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5 hidden features in EPiServer 7

EPiServer 7 has lots of hidden features that are useful for editors and developers. These are some of my favorites, collected from various bloggers and forum contributors.

1. Re-index your content

If you're using EPiServer Search for your site, your content needs to be indexed regularly to be searchable. Normally the index is rebuilt on site startup, and on various events like publishing/moving/deleting pages and files.

But there is also a tool to manually force a full content re-indexing, which is hidden in the framework: Browse to http://yoursite/EPiServer/CMS/Admin/IndexContent.aspx and there it is.

Reindex your site content in EPiServer 7

Credit: Fredrik Haglund: 


2. Property name overlay in On-Page-Edit mode

In On-Page-Edit mode, a colored border indicates that a property is editable. Experienced editors will likely be able to tell their Heading box from their MainBody box, but wouldn't it be useful if the property name was overlayed next to the box? 

This was implemented half-way by EPiServer, but was omitted in the official 7.0 release (it will be included in the upcoming 7.5 release). Adding a little CSS, you can enable it:

Property name overlay in On-Page-Edit mode in EPiServer 7

Credit: Ben McKernan: http://world.episerver.com/Blogs/Ben-McKernan/Dates/2013/9/Adding-extra-information-to-the-property-overlay/


3. Resetting your gadgets and dashboard views

If your dashboard or navigation pane has become cluttered with gadgets - or if you have a malfunctioning gadget causing your site to crash - you need a way to reset your views. 
CMS 6 has a hidden debug tool for this, but unfortunately this tool isn't available in the official CMS 7 release.

EPiServer are contemplating reimplementing it as a feature, but in the mean time you can add a simple ASPX to perform the task:

Resetting dashboard views in EPiServer 7

Credit: Linus Ekström: http://world.episerver.com/Blogs/Linus-Ekstrom/Dates/2013/1/Resetting-your-EPiServer-views/


4. Scroll up to edit page settings

When editing a page in On-Page-Edit mode you previously had to switch to Forms-Edit mode to edit built-in properties like Page Name, Simple Address and Dynamic Properties. 

With the EPiServer 7.1 update however, you can just scroll up with your mouse when the page is already scrolled to the top, and the settings header will become visible: 

Editing page settings in EPiServer 7 On-Page-Edit

Credit: Kalle Ljung: http://world.episerver.com/Blogs/Kalle-Ljung/Dates/2013/10/Moving-built-in-properties-to-the-settings-header-in-EPiServer-7-CMS/


5. Generating page type classes

Since the introduction of Page Type Builder in CMS 5, developers have been creating pagetypes in code rather than via the Admin interface. EPiServer 7 has native support for pagetypes in code. 

However, if you have some migrated pagetypes that only exist in the Admin interface and would like to generate classes for these, you're in luck: There's a hidden tool for this. 

Browse to http://yoursite/episerver/CMS/Admin/PageTypeCodeGenerator.aspx - select an existing pagetype and namespace, and have the pagetype code automatically generated. Sweet!

Generating pagetype classes in EPiServer 7

Sergey Vorushilo