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Kentico CMS 5 Website Development: Beginner’s Guide

Kentico CMS 5 Website Development: Beginner's Guide

A clear, hands-on guide to build websites that get the most out of Kentico CMS 5’s many powerful features

  • Create websites that meet real-life requirements using example sites built with easy-to-follow steps
  • Learn from easy-to-use examples to build a dynamic website
  • Learn best practices to make your site more discoverable
  • Practice your Kentico CMS skills from organizing your content to changing the site’s look and feel
  • Get going with example starter sites such as a corporate site, an e-commerce site, and a community-driven website to jumpstart your web development
  • Written by Thom Robbins, the Web Evangelist for Kentico Software LLC

Read more about this book

(For more resources on CMS, see here.)

A great example of visual hierarchy that is used on every website is headings (h1, h2, h3) which indicate the importance of information and are usually styled in such a way that they guide a visitor from h1 (most important) down to least important. Without cues to the relative importance of different elements, the user has to work harder to understand the information provided by the website. A potential buyer or even someone looking for general information will quickly disregard a design with poor visual hierarchy.

Z flow is a design principle that is important to keep in mind as you create layouts. The eye naturally moves across the page in a Z formation. The eye starts in the upper left, crosses over to the right, and then moves back down to the left and over to the right, similar to how the eye moves when reading text. You always want to make sure your design helps the Z-Flow.

It’s important to think of your web site as a story, and organize the material in a way that enhances the telling of your story. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • Home pages should be short and quick to loads. The home page should contain key information. This includes website introduction and links to other pages that contain additional details.
  • Detail pages allow the website to be created in several pieces instead of one or two larger pieces.

Time for action – page organization

The content tree represents the site map of the website and allows you to organize the structure of documents and choose documents that appear on the right side of the screen. The content tree is where we will spend the most of our time managing content and site hierarchy. It provides the central location to see all site content (both published and unpublished). It also provides some basic drag and drop methods that will make it easier to change the location of items within your site. In this example we will look at how we can reorganize our site.

  1. Log into CMS Desk select the Content tab, select the Partners page and then the Gold partners page
  2. Drag the Gold partners page up to Services folder, as shown in the following screenshot:
  3. Release the mouse button and you will see that your page hierarchy has changed, as shown in the following screenshot:
  4. Select the Gold partners page, select the CTRL key on the keyboard and copy it to the Services hierarchy, as shown in the following screenshot:
  5. Link the Gold partners page while selecting the Control + Shift keys, as shown in the following screenshot:

What just happened?

Managing content within the Content tree is an essential part of maintaining your site. We have seen that there are three ways that you can maintain pages:

  • A move takes the entire page and copies it another location in the site
  • A copy takes a snapshot of the current deployed page and places it in the new location
  • A link creates a copy of the page in the current location

Time for action – viewing the Google sitemap file

There are many different ways to provide Search Engine Optimization(SEO) for your website. The most basic is the sitemap. As the name implies it’s a map of you site. On a single page it shows the structure of your site, its sections, and the links between them. Sitemaps make navigating the site easier and having an updated sitemap is important for search engines. Sitemaps are an important way to communicate with search engines. In robots.txt you tell search engines which part of your site to exclude from indexing, in your site map you tell search engines where you you’d like them to go.

Sitemaps are part of good web design practice and something you want to make sure that you are aware of. Using sitemaps offer the opportunity to inform search engines immediately about any changes in your site. Of course, you cannot expect that search engines will rush right away to index your changed pages, but certainly the changes will be indexed faster, compared to when you don’t have a sitemap. Also when you have a sitemap you can rely less on external links that will bring traffic to your site. Sitemaps also help to classify your site content.

In this example, we will look at the default googlesitemap.xml file that can then be used to submit to Google.

  1. Log into Site Manager and select the Settings tab.
  2. From the Sites drop-down select (Global), select the URLs and SEO menu option, and validate the name googlesitemap.xml appears, as shown in the following screenshot:
  3. Open a new browser and use the url http:///CMSPages/googlesitemap.aspx to view the current site map, as shown in the following screenshot:

What just happened?

The system provides automatic support for the Google Sitemap protocol. This is a protocol designed to help search engines in indexing your site. Now that we have set up the system defaults the sitemap is created automatically based on any changes that occur with the content tree and site structure. Physically, as you can see here the sitemap is located at http:///CMSPages/Googlesitemap.aspx. When you enter your sitemap into Google you would use this URL name.

XML Extension Display
By default IIS is configured to not display XML files for security purposed. In order to make the sitemap accessible using an XML extension you need to configure the XML extension within IIS.

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