New to headless CMS?
If you are new to the world of headless CMSs, you might want to start by building a Hello world application. It will only take you about 5 minutes!
After you grasp the core idea behind a headless CMS, everything in the sample application will make a lot more sense much faster.
In this guide, you'll get a brief introduction to website development practices with Kentico Cloud. We will start by running a .NET sample application on your machine and updating an article in the Sample Project. Then we will explore how the content of the article is structured.
This tutorial requires access to the Sample Project that demonstrates our features and best practices. This full-featured project contains marketing content for Dancing Goat – an imaginary chain of coffee shops. This content is used in our sample applications.
Before going any further, make sure you have the following:
- Visual Studio 2017
- Kentico Cloud account with a Sample Project (you can also set one up during app configuration)
The source code of the sample application lives in a Github repository.
If you are used to working with Git, you can clone the repository to your computer by typing the following to your console:
git clone https://github.com/Kentico/cloud-sample-app-net.git
If you don't have Git installed, you can download the sample application directly as a ZIP file, extract it, and continue from there.
- Open the solution in Visual Studio (using the DancingGoat.sln file).
- In Visual Studio, choose Debug -> Start Without Debugging (or hit CTRL + F5) to run the application.
The application will open automatically in your browser at
First run of the sample app
When you run the application for the first time, you will see a Configuration page. Use it to connect the app to your Sample Project in Kentico Cloud:
- Click Get project ID from Kentico Cloud. A new browser window will open.
- Sign in to your account or create a new one.
- From the list of your projects, select the Sample project.
- Click Select project.
The application now displays content from your Sample Project.
Note: You can also set the project ID manually.
Now, let's explore the Sample Project and update its content so that you can see the changes reflected in your locally running application.
After signing in to your Kentico Cloud account you will see your Sample Project to play around with.
Your welcome screen is a list of all the pieces of content in your project (we call them content items).
You can search for a content item by name or apply filters to quickly find what you are looking for:
- In the filter panel on the left, select the Article content type to view only articles.
Filtering by content type
- Click one of the articles to edit it. For example, try the Coffee processing techniques article. (Inside the running app, navigate to Articles -> Coffee processing techniques to see how the content is actually displayed.)
Details of a published content item
The article is currently published, meaning it's publicly accessible and, as such, cannot be updated directly.
To edit the article:
- On the Details panel, click the Published workflow step.
- Click Create a new version. The old version stays up, while you edit the new version.
- Edit the text of the article or change its teaser image.
Your changes will be saved automatically, but to make them visible in the application, you have to publish the new version of your article.
To publish the article:
- On the Details panel, click the Draft workflow step.
- Select the Review workflow step
- Assign yourself as a contributor.
- Click Change workflow at the bottom of the side panel.
- On the Details panel, click the Review workflow step.
- Select the Publish workflow step.
- Click Publish at the bottom of the side panel.
Note: You can later customize the content workflow according to your needs.
Voila! You have successfully updated content in your Sample Project. Refresh the browser window with your application to see the changes on the website.
Feel free to further explore the Sample Project and the sample application.
The advantage of using Kentico Cloud lies in the freedom to define how your content is structured. Let's see an example inside the Sample Project itself.
The Details panel shows us that our Coffee processing techniques content item is based on the Article content type.
- From the app menu, choose Content models.
- Click the Article content type to open it.
How content is structured in Kentico Cloud
Content item is any piece of content in your project. It is made up of content elements, such as texts, images, files, etc.
Each content item is based on a single Content type. A content type is a template that defines the structure of the content item – which content elements it contains, their names, restrictions, guidelines, and so on.
You can mix and match the available content elements to define your own content types.
You can deploy the application to Azure or another hosting service:
- Deploy to Azure using Visual Studio tutorial
Tip: Auto-deployed sample application
After you have signed up for Kentico Cloud, we have already deployed the sample application for you. You can access it from the Quickstart screen inside Kentico Cloud (make sure you have your Sample Project selected).
Kentico Cloud makes no assumptions about how your content is displayed. It simply delivers it via a RESTful Delivery API to any application that asks for it – be it a website, mobile app, chatbot, electronic billboard, virtual voice assistant or an internet-enabled toaster.
We deliver the content, you do whatever you want with it – using the technology of your choice.
A traditional CMS would force you to put your content into neatly arranged boxes to fit inside a pre-defined template. The power of Kentico Cloud comes from not getting in your way. Content structure and content presentation are truly separated and you have the flexibility to define both according to the needs of your project.
- Ready to dive in? Build your own website from scratch. Take our tutorial on Building your first .NET Core app.
- Looking for inspiration? See what people are building with Kentico Cloud in our case studies and development blog.
- For more information about the user interface and the content creation process, visit our Help Center.