How To Install Sitecore 7 For Beginners

I’m guessing that there are probably two types of people reading this blog post. The ones who’ve heard about Sitecore and would like to know a little bit more about it and those ones who have just started a new job or contract for a company and have been asked by someone to install it.

The People Who Are Here Who Don’t Work At A Company Who Have Sitecore

I’m sorry to say, but getting into Sitecore is pretty painful for the average Joe developer. To install Sitecore, the first thing you will need to do is get a copy of the Sitecore installer. All Sitecore downloads are available from the Sitecore portal. To get access to the download section within the portal you need to become a Sitecore certified professional by passing the Sitecore training. As with all CMS certification, the cost of the training is something like 1k+. After the training you will get access to the Sitecore downloads section… however, as you will quickly find when you run the installer… you don’t get a license included with your certification.

As Sitecore does not provide any type of evaluation version or development license, unlike some of the other CMS solutions, getting a copy working on your home laptop isn’t really viable. In order to get a Sitecore license, you need to buy a license yourself or work for a company that has a license.

A license cost can start around 40k+, so for our average Joe developer that’s never going to happen. So, for those readers who are here out of interest, I’m sorry to say the only way you can play around with Sitecore is to get a job with a partner or a Sitecore client.

For a lot of developers, these two hurdles create too big a hurdle to be able to break it into the Sitecore market. As a .NET CMS contractor, I also suffer the same problem. If I work on a rival CMS platform like Episerver, or Umbraco for a year then getting back into Sitecore is difficult. If a new version has come out, the only way to start playing around with it is to get a contract with a client and partner. So for those of you here don’t have access to a license and an installer, then I’d recommend you don’t carry on reading this tutorial.. sorry! If you are in this scenario and you want to learn a CMS then I would recommend that you go through the Umbraco tutorials above.

I have a license and the installer!

Working with Sitecore has many cool features and it is definitely a good CMS to learn. The way it deals with analytics and cross-channel communication are two of its strongest features and is definitely a great CMS platform pick. If you successfully have a license file and the installer we can get to work 🙂

Installing Sitecore

After you have the Sitecore installer, click the next button.

Step One


After you run the installer you will see the first installation screen, click ‘Next’

Step Two


Agree to the T& Cs and click ‘Next’

Step Three


To run Sitecore, you obviously need to have all the basic Microsoft pre-essentials installed, like IIS, MVC4, and SQL server. If you don’t, expect to come across warnings like:


‘IIS is not Started’ and


‘The Sitecore client requires MVC 4.0’

Step Four


Add your Sitecore instance name. This will be your wesbites hostname in IIS and will be used to identify the application.

Step Five


Add in your license file

Step Six


Next, you’ll need to add your SQL details. If you are setting up Sitecore on a new PC, I would recommend that you manually log into SQL manager with your SQL credentials to check they are correct. If you click the ‘Advanced’ button, the only really option in this screen is the database prefix. If you are using localhost, then you don’t really need this in most situations.


Step Seven


Now we’re coming to the end of the process. It’s time to add in where you want your Sitecore instance to be installed. If you click the ‘Advanced’ button you can change where your databases MDF and LDF are stored.


Step Eight


The last of the configuration, is naming the Site.

Last step!


The last screen is an overview of the details you have entered. Hit ‘Next’ and try to install Sitecore.

If everything works correctly you should have Sitecore installed. The installer should have created you an entry in IIS and mapped the correct host file in your Windows->System32->Drives->ETC->host files

When things go wrong

When I have previously installed Sitecore, I have encountered a few issues along the way. I’ll cover some of the issues I’ve faced

IIS has been switched off. When you try and load Sitecore all you do is get an error

When you try and load Sitecore you see the below error:

HTTP Error 500.21 – Internal Server Error
Handler “PageHandlerFactory-Integrated” has a bad module “ManagedPipelineHandler” in its module list


This is because .NET hasn’t installed itself correctly. You need to run %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\aspnet_regiis.exe -i from a command prompt

Jon D Jones

Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge

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  1. […] and you know nothing about Sitecore, then I would recommend reading the first part of this article As long as you have a valid Sitecore license and the Sitecore 8 installer then we are good to […]

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