On March 25, Telerik announced the Version 8.0 Release of Sitefinity CMS.

marketing-dashboardTelerikDECImage courtesy of Telerik.com

You can see the overview page at: http://www.sitefinity.com/product/see-also/what%27s-new

What does Sitefinity 8.0 have to offer that’s new & improved? Well, that’s why we’re here.

Many of its improvements are developer-focused. Meaning that the new/updated tools help a web developer build a Sitefinity website more efficiently. Which translates into a faster development schedule & better costs for you.

The rest are features useful to business users & managers. Let’s review those right now.

Digital Experience Cloud

Billed as a “marketing command center,” the Digital Experience Cloud helps you understand & optimize customers’ journeys through your websites. It supplies you with data on each customer’s activity, and connects it to marketing goals you set (e.g., funneling leads into a sales pipeline).

Using this “digital marketing platform” you can personalize the customer’s journey and measure the results of your marketing work.

We’ll bring you more details about the Digital Experience Cloud in a future post.

Pages Precompilation Tool

This tool enables precompilation of Sitefinity pages before deploying a site to production (what we call “go live”). It was introduced in Sitefinity 7.3 and updated in 8.0.

What this “precompilation” means is that loading webpages puts less stress on the server’s CPU. It also skips a “warm-up phase” when going live. Essentially it’s a timesaver for you and stress relief for your web server.

Improvements to Multisite

A “Multisite” is an instance of Sitefinity CMS which contains multiple inter-related websites. I mentioned one of our clients’ multisites in the “How to Implement Silo Search” post.

8.0 adds some improvements to Multisite:

  • Applying different taxonomies (Categories, Tags, and so on) per site
  • Selecting the site and language when creating a workflow
  • More functionality added to Site Sync (perform Site Sync for selected sites’ content only)

New/Enhanced Widgets

With nearly every release, Telerik adds more widgets (or more functionality to existing widgets). 8.0 is no different.

Social Share – Drop it on a page & choose which social media network it will display: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, and more.

Login/Logout Button – Gives users the ability to login/logout. When logged in, information about their account is displayed (first & last name, avatar icon).

Registration, Profile, Account Activation – Together, these three widgets enable the setup of a members-only section on a website. You have the ability to register an account, create a profile, and activate the account via confirmation email.

The Enhancements lists is much longer. Here are the major changes:

  1. Content Block widget – Improvements to the Image & Hyperlink Managers.
  2. Navigation widget – External URLs in the navigation? Handy!
  3. News widget – More sorting options to organize your news announcements.
  4. Page selector – Now the Page selector will indicate page status by label (is the page unpublished or a draft?).
  5. Libraries (Images, Documents & Files, Videos) – Fixes for inability to delete a Library from its Edit Properties menu, and to relocate a Library even if it’s been relocated once before.
  6. Fixes for Pages, Media, Multisite, Dynamic Content, Events and Page Templates

What All These Updates Mean for Businesses

From our experience, Telerik has a two-tier upgrade schedule for Sitefinity CMS.

  • Incremental Updates (7.1, 7.2, 7.3…) add fixes and minor performance tweaks. Might add a new feature for developer use.
  • New Versions (6.0, 7.0, 8.0…) make major changes to the CMS’ structure and capabilities.

8.0 is definitely a major change to Sitefinity. It gives businesses whole new ways to create experiences for their customers, and to incorporate their responses into ever-sharper marketing campaigns.

We have just started our first Sitefinity 8.0 project. We’ll be sure to report on anything we come across that can help our Sitefinity customers leverage their website investments.

If you’re interested in trying out 8.0 yourself, here’s a demo link: http://www.sitefinity.com/try-now/sign-up-for-demo

More questions? Please leave a comment or email us at this link.

Sitefinity 8.0 is Here – New Features to Expect
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