As I look back on the month of May, one thing that stands out is the whirlwind of activity around Sitefinity, the content management and digital marketing platform.
Progress, the parent company of Sitefinity, updated the branding of Sitefinity to reflect its position in the family of Progress software products.
Progress also hosted a Digital Partner Summit in Indianapolis to allow partner firms (like Springthrough and others) to share their experiences and knowledge.
In an effort to continue that education, I completed the CMS Consultant Certification, which focuses on connecting the technical capabilities of Sitefinity with the business needs of users.
And then, on May 19, Sitefinity released version 9.1 of their Sitefinity CMS.
We encourage our Sitefinity clients to update their system with a regular schedule. It’s like maintenance. When a website falls behind, it becomes a much bigger project to bring them up-to-date when they want a change.
This latest release builds on the features announced in Version 9.0 last March. The features of the new release stand out as improving the experience for website administrators and website visitors. Sitefinity released version notes with a high-level overview of each feature/change they included in the 9.1 version. And while there are instructions online for how to deploy an update, they miss the question I hear most often from website administrators.
“What will the changes look like for me?”
Below I put together how Sitefinity 9.1 impacts the daily lives of the people responsible for managing the website content of a Sitefinity system. If you update to 9.1, you can expect the following changes.
Sitefinity 9.1 Updates
We discussed this feature at the introduction of Sitefinity 9.0, but it deserves continued attention because it provides a big functionality for the website administrators working in Sitefinity on a regular basis.
Rather than creating a single (and often long) form for website visitors to complete, you can create multiple pages from the perspective of the visitor. So if you are building a form within Sitefinity, you would build it on a single page but could enter “Page Breaks”, which will separate the form into multiple pages for your visitor. You can simply drag the Page Break between content sections. Sitefinity will automatically add the next and previous buttons at the end of each form page.
New Backend Theme
A lot of people who serve as the administrators of a Sitefinity website will recognize the look of dark on light colors. Since most modern websites use a white base color, Sitefinity has developed a new “light” theme option for backend editors. It is available now as a user setting on your profile. The goal is to visually remove the look of clutter and distractions for easier content editing.
With the latest SEO improvements, Sitefinity now allows the content editors to remove content, including pages, easily from the automated sitemap. This automated sitemap is published to Google and other search engines. You’ll see a new “Show in Sitemap” checkbox that is checked by default.
Sitefinity’s Digital Experience Cloud (DEC) now allows you a more complete, 360-degree view of contact profiles. You can see all the contact information like before, but now you can also see a full list of conversations for the contact, all the touch points in their journey, and a full log of their interactions with content.
These features highlight some of the biggest changes that I think administrators of a Sitefinity website will appreciate. There are some additional improvements and fixes based on the feedback Sitefinity received from users - things like improvements to the experience with different browsers among others. You can read the complete version notes on Sitefinity’s website.
Why Upgrade your Sitefinity Account?
Many enterprise companies ask themselves whether or not they should upgrade. They feel uncertainty around what the project will entail and what the cost will be. However, we’ve found that if clients consistently upgrade their Sitefinity systems, they are actually able to reduce the unknown. It’s like maintenance on a car. It works better if you consistently maintain it, rather than wait for significant problems where significant investments need to be made.