Kentico on Cloud

1-click AWS Deployment    1-click Azure Deployment   1-click Google Deployment


Kentico Cloud is a cloud-first headless CMS for digital agencies and their clients which allows you to manage all your content in one place, display that content on any channel using a REST API and personalize the customer experience. 

Our industry changes regularly, and rapidly. When Luminary was founded in 1999, the concept of a CMS alone was revolutionary! (We were even building our own in Classic ASP…) 

In a couple of short decades, we’ve seen several evolutions in the web content management system (WCMS) industry. In the beginning, eager technical agencies (such as Luminary) were experimenting with building their own in-house CMS platforms to perform basic content management. Then came a number of dedicated CMS vendors such as Kentico, WordPress, Sitecore and many, many others. As these products matured, the market leaders started to provide more complete digital marketing features such as e-commerce, email marketing, and more recently marketing automation and personalization. The market is now dominated by a smaller number of very mature (and very large) competing platforms that require significant IT infrastructure to host. 

These market leaders are now working hard on “what’s next”, and just like so many others in our industry, Kentico and its competitors are looking to the cloud. 

What a number of Kentico’s competitors have done to satisfy their TO THE CLOUD! ambitions, is simply pick up their existing CMS platform, and drop it in a cloud hosting provider (such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure). To be fair, Kentico actually did this too, way back in 2011 with Kentico+, and was the first CMS platform provider to be certified for Azure. This is perfectly fine to do, and something we do ourselves quite a bit, as we regularly host Kentico EMS with Microsoft Azure in the cloud! 

This is not Petr Palas’s vision for Kentico Cloud, however. This time, Kentico is aiming for a truly cloud-first platform, building inherently upon the advantages cloud-based services provide, including scalability, flexibility, redundancy, and speed to market. This requires a completely new architecture and paradigm shift, building on the learnings from the extremely successful Kentico EMS, but tackling the new challenges faced in this modern world of cloud-based digital marketing. As a Kentico MVP and through conversations with the product owners themselves at the 404 conference, I know that Kentico has huge plans for this product line. If its progress continues at the break-neck pace that its initial offerings suggest, then the next year or two will be very exciting in this space! 

Kentico Cloud currently consists of three separate but complementary products; Kentico Draft, Kentico Deliver, and Kentico Engage. 

Kentico Draft :

OK, so Kentico Draft has already been live for a while now (we’ve even used it in a couple of projects). Many of you might have caught on early however, that the domain used for Draft since its launch was! Draft was the first product in the Kentico Cloud family. 

Draft is a purely cloud-based content gathering and editing tool. Designed in part to solve the problem of websites being built and then waiting on content before they can be launched, Draft allows you to create content types, sitemaps and taxonomy, upload structured content and images, and manage workflows, all in parallel with your website being developed. Then when the site build is complete, the content can be quickly and easily imported into the site. Draft is already fully supported for import into Kentico CMS/EMS  

Kentico Deliver :

Deliver is a cloud-based, API-first or “Headless” CMS. Modern web applications are increasingly being built on a wide variety of platforms, from mobile apps, to front-end or JavaScript driven single page apps (SPAs). Kentico recognizes that developers are excited about new platforms such as ASP.NET MVC, .NET Core and NodeJS, or even having no “back-end” of a website at all, building the whole site in HTML, CSS and JavaScript and interfacing with a “Headless CMS” using JavaScript and REST APIs. 

Kentico is an all-in-one CMS, E-commerce and Online Marketing platform that drives business results for companies of all sizes both on-premise or in the cloud. It gives customers and partners powerful, comprehensive tools and customer-centric solutions to create stunning websites and manage customer experiences easily in a dynamic business environment. The Kentico Web Content Management Solution‘s rich selection of out-of-the-box web parts, easy customizations and open API, quickly gets websites up and running. When combined with the full set of integrated solutions, including Online Marketing, E-commerce, Intranet, Collaboration, Kentico fully optimizes the digital customer experience across multiple channels.

Kentico is the only all-in-one platform built entirely in-house, meaning you avoid the frustrations of dealing with disparate systems – so you’re up and running quicker. Providing the right customer experience has never been so simple.

What is a Headless CMS:

Traditional CMS platforms manage your content for you, but also generate and serve the pages themselves to the browser. Kentico CMS is an example of this, with its Portal Engine for template creation, in-context or on-page editing, Preview mode, device previews, and all the other great features you’ve come to love. 

A “Headless CMS” only manages the content for you, and leaves building the website and displaying that content completely up to you (or another connected system of course). Early competitors in the Headless CMS space include and Contently. 

