Frequently Asked Questions

Discover answers to all your dotCMS questions with our comprehensive FAQ page. Uncover insights, troubleshoot issues, and master dotCMS functionalities effortlessly. Whether you're a seasoned user or just getting started, our FAQ page is your go-to resource for expert guidance. Elevate your dotCMS experience and streamline your workflow by exploring our extensive collection of frequently asked questions. Find solutions, tips, and best practices to optimize your dotCMS implementation. Dive into the world of dotCMS with confidence – your answers await on our FAQ page!

Installation

  • Can I migrate my work later to dotCMS Cloud?

    Yes, we have a team of migration experts that can help you migrate your work to our cloud solution. Based on the complexity of your site this can be a straightforward process.

  • How do I get support during my evaluation?

    The best place is our community forum and the documentation site. If you need additional support, please contact us about additional options.

  • What are the benefits of Hybrid CMS for developers?

    1. Flexibility and Customization 2. Scalability.

  • What are the benefits of hybrid CMS for marketers?

    1. Visual Editing. 2. Personalization Capabilities. 3. A/B Testing.

  • What are the features of a hybrid CMS?

    1. Decoupled Architecture. 2. Visual Editing. 3. API-first. 4. Unified Content Ecosystem. 5. Flexible Content Delivery. 6. Multi-Tenancy Support. 7. Consolidating Multiple CMSs for Improved ROI. 8. Cost Efficiency. 9. Streamlined Workflows. 10. Decreased Cost of Ownership.

  • What are the limitations of headless CMS?

    1. Lacks out-of-the-box layout management features of a traditional CMS. 2. Marketers lose autonomy over design and are dependent on the technical team to go-to-market with layout changes. 3. Additional time and resources are needed to get a headless CMS up and running.

  • What are the strengths of a headless CMS?

    1. Decouples content from the front-end delivery layer and leverages APIs so you can deliver that content to any device on the market. 2. Helps brands avoid traditional vendor lock that customers get from a suite solution. 3. Technical teams can develop the front-end applications in their chosen framework (AngularJS, Node, React, etc.).

  • What are the strengths of a hybrid CMS?

    1. Provides options to deliver content traditionally or headlessly without sacrificing authoring features for marketers. 2. Balances user-friendly content creation and the flexibility to deliver content across channels. 3. Empowers both marketers and developers, catering to a wide range of content management needs. 4. Less development cost and maintenance.

  • What do I need to run dotCMS?

    You will need to have installed Java JDK 1.8 or OpenJDK. Everything else is included in the distribution file. Learn More

  • What happens after my trial ends?

    Your dotCMS instance will rollback to community edition. You will not lose any work, but the enterprise features will stop working until you purchase a license.

  • What is the best hybrid CMS?

    Hybrid CMS like dotCMS becomes a strategic investment, aligning content management with business goals, improving ROI, and empowering teams across the organization.

Pricing

  • Can we start with SaaS and move to Self-Hosted later?

    Yes! You can migrate your Cloud CMS between SaaS and Self-Hosted. Please call to discuss your plans and how we can help.

  • Does dotCMS Cloud include upgrades of dotCMS?

    Yes, upgrades are included with dotCMS cloud, after each product release our engineers will work with you to schedule an upgrade at your convenience.

  • How do customers integrate other technologies and dotCMS Cloud?

    Integrations follow cloud-enabled patterns through open APIs, typically REST endpoints and GraphQL. dotCMS Cloud is a microservices architecture, allowing for frontend interoperability, data interoperability and content interoperability with third-party solutions.

  • How will dotCMS handle disaster recovery and failover?

    dotCMS follows Amazon AWS' best practices for disaster recovery and failover, ensuring optimal uptime and availability as agreed to in the SLA.

  • Is my data secure?

    Yes, your data is safe with us. Security and privacy of your data is our number one priority. We perform automated and manual security testing regularly. We also work with third-party security specialists to keep our platform safe and secure.

  • Not seeing the plan you need or need additional support or services?

    For a quote, please contact us and tell us about your project. We're happy to discuss a custom plan that will meet your needs.

