First steps with Kentico CMS

In this post, I would like to focus on frequently asked questions and common problems during the evaluation of Kentico CMS.
A common problem is that one or more system prerequisites are not installed or missing. You can find the system requirements listed here.

If the system requirements are already installed, you can begin with installation of Kentico CMS. The first and second phases of the installation (setup and then running the Web installer) are usually going smoothly. Some problems may occur during the database and site installation. Many issues are caused because the disk write permissions are not set correctly. If you are using shared hosting servers, please make sure that your user account for the SQL server has sufficient permissions to create tables and run stored procedures. Common issue is also the connection to the SQL server and its configuration.

Frequent questions are also related to licensing and pricing, subscriptions renewal and license conditions according to your development and/or production environment. Answers to most of the questions can be found on our web site. In the Feature matrix, you can find information about which modules and features are available in which edition. The trial edition available for download contains every module and every feature, so that you can evaluate the full-featured CMS. The limitations are applied afterwards, according to the license edition.

Once you buy a full license for Kentico CMS, you can get license keys for development, testing and staging purposes for free without additional fees. If you buy the server license, you can generate the keys on our web site in the “My Account” section. If you buy the 1 Web site license, the serial number can be used only once (the best practice is to use it at the end of the development, when you know the final domain name of your web site). For any additional license keys for development and/or staging servers, please contact our support team and we will generate the licenses for you.
For local development using “localhost” and “”, you do not need any extra license key – if you have a full license key for some domain name, local development is supported automatically. So you do not need to use your serial number to generate the license for “localhost”, especially if you have bought 1 Web site license.
Another common question is the difference between Portal Engine templates and ASPX templates. The most visible difference is that in Portal engine, there is the “Design” tab available in CMS Desk, unlike for ASPX templates. It is because the portal templates are not physical files but they are stored in database. ASPX page templates are placed in the project folder, so that the developer can manage the design there (e.g. using Visual Studio interface). In other words, the portal engine approach is better for non-developers or not very experienced users, since you do not care about the whole code. You just drag and drop the web parts and zones and configure them in dialog windows. ASPX templates are better for more experienced users, where you can handle all the code and also develop custom behavior for the page templates in the code behind. You can find the comparison in this article. If you are new to Kentico CMS and you are not sure which approach is better for you, you can go through the tutorials for Portal engine and ASPX templates to see the difference in developing of an almost equal web site in some brief examples.

After the 4.0 version release, very common issue was with the upgrade – the DB upgrade. After the SQL script was executed, there were several errors in the log. Most of them were telling something like this:

Msg 207, Level 16, State 1, Procedure Proc_CMS_SettingsKey_Insert, Line 32
Invalid column name 'KeyOrder'.

The problem was that the SQL script was executed over the v3.1 database and not v3.1a. As it is written in the upgrade instructions, please make sure that you are running the script over the correct database. Moreover, the upgrade is not cumulative, so you need to upgrade step by step, for example from version 3.0 to 3.1, then to 3.1a and then to 4.0.

Another problem was that you noticed that the e-mails (e.g. newsletters) are not being sent immediately. This is because that there is a new feature in v4.0 – the e-mail queue. This feature helps you to manage the outgoing e-mails and see which were already sent, which are waiting or failed.

In addition to my first blog post, we (the support team) would like to ask you to send us screenshots in a readable resolution. Some screen shots pasted into a Word document are very hard to read and sometimes we also need to see the version number or other information from the screen shot so we can solve your issue faster. Thank you.

That is all for now. In my next post, I will try again to summarize the most common issues and questions and answers to them.

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Juraj Ondrus

Hi, I am the Technical support leader at Kentico. I'm here to help you use Kentico and get as much as possible out of it.