In part 1 and part 2 of this series I explained first how to setup the Sitefinity CMS project files using Sitefinity’s Project Manager utility followed by a second post in which I described how to configure IIS in terms of the application pool, website and the permissions on the folder structure.

In this final post I’ll run you through the process of firing up Sitefinity CMS for the first time, connecting to Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and finally making sure that everything is working properly.

Progress Sitefinity Logo

Starting Up Sitefinity CMS for the First Time

Open a browser and type in the URL (domain name) that you entered as the Host value during the IIS website configuration. If you followed the steps carefully in the previous two posts you should be presented with the screen below. Click Microsoft SQL Server and click Continue.

Sitefinity CMS startup page

To configure the connection to Microsoft SQL Server 2016 complete the fields as follows:

  • Windows Authentication – select this option if you are planning on using windows authentication
  • Server – enter the name of your SQL Server (this varies depending on your server configuration)
  • Port – keep the default port, unless of coarse it has been changed to something different for security or other reasons
  • Username – enter the username that can access the database
  • Password – enter the password for the user name entered above
  • Database – enter the name of the database that you created for Sitefinity CMS

Click Continue to move to the next screen.

Sitefinity CMS startup configure database

At this point Sitefinity will begin the process of configuring your database by adding all the necessary elements like tables, views, etc. It might take a while depending on how powerful the IIS and SQL servers are and the connection speed between them.

Sitefinity CMS startup preparing database

Once the database has been set up you will be presented with the next screen which asks you to setup the initial Administrator account. Try to avoid using generic usernames like Host or Admin because these are fairly well know usernames and aren’t the most secure option. Instead use your own name or perhaps you have a naming convention like ‘name.surname’.

Sitefinity CMS startup register administrator

Once again you’ll have to wait another minute or two…

Sitefinity CMS startup setting up initial user

And finally you’re presented with what I regard as Sitefinity’s only real nasty ‘default’ page. The reason you’re seeing this page is because you haven’t yet created a page in the CMS administration area and configured it to be the home page.

Sitefinity CMS startup completed

Create the Home Page

The first time a Sitefinity CMS website runs it will present you with a message telling you that there are no pages created in Sitefinity CMS yet. In order to see even a very basic page you have to login to the backend, create a page and mark it as the home page.

Before I continue, if you browse to your site and see the image on the right, Sitefinity CMS is in the process of starting up, which involves initializing a number of elements of the system such as compiling, caching and so on.

Sitefinity CMS system initializing

Either click the Login to the Backend link you see above or simply add /Sitefinity to the back of the URL to get to the administration login screen.

Enter your credentials and click Login.

Sitefinity CMS login page

If you’ve successfully logged in you’ll be redirected to the Sitefinity CMS administration dashboard. Click the Pages tab in the top navigation.

Sitefinity CMS administration dashboard

Since you haven’t created any pages yet, the first time you visit the Pages page you’ll be presented with the view below. Click ‘Create a page’.

Sitefinity CMS first page

In the create a page view for simplicity sake simply enter ‘Home’ for the name of the page, keep the rest of the default values that you are presented with and click ‘Create and go to add content’.

You’ll notice that when you entered ‘Home’ as the name of the page Sitefinity CMS automatically created the URL for the page and also used it as the Title which is used for SEO purposes.

Sitefinity CMS create a page

In the page editor view, expand the Navigation panel on the right side of the screen. Drag the widget called Navigation into the content panel on the left side of the screen called Body. Click Publish when you have added the Navigation widget to the page.

Sitefinity CMS page editor adding navigation

Back on the Pages view you’ll now see the new home page that you’ve created. You can immediately view the page by clicking the view link in the page row as seen below. You’ll also notice that Sitefinity has automatically flagged this page as your home page depicted by the little ‘home and page’ icon in the status/page column.


Sitefinity CMS first page created

It’s nothing spectacular, but it demonstrates how easy it is to setup and configure Sitefinity CMS 9.2 on Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and IIS 10 and create your the first page.

Sitefinity CMS first page view

That’s it for this series. I’ll be covering more Sitefinity CMS topics in future blog posts.