Why You Need To Upgrade Your Sitecore CMS

A common question I frequently get asked by marketing and business folk involves upgrading. Anyone who has worked with a CMS system for a long period of time will usually have a horror story about an upgrade; the upgrade might have been promised to take a few hours but ended up taking months. In general, […]

15 Reasons Why Visitors Leave Your Website In 10 Seconds

Have you ever wondered why some people leave your website so quickly?  Just because you spend time and money building a website doesn’t mean anyone is going to visit it, let alone stick around long enough to read anything.  It’s not easy to continually churn out good content which is well laid out, with good […]

How To Create A Layout For A Sitecore Page

This is the fourth article in the ‘Creating Your First Sitecore Page’ series, we’ll finally get around to discussing our web pages presentation. In Sitecore, when we talk about presentation and rendering text, CSS, JS and images onto our pages, we talk about layouts. What Is A Sitecore Layout? In the previous articles, we’ve created […]

How To Create A Template For A Content Page In Sitecore

This is the third post in the ‘Creating Your First Sitecore Page’ series. In the last article, How To Create A Master Data Template In Sitecore, we created a master template. The purpose of the master template is to define a schema for all the common properties that exists on all of our web pages. […]

How To Create A Master Data Template In Sitecore

In the last article, I talked about breaking a web page down into Sitecore components, the first being the data-template. A Sitecore template is the fundamental building block for every Sitecore page. A data template can be thought of as a schema for your Sitecore content. What Does A Sitecore Data Template Look Like? A […]

How To Architect Your First Sitecore Page… Sitecore Fundamentals Explained

This post assumes that you are completely new to CMS development and that you don’t know anything when it comes to creating a page in Sitecore. By the end of this article, you will hopefully have a basic understanding about how to convert a design into Sitecore items. Introduction To CMS Development Let’s start at […]

What Is A Sitecore Item?

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about Sitecore Items.  A Sitecore ‘item‘ is the basic building block for everything that makes up a Sitecore website.  Forget about C# and HTML files for now, as Sitecore items have no relation to actual real files on a filesystem.  A Sitecore ‘item‘ is a virtual object that lives within […]

Sitecore Launchpad Explained

The Sitecore dashboard is your gateway into Sitecore.  At first, it might seem a little daunting.  Sitecore comes with a lot of tools for you to use. The dashboard is split into four main areas ‘Marketing Applications’, ‘Content Editing’, ‘Control Panel’, and ‘Access Management’. Marketing Applications Experience Analytics Experience Profile Federated Experience Manager Experience Optimization List Manager Campaign […]

How To Log Out Of The Sitecore Backend

Logging out of Sitecore is so simple, that it almost doesn’t deserve a blog post.  Your account information is on the top right-hand side of the editor. Click, ‘Log out‘ and away you go…  Simple!

How To Log Into The Sitecore Editor

The first things most people will want to do when they get started with Sitecore is to log into the backend and have a look around. If you want to do any sort of web page creation, content editing, or administration on your website, then you will need to access the Sitecore login page first. […]

Sitecore Databases Explained

Like every other CMS on the planet, Sitecore’s data is stored in a database, well to be more precise several databases.  If you look at your SQL server after you install a fresh copy of SQL, you should see something like this: This may seem like a lot of databases, but each has its own specific […]

How Can Sitecore Help My Business?

A website is the easiest way for a company to communicate with customers.  A website can help you accomplish many different marketing strategies which in turn can help your business grow.  A website can be set-up as an online shop so you can sell your goods without the middlemen.  I think everyone understands the importance […]

Why Is Sitecore Development So Difficult To Get Into?

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. […]

What Is Sitecore?