  • What monitoring tools do you use?

    We use AWS Cloudwatch for internal monitoring. Customers do not have access to Cloudwatch; however, we will work with you to set up your own monitoring application.

  • What regions is dotCMS Cloud available in?

    dotCMS Cloud is available in any Amazon AWS data center. Customers can also choose to host the CMS instances in one data center and distribute delivery instances across other data centers.

Technology

  • How can developers use dotAI?

    Developers who want to provide specific, defined AI capabilities in their applications or in their content editor experience. Developers who want to provide an improved search experience for front-end site users.

  • How can dotCMS users enable dotAI?

    Install the dotAI plugin in your organization's dotCMS version 23.10.24 or later.

  • How do the dotAI AI-powered workflows work?

    Integrate the use of AI into sophisticated workflows. For example, to ensure that AI-generated content is reviewed by humans and/or legal teams before publication.

  • How does the dotAI AI search work?

    Perform natural language search within customer content. This is a step above keyword search as it understands related terms and nuances in both the search question and the underlying text.

  • How does the dotAI AI-powered scripting and app development work?

    Easily integrate AI capabilities into existing apps via APIs and Velocity code. For example, use any of the above features in SPAs, implement Custom content type fields which use AI, etc.

  • How does the dotAI content and image generation work?

    This allows content editors to generate content (copy and images) in the dotCMS Block Editor. For text generation, give the AI a prompt and ask it to write the copy. For image generation, you can also do this or skip the prompt, and tell the AI to generate an image based on the content you already have.

  • How does Universal CMS represent a reconvergence of the CMS market?

    The universal CMS represents a reconvergence of the market, as headless CMSs race to implement architecturally impure visual builders for headless consumers and hybrid-headless CMSs work to enable visual building for their own headless consumers.

  • How is dotAI useful for business users?

    Executives, legal, or compliance teams that want to enable AI capabilities, but ensure they’re implemented within an evaluation/review workflow.

  • How is dotAI useful for marketers and content teams?

    Content editors who are adding content in dotCMS and want to use AI to supplement or enhance their content. Digital marketers who want to make the search experience on their website more interactive and useful for their end-users.

  • What are the benefits of a single universal visual editor for content teams?

    In the universal CMS, content teams can use a single universal visual editor that straddles both existing monolithic implementations and headless architectures, allowing editors to leverage the same tools and mind maps to manage the visual presentation of their digital experiences as they did in the early days of the CMS.

  • What are the benefits of a universal developer experience for developers and architects?

    In the universal CMS, developers and architects are increasingly equipped with a universal developer experience that empowers them to bring any technology, use any stack, and leverage any hosting platform to build more flexibly than ever before.

  • What are the benefits of consolidating to a multi-tenant CMS?

    1. Streamlined Website Management. 2. Consistency. 3. Reduce Costs. 4. Scalability.

  • What are the benefits of Hybrid CMS for developers?

    1. Flexibility and Customization 2. Scalability.

  • What are the benefits of hybrid CMS for marketers?

    1. Visual Editing. 2. Personalization Capabilities. 3. A/B Testing.

  • What are the challenges with using a Traditional CMS?

    Traditional CMS solutions generally cater to building individual websites, overlooking the challenge that many businesses face when they have several to thousands of brands, product lines, franchises, or locations that need to be centrally managed.

  • What are the features of a hybrid CMS?

    1. Decoupled Architecture. 2. Visual Editing. 3. API-first. 4. Unified Content Ecosystem. 5. Flexible Content Delivery. 6. Multi-Tenancy Support. 7. Consolidating Multiple CMSs for Improved ROI. 8. Cost Efficiency. 9. Streamlined Workflows. 10. Decreased Cost of Ownership.

  • What are the key features to look for in a multi-tenant CMS?

    1. Permission Management. 2. Templates. 3. Content Reuse. 4. Multilingual. 5. Hybrid-Headless. 6. Visual Editing. 7. Publishing Across Channels.

  • What are the limitations of headless CMS?

