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Brian McKeiver's personal blog. This blog is mostly dedicated to Kentico CMS and ASP.NET development.

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    In another special episode of Kentico Rocks, Bryan Soltis and Brian McKeiver discuss what their trip across the pond was like as they attended this year's European version of the Kentico Connection conference in Prague. In case you did not hear, all four Kentico MVPs made the journey to converge on the capitol city of the Czech Republic. As a group we discuss some of the highlights of the two day event including some of our favorite moments. Kentico even had a special surprise in store for all of the event attendees that was quite a blast. Give this episode a listen to find out exactly what happened. 


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    Yep, you read it right. I am officially opening a new contest. I am giving away a FREE ticket to the upcoming Kentico Connections 2014 conference in Boston, MA on November 10th and 11th, 2014.


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    Any seasoned ASP.Net developer knows that building your project(s) before starting a debugging session is an important step to take to ensure that there are no silly coding mistakes lurking around. Most seasoned Kentico developers know that performing a full build on a Kentico web site project can be time consuming if there is not a Solid State Drive in use on the computer running Visual Studio.

    I myself have experienced this issue many times over, and a long time ago I finally decided to see what options there are out there for speeding up the process. During my recent journey to Kentico Connection Prague, a few of the other Kentico MVPs reminded me that I had never put out a blog post about a simple trick that you can take to speed up your debugging session in Kentico. Today I am going to illustrate one method that might just save you and other Kentico developers out there some time.


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  • 10/27/14--19:03: And The Winner Is...
  • Better late than never right? I had originally planned on announcing the winner of my Win a Free Ticket to Kentico Connection 2014 Boston contest at 1:00 PM EST today. That obviously didn’t happen. So let's get right down to business tonight. Drum roll please....

    Congratulations to @bkehren!

    Bkehren was selected at random from the different entries that the contest received. 


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    On November 10th and 11th, just a few short days away, Kentico Developers, Partners, Employees and Customers will be meeting up in Boston, MA for the 2014 version of Kentico Connection. I am attending and speaking again at the best, most informative Kentico CMS conference of the year. 

    As always I am truly looking forward to the event. It is going to be a great opportunity to meet and network with other Kentico Developers and Partners, especially Brenden Kehren who won a free a ticket to the conference from my own give away. However, this conference is going to be jammed packed for me. I am pulling triple duty. I will be giving two sessions and taking part in a new event this year, a live CMS-Connected show.


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    Another year and another successful Kentico Connection conference has just finished. Just like last year, the US version of the conference was hosted in Boston. In 2014 there were new sessions, new people to meet, and plenty of things to learn. As usual I had a great time at the conference. I really enjoy meeting with the other great Kentico partners around the country and seeing how they are using Kentico to create successful solutions. Today I thought I would share a few things I learned during the conference and give my impressions on the two day event. Keep reading to find out the top 5 things I learned at the conference.

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    It's hard to believe that I am sitting here, on Christmas day, the temperature outside is above freezing, and there is no snow on the ground. A green Christmas just really isn't the same as a white one I guess. However, now that all the presents are open, stockings unhung, and my girls are happily playing with their new toys, I have some rare free time to reflect on what happened this year. 
     
    It is only fitting to start with the biggest news of the year and that would be the release of Kentico 8.0. This year's major point release was a huge success. The newly redesigned user interface and reduced footprint made developers and marketers quite happy. The product has never been easier to use. Not stopping with just a single release in the year Kentico also pushed out a minor point update to 8.1. This update included a few performance upgrades and a small set of new functionality. As a result Kentico 8.0 and Kentico 8.1 topics dominated the developer community blogs, podcasts, and questions on DevNet.

    2014 turned out to be another great year for many more reasons too. Keep reading to find out what else happened and which posts made it to my Top 10 Kentico related posts of 2014.

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    As you probably know the release of Kentico 8.2 is right around the corner. During my initial testing of this minor point release, a few of the new online marketing features have piqued my interest. The change to Email Campaigns from Newsletters is pretty nice, the online marketing performance improvements are welcome, and the ability to import Contacts from a file rounds out what's new in this area of Kentico. The ability to import contacts from a CSV file is nothing earthshaking, however, I was pretty curious to see how it was implemented in 8.2 so I decided to put it through its paces.


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    If you are a long time user of Kentico or a Kentico developer who maintains sites that utilize Kentico EMS, this tip is for you. So stop what you are doing, go grab a cup of coffee (or something stronger) and continue reading to see how you can keep your online marketing solution running in top notch form. I should also mention that you won't need to change a single line of code to do so. Yes that's right, not a single line.

    I am going to start with a question though. Have you ever heard the saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? If you have, then this post should make a ton of sense. If you have not, then maybe I can teach you something today.


