Installing EPiServer CMS 7.5

This article was migrated from an older iteration of our website, and it could deviate in design and functionality.

Setting up a new EPiServer website became a lot easier with the release of EPiServer 7.5 The Deployment Center installer has been replaced by a Visual Studio extension using NuGet packages for all dependencies.

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Install the EPiServer Visual Studio Extension

Download and install the EPiServer Visual Studio extension as we’ll use it to set up our new EPiServer project:

EPiServer CMS Visual Studio Extension

Create a new EPiServer project in Visual Studio

Start Visual Studio and add a new project by using the new EPiServer Web Site project template, either for WebForms or MVC:

EPiServer Web Site project template in Visual Studio

This will set up a basic project structure and add NuGet packages for the EPiServer dependencies:

EPiServer basic project structure in Visual Studio

Start your new EPiServer website

Your EPiServer website is now ready to be started. Hit F5 in Visual Studio to start it on IIS Express. You’ll be able to log in using your Windows credentials through http://localhost:xxxxx/episerver:

EPiServer UI after initial setup

Making use of EPiServer project item templates

In addition to the project template, the EPiServer Visual Studio extension also comes with a set of item templates. As an example, let’s add a media content type to enable us to upload images to our site:

New media content type model

Select the EPiServer category and select Media Type:

Adding a new media content type in EPiServer

This will give us a file with some sample code, and some nifty attributes including an automatically generated GUID:

Sample code from EPiServer item template

Based on this sample code we can easily define our own content type, such as this basic one for images:

EPiServer image media content type

Where is the database?

If you click Show All Files in Visual Studio and look in the App_Data folder you’ll see an .mdf database file:

EPiServer database file

If you have a look at the <connectionStrings> element in Web.config you’ll notice that the website is set up to attach this database file using LocalDB:

EPiServer connection string in Web.config

Move the database to SQL Server (optional)

If you want to use a standard SQL Server for your EPiServer database you can simply copy the .mdf file to your server and attach it through Management Studio:

Attaching a database file

Attaching an MDF file in SQL Server

Once you’ve attached the .mdf file you need to update your <connectionStrings> element in Web.config.

Note: if you’re moving to an earlier version of SQL Server you may need to downgrade the database by scripting it (don’t forget to script both schema and data if you do).