• About the Orchard Project

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

    Learn more...

Recent Posts and Articles

  • Front-End Styling

    I’ve been a front-end developer for over a decade now and some of my favorite sites to style-up have been Orchard CMS sites. The reason for this is the out-of-the-box structure that comes with this Open Source CMS. There are varying types of skillsets needed in order to hammer out a successful Orchard site. In some cases, you may not be a CSS wiz, but the ease and variety of Orchard Themes gives you flexibility and some nicely packaged designs. On the other side of the fence, you’re a CSS prodigy and you can highly customize the default styles that come with your solution.

    After you put your feelers out there and start digging in, you will be customizing your Site.css file just like any other website you’re used to building. The setup of an Orchard site provides you with HTML and class names already cooked into the site. This essentially allows you to use the best CSS practices in order to completely style a website without adding any extra markup. Your CSS should truly cascade and target the varying zones and widgets around the site. However, it’s not uncommon to run into a site-wide zone that you might need to single-out on a particular page. In this instance, the new Orchard 1.4 lets you apply a class to a zone without having to add any markup to the code behind the scenes. So exceptions are still possible, it’s just now easier for a front-end developer to control this customization.

  • The Dynamic Page Pattern

    The Orchard content model is a beautiful thing: the concept of extensible content types, the ability to fine-tune every aspect of content management gives us a very powerful toolbox when it comes to handling any type of content.

    This engine can be leveraged even with "singleton" content types, where there will be only one content item ever. What's more, you don't need to persist anything: content items can be thrown together on the fly. Why this is awesome is shown us by the following pattern. Let's call it "dynamic page" pattern.

  • SQL Database Scripting Diff Tools That Work

    Recently I needed software for one very specific task: given two databases, calculate their (data and schema) differences and generate an appropriate change script. There are dozens of solution for this, but I tried many till I found two that satisfied the following criteria:

    • Work with SQL Server
    • Diff data and schema of the whole database (not just individual tables)
    • Either be free or have a reasonable price
  • Backing Up And Restoring SQL Server Databases On A Remote Server

    So you want to use a decent SQL Server database for your ASP.NET application (e.g. an Orchard site :-)), both when testing locally and in the hosting environment. Now how to backup or restore these databases, so you'll more or less see the same in either environment? I'm glad you asked.

  • Speeding Up Orchard (Or Really ASP.NET) Debugging

    Let me guess: you have some kick-ass high-end computer with twenty gigamegaflops of solid state quantum GPU, but debugging an Orchard instance is slow. Particularly starting debugging (and spinning up an Orchard instance) is slow and when opening a page that wasn't yet hit by the JIT compiler is also slow. Meanwhile your computer uses a fraction of its resources.

  • Module Name Class On The Html Tag

    Proper styling often takes up a big piece of development time, when we're hunting pixels for hours, so that even users looking at the website through a refrigerator's built-in console running some exotic fork of Windows CE can experience the same as an IE 6 user. Just kidding, it's worse than that. Anyway, there is a nice feature in Orchard that could help targeting elements of the layout: automatic classes on the html tag.

  • Video Series: Creating An Orchard Theme

    In this video I layout where I am going and the videos that it will take to get there. I hope to not get into the "weeds" of Orchard so much as show the relationships between objects and "welded" on parts as we go along.

  • Vote Is Open For One Seat On The Steering Committee

    Please meet the candidates and vote here: http://orchard.codeplex.com/discussions/361186

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