Learning a new CMS can be daunting at first. When I started my first EPi server project, like a lot of other projects, I didn’t choose the CMS, I was just told what the client had picked and when it had to be done in a month. Short time-scale is a common thing and I’m sure every digital person has come across it but it did mean I had to figure everything out on my own from scratch, so I thought I’d share my tips to help any new Epi-server developers starting out.
Your first step is to install EPi server. Anyone can request a developer license, and install the demo site on their PC. The installation is pretty simple and, if everything goes according to plan, should take less than 15 minutes. You’ll need to create a developer account at Epi Server World and download the latest version (7 as of writing) (http://world.episerver.com/Download/)
After downloading EPi server, you will need to create a develop license key, otherwise you will constantly see a warning dialog on your website. You can get a license key from https://license.episerver.com/. After that you’re free to have a play around.
In order to learn about EPi server, my first tip would be to try and get the advanced Epi-server certification training. I did this for the second Epi server project I worked on and it was definitely worth the three days BUT a word of caution it is pretty expensive. If you are building an Epi server project, I would advise getting the training after you have created your specification, as this allowed me to ask our instructor to recommend best practices relevant to my project.
My second tip would be to add the EPI Nuget feed into your version of Visual Studio and get familiar with all the free plug-ins you can get. If you are using EPI 6 or below, then PageTypeBuilder should be your first port of call. If you’re making a mobile site then the MobilePack can save you hours. You can also check out EPiCode.
The development community for EPi server is one of the best I have come across out of the major CMS’s I have used and there are a number of great blogs with loads of tips and tricks. As you’re already reading this, I have a number of tutorials on creating various plug-ins, but I would definitely recommend having a look a these blogs in particular :
- The EPi world forum is another great place to ask for help or read through issues other developers are finding.
Through my digital wandering, I have found a number of great EPi server articles that I would recommend reading, these include :
- EPI find overview : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7_wtm1YazY