A large number of people on the Internet rave about the robustness that WordPress can offer not only as a blogging platform, but as a general content management system (CMS) for all kinds of websites. However, there are countless other alternatives out there that you can consider, many of which can be just as good (if not better) than WordPress for your particular needs and preferences.
One such system is Kentico, a CMS for ASP.net. According to its developers and marketers, Kentico is a “flexible, all-in-one solution for web developers.” Over 4000 websites around the world are already using Kentico.
A Robust Content Management System
Just as you can use WordPress for a variety of different sites, Kentico comes packed with plenty of features that can accommodate different types of websites too.
Kentico can be used for everything from a corporate website to an online store, a personal blog to a community site. Among the features, you’ll find that Kentico supports blogs, forums, e-commerce, event calendars, a booking system, full text search, polls, wikis, geomapping, tags and categories, groups, private messaging, media libraries, and web analytics.
You have two options if you’d like to take Kentico out for a free test drive. There is the 30-day trial that requires your own installation on your own servers or you can try the virtual lab for a free online demo.
Checking Out the WYSIWYG Editor and Interface
Whether you choose to take the full trial or the online demo, you will need to provide Kentico with your name and email address. I opted for the online demo and the test site was set up for me in less than ten minutes.
In the confirmation email, I was directed to my test site, which is set by default to a corporate site. There is also an e-commerce site, a personal site, and a community starter site, all of which feature a completely different look and feel. All of them are accessed through the same online dashboard though.
The online user interface reminds me of Microsoft Office in some ways, but you’ll find that the features are quite different, of course. You can switch between the different sites from the pull-down menu (top right) and the “live” preview is shown in the WYSIWYG editor in the center.
The layout can be overwhelming for many novices, since there are so many options presented at any one time. With time and practice, however, the interface can be just as intuitive as WordPress or any other CMS.
Power an Online Store Too
The Kentico CMS seems to be great for static sites, but it also appears to be a good fit for other types of web content as well. For instance, one of the default configurations is for e-commerce.
This way, you can quite easily populate your own online store. The interface to alter its appearance is exactly the same as the corporate site above and you can customize the site’s layout to include a company logo, different navigation options and so on.
How Much Does It Cost?
Largely targeting the corporate and enterprise market, Kentico CMS for ASP.net looks to be very full-featured and relatively easy-to-use. It will take some practice to familiarize yourself with the user dashboard, but you do have access to everything from forums to blogs right out of the box.
The optimal experience will cost you a fairly significant amount of money however.
The free edition limits you to just 1000 documents and 100 site members, which may not be conducive to a large community site or a growing blog. The $1,999+ base license gives you much more flexibility, but you’ll need the $4,499+ ultimate license to get unlimited e-commerce products, forums, and blogs.