Kentico’s 8.1 version is a delight for online marketers; filled with features which will lure more leads; this update from the CMS giant looks promising.
Elaborated below are the lists of modifications introduced after a significantly short gap yet including changes which will highly affect the users. As I started working on the new version, I could feel that the dependency of the client on the developer will reduce through this updated version. Kentico has focused more on aiding the user in publicizing his business along with offers to attract customers.
When Oldrich Januska, the VP of Product for Kentico announced the launch of Kentico 8.1, he unfolded not only a feature-rich version of the CMS but also marked the beginning of a journey which Kentico had promised during the launch of 8.1’s Beta version. Kentico will now be releasing minor updated versions on quarterly basis instead of coming up with big updates after a considerable gap.
Let’s glance at what’s there in the latest Kentico store:
Kentico 8.1 to Win Over Online Marketers
Kentico 8.1 brings a lot of advantage for online marketers. Not only has the admin end been made friendlier for but incorporation of several other features will make the tasks of marketers easier. Considering the social media advantage for building brand recognition, Kentico has integrated some responsive features in its new version. It has turned easier for you to track your followers on social media forums and correspondingly plan your further strategies. All you need is new connector for SharePoint online and SharePoint 2010, 2013.
1. SharePoint Advantage
Apart from lowering the footprints of Contact Groups and Scoring, Kentico 8.1 is more focused towards easing the job of digital marketers. After discarding the ASMX services Kentico 8.1 brings for its users the SharePoint advantage. With the aid of your SharePoint connector you can easily create numerous SharePoint connections.
Now sharing files, images, libraries and any other documents using the intranet has turned easier, since no special functions are required for sharing these data. Moreover, in order to increase the security levels every connection will have separate authentications. So, now it is easy to organize, display and share data on your Kentico CMS.
2. Integrated Social Media Channels (LinkedIn)
Social marketing is the key to building stronger bonds with prospects. Kentico has all the leading social media channels integrated, which makes sharing of newly posted content easier. With the addition of LinkedIn in the 8.1 version, involvement of online marketers is sure to become more intense. The aid of the Visual Workflow Designer allows automatic publishing of the website content on your social networks, it’s just a drag and drop thing and you are sorted!
An added enhancement comes in the form of the statistics available for these integrated social media platforms, which help you supervise and audit your marketing strategies.
3. Inbuilt Personas Module
Now segregate the display of your web content based on the different categories of visitors. Kentico allows you to categories your visitors and accordingly share contents with them. Also, based on their behavioural traits of the visitors you can update your personalized messages. Using tools like Marketing Automation and Email Marketing now you can easily manage your marketing without any technical expert’s help.
4. Easy to Create Online Forms
No programming required for creating online forms. Simply go to the ‘Online Forms Module’ and create customized forms based on your event, offers, surveys etc. and get the contact details of interested customers. You can get notifications by email for every enquiry sent through the contact us forms.
Dynamic Dashboard with Live Tiles
The popular Dashboard feature of Kentico has been further improvised and given the tiles appeal similar to that of Windows 8. Now you can easily customize the dashboard as the administrator to suit your needs, which means you only need to drag and drop the icons to arrange it according to your priorities.
The ‘Live Tiles’ feature are indeed commendable additions; these continually updating data help keep a check on the status of work that require attention. You can add new applications to the tile, by simply going to the editing mode and these improvements in the navigation architecture will be enhanced further in the upcoming upgrades.
Introduce Lucrative Offers with Buy X Get Y Discounts Feature
Kentico seems to have carried out a proper research on the buying trends to be able to come up with marketing friendly features being adopted to lure customers and elevate sales. One such addition is the Buy X Get Y discounts in the latest Kentico 8.1. So, if you are planning to introduce some money-spinning offers in your Kentico ecommerce website, it has turned easier.
Kentico 8.1 allows you to apply offers and also state their starting and finishing period; you can also state the limit to define how many times your offer can be used within an order. For instance, if the offer says that you get one shirt free on purchasing 3 apparels; you can also mention how long this offer will last and it is applicable for every purchase of $100 and above.
Some Minor Admin Interface and System Changes
One modification that might confuse some is the renaming of ‘Document’ to ‘Page’ in the admin area. It is just a simple case of renaming without altering the functionality. However, there are some system related changes too:
- Kentico 8.1 does not support medium trust environments
- For Microsoft Azure projects SDK 2.3 is a must
- Along with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 support for the database
- The Silverlight uploader has been replaced with HTML5 Multiple Uploader
- HTMLHelper.EncodeForHtmlAttribute is being applied for safe HTML encoding
The concept of releasing minor versions in shorter gaps is indeed a beneficial move by Kentico. Regular improvisations based on feedbacks keeps the customers interested and the CMS has captured this concept successfully. Not to forget that they promise to upgrade some features in the next update too.
As I mentioned earlier that Kentico 8.1 targets the online marketers’ community and is certain to prove advantageous to them. I am looking forward to some more modifications for the benefit of the developers in their next release.