Sitefinity Widget Developer | Best Practices and How to Select

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What is Sitefinity CMS

Widgets are used to display content. The functionality and content of Sitefinity pages depend on the widgets. If you want your page to do anything, you need to use a widget. You can use the Sitefinity Widget Developer to configure and choose how to present your content. It includes built-in Sitefinity Plugins that you can directly embed in your web pages. These are widgets like Image Gallery, Video Gallery, News, etc. Apart from the built-in widgets, there is also an option to create custom widgets. You may use these alongside the default widgets. It will allow you to implement custom widgets to serve your particular needs and fulfill your business's functional requirements. They allow you to execute custom logic. With the Sitefinity Widget Developer, you can make a new User Widget and Custom Widget.

Getting Started with Plugins

Sitefinity Plugins and How to Use Them

Select a widget and simply drop it on your page (while you are in page editing mode). Configure the widget to show pre-existing content. It is possible to combine widgets so you can display different content by classifying and tagging it.

The purpose of widgets is to make specific content available and provide particular functionality to the end-user, or your website's visitors. The frontend of these widgets is the HTML of its functionality. For instance, input fields or buttons, anything that the end-user sees and interacts with. On the other hand, configuration and business logic, widget design, and widget templates make up the backend of these widgets.

There are also special kinds of widgets that provide a specific purpose. For instance, the purpose of Form fields is to record the values of one field. These fields allow designers, developers, or administrators to do their job. For instance, the Styles and Script widgets allow you to plug in resources such as CSS and JavaScript files.

Set Properties

You can configure the properties of each widget to modify its functionality. For example, if you are using a widget like Blog Posts to display your blog's post, you have to configure which post you want to be displayed, how many posts you want on a single page, and how you want them displayed. You can configure the properties of a widget through the widget designer (the Edit mode)

Change its Appearance

You can alter the appearance of the Sitefinity widgets, such as Image, Events, News, Blog posts, etc., using widget templates. You can directly change the default templates in the file system and do not have to build the project to implement the changes. It is also possible to alter the markup and control the HTML of default templates to suit your personal preferences. All you must do is change the widget's markup to edit its template. New templates can be created either from the backend or the file system.

Create and register custom widgets

Customize Your Own Widgets

Apart from configuring Sitefinity built-in widgets to suit your needs, you can create and register custom widgets too. These can be used side-by-side with built-in widgets.

Sitefinity widgets have property editors. These are based on Angular JS and the Bootstrap framework. For the user interface, Sitefinity provides default packages with various frontend frameworks. These provide inbuilt styling and design options for websites.

When creating a new widget, make sure to override the property LayoutTemplatePath. Replace it with the custom widget's path. While registering and adding your custom widget to Sitefinity's toolbox, you need to provide the complete path instead of just the virtual path.

More control...

Edit the Markup

Sitefinity Plugins make use of ASP.NET MVC to ensure a simplified development process. This allows you to control the markup. The benefits of this include:

  • Each widget is designed, keeping mobiles in mind. One of the benefits of Bootstrap is that the CSS framework package provides a responsive design.
  • Templates, designs, and widgets are all connected by a basic convention that doesn't require XML and mappings.
  • The AngularJS SPA implementation makes it straightforward and quick to create new designs or alter existing ones.
  • Bootstrap framework- It is installed out-of-the-box, which means you can utilize other frameworks too.
  • You can combine your widget templates, images, CSS, master template, and layout templates, all in a single package.

MVC Development

The architecture of Sitefinity plugins is based on the model-view-controller pattern. Therefore, when developing and working with Sitefinity widgets, you must ensure you are aware of the MVC development principles.

Before you install Sitefinity

Sitefinity System Requirements

Before installing Sitefinity, you must ensure that your system meets the Sitefinity System requirements.

Server-side Requirements

  • Microsoft® Windows 2019, 2016, 2012 R2, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, Microsoft Azure, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista

Note: To execute a Sitefinity project on Microsoft Azure, you need to first develop the project locally, utilizing the other Windows platforms mentioned in this list.

It is not possible to run Sitefinity with a version of Windows older than Windows XP.

  • Sitefinity supports both 64-bit and 32-bit operating systems.
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 (To deploy a Sitefinity project to IIS, you need to configure it to switch to the Integrated mode)
  • .NET Framework 4.7.2

Database platforms

  • SQL Server 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2012 R2, 2008 R2, 2008
  • SQL Express 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012 R2, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft® Azure SQL
  • MySQL (5.0.3 to 5.7.14)

Memory requirements

  • 500+ MB

Hard disk

  • 400+ MB

Supported Browsers

You can edit content and perform administrative tasks using Firefox and Chrome. Before you begin, make sure to enable Javascript on both the browsers.

As for viewing, all browsers that support CSS and Javascript are compatible with websites created using Sitefinity.

Final Words

Sitefinity is an easy to use, powerful, and stable CMS. It allows you to create custom widgets. This has many benefits as it increases the level of control offered by the Sitefinity Widget Developer.

Clarity Sitefinity CMS Experts

Additional Features & Resources