Episerver and it's versions
The first version of Episerver was released in 1997 by Elektropost Stockholm AB – maybe not the best CMS, but a lot have happened since then.
DevCore has experience with Episerver since version 5 and below we will list some new features with every CMS to see what have happened historically with the CMS.
Episerver CMS 5
Episerver CMS 5 was released in 2007 and is based on Microsoft's .net platform. It was for that time a simple and easy-to-use CMS, but lacked much of the functionality we see in modern CMS today.
Episerver CMS 5 is still implemented on a number of sites today, but should be upgraded to newer versions, partly because parts of the underlying editor interface do not support modern browsers.
Features Episerver CMS 5
- Composer (predecessor to Blocks).
- Started using Friendly URLs that was not previously available.
- Based on .Net 3.0
- Xforms was developed extensively from CMS 4 and now has expanded support for developers to manipulate both the appearance and the data sent.
- Web controls (used by developers to render pages) have been significantly updated compared to CMS 4.
- The CMS has been moved outside the web root (where it were in CMS 4), which is a clear advantage from a security point of view.
- New Report Center where you can see reports on published pages and broken links.
- Content channels for easier integration with other systems (such as SharePoint).
- New image editor that allows editors to manipulate images by, among other things, resizing and cropping images.
Episerver CMS 6
Episerver CMS 6 was released in March 2010 and began to be used by a large number of companies and municipalities. It was a modern CMS with many features and a lot of support for web editors. This is where Episerver first introduced On-Page editing (which is now standard) to edit pages, but more of the developer required it to work well. Episerver also introduced personalization of content where, as an editor, you could easily set how content would be displayed (e.g. via GEO positioning). They also introduced the "Dashboard" view, where you could add different gadgets to the Online Center to better get an overview of the page (e.g. via a Gadget that lists all pages that have been changed but have not been published).
Features Episerver CMS 6
- Support for personalization of content.
- On-page editing.
- The "Dashboard" view with the Online Center.
- Support for browsers other than Internet Explorer.
- New html editor, TinyMCE, which was significantly better than the one in older versions.
- Auto save of editor changes.
- Greater freedom for developers to develop features for edit mode.
- Support for GEO positioning.
- Live Monitor where you could see how visitors are moving on the page in real time.
Episerver CMS 7
Episerver CMS 7 was released in October 2012 and had a big change in the interface where Episerver chose to remake to relate to who their customer actually was – they found that the average user of Episerver was using the system one time every second week that’s why the interfaces for editors should be so easy that you as a customer are able to understand and remember how to do things even if you do not use Episerver that often. The new upgraded On-Page editing view made it much easier for an editor to work directly on the page and see results quickly.
Episerver also introduced Blocks, which was a huge development from old Composer which made it easier to create more dynamic pages without having to create page types that more or less were copies of each other with a few details that separated them.
Features Episerver CMS 7
- AddOnStore, where you could easily download new updates and modules.• Brand new interface that supports drag and drop (both files and pages), auto save of draft etc.
- Support for building pages in ASP.Net MVC.
- Support for rendering pages differently based on visiting the page via a cellular phone or a computer.
- Support for building page types and blocks via code instead of having to create them through admin mode.
- New way how Episerver links pages in edit mode, making it easier to send links to colleagues and / or developers to see exactly the page you were working with.
Episerver CMS 7.5 and beyond
Episerver CMS 7.5 was released in winter of 2013 and changed the release management, from releasing major changes to Episerver in batches, Episerver now began with something called continuous delivery, which means that changes and improvements are continuously released to better reflect market expectations for a modern CMS. The biggest change, however, was that they had completely rebuilt the file system, which made it easier for developers to work with files as well as editors to handle them.
It was also possible from CMS 7.5 to host their pages at Microsoft Azure. This was made possible when they rebuilt as that you did not need to install anything on the server where you had the Episerver page. In the previous version, you always had to have an Episerver-code installed under the C-disk when it was where the admin interface was located.
As they started with continuous delivery, they also began to change version numbers more often, so from now on, the step between CMS 8 and CMS 9 was significantly smaller than the step between, for example, CMS 6 and CMS 7.
With Episerver CMS 8, the new feature "Projects" was released, which allows an editor to create a lot of content (such as a campaign page with underpages) and be able to view this as if it were published to then be able to publish everything live when she or he is satisfied with the result .
With Episerver CMS 9, Episerver Form was released, which means a whole new way of working with forms, which has been requested for a long time when Xforms left much to be desired.
Features Episerver CMS 7.5 and beyond
- Brand new file manager, which is easier to work with for editors and developers.
- Episerver Forms.
- Faster and smoother edit mode.
- Easier for developers to create property types in addition to those built-in that are out-of-the-box, such as PropertyList.
- No installation required of EPiServer code on the server.
- Support for Microsoft Azure hosting.
Add-ons to Episerver CMS
Episerver Mail: With Episerver Mail, you could create mail from page types that were then sent out. The interface was simple and you could edit recipient lists and see statistics on how many had opened the e-mail and if they had clicked on any of the links that were in the message that you had created.
ImageVault: ImageVault is a powerful image management tool. You can easily create several different so-called "vaults" to sort your pictures and you have the ability to scale and crop images without having to work with an external application or save different versions of the same image.
Episerver CMO: Episerver CMO allows you to set up different measurement points on your page to measure how visitors are moving. This may be useful for example campaign pages. You can also set up A / B testing on a page to see which of the versions of the page that get most visitors to move on to the next metric.
Episerver Community and Relate: Community contains a lot of features to make one's web page more interactive to the visitor. With Community, you can easily create competitions, blogs, forums, personal pages for visitors and image gallery. In later versions of Episerver CMS, Community is embedded in Relate which also contains Episerver Mail.
Episerver Commerce: Commerce is a powerful tool for creating E-commerce platforms. In addition to providing an interface for managing inventory, there is also built-in support for personal recommendations (for example, bestsellers, new items, etc.) so developers don’t have to build these features from scratch.
Episerver Find: You build several different ways to search with Episerver, but Find is the most powerful of them. The index is in Episerver itself and via the admin interface you get good statistics on most popular keywords. Additionally, it is easy to develop it for example, to get synonyms of words or "best bet" i.e. keywords that prevail in a search.