Many CMS vendors would consider and promote themselves as competitors in the headless CMS space, such as WordPress via its REST API. It is technically possible to use several CMS platforms including Kentico CMS as a Headless CMS via a REST API, but this is not something for which they were primarily designed. While you lose the friendly editing features mentioned above, a Headless CMS can provide many additional benefits, such as: 

  • Creating your content once, then delivering it across multiple channels or platforms, such as websites, apps, smartwatches, IoT devices and third-party content aggregators 
  • Building your web front-end in your technology of choice 
  • Finalizing your content before your website has been built (this has a range of benefits beyond the scope of this article!) 

Kentico Deliver offers you all these benefits, along with a completely redesigned, user-centric interface. It does of course integrate perfectly with Draft for content you’ve already gathered there, or you could potentially pull your content from a range of other sources in the future. 

Kentico promises to produce Software Development Kits (SDKs) for popular delivery platforms, such as ASP.NET, PHP, and even iOS and Android (mobile apps) 


Kentico Engage 

Kentico Engage is a truly cloud-first Digital Marketing platform. 

Early competitors in this space could include HubSpotMarket, and Autopilot, yet many of these aren’t truly direct competitors, as they often try to provide a broader feature set, the way many existing CMS platforms do. 

At the most basic level, engage can be implemented in your site using a simple JavaScript snippet, very much like Google Analytics or any number of other marketing or analytics tools. This immediately allows Engage to start gathering information on your visitors, analyzing behaviors, and providing insights. Where analytics tools are used to identify trends, engage also seeks to give you insights into individual users, helping you analyze and hopefully predict behavior for certain customer segments or personas. 

The real power, however, is tapped by using Engages APIs in the development of your site, to leverage all that information you have gathered to drive dynamic personalization across any channel you are delivering your content on. 


Powers Combined 

While it’s great that any of the Kentico Cloud products can be used independently and integrated with pretty much any other platform out there, combining them together also presents a compelling option for a powerful, inexpensive, rapid, light-weight, cloud-based, omni-channel digital marketing platform (phew, that’s a lot of buzzwords!), all while keeping the choice of publishing platform and additional tools in your hands. 


Headless or Not:

Straight up, I will say that this is a new product set from Kentico. It is not going to replace Kentico CMS and EMS. It is very much a targeted, market-driven response to an emerging trend that will continue to grow. However, the need for an extremely powerful, mature, full-featured, on-premise, all-in-one system such as Kentico EMS is not going anywhere! 

So, when should you consider “going headless” with Kentico Cloud? 

A few questions that might help guide your strategy: 

  • Do you have multiple delivery channels (such as website plus mobile app) for your centralized content? 
  • Are you already reliant on one or more existing systems (such as mailing lists, forms, or e-commerce) that you wish to continue using? 
  • Do you have a strong preference for a presentation technology which does not provide content management? 
  • Do you have a need to quickly deploy a stand-alone campaign, range or product site? 

If you answer yes to any of the above, then Kentico Cloud could be worth considering. 

  • Do you require your marketers or content editors to create their own pages with a certain level of flexibility? 
  • Do you need an all-in-one solution that provides content management, marketing automation, e-commerce, or other connected digital features? 

If you answered yes to either of these, then perhaps a full-featured, enterprise-ready platform such as Kentico EMS is a better fit. 

Kentico Cloud is not a new version of Kentico EMS – it’s something very different. The market for feature-rich, enterprise-ready online marketing platforms such as Kentico EMS is not replaced by Kentico Cloud, only complemented. Kentico and its partners will continue to focus on implementing Kentico CMS and EMS for many years to come! 

Kentico Cloud is an exciting foray by Kentico into the brave new world of cloud-first digital marketing. It positions Kentico, and its partners such as us, very well to tackle the new challenges and project types that a changing digital landscape presents us, from microservices and “API everywhere” movements, to changes in consumer technology such as wearables, VR and the Internet of Things. Yet in the short term, it may also present a modern, lightweight, rapid solution for your next digital project. 

Installing Kentico – custom installation:

The following procedure describes the installation of Kentico in the most basic scenario for development purposes. You need to have an IIS server installed along with access to an SQL server.

  1. Click Next on the welcome screen of the installer.
  2. Select your country. The installer automatically tries to pre-select the appropriate country based on your system’s locale.
  3. Agree to the license terms.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Click Custom installation                                                 
  6. Custom installation
  7. Check if the installation location for program files suits you (these are only the setup files, not the web project).
    • When should I install only program files?