    1. Lacks out-of-the-box layout management features of a traditional CMS. 2. Marketers lose autonomy over design and are dependent on the technical team to go-to-market with layout changes. 3. Additional time and resources are needed to get a headless CMS up and running.

  • What are the major features of the dotAI plugin?

    1. AI Content and Image Generation. 2. AI Search. 3. Context-Aware Text Generation. 4. AI Chatbots. 5. AI-powered Scripting and App Development. 6. AI-powered Workflows.

  • What are the strengths of a headless CMS?

    1. Decouples content from the front-end delivery layer and leverages APIs so you can deliver that content to any device on the market. 2. Helps brands avoid traditional vendor lock that customers get from a suite solution. 3. Technical teams can develop the front-end applications in their chosen framework (AngularJS, Node, React, etc.).

  • What are the strengths of a hybrid CMS?

    1. Provides options to deliver content traditionally or headlessly without sacrificing authoring features for marketers. 2. Balances user-friendly content creation and the flexibility to deliver content across channels. 3. Empowers both marketers and developers, catering to a wide range of content management needs. 4. Less development cost and maintenance.

  • What are the use cases for a multi-tenant cms?

    1. Franchise Model: With a multi-tenant model, each franchisee or location can have its own website with unique content and languages, but it’s managed from a standard template to ensure consistent branding across the franchise. 2. Multi-Brand Model: In the multi-brand model, a business would have separate sites for each of their brands or subsidiaries, all with their own unique template and look and feel, while still managed under the instance for simplicity and efficiency.

  • What balance does the Universal CMS present?

    The universal CMS presents a new balance between editorial and developer manipulability as feature sets reconverge. Headless CMSs now have visual editing features long considered anathema to architectural purists, and some hybrid-headless CMSs are winning fans again among the developer audience.

  • What can users do with the dotAI AI Chat capabilities?

    Create customized chatbots for your site. These allow front-end users to interact with your site content - or just specific portions of your site content - dynamically. Simplifies adding natural language search to a website. Simplifies adding content-driven chatbot to a website. Enables using LLMs (Large Language Models) within dotCMS Workflows.

  • What can users do with the dotAI AI Search capabilities?

    Use generative AI trained on your own content. This provides better results, and dramatically reduces the chance of errors (hallucinations). Enable natural language search, simplifying search for users.

  • What can users do with the dotAI AI-Powered Workflows capabilities?

    Create workflow actions which generate AI content based on specific parameters, conditions, or content. Integrate AI into sophisticated, multi-step workflows. Ensure AI-generated content goes through review before publishing.

  • What can users do with the dotAI APIs and Velocity Code capabilities?

    Provide custom AI capabilities to editors. Define and control where and how generative AI can (and can’t) be used. Use a standard API to access generative AI capabilities, so your site & app code doesn’t have to change when the AI vendor changes their API.

  • What can users do with the dotAI content generation capabilities?

    Create new content easily (especially on non-niche topics). Create custom fields that simplify and control how content editors use AI. Use AI to generate copy (text) which understands your specific content and products. This is different from standard AI offerings, which were trained on the whole internet, and often generate incorrect information about your specific content and products.

  • What can users do with the dotAI content management capabilities?

    Ensure consistency of results across users and content, by defining a role for the AI and specifying writing and image styles. Create extremely granular AI-powered search indexes. AI-powered indexes can cover very specific sets of content (defined by a Lucene query, rather than by the paths to the content). This makes AI search indexes much more granular and customizable than the existing Site Search feature.

  • What compromise does the Universal CMS present?

    The universal CMS presents a new grand compromise for all the personas that leverage the CMS on a daily basis—developers leveraging frameworks and tools of their choice, editors crafting layouts and modifying content in-place, and DevOps architects depending on infrastructures finely tuned to their CI/CD needs.

  • What is a benefit of the dotCMS Universal Visual Editor for content teams?

