featured’. In this video we will look at how you can highlight an existing product using the Random Products Web Part and featured product option.

E-Commerce Company Details

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Providing company information allows end users to quickly find address and support information and provides a face to the company on your e-commerce site. Kentico CMS 5.0 provides a built in set of pages that minimize the amount of time needed to create and maintain this information.In this video we will look at how to maintain your company information and add new locations to your site using Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce sample site.

WYSIWYG Editor

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS comes contains a WYSIWYG editor based on the FCKeditor. While it is possible to integrate your own custom editor, what’s included is one of the best browser based editors available on the market. This editor is available in many different parts of the system from web parts to blogs. The default toolbar provides similar functionality to those in Microsoft Word with additional features designed for Kentico CMS. In this video we will look at the WYSIWYG Editor Toolbar and how it can be used within Kentico CMS.

Version Comparision Using Workflow

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Workflow is an important part of ensuring that content is included in the business process. Content approvers are responsible for ensuring that the added or edited documents are appropriate and meet the needs of the business before publishing to the live site. Kentico CMS 5 introduces the ability to compare document versions as part of the workflow process. This allows content approvers to review documents and see exactly what changes have made. In this video we will look at how to compare document versions using a news workflow on the Kentico CMS 5 sample corporate site.

Defining a Workflow

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Workflow is an important part of including content in the business process. Enabling users to participate in the flow of information and ensuring that only approved information is published on your web site. Kentico CMS 5 provides a state based workflow engine that allows users to visually define their workflow and developers a platform to extend. In this video we will define a new workflow using the Kentico CMS 5 sample corporate site that controls the approval of news items.

Widget Properties

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Widgets extend the functionality of the existing web part framework outside of the CMS Desk design tab. They provide direct support for page personalization. This flexibility provides end users the control to customize the placement and appearance of widgets. Users with the appropriate rights can modify widget properties, their placement on the page and add or remove widgets from live the live site.

Web Part Overview

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Web parts are an essential element of a Kentico CMS website. They are the primary way that developers deploy new application features and content editors, authors and publishers interact and view content on your Kentico CMS site. Web parts are the basic building blocks of page templates and are used to modify, view and control page appearance directly from a browser. Technically they are ASP.NET controls that are added to a Kentico CMS web part zone.

CMS Today – Are you considering SharePoint for your web site?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

SharePoint 2010 release is just around the corner. There is a lot of talk about SharePoint’s new capabilities, especially those relating to web content management. A lot of organizations are wondering if they could possibly use SharePoint 2010 as the technology stack to maintain both their enterprise collaboration needs and their corporate website.

In this webinar, we will review the new SharePoint web content management capabilities and see if SharePoint fits your organization’s strategic website objectives at this time. 
 

Technical Learning – URL Rewriting and Output Filters

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS provides exposes a friendly URL addresses that provides web sites with better SEO visibility and full control of their exposed URL’s. This process is based on a URL rewriting engine that displays the correct page based on a specified friendly or smart URL. Once the page is processed by the URL rewriting engine, the rendered HTML is sent to a set of output filters. These filters applied allow developers to make changes to the HTML before it is sent to the browser. In this webinar we will examine this process and the ways that it can be used to build your site.

Kentico Webinar: CMS Today - Blogging for Success

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

More and more companies are embracing blogs as a strategic marketing and communication tool that won't break the bank in 2010. For many companies, however, confusion abounds as to how to implement a blog, manage it, and actually measure its impact on overall marketing activities.

This webinar will be of interest to any company looking to establish, strengthen or monetize a corporate blog. From exploring start-up costs, workflow process and stake holder issues to setting marketing metrics and ROI-driven goals for your blog, Blogging for Success will cover the entire spectrum in 60 minutes.
 

Technical Learning – Introduction to Widgets

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS 5 introduces widgets that provide support for page personalization. From a designers point of view widgets are a basic building block of page templates in the same way as web parts. For end users widgets allow them to add, remove, modify properties, and determine page placement on the live site. In this session we will examine how this exciting new feature is used within your Kentico CMS 5 site. We will cover the basics of technical implementation, design concerns, extensibility and security for this feature. People attending this session will be able to implement the basics of widgets in their Kentico CMS 5.0 site.