    Choosing program files installation location

  8. Click Next.
  9. Check if the installation location for your web project suits you (the default path is C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Kentico11).
  10. Selecting installation type
  11. Choose your installation type configuration. We recommend the default options:
    • Local IIS/IIS Express – installs the web project into the local Internet Information Services server. If you do not have IIS installed, the tool automatically installs the simplified version, IIS Express.
      • If you have an existing IIS installation on the machine, it must contain at least one Website (you can select the target Website in the installer). The selected website must have at least one Site Binding of the http type, otherwise an error will occur during the installation.
    • .NET Framework 4.6 – uses the .NET Framework version 4.6 installed on your machine. If you do not have it installed, the Installer will install it automatically.
    • Web site project – installs the web site project type.
      • You can read about the differences between the two project types in Web Application Projects versus Web Site Projects on MSDN.
      • To install a Microsoft Azure project, you need to select the Built-in web server in Visual Studio option.
  12. Click Next.
  13. Check I have access to the SQL server.
    • What if I do not install the database with my web project?
  14. Select your SQL server from the list.
  15. Choose an authentication option for your SQL server.
    • The most common is an SQL Server account, in which case fill in the user name and password.

    If you choose the Integrated Windows authentication option:

    Make sure that the login of the user you are authenticated as already exists in the SQL server database and has correct schema configured (recommended schema is dbo).

  16. Click Establish connection.
  17. Type the name of a new database for your web project
  18. .Setting up the database installation
  19. Click Next.
  20. Leave the default configuration of components (all components included) and click Next.
    • What are performance counters for Health Monitoring
    • What are Windows services for Scheduler and Health Monitoring

    Selecting installation components

  21. Choose a site:
    • Dancing Goat – a showcase of some of the Kentico Integrated Marketing Solution functionality and modern, responsive web design built within Kentico.
    • E-commerce Site – a model of the Kentico e-commerce solution.
    • Corporate Site – a showcase of most of Kentico’s capabilities.
    • Blank Site – to begin the development of a new website from scratch.
    • MVC Blank Site – a blank template used for sites that use an MVC application for their presentation. The site is only intended to be a repository for content displayed by an external MVC application. The content itself is managed by content editors.


    License limitations for sample sites

    Some of the sample sites use features that are only available in specific Kentico license editions. If you use a license edition lower than Kentico EMS, you may encounter problems when working with certain features (Content Personalization, for example). The initial trial license is equivalent to an EMS license.

    Selecting sample sites to import with the installation

  22. Click Next.
  23. Decide whether to enable the Kentico improvement program for the installed instance (via the Send anonymous usage records to Kentico checkbox)
  24. .Opting in for the Kentico improvement program
  25. Click Install.

After the installation is successfully finished, Kentico automatically opens in the default browser.

Default sign in credentials

The default user name to a newly installed web project is administrator, the default password is blank (no password).

It’s highly recommended that you change the password after you finish the installation.

Deploying Kentico to a live server:


Installing Kentico on a remote server

To install Kentico on a remote server:

  1. Run the Kentico Installer on your local development computer.
  2. Click Next on the welcome screen.
  3. Select your country from the drop-down list and agree to our license terms.
  4. Click Next and select the Custom installation option.
  5. Switch to the Installation type tab.
  6. Select Prepare for installation on a remote server.
  7. Choose a folder for the project files (for example, C:\Temp\Kentico).
  8. Select the .NET Framework version of the remote server.Remote server deployment
  9. Click Install.
    • The Installer copies the project files to the specified folder.
  10. Copy the web project files from your local folder (C:\Temp\Kentico) to the root of the website using FTP.
    • If you want to use a sub-folder, create a new virtual directory.

Kentico is now installed on your remote server. Continue to the next section to deploy a website to the server.


Deploying a website to a live server

After you have installed Kentico on a live server, you can import an already developed website:

  1. Open the Sites application on your local development computer and click Export site () next to the site that you want to deploy.
  2. Enter the name of the export package and go through the site export wizard.
    • The system saves the export package into the <web project>\CMS\CMSSiteUtils\Export folder.
  3. Copy the exported package into the <web project>\CMS\CMSSiteUtils\Import folder on the live server.
  4. Open a web browser and navigate to the /default.aspx page of your live server.
    • The Database Setup wizard starts up.
  5. Go through the wizard and create a new Kentico database on your live server.
    • At the end of the process, you may be asked to update your web.config file manually – please follow the instructions on the screen.
  6. At the end of the Database Setup Wizard, choose to import your existing Kentico website (from the previously exported package).

The system imports the existing website.

After you have imported the website, you may need to adjust its configuration:

  1. Open the Sites application. Edit the website and make sure the website domain and domain aliases are configured correctly for the production domains.
  2. Open the Settings application and make sure your site settings contain correct values, especially the SMTP server value in the System -> E-mails section.
  3. Open the Sites application. Click Open live site () next to your new site and make sure the website is displayed correctly.