    With the dotCMS Universal Visual Editor, there is no more editorial confusion as content teams no longer have to contend with arbitrarily distinct interfaces (one for headless, one for hybrid-headless). Our universal visual editor straddles both our CMS-native presentation layer and JavaScript-driven front ends with a single shared editorial experience, allowing for maximum flexibility whether you’re incrementally moving to a headless architecture or want to leap head-first into the headless paradigm.

  • What is a benefit of the dotCMS Universal Visual Editor for developers and architects?

    The dotCMS Universal Visual Editor gives developers the freedom to build and for architects to stack—or compose —as they wish. Our universal visual editor straddles both our CMS-native presentation layer and JavaScript-driven front ends with a single shared editorial experience, allowing for maximum flexibility whether you’re incrementally moving to a headless architecture or want to leap head-first into the headless paradigm.

  • What is a benefit of the dotCMS Universal Visual Editor?

    The dotCMS Universal Visual Editor provides a single unified editorial experience for content teams regardless of the underlying architecture; whether you’re building in Java or JavaScript, editors use one shared interface without needing to understand arbitrary architectural distinctions.

  • What is a Universal CMS?

    The Universal CMS offers visual building available universally across both CMS-native and consumer-native presentation layers—as well as a slew of other capabilities that are leading to unprecedented synchronicity between the headless and hybrid-headless segments of the CMS market.

  • What is client-side rendering

    Client-side rendering allows renders the whole page in the browser using JavaScript, which was popularized by React.js and Angular.

  • What is monolithic?

    The term “monolithic” reflects a fossilized stratum in the archaeology of the CMS market.

  • What is the best hybrid CMS?

    Hybrid CMS like dotCMS becomes a strategic investment, aligning content management with business goals, improving ROI, and empowering teams across the organization.

  • What is the best multi-tenant CMS?

    dotCMS platform was built with growth and scalability in mind. The platform’s multi-tenant architecture allows tenants to create new hostnames and aliases for each tenant, just as if each tenant had their own site. The platform also provides independent storage for each tenant, which improves the protection of data and content for each tenant. The tag repository feature lets authors create their own tags or use shared tags to differentiate their data.

  • What is the Experiments feature and how does it work?

    Users will be able to create variants of a page and then split your traffic, so different users are sent to different variants of the page when they arrive at your website. Variants can change anything on the page, including content, styling and layout. Your goals will then be tracked to determine which of the variants most successfully achieve your goal – i.e. clicking on a button that ‘converts’ the user. You can view analytics for your experiment, and once it’s complete, you can choose to promote the most successful page to your production site.

  • What is the problem with lengthy CMS replatforming processes?

    Lengthy CMS replatforming processes disrupt editorial workflows and endanger the uniquely cross-functional value proposition of the CMS.

  • What kind of websites should use the Experiments feature?

    - Sites that they need to optimize for performance or conversions - Sites where they want a person to take a specific action (e.g. fill out a form, buy now) - Sites that sell something - Sites that are going through a redesign, or starting from scratch with new copy/layouts

  • What market perceptions changed as a result of the advent of the headless CMS?

    The headless CMS was thought to be more manipulable by developers but less so by editors, whereas the opposite was true of monolithic CMSs.

  • What problem did Monolithic CMSs face as they reacted to the accelerating innovation of headless CMSs?

    The problem that formerly monolithic players faced as they reacted with deepening anxiety to the accelerating innovation in headless CMSs were developers building independently, siloed from the editorial teams they serve in large content implementations and enterprise organizations.

  • What was the focus of the initial phase of hybrid-headless argumentation against the headless segment?

    The initial phase of hybrid-headless argumentation against the headless segment focused on visual editing and editorial needs.

  • When did the headless CMS and decoupled content architectures first emerge?

    In the mid-2010s, the headless CMS and decoupled content architectures made a splashy entrance as full-stack development techniques quickly outpaced the innovation happening in the monolithic segment of the market.

  • When should an organization use the a headless or composable CMS approach?

    There are certainly situations where a headless or composable approach makes sense. If an organization has deep pockets, heavy technical expertise, or a long-term partnership with an experienced development agency, content teams might have the luxury of a strong engineering bench to “reinvent the wheels” represented by headless preview and visual editing. But this is seldom the case.

