In this third and final part of the blog series, we will be looking at the key considerations agencies should bear in mind when gearing up for that technology shift to using MVC architecture.
Learning the ABC of MVC
First of all, if you have no prior experience with MVC, you need to get educated, to build a skillset. It’s not daunting, there are so many resources out there. And it is necessary to set the expectations of those agencies—the transition is not going to happen overnight! It is going to take anything between 3 to 12 months. It depends on the experience of the people in the team. For those with less experience taking courses on MVC and giving yourself the grounding, for example, Udemy or Microsoft’s Virtual Academy, and Pluralsight. Aside from those online courses, some of which mean you can grasp the basics of MVC in a couple of months or fewer, depending on your pace, you can then attend our MVC training courses which will give you the extra knowledge you need.
Turn Experience Into Power
The final step, if you are a Portal Engine aficionado, is to look at what you built on portal engine and what those reusable components were and try to understand what is still relevant and needs to be transitioned to MVC—it’s always easier when you can learn based on something real. Transforming those web parts to widgets lets you apply what you have learned in the online courses and it’s a great way to learn as you go. Then pick your first projects that you can apply these steps to—generally smaller sites are suitable for trying to build on this new technology.
Learn from Within
A great way of getting your team onboarded if you don’t have someone that has MVC experience is to hire someone that does. It will help establish your MVC practice and skillset internally. They can oversee the rules and the guidelines that are created during the transition and that the other team members can use and learn from. Agencies already have many processes in place: this is how we develop, this is how we work as a team, this is how we deploy and push changes. As they are adopting MVC, they will find many of those concepts work the same way, but some don’t. And having someone in the team that can mentor the team and validate development processes, approaches, and the deployment pipeline is going to make things go a lot more smoothly.
Speaking about Kentico support for MVC development, it’s important to mention we are not suggesting and pushing a different way to develop using MVC. In fact, we are aligning Kentico MVC development best practices with well-known concepts. It makes the generally available knowledge of MVC provided by the Microsoft developer community very valuable to those transitioning. This is a huge thing because you do not have to spend long hours learning any new concepts than the accepted norms. You, of course, do need to learn the Kentico MVC API and things like that. But the documentation, technical support team, best practices and how-tos that we provide on the transition guide are there to help. We also receive a lot of feedback from our partners that we incorporate into the support we provide to make sure that it is up to date, relevant, and most importantly, useful. And we have a fantastically informative blog series from Bryan Soltis on how to build a site using MVC. It is particularly useful, as Bryan was an MVC newbie, so it is written completely from the right perspective of someone facing MVC for the first time.
Our consulting team works together with our clients and partners through the consulting services. Partners starting with MVC can buy consulting credits and the consultant makes sure they get it right first time because those initial projects are so crucial, and they form the basis for their next projects.
From MVC to SEO
The impact on the performance on the website from an SEO perspective is a huge benefit of MVC. Because of the fact that you have full control over what is going to be presented, it means that all of the accessibility standards that you need to conform with and SEO requirements are easily addressable. Also, any kind of recommended metadata rendered for different channels, such as schema.org and Open Graph, can be easily added and managed when developing using MVC.
Building Just Got Quicker
The concept of the develop-build-deploy pipeline in MVC just works so much better. Write the code, check it in version controlled repo, it gets validated and tested automatically, then merged with other changes and built into a deployable package that is then pushed automatically to your cloud environment. You will have a hard time to do this with Web Forms where a lot of this can’t be automated, and so it takes you and team a lot of time. Typically, every change you make with Web Forms requires the site to be rebuilt before you can deploy changes live. Even if that takes only 15 min of your time, how much time does your team waste a year? As a developer, you want to keep developing instead of waiting , right? MVC helps to solve a lot of this.
As we draw to the end of this series, we have shown that agencies can be more effective because MVC gives them access to processes and tools for building and deployment that they never had before. And starting from scratch and making those reusable widgets does not have to be such a daunting task with the number of supporting materials available. Abandoning redundant technology brings you the speed, efficiency and financial benefits you need to cut it in this day and age. MVC is the future and we look forward to hearing about how you took those first steps towards future-proofing your and your clients’ digital business in the comments section below.