CMS Today – Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization covers the SEO basics. This webinar includes a working SEO definition, what search engines look for, how you can increase qualified traffic to your website, how you can start search engine optimizing your website, measuring and refining your SEO results, and successful SEO case study.

CMS Today – Generate Buzz, Leads and Sales from your Website using a CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

Today, we’re all on the hook to deliver websites that support sales by delivering and converting qualified opportunities. But how can you do that if everyone leaves your site from the home page?

In this webinar, we’ll talk about some of the best practices you need to follow in order to generate leads from your website and convert those leads into pipeline opportunities. This webinar is a “must attend” for marketers who have already put an online marketing plan in place but want to see what else is out there, and for marketers who are planning to put an online marketing plan in place but need help determining the best approach.

Kentico Webinar: Technical Learning – Introduction to UI Personalization

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS 5.0 introduces a new feature called UI Personalization. This new feature enables site designers and administrators to create and deploy intelligent user interfaces. These interfaces are designed to provide a personalized and extensible user experience that empowers users to get things done. In this session we will examine how this exciting new feature is used within your Kentico CMS 5.0 site. We will cover the basics of technical implementation, design concerns, extensibility and security for this feature. Users attending this session will be able to implement the basics of UI personalization in their Kentico CMS 5.0 site.

Page Templates with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Every Kentico CMS page is based on a page template. A page template is the definition of how the page looks, and what is displayed in the context of specific page. The page template is responsible for feeding content into the page controls and displaying the content as a live page. Page templates can be tied to a single page or used across several other pages.In this video we take a look at using templates.

Extensibility with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Extending your application is an important part of meeting the needs of your site visitors. In this video we will look at extensibility with Kentico CMS 5. While there are many ways to extend your application we will look at using the Kentico CMS controls, Global Events and Custom Modules within your Kentico CMS environment.

Custom Form Layout with BizForms

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The BizForms module enables the creation and publication of simple on-line forms with no development. The form is published on the Kentico site by inserting special macro expressions into the text of a page or using the BizForms web part. The captured data is stored in a separate database table and be viewed over the web, emailed, or exported to Excel.

Kentico CMS 5.0 CSS Menu Design

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
Kentico CMS pages are rendered based on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The main menu used in the sample corporate site is displayed using the Drop-down menu web part which is based on the CMSMenu server control. This menu depends primarily on CSS styles.In this video we will look at examples of changing the design of the main menu using the Kentico CMS 5.0 sample corporate site.

CMS Today: Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Webinar, Part 2

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Rescheduled webinar -

Join us for a CMS Today webinar on January 11, 2011 at 10-11am.
Looking to learn about search engine optimization? The "Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization, Part 2" webinar takes the Part 1 webinar, which covered SEO basics, to the next level, by covering topics such as:
1.     Is manual link building necessary
2.     Designing your SEO strategy
3.     Advanced keyword selection and targeting

 

Kentico Technical Learning: Kentico CMS in Load-Balanced, Highly Available Web Farm

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
This Kentico Technical learning session presented by Kentico CMS Gold Partner Bit Wizards will cover the deployment and configuration of Kentico CMS in a highly-available, redundant web farm. 
Topics covered will include network architecture, SQL Server configuration, .NET configuration, and Kentico CMS configuration and optimization.
Network Architecture
-       Server configuration
-       Load balancing
-       Traffic routing
-       HTTP/HTTPS considerations
-       File replication
SQL Server Configuration
-       Clustered SQL server architecture
-       Active/Passive
-       Database configuration/settings
.NET Configuration
-       Session state management
-       Web server configuration
Kentico configuration
-       Web farm synchronization
-       Best practices

Feature Series: Blog

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article
The Blogs module allows you to publish personal or enterprise blogs. You can fully customize the access rights to the blog and allow one or more users to add blog posts. A single web site can contain any number of blogs. The blog posts can be retrieved through RSS feed. The design of the blog is fully customizable with your own graphics and custom content

Feature Series: Booking System

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Video Article

The Booking system module allows you to display an event calendar together with a registration form. You can use it for both off-line and on-line events, such as conferences, web casts, presentations or community meetings. You can restrict the registration period and the capacity of the event. Once the visitors register, you can manage their registrations in the administration interface and send them a mass e-mail with event updates.

