Understanding Kentico CMS with Chad Donnick

XX min
Nov 28, 2023
Understanding Kentico CMS
We sat down with Chad Donnick, Director of Technology at Ascedia to talk about Kentico CMS. 


Chad, let’s start with your background.

Sure, I’ve been with Ascedia for, 17 years now. I got my start as a .NET application developer, and this has always been my background. Over the years I climbed the ladder to become the Director of Technology. And that is my current role today.

I largely work with the back-end architecture of a website — everything that happens behind the scenes.

How long has Ascedia been working with Kentico?

Ascedia picked up Kentico about 10 years ago. Our very first project was in Kentico 6. They are now up to Kentico 13.

Over the years, Kentico has always been a great partner, and they have been constantly evolving their product. At the same time, they have kept their licensing costs pretty reasonable compared to others such as Sitecore or Adobe Experience Manager.

So Kentico has found a nice space to own.

Absolutely. Their costs are affordable and Kentico comes with a lot of powerful tools right out of the box.

Chad, talk to us about why you like working with Kentico.

There are reasons why we at Ascedia like the platform. And there are reasons it’s good for our clients. I’ll cover both.

For starters, because we’ve been working with Kentico for so long we’ve become very efficient at developing within it. This means shorter overall timelines for delivering projects.

Over the years, we have worked with Sitefinity and Sitecore, but we always come back to Kentico because it has a lower learning curve for new developers coming in. And it’s easy to work with for all the customization and the building we need to do with it. But it’s also easy for our clients to work within Kentico. The end product we deliver is easy for content editors to manage. And that’s the biggest reason. You want something that will work for the end user.

But it’s also easy for our clients to work within Kentico. The end product we deliver is easy for content editors to manage. And that’s the biggest reason. You want something that will work for the end user.

We can’t expect them to be writing HTML or working in CSS. So, we build our Kentico sites in a very deliberate and structured way that gives the content editors specific pieces to work with so they can drag and drop and add in whatever they need.

What about the stability of the platform? How reliable is Kentico?

The short answer is very. Kentico has put in the work throughout the years to make its products stable. They also put out updates that will address potential bugs if and when they occur or when they are adding new features.

Over the years, we have done work for plenty of organizations that are running on older versions of Kentico without issues. But like anything — it can only last so long before it needs an upgrade.

When we’re done with a project in Kentico, what do you hear from the clients about why they like it?

We hear things like, it’s intuitive and easy to use. And that’s all great because simpler is usually better.

How much does the security play into the choice for selecting Kentico?

It’s becoming more and more top of mind with clients. Especially when IT departments get involved because that’s a big part of their job — keeping things secured.

Generally speaking, when Kentico is developing its software, they are developing it with security in mind. They offer documentation and security checklists. Our role is to follow that documentation and make sure we are addressing each point along the way.

It’s probably worth pointing out that a lot of security issues land on the hosting side of things. And hosting and security are a whole separate conversation.


Got it. OK, how about customer service? How is their customer service? And when something happens on the client side, do they come to us first or go to Kentico?

If a client is having an issue, they are typically going to come to us for help and support. And they should. We’re the ones who built the system. We are the ones that have their back. Our job is to solve the problem for them.

We try and get an idea of the problem and then go through our troubleshooting sequence to get to the heart of the issue. Most times we can solve the issue at this point.

But sometimes, we need additional help. Then we reach out to Kentico. They have a full online DevNet resource. Think of this as a big online library of content to help. If that still doesn’t work, we reach out directly to Kentico support. And I have to say, their customer service is very good.

They’re very timely in their responses. And that’s important to us and it’s just another reason why we’ve stuck with Kentico over all these years. We just didn’t get that kind of service from Sitecore, or Sitefinity.


Give us your take on why a client would go with Kentico vs. WordPress.

Sure, Kentico is going to provide a more robust solution right out of the box. Most of what is needed is already included within the platform.

With WordPress — it’s a system that depends largely on the world of plugins. And those plugins can vary. Some may be good. Some not so much. I know our team goes through an extensive amount of vetting to get the right plugins for clients. A lot of organizations don’t go through the same process.

When plugins are managed properly, you’re good. But if they’re not they can cause problems. I lean towards Kentico because I think it’s better for medium to large-size projects.
You know, we have a lot of manufacturing companies who use Kentico because of the way that you can so easily set up a product catalog structure again, right out of the box. With WordPress, this is something you have to assemble and, in my view, it’s harder and more complex than Kentico.

But that’s how it is with developers. The Kentico developer thinks their system is the best. The WordPress developer thinks WordPress is the best. It’s just different ways to look at it.


You mentioned the product catalog structure and manufacturing clients. We’ve done a lot of Kentico work for manufacturing clients. Is there a reason they like Kentico?

Honestly, it’s the same things we have been talking about. The ease of use for content editing and the way that you can manage content in Kentico. It’s more intuitive than other systems. The Kentico learning curve is a lot shorter because of the way it’s built. And also, the subscription package is well-priced.


In your opinion, what type of organization should go with Kentico, or at least consider it assuming they have the budget?

For any mid to large-sized companies, Kentico is a good fit. It’s very customizable and there are always ways to integrate with other systems. It’s a great CMS.

Final question, why choose Ascedia for a Kentico project?

Because we have extensive experience working with it. We’ve been working with it for 10 years. We have seen it go from the older .NET model that was built in something called Web Forms to the MVC model. I know I’m getting back-end nerdy here, but the point is we’ve seen how they’ve evolved, and we have grown along with them.

Today we have five developers on staff with good experience working in Kentico. All of them have worked on several projects at this point. So, for future projects, our project development will be efficient, because we have code from other projects to draw upon.

Over time we’ve essentially created a library where we’re able to take elements from one project to another. This helps shorten timelines and reduces costs. It’s another reason that Ascedia is a great choice for any Kentico project.

If you’re reading this and would like to know more about Kentico, let us know. Reach out to