It’s official, Sitefinity 13.3 is here to stay. To introduce the latest release to the community, we held a webinar walking through the latest features, demoing how they work and highlighting how some of our customers are successfully leveraging Sitefinity.
In case you missed it, I highly suggest you check it out on-demand. Or if you’re more of a reader rather than a watcher, you can get the rundown in our What’s New in Sitefinity blog.
In the webinar we got a bit carried away. There was so much we wanted to show you, we ran out of time to answer questions. So, without further ado, here’s some commonly asked questions we gathered from the 13.3 webinar and the answers, organized by topic.
Senior Sales Engineer Jonathan Read provided a demo on the custom widget designers, introduced in Sitefinity 13.2.
Custom Widget Designers | Progress Sitefinity
Afterwards, Senior Sales Engineer Heather Berube showed the audience new digital marketing enhancements introduced throughout Sitefinity 13 around segmentation, personalization and lead scoring.
Segmentation, Personalization and Lead Scoring in Sitefinity 13.3
Question: 'Widget Designer"—How does this compare to the Module Builder? I thought "Widget Designer" meant less code.
Answer: Once set up by IT, widget designers allow marketers to fine tune and set up how the content will be visualized for a specific widget without having to code. For example, marketers can choose different design templates, select which content is shown based on type or control how many are shown on a page.
The module builder allows developers and marketers to create custom content types without having to code. Once set up, Sitefinity autogenerates content widgets for the corresponding content type. As an example, even though a widget for testimonials doesn’t exist out-of-the-box it can be created via the module builder and then used by marketers in Sitefinity to publish testimonials easily.
Question: Is the mixedcontentcontext an OOTB widget or was that just a demo of what can be done with the given class? Does any OOTB Unit Testing exist with the Sitefinity solution? Or what recommendations do you have for Unit Tests for the Sitefinity solution?
Answer: The mixed content widget was created for the purpose of the demonstration. The Sitefinity Visual Studio plugin allows for scaffolding of Unit/Integration type testing where you can implement your logic.
Question: Thank you. The new features for adding fields to widgets look amazing.
Answer: Awesome! Glad you liked it.
In the webinar we introduced a new program that offers long-term support for specific Sitefinity releases. Read our long-term support blog to learn more.
Question: So, customers who upgrade to Sitefinity 13.1 get no long-term support? And if a client upgrades to 13.3, that means that after four years, they will no longer receive support for that version?
Answer: Long-term support is available for customers on version 13.3, in which the support period is extended to four years, one year from where it would have been without an LTS version. 13.3 is the version with the longest support duration currently available. Please note that actual software support (not updates) is available for customers on maintenance even with retired versions. Learn more on the Lifecycle Policy here.
When we made the decision to introduce long-term support, we considered multiple options and chose one that we believe offers the most long-term benefits to our customers. Most of our customers upgrade to the last minor version in a major release family (so many will upgrade to 13.3 vs 13.0 for example). This is consistent with our general recommendation that our customers keep up with version upgrades to take advantage of the latest functionality, fixes and security improvements that are a result of our continual investment in the product.
To get long-term support for the currently active 13.x versions, our recommendation is to upgrade to 13.3 LTS or keep up with newer versions of Sitefinity as they are released. Customers on versions 10.x and above can use the Sitefinity CLI to easily upgrade to 13.3 and leverage the benefits of extended version support via LTS.
We’ve talked about .NET Core in previous releases as well, and how we plan to roll it out for Sitefinity. You can learn more about our plans to replatform to .NET Core in our blog.
Question: Does 13.x run on .NET 2.1?
Answer: We are sticking to the latest version of the framework with .NET 5 in Sitefinity 13.3. Our plan is to be compatible with the latest versions on the market.
Performance is always a key benefit of upgrading your solution. Some customers were curious what else is available to support highly performant experiences.
Question: When our developers build the solution, the build process (gears page) takes several minutes. Are there any improvements planned for performance?
Answer: We’ve made a number of enhancements that have contributed to performance improvements in Sitefinity 13 which you can read more about here and we continue to take in your feedback for future performance improvements. We have a number of articles available on how to optimize performance, linked below. Our Sitefinity experts are also happy to get on a call and share their expertise and best practices.
We also talked through some recent enhancements to our Sitefinity Cloud solution such as automated upgrades, a Multi-Regional Failover Add-On and 1TB Blob Storage Add-on.
Question: Is all of this cloud-based? Is the only benefit of Sitefinity 13.3 in regards to speed and overhead?
Answer: Sitefinity is available on premises as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) via Sitefinity Cloud or a third-party hosting service. To take advantage of the latest and greatest enhancements, customers on versions 10.x and above can use the Sitefinity CLI to easily upgrade to recent versions.
Question: Does Sitefinity Cloud work like an on-premises installation where a developer has full control of ASP.NET event handling? Is there a timeline for moving the on-premises environment to .NET Core?
Answer: Yes, Sitefinity Cloud offers full extensibility, as a platform-as-a-service offering. We are currently implementing .NET Core and is in technical preview with plans for a beta release in Sitefinity 14.0, in which we’d like to get our customers’ feedback on what can be improved before we fully roll it out.
In every webinar we aim to give you the very best experience. We really appreciate your participation—and look forward to speaking with you in future webinars.
And if you haven’t already, check out what’s new in Sitefinity 13.3 or take it for a spin yourself.
Amy Ward is a Senior Product Marketing Specialist at Progress focused on the Sitefinity solution. As a marketer, Amy also is a Sitefinity user, and loves to share her Sitefinity stories with other marketers like her.
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