CMS Today: Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Webinar, Part 2

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Join us for a CMS Today webinar on December 15, 2010 at 10-11am.
Looking to learn about search engine optimization? The "Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization, Part 2" webinar takes the Part 1 webinar, which covered SEO basics, to the next level, by covering topics such as:
1.     Is manual link building necessary
2.     Designing your SEO strategy
3.     Advanced keyword selection and targeting

Presented by Wakefly, a Kentico CMS Gold Partner

Kentico Online CMS User Group Presents: Martin’s Favorite New Features in 5.5 R2

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The product group has been diligently working away on the next release of Kentico CMS 5.5 R2. Of course it’s got lots of cool features! But everyone has their favorites. Attend the Kentico online user group meeting to hear Kentico CTO Martin Hejtmanek talk about his favorites. In this interactive online user group session Martin will show his personal favorites and why he thinks they are important for Kentico users and developers.

.NET Kentico Developer Needed in Sydney, Australia

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
If you are a top gun Kentico developer that loves to work on cutting edge projects, then you might just like this opportunity. Working directly with the technical lead and digital creatives, you'll be in charge of developing large scale, award winning websites on the Kentico platform.
If you hold the Kentico developer roadmap in your car instead of a GPS, you're our kind of dev! We want you to help drive advanced features inside our websites, pushing Kentico where it hasn't been before, and have lots of fun doing it...
 
* Permanent Role 
* Busy Retail Advertising Agency
* Fantastic Sydney CBD Location

Video: Web Parts with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Web parts are an essential element of a Kentico CMS website. They are the primary way that developers deploy new application features and content editors, authors and publishers interact and view content on your Kentico CMS site. Web parts are the basic building blocks of page templates and are used to modify, view and control page appearance directly from a browser. In this video we will look at web parts and how they are used within Kentico CMS.

Page Templates Overview with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Page templates are an important part of any site implementation. How are they created is one of the questiosn that I often hear. In order to understand this more I put together a quick video that covers using the ASPX or Kentico Portal Engine to create your page templates.

VS 2010 Tip: Pinning the Kentico Web Project

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

How often do you open the Kentico CMS Web project in a day? Its a bit time consuming having to open Visual Studio and find the project. If you open a couple of other projects then it falls of the recent project lists which costs even more time. In this blog post we will look at a way you can use pinning within Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010 to make opening the Kentico CMS project easier.

VS 2010 Tip Using Ad Hoc Regions

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

I really like the use of Regions within my code. They are a great way to organize and collapse section of code. Working with a large project like Kentico its a great way to organize and collapse code. Within Visual 2010, I found a new feature called ad-hoc regions that has been a big help to me. In this blog post we will cover how to use this feature within your code.

Part 1: Building a Kentico CMS Windows Gadget

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Windows Vista introduced a new UI feature called Windows Gadgets. Fundamentally, a Gadget is a small, lightweight application that runs in a special pane called the Sidebar or directly on a users desktop. In this series of blog posts we will build a widget that connects with Kentico data. In this part of the series we will introduce gadget development and build a very simple gadget. Well start by creating a barebones gadget that we can use as a template for other gadgets we will build over the series of articles.

VS 2010 Tip F12 Show me the definition

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Like any real world project the Kentico CMS project is a big, often contains multi-projects, lots of files, and classes. Many times when working within the project I need find definitions quickly without searching. In this blog post we will look at using F12 to quickly find the definition.

Creating a Workflow Enabled Twitter Document

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Combing a custom document, workflow and Twitter provides a powerful set of features that can be used within a Kentico site. This combination allows for the creation of a custom solution that allows you to use Kentico directly as your Twitter posting engine and provide content administrators the ability to control and workflow enable twitter posts. In this post I will create a custom document that is placed under workflow and then extend the global event handler to post a tweet once the document is approved.

Webinar Wrap Up: CMS Today – Are you considering SharePoint 2010 for your web site?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended yesterdays’ session presented by Good Medium
SharePoint 2010 release is just around the corner. There is a lot of talk about SharePoint’s new capabilities, especially those relating to web content management. A lot of organizations are wondering if they could possibly use SharePoint 2010 as the technology stack to maintain both their enterprise collaboration needs and their corporate website.

In this webinar, we will review the new SharePoint web content management capabilities and see if SharePoint fits your organization’s strategic website objectives at this time.  

