One of the best parts of Progress Sitefinity is that it can be used by so many people in an organization to help make their jobs easier. In this series, we’ll share the perspectives of our employees who use Sitefinity regularly. In this post, Danny Shain talks about how he uses Sitefinity to manage our blogs.
If you’re a regular visitor of this blog, or even if this is the first post you’re reading, you’ve already seen Progress Sitefinity in action. The Sitefinity CMS powers the Progress blog, as well as the rest of Progress.com. In my role as the chief editor for our blogs, I use Sitefinity every day to make the content you see here shine. It’s a powerful CMS and really does a lot to help make my job easy.
As we kick off this series, let me step out from behind the curtain and show you how I use Sitefinity to manage our blogs. Look out for posts from other Sitefinity users to follow in the coming weeks.
It’s very easy to get started with Sitefinity. There’s a WYSIWYG rich text editor where I can either directly create or paste in the text of the post that I’m working on. It’s simple to add styling, links, images and all the usual formatting options with a click.
If you work in an organization with a large pool of contributors as I do, it’s also easy to set up a workflow such that users can create their own posts and submit them for approval. When they do, I get a notification and we’ll work to finalize things for publication.
As a final check, I hit the friendly “Preview” button to see a preview of how the post will look live. If that looks good, the content part of things is done, and I can schedule publication as needed.
I’m not a web designer, but one of the nice things about Sitefinity is that I don’t have to be in order to work with the design and overall layout of the blog. Everyday changes like adding header images to the post, rotating the featured stories on the homepage or adjusting the related content featured in the right sidebar just takes a few clicks.
You may have noticed that earlier this year we redesigned the blog’s appearance, increasing the visibility of content and focusing on bold imagery. In collaboration with our web and user experience teams, it was easy for me to share what I was looking for, experiment with prototypes in a testing environment and see the design come to life in a short timespan. It’s nice to know our developers can customize and iterate quickly based on what I need.
Heading back to the content for a minute – there’s a lot that Sitefinity does for me beyond just a WYSIWYG text editor. There are dropdown menus that automatically format text and in-line imagery according to pre-defined CSS rules – for example, this sharable Twitter link was created with a single click in Sitefinity (see right). Embedding YouTube videos, importing documents from Word, adding stylized buttons and more can also be done easily through custom widgets.
Sitefinity also offers easy access to the HTML for those comfortable working there. This can be used for anything from adding anchor text to inserting custom CSS to adding a custom Kendo UI Grids and Charts (as we did on this post). Of course, it also makes it a snap to make little tweaks wherever they’re needed.
Other blog features, like the topics and tags each post is labeled with, the author attribution, the related posts at the bottom of the post and even SEO optimizations, can all be created or edited quickly by me at the time of publication. Which is handy :).
If there’s a theme running through this post, it’s how much I can do myself as an end-user – and when our developers do need to step in, it’s a snap to collaborate on new features and get them up and running quickly. And Sitefinity is always getting better, with lots of content improvements in the new Sitefinity 11 as well. As a content creator, I’m excited to see where Sitefinity is going next.
A member of the marketing team at Progress, Danny loves all things tech and has been writing about the industry for over 12 years. He enjoys the process of making complex subjects easy to grasp. He studied both English and computer science in college because he's fascinated by languages (including code!) and never stopped.
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