Some basic EPiServer questions



as you might have noticed by my posts, I am new to EPiServer, I'm trying to figure out the possibilities.

I'm still stuck with some "basic" questions, so I would really appreciate it if anyone could help me out!

- Which version of the CMS would you advise to me?

- Is it possible to use other templates out-of-the-box without using Visual Studio?

- Is there an easy way to create a simple website from scratch? (If seen quite some tutorials, but they are quite complex)

- Any links to tutorials are still welcome though :)


That's about it, any input would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Sep 05, 2011 12:14

I forgot one:

- Is it possible to edit the current template without using Visual Studio (I mean the template itself, not it's content)?

Sep 05, 2011 12:16

Hi and welcome Veerle!

First off: here's a great collection of links and tutorials from Frederik Vig:

If you mean which version of the CMS you should use then it's CMS 6 R2.

Page Templates (web forms) are created using Visual Studio.

To get you started you could install the sample project AlloyTech. Though you should only use this as reference for EPiServer best practices - do not build your website using AlloyTech as base.

A great framework to get you started is ETF. It contains basic pagetypes for managing start page, news items, etc. You do need, however, to create Page Templates (web forms) by yourself.

Sep 05, 2011 12:44

Thanks for your reply!

If I understand correctly, I can create new PageTypes in Admin mode by just simply creating a page and adding Dynamic Properties to it?

I found a great basic website in a tutorial, so I'm currently using this to start from, unfortunately that makes it hard to install ETF, plus when I do, I can't seem to find those pagetypes.

Is there another way to add pagetypes/pagetemplates to the installation?



Sep 06, 2011 9:00

Yes, you create page types in admin mode. Then you associate these page types with page templates (web forms) which render the contents from a page instance. :-)

ETF doesn't automatically install page types. Instead you need to inherit from ETF base classes, which in turn will create the page types for you.

Ted has a great article on setting up a project with ETF here:

Sep 08, 2011 9:53

In the meanwhile I've spent quite some time in figuring out EPiServer, I just got one thing I would like to set straight:

To create a new website there are about three ways of how to do this:

- create a website through the Deployment Center and use the alloy tech website (quite a hassle since you'd have to adjust the masterpage to your design, delete or adjust all pages and get left with functionality you might not need, easy since pagetypes are provided)

- create a website through the Deployment Center or Visual Studio and leave it blank, then you could choose to use PageTypeBuilder or ETF or others to help you create page types

Is this correct or am i missing other possible methods?

Oct 05, 2011 8:11

Yes, you could say that those are the two main methods.

Using the sample template (Alloytech) is great if you're getting to know EPiServer and best practices. As you say, editing and tweaking the EPiServer sample templates could turn out to be quite a hassle.

When creating a new website for a customer, you should start with a blank website. :-)

Oct 05, 2011 8:46

Ok thanks!

I know you can export pagetypes, so is it possible to export the alloytech pagetypes (and dynamic controls etc) and import them into a blank site or a site using PageTypeBuilder or would this cause errors since the difference in base classes?

[I'm in the process of testing this, but I'm struggling with other issues at the moment]

Edited, Oct 05, 2011 8:54

It is possible but time consuming. I recommend starting from scratch with PTB and using Alloytech as reference to get the gist of what kind of properties you should add and how they should be added. This will save you both time and headache. :-)

Oct 05, 2011 9:05

I'll keep that in mind, thank you!

Oct 05, 2011 9:16

Hi, some new questions popped-up in my head. Is it a problem if I keep posting them here?

- When creating a new site, you can choose to install a site with or without a database, is this database set up strictly for you own use, so in case you need a database or is this used by EPiServer itself? I don't see a difference between sites with or without a database, but the dbs seem to contain custom settings, so what's the deal?

- Can anyone give me an idea what the hosting of an EPiServer site would involve? I'm thinking about the virtual paths and perhaps even the SharePoint connection to an intranet site?


Thanks in advance!

Oct 10, 2011 15:34

You always need a database. :-)

The option to install a site without a database is if the database already exists (i.e. in a load-balanced environment).

Hosting an EPiServer site is basically the same as hosting it in your local environment. Save that you might want to separate website and database in a 2-tier solution.

As you say you should take into account how the site is going to access other components like SharePoint. Network security might ben an issue.

Oct 10, 2011 16:05

So if I understand correctly we would have to host to site on our own web server to be able to access the intranet SharePoint site? 


Oct 13, 2011 8:32
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