Topics that we will cover in the webinar include -
  • Review SharePoint's Existing & New Capabilities
  • Review some of the strategic website objectives for organizations
  • Compare how SharePoint & industry leading CMS platforms deliver on the strategic website objectives
  • Preparing For SharePoint 2010
  • Recommendations

Automating Twitter for New Blog Posts

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Like most people once I finish a blog post, the next step is to send out a tweet. Seemed like a lot of work and something that should be automated. In this post I will show how you can automate the process of sending a tweet whenever a new blog post is added. Next, I am planning on cleaning the code up a bit and wrapping it within a module. If youre interested in helping with the sample let me know. I am thinking if we get enough people interested we can create a CodePlex project.

Want to Beta Test the Kentico Developer Certified Exam?

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
As we complete the training rollout for Developers and Content Administrators I am happy to announce that we are preparing for the next phase, the release of the Kentico Certified Developer Exam. In this post I wanted to provide a general overview of the beta exam process and an opportunity for those interested to sign up for consideration as an exam beta tester.

T3: Cascading Style Sheet Tutorial with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
In Tutorial 2 we covered the ways you can edit CSS using the Kentico CMS Web user interface. We also looked at one of the basic CSS properties - color and how it can be used within your site. In this tutorial we will look at using CSS pseudo-classes and how it can be used to change the look and feel of HTML tags.

Webinar wrap up – Technical Learning - URL Rewriting and Output Filters

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended today webinar
Kentico CMS provides exposes a friendly URL addresses that provides web sites with better SEO visibility and full control of their exposed URL’s. This process is based on a URL rewriting engine that displays the correct page based on a specified friendly or smart URL. Once the page is processed by the URL rewriting engine, the rendered HTML is sent to a set of output filters. These filters applied allow developers to make changes to the HTML before it is sent to the browser. In this webinar we will examine this process and the ways that it can be used to build your site.

Webinar wrap up: CMS Today - Blogging for Success

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks for everyone attending -

More and more companies are embracing blogs as a strategic marketing and communication tool that won't break the bank in 2010. For many companies, however, confusion abounds as to how to implement a blog, manage it, and actually measure its impact on overall marketing activities.
This webinar will be of interest to any company looking to establish, strengthen or monetize a corporate blog. From exploring start-up costs, workflow process and stake holder issues to setting marketing metrics and ROI-driven goals for your blog, Blogging for Success will cover the entire spectrum in 60 minutes. There will be ample time for questions and answers.
Areas Covered Include:
  • Goal Setting for Corporate Blogs
  • Content Ideas for Corporate Blogs
  • How Often to Blog?
  • Managing Workflow & Stakeholders
  • Creating Community & Finding Your Voice
  • Cost of Ownership: The Scope of Your Investment

How To: Creating a Custom Document Type

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Content needs to be driven by the demands of business. While there are an enormous amount of document types in Kentico, business specific schemas are inevitable. Custom document types enable system administrators to create data schemas specific to the needs of your business. In this blog post we will walk threw the creation of a custom document type for employee biographies.

Webinar wrap up: Technical Learning – Introduction to widgets

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that joined us for today’s webinar on Technical Learning – Introduction to widgets.
 
Kentico CMS 5 introduces widgets that provide support for page personalization. From a designers point of view widgets are a basic building block of page templates in the same way as web parts. For end users widgets allow them to add, remove, modify properties, and determine page placement on the live site. In this session we will examine how this exciting new feature is used within your Kentico CMS 5 site. We will cover the basics of technical implementation, design concerns, extensibility and security for this feature. People attending this session will be able to implement the basics of widgets in their Kentico CMS 5.0 site.

Kentico Webinar: CMS Today - Blogging for Success

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Join us for a Kentico Webinar - CMS Today Series presented by Wakefly
 
The Kentico CMS Today webinar series focuses on industry and emerging trends/topics that face business and marketers. The series focus is to provide resources, training and discussion on practical and useful information.

Introduction to the Windows Communication Foundation

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Services seem to be everywhere these days and even more ways to build them. Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is the unified .NET programming model for building service oriented applications. It is designed to simplify the creation of connected applications through a service oriented programming model. WCF supports a variety of distributed application development by providing a layered architecture. The base of WCF provides the asynchronous message passing primitives. The higher level services layered on top of this base include secure and reliable messaging exchange, a typed programming model including serialization facilities, queued and transacted messaging exchange, integration with other programming models like MSMQ, COM+ and ASP.NET Web Services, Web Service Enhancements and others. Technically, WCF is implemented as a set of classes starting with the.NET Framework 3.0. The main namespace for working with WCF is the System.ServiceModel. This namespace contains the classes, enumerations and interfaces necessary to build WCF services and client applications.

