Happy Holidays everyone. Since it's the first day of the year, and the Rose Bowl game doesn't start until 5:00 pm, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the past year.
2013 was a successful year for myself, BizStream, and Kentico. My blog here at Mcbeev.com saw it’s traffic increase by over 55% from 2012, that is a tremendous increase. Most of that traffic is attributed to my two most popular blog posts of the year combined with the fact that I feel Kentico is becoming more and more popular among developers.
The various social channels that I participate in didn't have quite as big of a jump, my Twitter followers increased only about 10%, but my Google +1's increased about 35%. To be honest 2013 was so busy I didnt have enough time to be overly social. But, enough about me, let’s get to the real point of this blog post.
What Happened in 2013
Unlike 2012, when version 7.0 hit, this past year did not have a major point release of Kentico CMS. That does not mean it was not a stellar year for Kentico though. To me the biggest highlight of the year was the Kentico Connection 2013 conference. The conference shifted from Denver to Boston and was a definite improvement over previous years. If you missed it you can check out my Kentico Connection 2013 Boston recap to get the full details of what transpired.
2013 saw two new channels appear for learning tips, tricks, and best practices about Kentico CMS and Kentico EMS. For the first new channel, all of the Kentico MVPs, our favorite Kentico Product Evangelist, and the Kentico Chief Support All-Star joined forces to start an Ask the Experts virtual panel. We went live 4 times during 2013, and have the next Ask the Experts 5 session planned for January 2014, so don't miss it! I can tell you this, we were unsure at the start how popular these sessions would be, with a bunch of techies getting together and talking about common issues that we see in the field of ASP.Net CMS development, but each time the viewers increased and the feedback was great.
The second new channel was the introductioon of a podcast about Kentico CMS, "Kentico Rocks!". Bryan Soltis and I started this podcast over the idea that while we often talk about new and interesting items like version 8.0's improved module development process, common e-commerce challenges, and other topics, these discussions would be great to share with the broader Kentico development community. Based on Twitter responses, we think people are listening, so we are going to keep doing it. Which reminds me, Bryan, it's time to get our next recording up! By the way you can subscribe to our Kentico Rocks podcast on iTunes.
Another important event of 2013 was a great learning series on Kentico CMS and Windows Azure, The Azure Kentico Virtual Conference. The day long event covered everything you need to know from installing Kentico's Azure project type, configuring Kentico to run on top of Azure, and deploying your site to the cloud. Big kudos to Bryan, Thom, and Dominik Pinter for all their work on that event, it went over an amazing 8 hours in one single day. The resulting videos can be found via the DevNet Video Library, and I can't recommend them enough if you need to learn how to power your Kentico CMS website in the Azure cloud.
As always, I watch out for new Kentico related Google search results and tweets. I don’t actually have any scientific proof of this, but just like last year there did seem to be another increase in interest around the web about everything Kentico. There were even a few new authors added to the ranks of Kentico bloggers. The Kentico Marketplace grew again, and it had a multitude of new additions, including my own Bitly Metrics Module and Yammer Web Part pack.
Like I said, 2013 was big year. But without any further ado, below is my list of the Top 10 Kentico Related Posts of 2013 at Mcbeev.com.
The Best of 2013
“Best” is always a tough term to use when it comes to ranking lists, but the following top 10 list is composed of my own blog posts that received the most traffic and that were published this year. The list begins with the highest trafficked posts and is ordered descending from there.
1. 7 Things Developers Should NOT do with Kentico CMS – This was by far my most popular post of the year. I did my best to try to shed some light on a few common mistakes that I have seen in the wild with Kentico. Hopefully after you read this list you will be able to avoid them.
2. 6 Things to Check if your Web Part is Not Working in Kentico CMS - The second spot features another list style post. People like lists I guess. Just like it says, this post should give Kentico developers a reminder of what to check if their repeaters or menus aren't working as expected.
3. Bit.ly Metrics Module for Kentico CMS - This Kentico Module allows you to track who is clicking your links right from within the CMSDesk. It also gives a great example of how to use the Kentico CMS Integration Bus to integrate with a third party system. I had a lot of fun creating this module.
4. How To Create a Facebook Page Tab App with Kentico CMS - For all you social media lovers out there, this is a great post that explains how to power a Facebook page from your Kentico CMS website. Don't let Kentico's built in click-jacking prevention stop you from doing this, once you white-list the URL, creating a Facebook page tab app becomes quite easy.
5. Yammer Web Part Pack for Kentico CMS - I created a useful set of web parts if you are developing a Kentico based intranet. Go grab them for free, and stay tuned for something interesting that I am working on for Kentico CMS 8.0. Enterprise social is a big trend that I see for intranets, and Yammer can get you there fast. I was even quoted on CMSWire by Petr Passinger for 5 Views on Intranet Trends for 2014 about this topic.
6. Google Chrome Extension for Kentico Developers - I like this post because it saves me time, plus it is just flat out cool. Cody Rose, a certified Kentico developer at BizStream, developed this Google Chrome extension to get you to CMSDesk and CMSSiteManager without having to type in the address bar.
8. Anonymous Blog Post Notifications using Advanced Workflow in Kentico CMS - This was a two part series about how to leverage advanced workflow in Kentico CMS. This post I am actually pretty proud of. I think it's a great solution to a common feature request for anyone who runs a blog based on Kentico CMS.
9. Kentico Connection 2013 Boston Recap - I talked about this one above.
10. Kentico CMS Quick Tip - Use ClientIDMode Appropriately - This was a quick tip to make sure you don't over optimize. It cost me a few hours so I thought I would post it to make sure no one else was bit by it.
What to look for in 2014
This post turned out longer than I thought it would, I guess that means 2013 truly was a great year. I expect 2014 to be a great year again. I can't wait for the full release of Kentico CMS 8.0 in 2014. The new improvements are striking, and should make developers, customers, and website owners very happy. It will be hard to top 2013, but I will do my best to keep crushing it. I will continue to try and post developer tips and insights while working with Kentico CMS/EMS, keep rocking it on the Kentico Rocks! podcast, and not stop the free web parts from coming.
Lastly, thank you to all of my loyal readers here at Mcbeev.com for coming back and listening to me jabber on about Kentico, and for your feedback as well. Don't forget, you can subscribe to my blog on the home page of the site, on the top right sidebar under "Stay Up To Date", to get notified about new blog posts as soon as they happen. I wish everyone the best 2014 possible!