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    GR DevDay is a one-day software development conference in Grand Rapids, MI. This year the conference is scheduled for March 21st, 2015 and is being hosted at Calvin College. The conference is completely volunteer-run and organized by developers with other developers in mind. It is definitely one of the most prominent software conferences in the state of Michigan. A wide range of technology topics will be explored and developers of all backgrounds are welcome.

    This year I have the honor of being chosen as one of the speakers. I am going to give a talk on how developers have new tools in their tool belts to facilitate advanced Marketing Automation capabilities. If you attend my session you can expect to learn, from a developer's point of view, how you can utilize and extend your CMS to turn it into an automated ROI machine. 


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    In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Bryan Soltis and I talk about some changes that have happened in the first few months of 2015. Listen to this episode to find out what has changed in one Kentico MVP's world, a quick explanation of why we missed last month's scheduled recording, and what else is on our minds in February of 2015.

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    Do you want to know what my favorite web part of all time, in the entire galaxy, across any version of Kentico is? The title of this blog post may have given it away to the astute Kentico developer, but you might be surprised at how one of the oldest and simplest of web parts is still super useful to this day. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, in my opinion, the champion of all Kentico web parts is...

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    Code PaLOUsa is a multi-day software development conference, April 27th - 30th 2015, designed to cover all aspects of software development regardless of technology stack. The conference schedule features presentations from well-known professionals in the software development community. The list of aspects that the conference covers is very impressive, SQL Server, Agile, Angular, ASP.NET are just a few of the topics that are on the list.

    This year Kentico and BizStream are supporting the event as platinum sponsors. We will be present at booth number 502. If you are attending come say "Hi!". Also as a part of that sponsorship, I am proud to announce that two of those well-known professionals will be myself and Bryan Soltis, Kentico's Technical Evangelist. We will be co-presenting during the conference.

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    One thing that I have learned over the years is that large web site implementation projects require good team development methodologies. Object versioning in Kentico allows for groups of developers to make sure they don't step on each other's toes. It's actually one of the Kentico best practices for team development that I have spoken on before. There is, however, one little problem that checked-out objects such as page templates or css stylesheets can cause when it comes to deployment time and it has to do with content staging. In this post I am going to show you how to avoid this pitfall and hopefully save your development team some heartache. 

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    The sun is out, winter coats are disappearing, the BizStream barbecue grill is starting to be used at lunch time, ants are trying to invade our office, and baseball is back. This must mean that spring is in the air. It’s the time of year where getting some seasonal chores completed and setting up for summer is the norm.

    As I was reflecting on the nice weather today on my commute home, I thought why not also use this time as reminder for all you Kentico developers and even Kentico marketers out there to do a little preventative maintenance on your CMS. It is easy to let small things like the items on this list slip by the cracks. Now would be a good time to address them especially if your Kentico site has been up and running for some time now. Without further ado, I have 11 tips that will keep your Kentico site in tip-top shape for 2015.


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    This is the second part of the blog post series that wraps up spring cleaning checkup. If you did not read the first post of the series, please be sure to read part 1 of 11 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Kentico Website.

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    In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Bryan Soltis and I talk about our experience at the recent developer conference, Code PaLOUsa 2015. After that we move on to how to sharpen your Kentico API skills, and we finish with what the future of ASP.NET vNext holds for .Net developers and the Kentico community. You can listen to whole podcast after the jump.


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    It's common knowledge that when using a website most website visitors prefer using an on-site search component as opposed to an overbearing navigation menu. Searching is believed to be the primary way to provide visitors with exactly the content that they are looking for. If implemented correctly, an internal site search can provide a nice boost to the overall user experience a site visitor. If implemented poorly, it can also quickly increase the bounce rate of the initial landing page.

    In this blog post series I am going to show you, in only a matter of minutes, how to create a better search experience than what the out of the box configuration provides. The impressive part of this solution is that it also utilizes additional out of the box functionality that I feel most Kentico users and developers are not aware of.


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    It's common knowledge that when using a website most website visitors prefer using an on-site search component as opposed to an overbearing navigation menu. Searching is believed to be the primary way to provide visitors with exactly the content that they are looking for. If implemented correctly, an internal site search can provide a nice boost to the overall user experience a site visitor. If implemented poorly, it can also quickly increase the bounce rate of the initial landing page.

    This is the second part of How to Improve Your Kentico Site Search Experience in Only a Matter of Minutes. Please be sure to read part 1 first before reading this post. The second part of this blog post series focuses on explaining how to create the solution.


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    It's common knowledge that when using a website most website visitors prefer using an on-site search component as opposed to an overbearing navigation menu. Searching is believed to be the primary way to provide visitors with exactly the content that they are looking for. If implemented correctly, an internal site search can provide a nice boost to the overall user experience a site visitor. If implemented poorly, it can also quickly increase the bounce rate of the initial landing page.

    This is part 3 of How to Improve Your Kentico Site Search Experience in Only a Matter of Minutes. Please be sure to read part 1 and part 2 first before reading this post. The third part of this blog post series illustrates other Smart search filter options and real world examples.


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