A Windows Communication Foundation service is provided by defining one or more Windows Communication Foundation endpoints. An endpoint is defined by an address, a binding and a service contract. The address defines where the service is located. The binding specifies how to communicate with the service. The service contract defines the operations that the service can perform. WCF services must be hosted within a process to become active. The hosting environment is responsible to create and control the context and lifetime of the service. WCF services are designed to run in any Windows process that supports managed code. This programming model is designed to remain consistent and is considered independent of the runtime environment that is used to deploy the service. The benefit is that this makes the code for your service look very much the same whatever hosting option is selected.

Typically hosting options range from running inside a console or Windows Form application to server environments running within a worker process managed by IIS. WCF allows developers to choose the hosting environment that meet the needs of their application as opposed to requiring the use of a specific transport or technology.

In this article we will generate a simple WCF service using Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 and test it using the built in harnesses.

Webinar Wrap up: CMS Today – Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Driving Success with Search Engine Optimization covers the SEO basics. This webinar includes a working SEO definition, what search engines look for, how you can increase qualified traffic to your website, how you can start search engine optimizing your website, measuring and refining your SEO results, and successful SEO case study.

Topics that may be covered in this webinar include:
•         How to select the right keywords
•         How to ensure that your website is indexed by the search engines
•         Usability and Navigation best practices
•         Utilizing a web analytics tool to monitor your results
•         What to look at in your web analytics tool to make sound business decisions about your website

Webinar wrap up: CMS Today – Knowing When You Need a CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Thanks to everyone that attended CMS Today session
 
The term Content Management System (CMS) means different things to different people. This term covers a large surface area and often brings up more questions than answers. What can a CMS do for me? Why do we need a CMS? How do I make sense of the solutions available? In this session we will define what a CMS is, how this is important to your organization and its content. We will also look at key problem areas that a CMS system solves and the organizational readiness areas to review before considering any CMS system.

10 questions to ask about your social media plan

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Social media is an overloaded term that broadly describes a variety of online platforms that utilize internet technology to enable social interaction. The most common examples are blogging, podcasts, forums, and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Social media is quickly becoming a prominent tool in the modern marketing world. Websites can no longer be static bulletin boards that promote products and services. Social media opens up a dynamic dialogue with your audience, allowing for interaction and personal connection. The always on world of today has forced companies to consider how they engage virtually and shift their marketing strategies to include this new engagement mechanism. A strategy involving social media is not something any company should approach lightly. It highlights your brand, company cultures and values in a very public way. In this blog post we will look at ten questions to ask about your social media plan.

Kentico CMS 5 Widget Properties

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Widgets extend the functionality of the existing web part framework outside of the CMS Desk design tab. They provide direct support for page personalization. This flexibility provides end users the control to customize the placement and appearance of widgets. Users with the appropriate rights can modify widget properties, their placement on the page and add or remove widgets from live the live site.

Introducing the Smart Search Engine with Kentico CMS 5

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Search is an important component of website usability. Providing the content and information a user is searching for quickly and easily is an important part of any web site. Within Kentico CMS 5 this functionality is provided by the Smart Search Engine. This engine takes advantage of the Lucene.NET Search Engine (Version 2.10). The Lucene Search Engine is an algorithmic port of the Java Lucene search engine to the C# and .NET platform. In this post we will look at the basics of the Smart Search engine and how it can be enabled with Kentico CMS 5.

Kentico CMS 5 Version Comparison Using Workflow

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Workflow is an important part of ensuring that content is included in the business process. Content approvers are responsible for ensuring that the added or edited documents are appropriate and meet the needs of the business before publishing to the live site. Kentico CMS 5 introduces the ability to compare document versions as part of the workflow process. This allows content approvers to review documents and see exactly what changes have made.

Drag and Drop with Kentico CMS 5

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Kentico CMS 5 enables drag and drop functionality directly within the content tree. This provides an easy way to reorganize and manage documents. With some additional keystrokes you can extend this functionality to include copying and linking. In this post we will look at the additional keyboard shortcuts for this feature.

