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Sitefinity 4 Upgrade Benefits

by Josh Morales

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The new 4.0 release of Sitefinity has brought with it a wealth of improvements, enhancements, and features to web site developers and content managers. We want all our customers to experience the power of Sitefinity 4.0, and as such, all users with an active Sitefinity subscription as of the launch date of January 14 have automatically received a Sitefinity 4.0 Standard Edition license for their existing site at no additional cost!

Sitefinity 4.0 as well as the associated license can both be downloaded from your account. This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade your site to the latest and greatest features Sitefinity has to offer!

What Do You Get?

Sitefinity 4 has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a task-focused, user and developer friendly application for powerful Content Management. It represents two years of active development, primarily designed around feedback from real users like yourself. There are several key areas where Sitefinity 4.0 takes a major leap forward.

Effortless Content Management Tools

Sitefinity features a revamped, task-focused environment to help streamline the process of entering and managing content, intuitively laid out into different Content areas such as News, Blogs, Events. Each of these content modules can easily be customized on both the front end and the administrative end with custom layouts, templates, and additional fields to provide management of the data you need for your organization. You also gain a rich, unified, and shared taxonomy, helping you organize your content by applying categories and tags to any type of content.

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Powerful new tools such as the new Layout Editor support building custom layouts on the fly, without the need for a separate master page or template. There is also a new Form Builder to easily collect input from your visitors.

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Workflow is also greatly improved, with 2 and 3 tiered options available out of the box, which can be applied to individual components separately, as a whole over the entire site, or varied based on a user's role or login.

In addition, versioning has been enhanced to include both notes to log changes as well as a difference tool to show precisely what content has changed in each version.

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Powerful Administration

Permissions have been completely overhauled into a more robust, granular system giving administrators full control over who has access to what. These permissions can of course be applied broadly, restricting entire content modules or sections of pages.

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However, you can get as detailed as you need to, even so far as placing restrictions on which users have access to specific properties of a widget or image on a page. These permissions can be applied by role, but can be specified even at the individual user level for complete access control.

The new configuration manager eliminates the hassle of updating website settings. You can now update configurations from right inside the dashboard instead of manually editing the web.config file.

The new Backend Editor turns the power of Sitefinity on itself, allowing you to update the Sitefinity Administration as easily as you update your public website. Adding pages, sections, or even custom modules is as simple as creating a page and dropping in a widget!

Tracking visitors and behavior trends is also now easier than ever, with full integration with Google Analytics. More than just a simple gateway to analytics data, the Sitefinity Google Analytics integration uses the Telerik Silverlight Controls to provide a smooth, interactive experience including graphs, charts, and even map overlays all within the dashboard.

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Best of all, it also uses Sitefinity's powerful security settings to grant or restrict permissions far beyond what is offered by Google, even as far as the individual report level.

Developer Friendly

Sitefinity has always been friendly to developers, building upon the ASP.NET best practices and standards so that developers can leverage their existing skills to hit the ground running. Sitefinity 4.0 continues this trend, with support for Master Pages, Themes, User Controls and more.

In addition, our SDK comes with example projects, sample code, and other getting started resources to help developers customize and extend the platform. It even includes both the Telerik RadControls and OpenAccess software at no additional charge for use within your Sitefinity website!

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There are also a growing collection of Starter Kits covering a wide range of audiences, such as charities and education to help users hit the ground running. These kits are distributed as fully working sites, complete with Visual Studio project files and source code for things like widgets and user controls.

Developers can also leverage a powerful new Fluent API for writing clean, intuitive code that is virtually self-documenting while providing simple access to Sitefinity content.

New Publication Tools

Getting content in and out of Sitefinity 4 is easier and more powerful than ever before. Social tools like the new Twitter Pipe gives you one-click publishing to Twitter, and more social connectors are coming soon.

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RSS and Atom syndication is also available out of the box, allowing you to aggregate content from throughout your site into a single distributed feed. A new POP3 pipe makes publishing content as simple as sending an email!

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The Newsletter Content Module, currently in beta allows you to build your newsletter just like if you were building a Sitefinity page. Drag & drop widgets to create the newsletter content and send it out to your subscribers. The complete newsletter module will come with campaign A/B testing, campaign scheduling, statistics, and much more

Sitefinity 4 also comes with an extensive set of web services. These RESTful endpoints not only serve to improve the efficient performance, but can be accessed externally to allow your website to interact with phones, desktop applications, and even other websites.

New Features, Sooner

The Sitefinity release schedule will now officially match up with the Q release schedule of Telerik's other fine products. This means that new features and improvements will come with each new release every four months, such as a new Ecommerce module that is currently in the works and will be available soon as an add on.

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In addition, the 3.x platform, although still currently supported, will eventually be depreciated in favor of targeting active development towards improving Sitefinity 4. So make sure your site is on the cutting edge by upgrading today!

Need More?

Sitefinity 4.0 Standard is a powerful system, but your choices don't stop there. Enterprise solutions are also available for purchase offering additional features and expanded resources to support even the largest corporate websites.

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In addition, if you have an active subscription purchased before November 11, 2010, you can upgrade your license to Professional or Enterprise at a 50% discount from now until April 15, 2011.

For new customers and users without an existing subscription, you can purchase Sitefinity now or contact sales@telerik.com for additional information.

Need Help?

Telerik support prides itself on offering support that is second to none. In addition to our growing documentation and knowledge base, our discussions forums are active with both community users, MVPs and Telerik support staff.

We also have an extensive partner network to help you get the dedicated support you need to take your website to the next level!

It's Your Turn

You've seen the power that Sitefinity 4 has to offer your website; now take advantage of this opportunity to take your online presence to the next level! Download the trial and experience the new features for yourself and see what Sitefinity 4 can do for you. Remember that you have a vast network of support, from forums to blogs, knowledgebase, support and a global Sitefinity Partner system to help you transition your site to our new platform.

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Be sure to share with us by providing feedback on your experience. We want to hear from you and what you our doing with the new platform. Send your questions, comments and suggestions to us via support or discuss in our community forums, and share with us how Sitefinity 4 is helping you deliver more than expected!

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  1. Duncan Feb 10, 2011
    Thank you for the great post, Josh! It will definitely help me explain all those benefits of Sitefinity 4.0 to my clients.

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