I regularly work with different CMS systems and the question I am always asked by clients is… which CMS is the best one?   If you go by the industry recommendations (Gartner magic quadrant) in 2017 Sitecore is number 1.  A simple comparison on websites like StackOverflow, will show that Sitecore has more interest than […]

MenuHelper is an ambiguous reference between Sitecore.Web.UI.Controls.Navigation.Menus.MenuHelper and MvcSiteMapProvider.Web.Html.MenuHelper

After upgrading Sitecore from 7.5 to 8, whenever I tried to view the ‘Experience Optimization’ or ‘ Experience Analytics’ pages from the Sitecore dashboard, I got this error: As the exception suggest, the reason the page is falling over is because of an ambiguity in namespaces between ‘Sitecore.Web.UI.Controls.Navigation.Menus.MenuHelper’ and ‘MvcSiteMapProvider.Web.Html.MenuHelper’. The project in question was […]

Sitecore WFFM 7.5 To 8 Upgrade Guide

This post is a follow on from, Upgrade Guide For Sitecore 7.5 to Sitecore 8.0. After upgrading Sitecore the next step is to upgrade any modules for your project. In today’s’ guide I’m going to cover my experiences upgrading Web Forms For Marketer to version 8. Downloading And Installing The Update The first thing you […]

Sitecore 7.5 to Sitecore 8 Upgrade Error – speak.client.initialize.layout

After upgrading from Sitecore 7.5 to Sitecore 8.0, when I tried logging into the editor, I was confronted with this error: The Sitecore upgrade wizard looked like it ran successfully, but as the error mentioned Speak, I thought I’d install a clean Sitecore 8 instance and copy the speak assemblies and config files in my […]

Sitecore Shell Override Folder Is Invalid Error

Recently, when trying to setup a build server to deploy a Sitecore project, I came across this error after logging into Sitecore: Or in more detail: Looking in \sitecore\shell\ the override directory didn’t exist. Apparently, this folder is not created for you automatically when you create a fresh install of Sitecore. If it can’t find […]

Upgrade Guide For Sitecore 7.5 to Sitecore 8.0

In today’s guide, I’m going to talk through my experience of upgrading Sitecore from version 7.5 to 8. Sitecore isn’t always the easiest platform to upgrade at times, compared to some of the other CMS products on the market. Updating a Nuget package is a lot easier than some of the hoops you will need […]

Upload Media Exception After Upgrading To Sitecore 7.5

After upgrading from Sitecore 7.2 to 7.5, whenever a content editor tried to upload an image, using the image picker from a data template, like so: They would receive this error: The fix to get the image picker to work again is quite simple. Sitecore is complaining that it doesn’t know about the ‘System.Runtime’ assembly. […]

How To Copy Content Between Enviroments With Razl – A Sitecore Tree Comparison Tool

If you want to copy items like templates, renderings or placeholders in between environments then you can use TDS (Installing And Configuring TDS For Sitecore) to make your life a lot easier. Deploying content between environments can be a lot more complicated and tricky, especially during upgrades. If you have content editors working on the […]

How To Disable Sitecore Admin From Your Content Delivery Servers

When you work with any CMS platform, in order for a content editor to access the CMS, they have to type in the back-end URL into a browser; with Sitecore this URL will look like this: The whole point of a website is so people can come and take a look at your site and […]

How To Set-Up A Scheduled Task In Sitecore

Having scheduled re-occurring tasks is a very common website requirement, and is the reason why almost all of the major CMS systems provide some way to create and set scheduled tasks and Sitecore is no exception. From past projects, I’ve created scheduled tasks to sync content from CMS systems, clear database logs, send emails, log people […]

How To Setup TDS With Package Deploy

In today’s guide, I’ll be talking about setting up TDS with package deploy. Package deploy can be a good alternative when you have limitations around your build server, or you work in a very locked down environment. Instead of automatically deploying content, you can create a Sitecore deployment package that can be run on the […]

An Evaluation Of Using TDS To Improve My Projects Deployment Process

In today’s guide, I’m going to cover the pro’s and con’s I encountered when integrating TDS into my last project. I was onboard the project after the client had two very bad experiences with their previous partners and they wanted to get an independent analysis of their website. As part of this role, they wanted […]

Sitecore WFFM How To Change The Default Required Field Validation Message

Updating the default required field message in Sitecore is very simple. If you have never come across the WFFM ‘NotEmpty’ item, then you will now. You can find the NotEmpty item in the content editor here: After opening the item, it should look a bit like this: In the ‘Error Message’ field, simply update the […]

Sitecore WFFM Required Field Validator Not Working On Upgrade

Recently, I updated WFFM from Sitecore 7.2 to 7.5. Asides from a few issues with the upgrade the only big error that came out of testing was the required field validator stopped working as expected on all the drop list on the site. After a bit of poking around the internet, I couldn’t see a […]

Sitecore Glimpse: How To Easily Get Advanced Debugging Information With No Dev Work!

