Our team members have worked with Kentico tools since 2008. As an official Kentico Gold Partner, we've built over 100 web pages and carried out countless upgrades. If you are trying to figure out an upgrade strategy for your website, this quick guide might make it a little easier for you.
Unlike some popular free content management systems, new iterations of Kentico always came with a robust set of new widgets and features tailored for complex projects. Kentico 4, which premiered back in 2009, offered custom tables, notifications and message boards. Version 6 introduced A/B testing and personalization features. With Kentico 7 came marketing automation. Finally, Kentico 12 gave us Page Builder, Smart Forms and E-commerce Business API. No need for external plugins or additional tools is part of why content managers and web developers like ourselves enjoy working with Kentico so much.
The newest Kentico Xperience 13 Digital Experience Platform was released in late 2020, and with a bunch of more exciting new features came one substantial change. Transition to the future-proof .NET ASP Core MVC framework. So what does that mean for Portal Engine websites? We've covered this topic here, but just in case, we will break it down for you in the form of quick tips.
Here's some advice from our technical experts:
Version 9.X or older
End of technical support: 2018 (for Kentico 9)
The best solution for versions 9.X and older is to build the new site from scratch using Kentico Xperience 13. Why? Older versions of Kentico are running on Web Forms, which means we cannot upgrade it further than Kentico 12.X on Portal Engine. And that even means at least three separate upgrades since no tool allows us to migrate between a couple of versions at once. There are significant differences in the architecture of subsequent versions. The time and work effort needed to scrutinize it properly would make that upgrade strategy unprofitable. And there is the fact of Portal Engine support ending in 2023. So… the new website on Kentico 13 is the way to go.
End of technical support: 2020
When it comes to Kentico 10.X it's better to distinguish two separate cases. A. a relatively small pages without any custom code and B. big, customized websites. In case of “A” the most effective (and definitely more economical) solution might be two upgrades to version 12.X on Portal Engine. Due to the lower page count, the whole process should be comparatively easy and fast. It's a little more complicated with bigger, more complex, customized and content-rich websites. In some cases, a migration to MVC (link to LP) and 13.X version might be the best option.
End of technical support: 2021
Moving to Kentico 12.X on Portal Engine will require just one upgrade and provide your site additional two years of support. However, two years may seem like a long time, but don't forget that in 2023 support for Portal Engine websites will end indefinitely, and switching to MVC will be the only way to maintain a fully supported Kentico project.
End of technical support: 2022 for MVC, 2023 for Portal Engine
In this case the situation seems pretty straightforward. Kentico 12.x websites based on MVC can be upgraded to Kentico 13 after the end of technical support, which is scheduled for late 2022. In the case of 12.x websites built on Portal Engine, a change of architecture will be required soon.
Just remember: these are just general tips. We cannot provide the best solution without looking at your website first. It all depends on the level of customization and other variables. Of course, you can always contact us directly and ask for expertise.