Since we went through a number of Sitefinity 9.0’s improvements last time, I thought I’d dig a little deeper. We recently set up 9.0 for a new website in the works. I have full access.
So I’ve gone through the CMS and performed many basic tasks for building a website – creating pages, adding news items, and so on. I’ve documented the steps involved for these tasks below. Consider this a how-to for basic website build-up in Sitefinity 9.0.
Creating a Page
After logging into Sitefinity, click Pages in the top toolbar. Click the Create a Page button.
Enter a Name for the page. From here you have multiple options to select.
Not all are required though. Only these:
- “Put this Page” – Where do you want this page within your site? Either leave it at top level (the default), or click “Under parent page…” and select an existing page under which you want the new one to reside. (You can change this later.)
- Show in Navigation – Checked by default. If you uncheck it, the page will create, but nobody will see it on the website. This is helpful if you want to make a new page, but don’t want it to display publicly yet.
- Title for Search Engines. This field populates with your page’s name automatically. (See screenshot below.) You may want to add more detail here – this is the title people see when someone searches for your site in a search engine. It’s important. The title needs to state what the page is about, and why they should click.
- Template. Two options here, “Use Template” and “Don’t use template (start from scratch).” If you have Page Templates in place, click “Use Template” and you’ll see an option to select one of those templates.
Everything else on the New Page window is either optional, or pre-set by templates. It’s useful stuff to know, though…in fact, I may dedicate a later post to all the ins & outs of page creation. Comment below if you’d like to read one!
Once you’ve entered the information you want, click the “Create and Go To Add Content” button. This opens the Page Editor, where you populate the page with images and content. (That’s another post too.)
Creating an Email Mailing List
In the Marketing menu, click Mailing List.
Click “Create a Mailing List.” In the Create a Mailing List form, enter a Title.
You also have options to setting a “From” address, subject line, unsubscribe page, or an automatic Welcome email.
Click the “Create this mailing list” button when done.
In the Administration menu, click Users.
Click the “Create a User” button.
Enter the user’s username, password, and email address.
In the bottom 2 boxes, select the checkboxes beside the permissions levels you want to assign.
- This user will create pages, add templates, and do administrative work? Check the “Administrators” box.
- This user will enter content, but will not modify any pages or templates? Check the “Authors” box.
- This user will only review pages, and not make any edits? Uncheck the “This user can access site backend.” box. Check the “Users” box in the list below it.
Use caution when assigning user permissions. If you give a person too much power, they may break something and not even know about it. Make sure your website host keeps good backups!
Add a Page Template
We covered what a Page Template is in the post, “Sitefinity Templates: What is a Page Template?”
Once you have a page template to add, click Page Templates in the Design menu. You’ll see a button, “Create a Template.” Click it, and you’ll see the Create a Template screen.
This screen is similar to the Create a Page screen. You’ll only need to fill in a name, a thumbnail image, and select some options. Then you click the “Create and go to Add Content” button, just like creating a page.
Create a News Item
In the Content menu, click News. Click the Create a News Item button.
Enter a title. Make sure the title’s unique; Sitefinity cannot use a title more than once.
Below the Title field is the news item body. Enter your content here. Use the toolbar and Design/HTML switches to customize its design.
Below the news item body is a Summary field. Click to add a short summary of the news item. This is optional, but a summary is useful as a short description of the item.
Below the Summary field are several options boxes. The defaults are “Categories and Tags,” “Additional Info (Author, Source),” and “More Options (URL, Comments).”
These are all optional, but again, useful for display. Click each box to open it.
- Under Categories and Tags, click checkboxes to select which news categories you want to apply (you must set up Categories beforehand). Tags are used like keywords – type in whatever descriptive words/phrases you want, or select from an existing list of saved tags.
- Under Additional Info, type in the news item’s author. The Source Name field is open to you – if you created the news item, you can put your organization’s name. If it came from another outlet, enter theirs (it’s only fair). Enter a link to their site in Source URL too.
- Under More Options, there’s a button to change the default URL. Most of the time you don’t need to do this. There’s also options for allowing comments and including the news item in the sitemap. They are checked by default, and unless you really don’t want any comments, it’s fine to leave them checked.
That’s it! Click Publish when the news item is ready. It will automatically show up wherever you have a News widget displayed.
These are Basic Website Elements. There are More (and We’ll Cover Those Too)
Most of these tasks remain unchanged from previous Sitefinity versions. Still, we came up with several good examples of how easy Sitefinity 9.0 makes typical website management tasks.
(The biggest change I saw was in configuring Google Analytics—part of which came from Google itself. So much difference in fact, that we’ll do a separate post on connecting Google Analytics in Sitefinity 9+ later on.)
Next time we’ll cover a reader request – connecting a third-party email service to Sitefinity. Which one? How does it work? You’ll have to join us next time to find out!
P.S. – Don’t forget to subscribe to the Sitefinity Insider mailing list, in the signup box on the right. No need to set a reminder for next month that way!