• About the Orchard Project

    Orchard is a free, open source, community-focused Content Management System built on the ASP.NET MVC platform.

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Recent Posts and Articles

  • Orchard 1.3 Features - Markdown

    The Orchard Developer Team released Orchard 1.3 yesterday. You can download Orchard 1.3 from CodePlex and soon you will be able to download Orchard 1.3 via the WebMatrix Web Gallery. Orchard 1.3 has a number of really cool features for Orchard Developers and Orchard Website Owners. One feature I would like to discuss is the new Markdown support in Orchard 1.3 for Content Authoring, such as creating Orchard Website Pages and Orchard Blog Posts. Markdown support in Orchard 1.3 is supported out-of-the-box, but you will need to enable the Markdown Feature and modify a few settings to get it working when authoring Pages and Blog Posts. In this Orchard Tutorial, I will help you get started into the wonderful world of Markdown in Orchard!
  • Custom Orchard Themes - Converting Existing Web Designs and HTML Templates

    I convert a lot of HTML and CSS Templates to custom Orchard Themes for clients. These web templates are either created by their web designer, purchased from a website selling HTML and CSS Templates, or already exist on their current website that they want me to convert to Orchard CMS. As you might expect, these HTML, CSS, and JavaScript templates are built without any knowledge of Orchard, handmade and not expected to be converted to a CMS Theme, rarely optimized for a production website, and are usually HTML 4 instead of the HTML5 expected by Orchard. Converting these web templates to Orchard Themes is not only about getting these templates to play nicely with Orchard, but optimized for SEO, website performance, and other areas important to the health and welfare of the website and client's business. Here are some observations I've picked up while converting various HTML and Web Templates to Orchard Themes.
  • Orchard Website Performance Settings

    Orchard CMS includes a Warmup Module that dramatically helps those websites on shared hosting respond to website requests quicker at times when the website has been "put to sleep" due to inactivity or periodic application pool recycling. Most new Orchard Websites that are either on inexpensive shared hosting prone to application pool recycling or receive very little incoming traffic will want to enable the performance settings for the Orchard Warmup Module. By enabling these Orchard Performance Settings, Orchard will respond quicker to incoming requests by serving static snapshots of your website content while the CMS has time to start. Once started, Orchard will begin serving the normal dynamic content. Let's discuss a quick tip on the correct way to configure the Orchard Website Performance Settings.
  • Search Engine Optimization and Orchard CMS - Semantic Web

    The whole point of your website is to show off your product and services and gain new clients, but without the proper search engine optimization ( SEO ) those potential clients will never visit. I'll make sure this doesn't happen. Search engine optimization is included in every Orchard Website. In addition to developing Orchard Websites that can be properly indexed by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, I also have several custom Orchard Modules that offer additional features and functionality to help with SEO. This way your small business website will get both the best content management system and the proper search engine optimization to publish and market your products and services.
  • Orchard CMS and SQL Server CE - Free Website Database

    One of the huge benefits of the Orchard Websites I build is that they run on the free, Microsoft SQL Server CE Database. In fact, not only is SQL Server CE free for small businesses to deploy for their websites, but Orchard takes care of creating and managing the database for you. It just works. You don't have to know or understand SQL Server and T-SQL and you don't need to pay an IT Professional to manage or monitor your database. And, if and when the time comes that you want to backup and migrate SQL Server CE to a more advanced solution like SQL Server Express or SQL Server 2008 R2, there are tools that help me do that to make it affordable, easy, and painless. Let's discuss this in a bit more detail.
  • So What's New in Orchard 1.3?

    Orchard 1.3 was released yesterday night with some really neat features that I will outline in this post. I will come back in depth on some of those with full-length posts. Let's start with the simple but super-useful ones...
  • Orchard 1.3 Released

    We're very excited about the release of Orchard 1.3 today. We have already upgraded a client website from Orchard 1.2.41 to Orchard 1.3.9 this morning and everything looks great. Lots of bug fixes and improvements in Orchard 1.3, including: Content Item Preview, Forms API, and Tokens to name a few. Orchard Web Developers will particularly enjoy the ability to delete content types and parts as well as the Task Lease API; rules to trigger custom actions based on particular events; localization of data annotations, widgets, and alternates; etc.

  • Orchard Navigation Admin Menu and LocalNav

    This is another quick Orchard CMS Tip. The other day while building a custom Orchard Module for a client I wanted a tabbed navigational interface in the administrative dashboard. If you're an Orchard Web Developer, you have seen the tabs when choosing Content, Modules, or Themes from the dashboard's administrative menu. The tabs, which are referred to as Local Navigation items, provide a nice UI in the dashboard that allows one to easily switch between groups of related items. In this quick Orchard Tutorial, I will show you how to create those tabs in your custom Orchard Modules during the navigation building process.

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