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Setting up a Sitefinity site using a predefined template without using the project manager

by Joerg Lang | Sep 04, 2009

Usually when I set up a fresh Sitefinity web site, I use the "blank project" zip file that you can download from Teleriks web site. I use this blank project because usually I do like to install the new site on a specific folder, and not the folder that the project manager uses. Another reason why I try not to use the project manager is that I do not want to install the project manager for every release Telerik is making.

On the other hand I like to have a fresh site populated with data, so I can set up some basic screens for a new customer or a demo. But as the "blank project" does not have any standard data, I had to find a way how to use one of the project templates anyway.

This is how you can do it.

  1. Copy the files from the "blank project" to the directory where you would like to have your new site.
  2. Get the zip-file of the page template that you would like to import. You find this in the project manager directory under the Templates folder. For example you find the files for the company emerald template in Templates\Company-Emerald.
  3. Unzip the contents of that zip file to the destination directory you selected in step 1 as well.
  4. Next open the web.config file. Find the cms element where the default entry starts with <cms defaultProvider="Sitefinity" pageExtension=".aspx....
  5. Add the following attributes to this element: siteTemplate="Company-Emerald" projectName="<yourName>" where the siteTemplate name must correspond with the folder name you find in the App_Data\Sitefinity_DataImport directory.

That is it. The other steps that are required are basic to every web site you set up manually. That is:

  1. Start IIS
  2. Add a new application to your IIS (default) site.
  3. Give an alias name and point it to the directory you created. Choose an appropriate application pool.

After that you can start up your web site. Enter the Url in the browser, probably http://localhost/<aliasname> and then the site setup wizard from Sitefinity starts. Remember that on a Vista machine you have to start the Browser with administrative rights, meaning right click on the shortcut and then select "Start as Administrator".

If everything works correctly, the setup wizard will ask you to import the template after you have created the admin user. When the import is done, your site is ready with predefined pages.

What really would be helpful is, that one could download the template designs without having to install the project manager to get at the first.