Kentico Webinar: CMS Today – Generate Buzz, Leads and Sales from your Website using a CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Join us for a Kentico Webinar - CMS Today Series presented by Wakefly
 
The Kentico CMS Today webinar series focuses on industry and emerging trends/topics that face business and marketers. The series focus is to provide resources, training and discussion on practical and useful information.

Kentico CMS 5 Custom Form Layout with BizForms

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The BizForms module enables the creation and publication of simple on-line forms with no development. The form is published on the Kentico site by inserting special macro expressions into the text of a page or using the BizForms web part. The captured data is stored in a separate database table and be viewed over the web, emailed, or exported to Excel.

Kentico CMS 5.0 WYSIWYG Editor

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Kentico CMS comes contains a WYSIWYG editor based on the FCKeditor. While it is possible to integrate your own custom editor, what’s included is one of the best browser based editors available on the market. This editor is available in many different parts of the system from web parts to blogs. The default toolbar provides similar functionality to those in Microsoft Word with additional features designed for Kentico CMS.

Visual Studio Tip: Navigating the Kentico CMS Web Project

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Spend a lot of time searching through code? Trying to find the definition of a class or enumeration can be difficult. The Class View window is one handy tool that gives a quick overview of the object model of the current solution and allows fast navigation through namespaces, classes and methods. Using the Class View window in conjunction with the Code Definition window provides another tool that can help to reduce the amount of searching that needs to be done. If you double click on a method in the Class View window Visual Studio will open the appropriate source code file and scroll to the selected method. This is quite useful for larger projects like Kentico that contains multiple class definitions. In this post we will look at how this works.

Kentico CMS 5.0 Defining a Workflow

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Workflow is an important part of including content in the business process. Enabling users to participate in the flow of information and ensuring that only approved information is published on your web site. Kentico CMS 5 provides a state based workflow engine that allows users to visually define their workflow and developers a platform to extend.

Kentico CMS 5.0 CSS Menu Design

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Kentico CMS pages are rendered based on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). By default, each web site is based on a global CSS style sheet; that can be edited using either the built in WYSIWG editors or an external editor like Visual Studio. The main menu is an example of how a CSS style sheet can be used to control the look and feel of the site. The main menu used in the sample corporate site is displayed using the Drop-down menu web part which is based on the CMSMenu server control. This menu depends primarily on CSS styles.

Kentico CMS 5.0 Adding E-Commerce Products to Multiple Categories

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Product categories are a logical way to organize your e-commerce products. This allows site visitors to quickly locate items they want to purchase. The Kentico CMS E-Commerce module allows products to appear in multiple product categories based on a link. When creating a link to an existing product document, a product SKU is not directly tied to the link. The link represents an image of the existing product document. This process allows a product to exist independently of the link. The benefit of the linking process is that it allows the same product with the same SKU to appear in multiple product categories.

Kentico CMS 5.0 E-Commerce Featured Products

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The featured product option in the Kentico CMS E-Commerce module allows site owners to quickly select and highlight products on the front page. This allows end users to quickly see products that may be on sale or featured. The selection is based on the Random Products web part that displays four randomly selected products with their public status selected to selected as ‘show as featured’. 
 
Note: A video is available for adding new products is available here.

Kentico CMS 5.0: Sample E-Commerce Purchase

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The Kentico CMS E-Commerce Module provides web sites with an out of the box e-business solution. For customers the built in e-ecommerce module enables online purchases with an integrated shopping cart, order status, newsletter subscriptions and many more features. For Web developers the Kentico e-commerce solution provides an extensible e-commerce platform.
 
Note: A video is available to see how to set up the sample e-commerce Web site is available here

Kentico CMS 5.0 Widget Overview

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Widgets allow for the support of page personalization. This enhancement introduced in Kentico CMS 5, allows users to edit the structure of defined page templates. All personalization is automatically saved and depending on your role available both in CMS Desk and the live site. From a page designer’s point of view, widgets are a basic building block of page templates in the same way as web parts. As a matter of fact widgets are based on existing web parts or built by developers.
The real benefit is that users with the appropriate rights can modify widget properties, their placement on the web page, add and remove widgets from their pages. By default, when working with widgets users are divided into four basic groups:
Site developer/Administrator – Defines the placement of widget zones, default content, web properties available for personalization, and manage all available widgets
Page Editor – Defines the content of the widget zones created in the page templates by the site developer/administrator
Group Administrator – Defines the design of group pages
Web Site Users – Defines the design of their home page or another page which can be personalized on the live site.

