June 2010 » 7 Things You Might Want to Check After Launching a New Kentico CMS Website.
Jun 23

7 Things You Might Want to Check After Launching a New Kentico CMS Website.

Don't forget the simple things when it comes to Kentico website launches

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You have just finished importing your export file onto the live server, generated that fresh new license file and installed it, double checked your server's host headers, and fired up your browser of choice to http://www.somesite.com. Now wipe that smile away from your face, you still have work to do.

 

1. Minimize any JavaScript files that you can.

Strip out those white spaces people, it will make your site appear faster to load and execute to your users. If you don’t have a tool that you already use, or don’t know exactly what I’m talking about check out JSmin from Douglas Crockford.

 

2. Disable ViewState on controls and widgets that don't need it.

Yes we all love webforms development and it's ever present ViewState, but you know what, most of the time we don't need it on a Kentico site, or page that doesn't need to do a PostBack to the server. Let's disable it when we have the chance. This will reduce the size of ViewState and make that page download even faster.

Kentico CMS WebPart - Disable ViewState

 

3. Setup Google Analytics.

One of the keys to maintaining a website is knowing what pages get used the most and what pages don’t get used at all. This is true for both big and small websites. Instead of guessing at design decisions on where you think certain elements or functionality should go, place them where they will get used the most by looking at some analytical data.

Sign in to Google Analytics

 

4. Setup Google Webmaster tools.

One of the more impressive, and often least known built in functionality of Kentico is the Google Site Map generator given to you right out of the box. On any Kentico CMS 4.x+ site, hit http://www.somesite.com/cmspages/googlesitemap.aspx. The Kentico system will automatically spit out the correct xml formed document that you can submit to the sitemap section in Google WebMaster tools. This will help you on your Google Search Result ranking.

Sign in to Google WebMaster Tools

 

5. View the Source and Critique it.

This is a big one, and probably should be the most important tip. It will give you some clues on a few things. If you see a big chunk of ViewState please refer to number 2 in this list. Again this probably means that a control or widget did not get set to Disable ViewState.

If you see URL's that are not user or SEO friendly, you might  want to go back into the CMSDesk and verify the links are going to the correct place. I’m not a huge fan of the getdoc method of making links, so generally if I see that then I try to make it into a more friendly link with a URL Alias.

If you see large chunks of inline JavaScript or common JavaScript on multiple pages, that can be moved out to a separate file and minimized the by all means do it. Don’t get too crazy with external files though, if you can get it all into one that is minimized that would be the best.

If you see huge amounts of line breaks or tabs than go back and find out what control is causing it, and remove the whitespace. Templates and/or Transformations can sometimes add extra whitespace, that's a good place to start looking on this one.

 

6. Check your Smart Search Index / Build Status.

If your site uses the Smart Search feature of Kentico, then be aware you need to have the index created. The Kentico documentation is pretty good at laying out what you need to do to make this work.

The button to rebuild a Smart Search Index is located under CMSSiteManager –> Administration –> Smart Search

SmartSearch

 

7. Use the Debug Modes to Check Caching and SQL Queries

The Debug Mode found at CMSSiteManager –> Administration –> System –> Debug, can be invaluable in learning what is getting cached and what is not. An Object or DataSet that is not getting cached is one of the biggest causes of slowness of a Kentico site. Martin Hejtmanek  the CTO of Kentico has a great presentation on caching in Kentico and blog post on debugging in Kentico.

Please remember to turn this off when you are done! 

 

That's all for now

I hope some of these tips will help you out with your Kentico CMS projects and sites. I’d love to hear some feedback on this blog post because it’s my first one on the topic of Kentico, and honestly the first blog post in a long while on any topic for me.

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