Updated May 2020
If there is one thing you can count on with technology, it’s change. Remember what old computers and mobile phones looked and functioned like? The CMS industry is no exception. Embracing technology changes is an important aspect to supporting and enhancing your digital properties, including your website. That’s why Kentico, like many CMSs, entirely overhauled their CMS with Kentico 12 to be MVC (Model View Controller) based.
What does this mean for businesses and institutions whose sites are on an earlier version of Kentico? Unfortunately, it means that your site will need to be fully rebuilt in Kentico 12 MVC. Before you panic, remember that most businesses rebuild their websites every 3-4 years, so if a redesign is in your plan, ZAG will simply rebuild the site using the MVC-based development technology. And, if you didn’t want to change your site’s design but need your site on the MVC platform, ZAG can provide a quote to rebuild the site in Kentico 12 MVC using your existing designs. Note that all new sites being developed by ZAG since Kentico released version 12 in late 2018 are automatically being built in Kentico 12 MVC.
Understanding Web Forms vs. MVC
Microsoft is continually evolving their technology stack and as part of this evolution they are moving from the ASP.NET Web Forms development platform to the ASP.NET MVC platform. When Microsoft introduced the ASP.NET Core framework in 2016, it offered many benefits including lightweight, high-performance, cross-platform development and more. The catch of course is that instead of supporting Web Forms, it focuses purely on MVC. ASP.NET MVC was actually introduced way back in 2009 and while Kentico introduced some MVC-based features going back to version 8, it always offered developers both platform options. With the imminent demise of Web Forms technology, Kentico will phase out Portal Engine in 2020 and instead will focus on the MVC platform for future releases.
What do you need to know as a marketer?
The most important thing to evaluate as a marketer is when it’s time to plan and budget for a website redesign. While continuing to invest in your current site is part of achieving your business goals, rebuilding your site needs to be part of your plan before web form technology is no longer supported.
Some benefits of MVC development include:
Easier maintenance and upgrades
Faster performance because the front-end application only loads necessary content
A planned drag-and-drop, widget-based interface (Page Builder) offering a superior administrative experience
View a full list of supported features.
Common Kentico 12 FAQs
Does my website have to be rebuilt?
Yes, unfortunately any site built on anything other than Kentico 12 MVC will need to be fully rebuilt since the technology is entirely different. Starting in 2023, Kentico will no longer support non-MVC technology (meaning hot-fixes will no longer be an option). Additionally, upgrading will not be an option since portal engine support will also not be available.
How much will it cost to rebuild my site?
Since all of the work ZAG does is custom, we will be happy to discuss your specific project requirements and provide you with a quote. If you are keeping your existing design and copy and simply rebuilding, the cost will be less than if you will be making any design or strategic modifications.
Can I upgrade to Kentico 12 without rebuilding my site?
Yes, ZAG is happy to upgrade your site to Kentico 12 in order to benefit from general product support and new features you may not have in your previous version (e.g., email overhaul in Kentico 11). However, your site will need to be fully rebuilt in order to benefit from the MVC technology stack. Reference this Kentico product support lifecycle policy to see how long Kentico will support the version you are currently on.
If I have a multisite instance of Kentico, do I have to migrate all sites to MVC at the same time?
Yes. If you are using the multisite setup, you have to move all sites to the MVC development platform, similar to how all sites have to be on the same Kentico version.
If I recently built or upgraded my site to Kentico 12 (not MVC), what are my next steps?
ZAG began building all sites in Kentico 12 MVC as soon as the platform was released and stable. Unfortunately, if a site was already being built in Kentico 12 Portal Engine during this time, the site will need to be rebuilt in Kentico 12 MVC. While this isn’t an urgent project, this should be something budgeted for and planned within the next two years.
Is there an automatic tool to convert Web Forms to MVC?
Unfortunately no, because the two technologies are vastly different. While some data will be updated automatically (e.g., online marketing, system configuration), content created and stored will need to be rebuilt.
What will the next release consist of?
In the past, Kentico has released a new version at the end of each year - Kentico 12 being released in late 2018. However it will not be releasing Kentico 13 in late 2019. Instead, Kentico released a service pack in late June 2019 which added A/B testing, page alias support and more. Additional features will be released into the Kentico marketplace when they are available. Notably, Kentico will be releasing Kentico 2020 in, you guessed it, the latter part of 2020.
Next Steps – Let’s Chat!
To discuss your specific business/institution needs, reach out to your ZAG account manager, or drop us a line. We can discuss what path to Kentico 12 MVC makes the most sense, what to expect and more.