UI Elements Overview Kentico 5

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
The user interface of Kentico CMS consists of modules that contain UI elements. A UI element is a page or part of a page in CMS Desk that is shown or hidden to the end user. The UI personalization available extends to UI elements like tabs, menu items and groups of controls. UI Elements are edited in the Site Manager ->Development -> Modules.

UI Personalization with Kentico 5

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
UI personalization increases the productivity of business users by enabling system administrators to provide a simplified user interface. System administrators are able to create intelligent user interfaces that allow users to focus on those things needed to do their jobs and not overwhelm end users within options they may not need. For end users this reduces the amount of tabs, menu items and parts of a page they see within the Kentico UI. Allowing them to focus on the tasks they need to get their jobs done. For new users, UI personalization reduces the learning curve and makes the system easier to use and understand.

Building Restful User Controls with Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Representational state transfer (REST) is a style of software architecture for building distributed applications and services. The term REST is credited to Roy Fielding who was one of the principal authors of the HTTP 1.0 specification. Fundamentally REST is an application architecture based on clients and servers. A client initiates the request to the server and the server process the request and returns the appropriate resources. Resources are the data and information that is returned to the client. At any time a client can either be transitioning between application states or at rest. A client in a rest state is able to interact with users, but creates no load and consumes no per-client storage on the servers or network. The client begins sending requests when it is ready to transition to a new state. While one or more requests are outstanding, the client is considered to be transitioning states.
The representation of each application state contains links (URLs) that may be used the next time the client chooses to initiate a new state transition. Basically, each URL is a representation of some object. An application gets the contents of that object using a request. An application that conforms to REST is considered RESTFul.

REST style services are becoming very common on the Web today and are surpassing traditional WSDL and SOAP. While the concept of REST isnt a standard it does use standards like HTTP, URL, XML/HTML/GIF/JPEG/etc (Resource representations), text/xml, text/html, image/gif, image/jpeg, etc (MIME Types) There are many examples of RESTFul services that have been exposed across the Web.

In this blog post we will look at the URL shortening Service bit.ly as an example and build a simple user control that retrieves the statistics of a shortened URL and then place the user control into the Kentico CMS system.

Five SEO Rules to Live By

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Nobody will argue with how important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to increasing a sites awareness and traffic. The higher a site ranks in search engine results the better the chance it will be visited. Search engines make use of a spiders and crawlers which follow links from page to page. The pages are analyzed and added to the database of the search engine. Search engines check sites on a periodic basis, visiting some sites more than others. How does indexing of pages work? Well only the search engine owners know the true answer and they are constantly improving the process which makes it even harder to predict. How your site shows up within search engines like Google is based on a variety of variables. While there are many techniques for better SEO, here are five SEO rules I live by.

T2: Cascading Style Sheets Tutorial for Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

In Tutorial 1 we covered the basics of CSS. CSS is a style based language used to describe the look and formatting of a markup based document. Kentico CMS takes extensive advantage of CSS to allow the change of the look and feel of your Web site. In this tutorial we will look at the ways that you can edit CSS within the Kentico CMS Web user interface. We will also look at one of the basic CSS properties color and how this can be used within your site.

The Benefits of Building an Online Community

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Guess what theres an online global conversation happening right now about your brand, product or service. Any company willing to engage in the dialogue can gain both insight and opportunities about themselves and their competitors. Like any good conversation its part listening, participating, understanding and learning. Building an online community is one of the easiest and most effective ways to engage in this global conversation.

The Internet today contains unlimited forums for customers to express themselves. At any given moment someone somewhere is talking about your brand, product or service. Isnt it better to be part of that conversation where you can listen, learn, participate and help shape the direction? Expect to hear things that unpleasant, uncomfortable and maybe not true. Ignoring these opinions doesnt make them go away.

Here is my list of the top ten ways that a company can effectively benefit from building an online community Website.

