Project Lifecycle

Designing a Page Editor Experience: 4 - Personalization and Multivariate Testing

October 10, 2013

One of the nicest features that came along in the last few Sitecore versions was the rules engine. Along with that power was the ability to harness the conditional sublayout rendering to change the datasource or component design based on specific visitor information, otherwise known as personalization. There's all kinds of identifiable markers that are available to you about your end users such as location and search keywords. You can use this information as is to create rules, you can create "profiles" which categorize your users to help you reach your intended audience and you can use those "profiles" to build "Engagement Plans". I don't plan on going into detail about how to create these profiles or engagement plans since it's a near science unto itself but I did find a quick guide on personalization terms and an excellent articles on setting up personalization profiles and creating engagement plans.

Designing a Page Editor Experience: 3 - Placeholder Settings

September 27, 2013

Placeholder settings are used to create predefined insert options for components (sublayouts, renderings and web controls). You have two basic approaches to use: setting the placeholder key on the item's Placeholder Key field: 

or setting the key when you apply it to an item through it's presentation details.

Designing a Page Editor Experience: 2 - Sublayout fields

September 20, 2013

After you've decided what components your pages will be broken up into and created the sublayouts (renderings or server controls) each extending your base class, you can begin working on the setup inside Sitecore by configuring your component item's fields and setting up component insert options. These settings are stored on the sublayout items themselves and I'll detail them here.

Designing a Page Editor Experience: 1 - Setting up the Code

September 20, 2013

Shout Out

As a shout out, this series started because I was recently speaking with Mark Ursino and he gave me a demonstration of a recent build where he had taken advantage of a few really slick features in Page Editor. I decided to do some research to see what Page Editor could really do. In doing my research I came across a lot of great posts that individually detail pieces of functionality, some of which I'd seen demonstrated at the last Symposium. Others go in depth to explain why certain choices are lend to a better framework. For this post, I wanted to weave together as much of a cohesive picture along with some commentary and lots of referential links for developers to see a fuller Page Editor experience.

Sitecore Manager and Helper Classes

September 17, 2013
Tags: Sitecore

As a follow up to my Sitecore Util Classes post, I randomly did a search through the Sitecore 6.4.1 kernel for Manager and Helper classes and as it turns out this time I hit a gold mine. Like my previous article I'll only touch on them briefly because there's just too many to go into any real depth but I wanted to at least put it out on the internets to raise a little awareness on these hidden gems in Sitecore. I left out any Interfaces, Abstract classes or classes without any public methods. In total I found 55 manager classes and 15 helper classes.

Creating Sitecore Sublayouts Dynamically

September 06, 2013

Preface

On a recent project I was looking to replace some existing infrastructure that built a sidebar on a page using a list of content items (non-page items) that were selected by the content editor. The existing system was using a single sublayout which had several templated server controls that defined the display for different types of content. This was a global resource and any individual site that wanted to modify the display would have to copy the file in it's entirety even if it only wanted to modify a single line. It also didn't provide a default display for items that weren't explicitly defined. Only predefined types were displayed so there was some confusion as to why some things wouldn't be displayed.

Sitecore Custom User Properties

September 05, 2013

In a recent Sitecore build I had to store the pages that a user saved as a "Favorite" throughout the site. The site was an intranet so everyone had a user within Sitecore, which helped. The next question was where to store the information. I wanted it to be stored along with local user data but wasn't sure if I was going to need to extend the user object and create extra fields or if I could leverage the existing structure. I ended up looking through a lot of the user properties and scouring the cookbooks and eventually I found what I was looking for in the security api cookbook: Custom Properties.

Field Suite Images Field

September 04, 2013

I've been using the FieldSuite, which was built by Sitecore MVP, superhero and all around good guy, Tim Braga, for about 8 months now and have come to really like a lot of its featues but there was one field that I hadn't used: The "Field Suite Images Field". When I thought I'd finally look into it, the documentation had a few details about customizing the control but not about using the field which gave me the opportunity to do a quick write-up. So first I tinkered with it until I figured out how to get it working and then figured it would be a good idea to write up a quick post about it.

Site Scraper

July 15, 2013
Tags:

I just finished cleaning up a utility I built a few years ago and pushed it up to GitHub. I often found myself needing to have an html export of some sites so that design vendors could update the css/js, or some sites were being moved to different systems in another part of the company. I've cleaned up the design so that it's less distracting and updated how it works so that you get what you want in the end: a clickable website in a folder.

Linq to Sitecore

April 05, 2013

I wanted to write up an article that elaborates on a presentation I gave on some but not all of the new features that will be upcoming in Sitecore 7. Mostly I'm going to focus on the updates around Lucene search but I'll also touch on some of the other features as well. This will be a longer article so be warned.