If you have a Sitecore performance issue, or some other strange random bug, having the right debugging information can save you hours worth of frustration. If you’ve never come across Glimpse before, it’s a .NET package kind of like Chrome’s developer toolkit for CSS/Javascript, but for back-end server information. Glimpse provides runtime web diagnostics for […]

10 Essential Sitecore Tools For Developers

In today’s post, I’m going to cover a few essential tools anyone new to Sitecore should check out. Team Development for Sitecore (TDS) TDS, in my opinion, is a MUST for Sitecore development. TDS is a commercial tool that dramatically improves your Sitecore deployment process. TDS provides features such as: Being able to add Sitecore […]

Configuring TDS To Use Code Generation Using Glass Mapper

I’ve talked previously in, Installing And Configuring TDS For Sitecore about some of the benefits of using TDS. Another benefit of purchasing a TDS license is integration with GlassMapper and it’s auto-code generation ability. In today’s post, I’m going to go over the process of setting up TDS with glass mapper so your project will […]

Setting up Your Sitecore Project To Use Config Transforms

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about config transforms in Sitecore to help promote continuous integration. To run a Sitecore website, a lot of config file configuration is required. In Sitecore 6 the ability to use ‘include’ files were introduced to help developers manage change in the section. This was a great step forward […]

Installing And Configuring TDS For Sitecore

In today’s post, I’ll be talking about Team Development for Sitecore (TDS). TDS is a Visual Studio plug-in that dramatically improves your deployment experience, websites code quality, and team collaboration. Whats Is Team Development For Sitecore? TDS is a Visual Studio plug-in that improves your continuous integration process with several features Sitecore doesn’t provide ‘out-of-the-box’. […]

Beginners Guide to Upgrading Sitecore For The First Time

Upgrading Sitecore can be a wildly different experience from project to project. Some sites will upgrade easily, some will have you swearing and shouting at your screen. I’ve been using Sitecore for around 5-6 years now and in that time I’ve seen a lot of wild and wacky issues occur while upgrading. Over the years though […]

An Unofficial Guide On How To Log a Sitecore Support Ticket

To log support issues with Sitecore you need to meet a few criteria: A valid Sitecore developer account to log into the portal A valid Sitecore project with a current license If you meet these criteria, you can then head over to support.sitecore.net and use your Sitecore log-in credentials to log-in. The Sitecore support portal […]

How To Rebuild The Sitecore Search Index

In today’s guide, I’m going to quickly cover how to rebuild the Sitecore search index. How Do I Rebuild the Link Database? Go to the Sitecore desktop: On the desktop click the Start Button -> ‘Control Panel’ From the ‘Control Panel’ select ‘Database’ Select ‘Rebuild The Search Index’ Enable the ‘Quick Seach Index’ option, hit […]

How To Rebuild Your Sitecore Link Database

In today’s guide, I’m going to quickly cover what the link database is and how to re-build it. When doing any sort of major Sitecore upgrade, rebuilding the links database is an important step, so it’s useful to know how to do it. What Is The Sitecore Link Database? Sitecore maintains a list of links […]

Upgrading WFFM When Upgrading From Version 7.2 to 7.5

When you upgrade from Sitecore 7.2 to Sitecore 7.5 you will also need to upgrade web forms for marketers (WFFM). In today’s guide, I’m going to go over the upgrade process and write about any potential issues you might encounter. Let’s Get Started The first thing you will need are the files required to upgrade, […]

Upgrading Sitecore Content Search 7.2 to 7.5

When you upgrade a website from Sitecore 7.2 to version 7.5, there are several configuration tweaks you need to implement before your search will work. In today’s tutorial, I’m going to cover some of the common pitfalls I’ve encountered during the upgrade process. After Upgrading To 7.5 My Site Doesn’t Load After running my initial […]

How To Upgrade Sitecore 7.2 To Sitecore 7.5

Sitecore upgrades can be a tiresome process compared to some other CMS systems. A NuGet package update can be a lot easier than the mammoth task that can face some Sitecore developers with the prospect of upgrading Sitecore. A lot of the community has their own views and opinions about which approach can be defined […]

How To Find Out Which Version Of Sitecore You Are Using?

