Frequently Asked Questions

We know you probably have some questions, so we aimed to answer them below.

If your question isn't answered, please contact us so that we can answer it and add it to this page.

Basic Questions

The following questions relate to the basics of Portal CMS with a nice mix of jargon busting.

What is Portal CMS?

What exactly is Portal CMS?

Portal CMS is the source code for a website with a lot of features written in a reusable way.

A non technical person could deploy the code to a server and immediately build a website without writing any code.

A developer could extend the code to write their own functionality on top of Portal CMS if they wanted too.

Should I use Portal CMS?

There are lots of options in the Open Source Content Management System market. We think the following things set Portal CMS apart from the competition, and are why you should choose it.

  • Written in .NET so .NET Developers can easily pick it up and change it to their own requirements.

  • Includes a high quality Page Builder, something you don't get in other CMS. Even industry leading Page Builders don't support mobile editing like we do (See Wix).

  • Its not just a CMS for today, it is easily extended for tomorrow, but saves a lot of time, expertise and effort because we did all the architecture and plumbing.

  • The speed at which you can build a website that is completely content managed is incredible.

Terminology

What is a CMS?

CMS is an abbreviation for "Content Management System". A CMS is different to standard websites because they allow you to login via a web browser and change the website, with Portal CMS you can even change the web pages themselves.

Common features of CMS platforms include blogging, analytics and copy management.

What is Open Source?

We decided to use a good explanation from another site to answer this question for you.

"The term is used for denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified."

We host Portal CMS using the MIT License, you can learn more about that here...

Simple English: MIT License.

Technical Information

This section of the FAQ focuses on the technical aspects of Portal CMS including answers about hosting.

Tech Specs

What technology is Portal CMS built in?

Portal CMS is predominantly a C# MVC Website using .NET 4.6.1.

We use Entity Framework for storing data in SQL Server.

Other technologies used include: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery and Bootstrap.

What are the minimum requirements?

In order to run Portal CMS and debug code you need Visual Studio 2015 (Community Edition works fine) and a SQL Server Instance to connect with (SQL Server Express is fine).

In order to run Portal CMS on a Web Server, the Web Server must be running Windows and IIS 7 or later. You must also have a SQL Server instance available to connect with.

Does Portal CMS require SQL Server?

Yes.

Portal CMS uses Entity Framework to query and store the content generated by the website in the database.

Learn more about Entity Framework.

Hosting

Where can I host Portal CMS?

You can host Portal CMS on any hosting company who can provide you with a Windows Server based hosting. Such websites include GoDaddy, HostingUK in addition to cloud services providers like Microsoft Azure.

Can I host Portal CMS in the cloud?

Yes.

It is really easy to host Portal CMS on Microsoft Azure. All you need to requisition is an App Service and a SQL Database.

You can then use Continuous Deployment to build your website from a supported repository.

We host this website on Azure (Cost: £4 SQL + £30 App Service) and continously deploy it from our GitHub Repository.

Will Portal CMS work on Linux?

Not at the moment.

Because Portal CMS is built in .NET 4.6.1 you cannot currently host it on Linux. We may in future look to support a technology called .NET Core which will allow Portal CMS to be hosted on Linux, but we aren't sure yet.

Do you provide hosting plans?

No we aren't a hosting provider. We just provide the source code to make a really great website.

If you are unsure where to host your website, you could look at GoDaddy if you are used to traditional hosting, or Microsoft Azure if you are more comfortable with cloud platforms.

Getting Started

This section of the FAQ aims to answer your questions related to getting started with Portal CMS for the first time.

Download Portal CMS

How can I download Portal CMS?

You can download Portal CMS from our GitHub Repository. We keep all stable releases in addition to our development version. We recommend you use the latest stable release for production websites.

Open GitHub Repository.

How do I follow Portal CMS progress?

You can follow our progress on our GitHub Repository too. All of the features we are adding to Portal CMS are in our Issues List so you can look ahead at what is coming next.

We will soon be releasing a mailing list so you can be alerted to any new versions we make available.

How do I update Portal CMS?

It is our intention that all releases are "non breaking changes", this means that you will be able to update to new versions without experiencing any problems when you run the website.

All future releases will be made available on our GitHub releases page, so keep an eye out for when one becomes available.

To upgrade an existing site, you would need to download the latest source code and replace the source code you have right now. Because Portal CMS handles setup automatically. It will sort out any changes for you when you run it.

Setup Portal CMS

How do I run Portal CMS on my PC?

If you want to run Portal CMS on your local machine, you need Visual Studio 2015 and a variant of SQL Server.

When you download the Source Code you can open the solution in Visual Studio like any other project. You can then run it and change it as you wish.

The only change you need to make to the source code is to update the Web.Config to point Portal CMS at your database.

How do I host Portal CMS online?

This depends on the hosting company you select.

Most hosting companies will provide you with instructions for getting your website uploaded.

Most often this will be via FTP, you can simply FTP the compiled source code to your server.

Do you have a setup guide?

Yes.

We wrote a short guide with all the steps involved in setting up Portal CMS on our GitHub Wiki.

Read the Guide

How quick is Portal CMS to setup?

It depends on your experience in using your selected hosting provider.

We can setup Portal CMS on Microsoft Azure in 10 minutes, you simply requisition an App Service and SQL Database and setup continous deployment to build the code to your website.

Any Questions?

If you have any comments or questions about Portal CMS, please get in touch with us below. We aim to respond promptly. If you ask us a question that is not in our FAQ, we will answer it and add it to our list.