Random thoughts of wisdom - the personal blog of Michael Holm Andersen

Composite C1 - THE best open source .NET CMS?

I’m in the process of making a small website for a customer and after KimJ have recommended Composite C1 several times, I figured it was time to give it a go!

Composite C1 was originally a commercial CMS (develop by Danes), however this changed September 2010 where it became free and open source, offered under the Mozilla Public License. Composite C1 have a lot going for it – I’ve been playing around with the example sites for a few days, and already I can conclude:

  • The “backend” is really nice and fast.
  • Composite C1 is well-structured.
  • The documentation is WAY better than most other .NET CMS systems (yes, Umbraco – I’m looking at you!!)
  • When used together with Visual Studio is rocks! - Code files, configurations and styling are all on disk aka. you get full Intellisense, full debug support, etc.
  • .. and best of all: no “DynamicNode” or similar stuff (which typically means no intellisense, bad syntax highlighting, weird errors and warnings! - which is often the case with e.g. Umbraco and embedded macro scripts).

2014-09-29 15_45_36-C1_ localhost.opencphmp - Opera
A screenshot of the Composite C1 user interface.

Apart from Composite C1 there are a number of other open source CMS systems based on the .NET platform – you might take a look at these:

  • DNN – formerly called “DotNetNuke”, is the most well known and popular .NET CMS with more than 750.000 sites worldwide. It's very stable and there's a huge amount of add-ons and a large community. Grap the bits from CodePlex if you want to check it out!
  • Umbraco – like Composite C1 this CMS is also from Denmark and power more than 250.000 sites worldwide (e.g. the site is using Umbraco).The CMS can be installed either using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer or from
  • Orchard – the Orchard CMS is community developed, but backed by full-time developers from Microsoft. The iead behind Orchard is to create a repository of ASP.NET components that are versatile and reusable, which is also the reason why this CMS lacks some of the features  you'd expect in a more robust CMS.
  • mojoPortal – as defined on the website: “You can think of mojoPortal as a Starter Kit for Advanced ASP.NET Web Sites and Portals” – mojoPortal is a good standalone CMS or website framework which include blogs, photo galleries, chat, newsletters, pools, forums, and much more.

Other CMS systems worth mentioning are: Kentico - Sitefinity (from Telerik) – koobooprontoN2 CMS

I will be posting “follow-up” articles about C1 as the above mentioned website is being developed – so stay tuned…

Peger op Do you have any tips or advice about open source CMS systems for the .NET platform? Leave a comment and share your recommendations!

New theme and more content!

I finally found the time to upgrade my blog to the most current version of BlogEngine.NET

Old to New design

As you can see I also switched to a new design in the process - and I have decided to change a few things around here:

  • I will begin publishing a newsletter (signup form is coming very soon!) – I’m planning on twice a month, but time will tell… UPDATE: It’s now possible to sign-up!
  • I have “reactivated” my Twitter account (been a member since 2009 but never actually been using it much – this will change!)
  • I will write at least one blog post per week! (probably more!)
  • I have enabled the commets system once again (as the new version have better spam-comments capabilities),so feel free to write comments and I will respond to any questions etc.

The focus of the blog will not change much – I will still write about C#, ASP.NET, Web development tools and Windows utilities in general

Hope to see you all on the mailing list (just need to read up on the mailchimp stuff)

Enjoy! :-)

Awesome free book site!

Just talked to Kim (thank you so much for the link!) on Skype and he mentioned a very cool link:

The site (as seen below) contains tons of free e-books about programming and web technologies:

2014-09-12 10_27_20-IT eBooks - Free Download - Big Library

If you’re into C# – Be sure to check out this free book: Ultra-Fast ASP.NET 4.5, 2nd Edition and if you’re looking for C# – check out this one

Windows Phone development

As a .NET developer it’s kind of a “no-brainer” to start looking at Windows Phone development .. so that’s exactly what I’m doing! ;-)

I talked to one of my student (thanks, Casper Kønigsfeldt Christensen) about good ressources for beginning WP development and he suggested the following links:

Windows Phone 8.1 Development for Absolute Beginners:

Building Apps for Windows Phone 8.1:

MS Virtual Academy have some of the same videos:

Of course MSDN also includes information about WP development:

A good ressource regarding the actual design of WP app.:

And last .. a nice PDF which you can print and use to visualize your WP application before you start coding (aka prototyping):