John Scudder
Marketing Strategist

A Dozen Ways to Get Started (faster) with dotCMS

Feb 26, 2015
By: John Scudder

One of the most frequently asked questions we get, typically in the middle of a sales cycle or when there's staff turnover on a customer's team: "I'm new... What's the best way to learn more about dotCMS?" The answer to the question, of course, depends on the context of who's asking: Web Developer, UI/UX Designer, Content Manager, Marketing Director, Java Developer or System Admin, IT Director or CMO.

Considering the different contexts, we're happy to offer those that are interested in learning more about dotCMS, a dozen ways to get started, learn more and go farther (faster) with dotCMS.  

By the way… all of these are free and only require a little of your time and energy. They're also completely self-directed, so pick one that sounds interesting and with a little exploring, research, reading and hopefully a little hands-on and kicking of the tires, you'll be impressed with how fast you can go. EDITOR'S NOTE: Post updated with NEW links and resources on October, 27th 2015

A dozen ways you can get started (faster) with dotCMS:

  1. Visit the Full Online Demo of dotCMS

    The online demo is the fastest way to get personal, hands-on experience with dotCMS. There are two important parts to the online demo – the front end demonstration websites built with dotCMS and the dotCMS authoring environment ( | admin), where you can login to the content management system and edit content and write code. Check out both (btw: the demo site is reset every 12 hours or so). While you're on the Demo site, look for the "Demos" tab in the top nav. You'll get working examples of Content Geolocation, Remote Widgets, Single Page Apps, RESTful Content Save, and Mobile Apps.

  2. Look Inside the Demo Site

    The live online demo shows not only what you can build on the front end with dotCMS but also, you can see how it was built as you are logged in as CMS contributor/administrator. As you check out the demo site, you'll get an inside look at code, content and the concepts and constructs that are used in building with dotCMS. Be sure to look through all the main tabs including "Content Types" where you can define your structured data.

  3. Watch Some TV in the dotCMS Video Library

    DotCMS Video Tutorials and demos of dotCMS features, capabilities and concepts are available in the video library. Also included; archived webinars from the popular Build with dotCMS Webinar Series. Lunch and learn on your mid-day break. You can also hear from dotCMS CTO, Will Ezell as he presents a product walkthrough with CMS Critic here.
  4. Download and Install dotCMS

    It's completely free and with your download of the Community Edition you can get a 30 day trial of the super powerful, massive multi site, enterprise scalable, dotCMS Enterprise Prime to boot. Downloading the software is a great option for those inclined to "build locally and publish globally," (you know who you are). Get dotCMS right here now. Download dotCMS

  5. Day One Tutorial

    Take the Day One Tutorial. Like the name says, this is probably the first hands-on tutorial you should consider taking. This easy to follow guide introduces you to basic concepts like content types, templates, editing with Webdav, widgets, forms and more. Start here if you are interested in front end web development. (If you skipped downloading and installing, you can use the demo website for your tutorial if you like.)

  6. Take a Theme and Template Tour

    Get a jumpstart on building responsive web apps and learn about different ways to build sites in dotCMS. Take a look at the dotCMS Theme Catalog - to get a few examples of responsive "starter sites" and then once you've seen those, be sure to take a look at a couple advanced templates that highlight other approaches to site building. Learn more about Advanced Templates here and remember, dotCMS is super flexible and allows you to build the way you want.

  7. Attend the Intro to dotCMS Webinar

    We offer regular webinars and all of them include open Q&A so you can get your questions answered. Register online for a time that's convenient. You can also register for instructional sessions in the Build with dotCMS Webinar Series.

  8. Join the dotCMS User Forum

    This is easy and a even a little bit fun. The dotCMS Community Forum is the place you can lurk, learn, question and converse about almost every aspect of dotCMS. Our forum is a highly active group of users, many of whom have years of experience using dotCMS and are always looking to share their knowledge. Sign up today.

  9. Participate

    Now that you’ve signed up on the Forum… read some posts and ask a question. Go for it.

  10. Subscribe to the dotCMS Email List and Connect Online

    Learn about updates, new features and stay in touch with what’s happening in the dotCMS Community. Includes regular tips and resources to help you do more. While your at it, follow us on the Twitter and LinkedIn to get up to the minute news.

  11. Read the dotCMS Blog and Change Logs

    It's not just about what's new, the dotCMS Blog and Change Logs keep you clued into specific issues and topics and can help you plan upgrades and reduce maintenance in your implementation code. Hey wait a minute… you're already reading the blog!

  12. Check Out Some Example Code

    There are several places to find example code including on our Documentation site and one of the best living and accessible sources of example code is Copy, modify and reference these at will. Also, the dotCMS Codeshare is also a great place to find example code. A look at these sources with a perspective of "reverse engineering" will help you understand what users are doing to build features that meet their specific business requirments. You'll get some inspiration here for sure.

  13. Schedule a Personalized Live Demonstration

    Ready to introduce dotCMS to your team or company? Trying to figure out if dotCMS is right for your organization, or just want to learn more.... drop us a line and ask your questions or setup a personalized demo with a dotCMS Product Specialist. We can set up a demo that is specifically directed to your team and business requirements.

There you go, a bakers dozen. Tasty ideas to help you learn more about dotCMS. Take a moment and see for yourself, try one of these straightforward, time-tested recipies for learning more and you’ll be sure to catch the vision for how you can move forward, build faster and get farther with the high performance xCMS, content and website management platform – dotCMS.

P.S. For those that are just plain old impatient (like us) or just want to get started now, check out dotCMS Cloud – the SaaS content management and digital experience platform without limits. You can place your order today and be up and running on dotCMS tonight. It's the fastest and easiest way to get started with dotCMS. On the cloud, ready to go out of the box and perfect for Fortune 500 brands, SMBs and digital agencies alike. Just drop us a line, and we can show you how.

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