  • Which dotCMS version offers the Experiments feature?

    The Experiments feature is only available on dotCMS Cloud v21.10 or newer.

  • Who is the Experiments feature for?

    The Experiments feature will be useful for marketing teams who want to test out multiple versions of the same content in order to decide which version resonates the most with their audience. It may also be used by technical staff for sites and apps that are performance based.

  • Why should brands use a multi-tenant CMS?

    Since it allows you to host multiple sites on a single instance, it allows for sharing content, resources, and files. This means that brands can scale with additional websites and applications – whether these sites share the same brand resources or completely separate. The infrastructure of a multi-tenant is specifically optimized to scale with thousands of sites and heavy resource usage.

  • Why should you use the Experiments feature?

    Teams that are not A/B testing their content are missing an opportunity to optimize their content and pages based on real-time feedback from users that are visiting their site. Teams that already have a tool for A/B testing will benefit from experiments being built into the creation/editing/design workflow versus a separate application.

Security

  • Is my data secure?

    Yes, your data is safe with us. Security and privacy of your data is our number one priority. We perform automated and manual security testing regularly. We also work with third-party security specialists to keep our platform safe and secure.

Cloud

  • Do I Need to Hire More IT Professionals For the Transition to the cloud?

    Technically, you don't have to hire additional IT staff when transitioning to the cloud. One of the main advantages of working with a cloud service provider is that they handle most of the work. But it is helpful to have some IT expertise to hand to oversee the transition to ensure it goes smoothly.

  • Does dotCMS Cloud include upgrades of dotCMS?

    Yes, upgrades are included with dotCMS cloud, after each product release our engineers will work with you to schedule an upgrade at your convenience.

  • Does onDemand fit into the strategy of security-conscious verticals like FinServ, Pharma, Healthcare etc?

    Yes, dotCMS Cloud would be a great first step for moving customer facing communication platforms into the cloud and leverage cloud benefits. Sensitive data would naturally be kept under control of the organization, possibly onPremise - interoperability with dotCMS Cloud would be facilitated through secured API communication. dotCMS Cloud can be presented as a safe and easy first step towards a cloud architecture that many organizations know they need to move towards, even if they're not yet sure of how to get there. By moving individual pieces of a much more complex architecture to the cloud, IDOs and partners can gain experience and understanding of cloud impact whilst retaining onPremise processes and structures for more sensitive pieces of their infrastructure puzzle.

  • How Can I Know If the Cloud is Right For My Business?

    There are a number of reasons, as described by the above benefits, for switching to the cloud. But before making the move, brands must set aside some time to evaluate whether the cloud is right for your business, both strategically and at an operational level. You need to ask key questions such as does your IT cost impact the growth of your business? And how important is scalability and flexibility for your business?

  • How do customers integrate other technologies and dotCMS Cloud?

    Integrations follow cloud-enabled patterns through open APIs, typically REST endpoints and GraphQL. dotCMS Cloud is a microservices architecture, allowing for frontend interoperability, data interoperability and content interoperability with third-party solutions.

  • How will dotCMS handle disaster recovery and failover?

    dotCMS follows Amazon AWS' best practices for disaster recovery and failover, ensuring optimal uptime and availability as agreed to in the SLA.

  • Not seeing the plan you need or need additional support or services?

    For a quote, please contact us and tell us about your project. We're happy to discuss a custom plan that will meet your needs.

  • What are the benefits of Hybrid CMS for developers?

    1. Flexibility and Customization 2. Scalability.

  • What are the benefits of hybrid CMS for marketers?

    1. Visual Editing. 2. Personalization Capabilities. 3. A/B Testing.

  • What are the features of a hybrid CMS?

    1. Decoupled Architecture. 2. Visual Editing. 3. API-first. 4. Unified Content Ecosystem. 5. Flexible Content Delivery. 6. Multi-Tenancy Support. 7. Consolidating Multiple CMSs for Improved ROI. 8. Cost Efficiency. 9. Streamlined Workflows. 10. Decreased Cost of Ownership.