Kentico makes it easy for you. No sales talk! No pressure! No complications! Just an individual demo based on your needs and questions. Experience Kentico in action.

Cognosys provides hardened images of Kentico on all public cloud ( AWS marketplace, Azure and Google Cloud Platform).

Deploy your Kentico Web Content securely on cloud i.e. AWS marketplace, Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with Reliable Services offered by Cognosys at one-click with easy installation instructions provided.

Secured Kentico on Windows 2012 R2

Kentico on Cloud AWS – Windows

Kentico on Cloud Azure- Windows



Major Features of Kentico:

Web Content Management

  • ASP.NET MVC Support
  • Booking System
  • Categories
  • Content Locking
  • Content Rating
  • Content-design Separation
  • Custom Pages
  • Custom Tables
  • Document Management

Online Marketing

  • A/B Testing
  • Banner Management
  • Contact Management
  • Content Personalization
  • Connector
  • Email Marketing

Online Communities

  • Abuse Reporting
  • Avatars
  • Bad Words
  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Friends

Intranet and Collaboration

  • Departmental Sites
  • Workgroups
  • SharePoint CMS Integration


  • Authentication
  • Bing Maps
  • Cloud Support – Azure, Amazon
  • Continuous Integration
  • Customizable Roles


Installation Instructions For Windows

Note : 1. Please use “kentico” in the place of “stack_name

      2. How to find PublicDNS in AWS

Step 1) RDP  Connection: To connect to the deployed instance, Please follow Instructions to Connect to Windows  instance on AWS Cloud

1) Connect to virtual machine using following RDP credentials :

  • Hostname: PublicDNS  / IP of machine
  • Port : 3389

Username: To connect to the operating system, use RDP and the username is Administrator.
Password : Please Click here  to know how to  get password .

Step 2) Database Login Details:

  • SQL Username: sa
  • SQL Password : Passw@rd123

Step 3) Application URL: Access the application via a browser at http://PublicDNS/kentico

  • User Name: ec2-user
  • Password: Passw@rd123

Step 4) Steps to access the  Admin Panel:

  • To login to Kentico Administrative Panel, you need
    to open your browser and navigate to http://PublicDNS/Kentico/admin
  • Enter username and password in the given fields and click on the“Login”button to access the Admin Panel.
  • After successful login to the Admin Panel, you will get access to Kentico Application.

Step 5) Other Information:

1.Default installation path: will be in your web root folder “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\kentico
2.Default ports:

  • Windows Machines:  RDP Port – 3389
  • Http: 80
  • Https: 443
  • Sql or ports: By default, these are not open on Public Endpoints. Internally Sql server: 1433.

Configure custom inbound and outbound rules using this link

AWS Step By StepScreenshots

























Installation Instructions for Windows

Note : How to find PublicDNS in Azure

Step 1) RDP Connection: To connect to the operating system,

Connect to the virtual machine using following RDP credentials:

  • Hostname: PublicDNS  / IP of machine
  • Port : 3389

Username: Your chosen username when you created the machine ( For example:  Azureuser)
Password : Your Chosen Password when you created the machine ( How to reset the password if you do not remember)

Step 2 )Database Login Details:

  • SQL Username: sa
  • SQL Password: Passw@rd123

Note: For Stack Database SQL DB kentico with user kentico and password Passw@rd123 has already been created.Please use this SQL database for you Stack Configuration.

Step 3) Application URL: Access the application via a browser at  http://PublicDNS/kentico/admin

  • User Name: azureuser
  • Password: Passw@rd123

Step 4)  Other Information:

1.Default installation path: will be in your web root folder “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Kentico
2.Default ports:

  • Windows Machines:  RDP Port – 3389
  • Http: 80
  • Https: 443
  • Sql ports: By default, these are not open on Public Endpoints. Internally Sql server: 1433.

Configure custom inbound and outbound rules using this link

Azure Step by Step Screenshots





















Step 1) RDP Connection: To connect to the deployed instance, Please follow Instructions to Connect to Windows instance on Google Cloud

Step 2 )Database Login Details:

  • SQL Username: sa
  • SQL Password: Passw@rd123

Step 3) Application URL: Access the application via a browser at  http://PublicDNS/kentico/admin

Step 4)  Other Information:

1.Default installation path: will be in your web root folder “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Kentico
2.Default ports:

  • Windows Machines:  RDP Port – 3389
  • Http: 80
  • Https: 443
  • Sql ports: By default, these are not open on Public Endpoints. Internally Sql server: 1433.

Configure custom inbound and outbound rules using this link


Secured Kentico on Windows 2012 R2


Final Preview

Project Success


Kentico on Cloud

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