Useful guide for developers working with Kentico EMS

Written by Ilesh Mistry
December 9th 2014

4 minute read

Developing for Kentico EMS?

If you require the Kentico user to administrate your Kentico website and utilise as many of the basic Kentico EMS features, then here are a few tips I can suggest.

Before I suggest anything, I would recommend a basic approach to make sure when you develop a Kentico website and want to allow the Kentico users to apply some EMS features, then I would suggest that you use Kentico Widgets.

Kentico Widgets are amazing and provide lots of flexibility!

This would be the minimum you could provide as a developer to allow the Kentico administrative users to apply some basic Kentico EMS features.

This approach would mean it would work without the user going into the Design tab and also assuming you are using the Portal Engine approach.

Switching on Online Marketing and Web Analytics

Turn on the Online Marketing options, by going to Settings --> Online Marketing and enable that option.

If you want to use A/B Multivariate Testing, then this would need to be switched on as well. It is in the same section.

To go with this, you would need to switch on the Web Analytics. To do this you would need to go to the same section, but expand Online Marketing --> Web analytics and enable that option.

A/B Testing

Here is a good video on A/B Testing.

Simple A/B Testing, as a developer we don’t need to do anything if the content is all managed on the Page Tab.

If the content is within Editable Text Web Parts, then we can let the Kentico Administrative User manage this for their A/B Testing.

The A/B tests produces an Ad Hoc template for the Page B. So the recommended process of A/B Testing would be to copy Page A, rename it to Page B and then say to Page A, that we want Page B to be the B part of A/B Testing. This would avoid the Ad Hoc template from being created!

A/B Testing variant pages should be placed in the same level as the original page. To avoid it appearing on the website, we need to make sure it is not searchable and not in the navigation.

From the A/B Testing, if Page B is the winner, then the process should be to apply those changes to Page A and remove Page B manually. This would normally be done by the Kentico administrative user.

Multi-variant Testing & Content Personalisation

The areas where Content Personalisation and Multi-variant Testing can take place are in :-

  • Web parts

  • Web part zones

  • Editor widgets

So with this in mind, as we use the Portal Engine approach, we need to consider what can and can’t be tested only on the Page tab.

If the content is within Kentico Widgets, this is even better, as the Kentico Administrative User can manage the multi-variants themselves.

This would mean the Kentico users can move the widgets around within widget zones creating the variants/personalised content.

Remember, it is the minimum requirements for someone who develops for Kentico EMS. When developing considering the possible areas where Kentico EMS features can be used is essential.

If you create a form control that lists a combination of different items in a single widget e.g. different page types, then please bear in mind that the items can’t be individually Multi-variant tested/Content Personalised. As variants can only be applied to each widget.

This is a decision to be made between the client, project managers and developers on which widget approaches to take, as selecting a restricted approach may involve further development in the later stages. So this must be done at the start of the project/implementation task.


When creating your Custom Web Parts/Widgets, we should consider whether the actions from this require it to be tracked or not.

If we need it to be tracked, then we need to add in a Conversion form control field for the Kentico CMS user to manage this via the widget properties.

For web parts we would need to make sure there is a way for the Kentico CMS user to manage this, either it is set by developers from the Kentico CMS users instructions or we have a Custom Field in the Page Type and then pick this up on the web part. There also could be other ways to achieve this. 

Contact Management

If you have Kentico forms on your website, then it is essential to make sure the fields are mapped when the form is created. This would mean that the contact database can start populating as soon as possible and its really quick to do. You just need to go to the Contact Mapping tab within the Kentico Form properties area.

If you need to add some Custom Fields for the Contact Mapping, it is worth getting them in as well, because you can make sure they are also populating. Here is a link on how you can create Custom Fields for Contact Mapping.

Custom Activities

There may be areas where we developers would need to create custom bespoke activities. Each situation we would need to look at independently.

This is another example where something like this would need to be looked at early stages within the project process.

Here is a blog post of it working for Disqus comments by Kentico MVP Brian McKiever.

Well there you have it with this guide/tips post, Kentico Widgets and Kentico EMS rock! I just provided you with just a few recommended tips about developing Kentico EMS websites. There must be lots more tips out there regarding this process. Do you know of any more tips? Let me know. 


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