If you find a bug with your Sitecore website, one of the first things Sitecore support will ask you for is the Sitecore version number that the site is running on. If you forget, then finding out which version a site uses is pretty simple. Go to the Sitecore Desktop In your web browser go […]

Sitecore and Mongo: How To Install Mongo DB in 5 Minutes

As of Sitecore 7.5, the ‘Sitecore Experience Database’ was introduced (xDB). The official xDB blurb is that ‘xDB collects all your customer interactions from all channel sources in a real-time, big data repository.’ In normal terms, it’s real time analytics. In order for xDB to run quickly enough without adding an excessive amount of network […]

How To Change The Validation In WebForms for Marketers

I had a recent support ticket that a few customers complained that they couldn’t submit a Web Forms For Marketers (WFFM ) form with an & in it. Originally, the data entered into a WFFM form wasn’t encoded and the “<“, “>” and “&” characters have been disabled by default to prevent code injection. When […]

How To Add Custom Html Into The sitecore Ribbon

This is another post about customising the Sitecore user interface. On a recent project, I needed to display the company’s logo in the Sitecore ribbon, with a link to their website. I’ve talked previously in, How To Add A Custom Sitecore Button To The Editor Ribbon about some of the possibilities to add bespoke code […]

How To Add A Custom Sitecore Button To The Editor Ribbon

A powerful selling point of Sitecore is the amount of customization that it provides to developers. A common requirement I’ve been faced with numerous times is providing content editors with some bespoke functionality that they can trigger themselves. Some examples of these types of scenarios are importing content from WordPress, exporting content into RSS feeds […]

How To Copy Items Between Your Sitecore Enviroments Without Packages Using Sitecore Rocks

Copying Sitecore items between environments is a pretty much dead cert on any project. Personally, I’d recommend using TDS to copy items between Sitecore environments. It takes the manual steps out of the process and removes the likelihood of user error occurring. If the budget doesn’t stretch to using TDS, or, for whatever reason you […]

Installing And Connecting The Sitecore Rocks Hard Rock Web Service Remotely

I’ve talked previously about the benefit of using Sitecore Rocks to speed up your day-to-day development when building Sitecore projects in , My Top 5 Features of Sitecore Rocks That Could Save You Hours Of Work Another cool benefit of Sitecore Rocks is the ability to connect to remote servers running Sitecore, using the Sitecore […]

My Top 5 Features of Sitecore Rocks That Could Save You Hours Of Work

If you are new to Sitecore development, then I would strongly recommend looking at Sitecore Rocks to help you speed up your development. Sitecore Rocks is a visual studio plugin that lets you do a number of useful time-saving things with your Sitecore instance, without having to log into the Sitecore directly. This can save […]

How To Uninstall A Sitecore Package

Sitecore packages are extremely useful for quickly adding bespoke Sitecore functionality into your website. If you look within the Sitecore marketplace, here you can find hundreds of free packages that you can add to your website. Installing a Sitecore package is easy. If you have yet to encounter a Sitecore package, I recommend that you […]

How To Add Custom Settings / App Settings In Sitecore

When building a website you will inevitably need to store configuration data somewhere. In today’s post, I’m going to cover the options available to you when you use Sitecore. Web.Config As Sitecore is a .NET application you can always use the app settings section in your web.config. Which you can then access in code like […]

Getting The Selected DropLink Item In Sitecore using Synthesis

I recently inherited a Sitecore project that used Synthesis to do the ORM. If you want to read more about Synthesis you can read more about it here, How To Map Sitecore Objects into C# Objects using Synthesis. In my Sitecore template, I needed to get the value from a dropdown list. Figuring out the […]