  • What are the limitations of headless CMS?

    1. Lacks out-of-the-box layout management features of a traditional CMS. 2. Marketers lose autonomy over design and are dependent on the technical team to go-to-market with layout changes. 3. Additional time and resources are needed to get a headless CMS up and running.

  • What are the strengths of a headless CMS?

    1. Decouples content from the front-end delivery layer and leverages APIs so you can deliver that content to any device on the market. 2. Helps brands avoid traditional vendor lock that customers get from a suite solution. 3. Technical teams can develop the front-end applications in their chosen framework (AngularJS, Node, React, etc.).

  • What are the strengths of a hybrid CMS?

    1. Provides options to deliver content traditionally or headlessly without sacrificing authoring features for marketers. 2. Balances user-friendly content creation and the flexibility to deliver content across channels. 3. Empowers both marketers and developers, catering to a wide range of content management needs. 4. Less development cost and maintenance.

  • What Are the Three Cloud Computing Delivery Models?

    There are three main cloud computing delivery models, based on the official Cloud Computing definition provided by NIST: - Software as a Service (SaaS): This cloud computing delivery model delivers software through a client interface such as a web browser. Maintenance and updates are all looked after by the vendor. Chances are, you use a SaaS-based product on a daily basis. Google's Gmail is a widely used SaaS product. With SaaS, however, the consumer does not have access or control of the underlying cloud infrastructure, including OS, storage and network. They also have limited application configuration settings. - Platform as a Service (PaaS): With PaaS, users can deploy a cloud infrastructure that is either custom-made or via acquired applications developed using programming languages, services, libraries, and tools that are supported by the vendor. The user does not have control over the underlying infrastructure the vendor provides. This includes the OS, networks, servers and storage. - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS allows the users to provision the infrastructure such as processing power, storage, network and resources to their requirements. This even includes the OS. However, the user does not have full control of the underlying cloud infrastructure.

  • What Cloud Computing Model Has The Highest Level of Control?

    Out of the above cloud computing models, IaaS provides the highest level of customization and management. IaaS allows you to develop and configure a virtual network based on the storage capacity, OS, processing power and resources that you have set for running your applications. What's more, IaaS provides a greater degree of cloud elasticity, enabling you to increase or decrease your provisions to meet your requirements.

  • What is dotCMS Cloud?

    dotCMS Cloud is the evolution of dotCMS as a Service in the cloud. It is best classified as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and runs on the Amazon AWS infrastructure. dotCMS Cloud is NOT a hosting service, it is the dotCMS Enterprise Edition on the PaaS platform.

  • What is the best hybrid CMS?

    Hybrid CMS like dotCMS becomes a strategic investment, aligning content management with business goals, improving ROI, and empowering teams across the organization.

  • What monitoring tools do you use?

    We use AWS Cloudwatch for internal monitoring. Customers do not have access to Cloudwatch; however, we will work with you to set up your own monitoring application.

  • What regions is dotCMS Cloud available in?

    dotCMS Cloud is available in any Amazon AWS data center. Customers can also choose to host the CMS instances in one data center and distribute delivery instances across other data centers.

  • What's PaaS actually?

    PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. It's a type of cloud offering that means that a vendor manages the majority of an IT stack for a customer in the cloud - basically everything apart from the application itself. In a generalized PaaS environment, customers could run a number of supported applications - in the case of dotCMS, it's 'only' dotCMS for now. The picture below differentiates different cloud operating models, namely IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The dotCMS Cloud is different because it takes away the maintenance burden from our customers, but leaves them in the driving seat to own their digital destiny. Sounds dramatic? You know, it actually is.

  • When Did Cloud Computing Start?

    The term cloud computing pre-dates back to 1996 when a small group of technology executives at Compaq Computers were looking at moving business software applications to the World Wide Web to develop "cloud computing-enabled applications." In 2006, Cloud Computing became more mainstream. Big name brands like Google and Amazon were using the term to describe the new paradigm where people were accessing software applications through the web.

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