Developer Opinions Needed – Guiding Our Plans

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
It’s that time of year where we start to look at what we want to do for next year. As I come to the close of my first several months at Kentico I am excited about next year. The problem is that I need your help to make sure we are doing what you – the Kentico Developer needs to be successful.
 
I would appreciate if you could take a few minutes and provide your opinions. Of course we will make all results available and the form is completely anonymous.

Web 2.0 the Power of Social Bookmarking with Kentico

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Social Media Marketing is promoting and publicizing products and services using social media. Social Media Marketing consists of two broad areas. Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization (SMO). Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a powerful marketing concept originally developed by Rohit Bhargava.

The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.

Web 2.0 Consuming RSS/ATOM Feeds with Kentico

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
RSS feeds are everywhere these days. Who could imagine a Web site that didnt provide them in some way? Feeds provide a Web site developer the ability to publish headline and frequently updated content. They offer a low bandwidth stripped down version of a web site that readers can subscribe to using a feed reader. In case you didnt know the Kentico Marketplace has a free Web Part feed reader that brings RSS/ATOM feeds into the Kentico CMS system that is available here.

Cascading Style Sheets Tutorial for Kentico CMS

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style based language used to describe the look and formatting of a markup based document. Within the context of the Web, CSS allows developers to separate content from design. This enables HTML to control the markup of content and CSS to control the presentation. When properly implemented a CSS global style sheet can be used to affect and style site wide elements. When presentation changes are needed, they can be done by editing the rules within the global style sheet. Without a doubt, Web designers and developers should understand CSS like they do HTML.

In this multi-part tutorial we will cover the various aspects of CSS and how they can be used within Kentico CMS.

How To:Using a Nested Master Page

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Master pages are one of my favorite features within .NET. By design they provide a single location for common layouts that are used across a set of web pages and allow common updates to occur in one place. The concept of a master page is taken from the world of traditional print and design layout. The traditional master page in this concept is a nonprinting page. It is used to create a consistent layout that contains elements that are repeated on each page within a larger document. For the print world this translates to things like headers, footers, and page numbers. The ASP.NET 2.0 master page infrastructure adheres to a similar concept and actually consists of two parts: the master page and one or more linked content pages. The master page is responsible for defining the page layout, which can include things like static text, HTML elements and server controls. The master page also contains the top level elements for a page such as <html>, <head> and <form> tags.

An Introduction to SOA Governance

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Its no surprise that Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has captured the imagination of just about every CIO and IT Director on the planet. Who doesnt like the vision of strengthening their existing infrastructure and lowering IT costs? Its a compelling value proposition that maximizes the flexibility of enterprise business processes. The SOA vision clearly represents a paradigm shift that requires the realignment of traditional business and IT roles. Within this new paradigm SOA governance helps defines the new institutional language for success.

How To: Split a String using System.String.Split

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

A fairly common task is parsing strings. One of the easiest ways that I found to accomplish this is to use the System.String.Split method. In this post we will look at a simple console application that uses this method. We will create an array of characters that are used to determine which characters are used as the delimiters in the returned array of string.

Writing to the Event Log

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Event logging is the centralized way for Windows to record information about important software and hardware events that occur across a system. For System Administrators the logs allow them to review errors. For developers the event logs provide a place to store application errors. Within the .NET Framework the System.Disagnostics.EventLog namespace provides the functionality to read, write and manage events logs and events on the network. In this post we will look at some examples of how this namespace can be used within your applications.

Adding Kentico CMS Controls to the Toolbox

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
Kentico Controls are a powerful way to extend and add new
features to your application. They are standard ASP.Net 2.0 server controls
that can be used in either Visual Studio 2005 or 2008. In this post we will
look at how the Kentico CMS 4.1 controls can be added to the Visual Studio 2008
toolbox.

Adding a new user with Kentico CMS 4.1

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article

Once you create your development machine you may want to add additional users to the environment. In this post we will cover the steps you can use when logged in as the Global Administrator within the corporate site to add a new user to the Kentico CMS 4.1 system.

Running Kentico CMS 4.1 with Windows 7

Thomas Robbins    —       —    Article
When running Windows 7 as your developer client for Kentico CMS 4.1 using Visual Studio 2008 you may encounter a permissions error if you use the default Kentico CMS 4.1 installation. This seems to result from a change within Windows 7. In this post I will cover two ways that you can solve this error.

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