Installing Kentico (Questions and Answers)

Although installing Kentico on a local machine is straightforward, you might still need some additional information about the choices you can make.

Most of the options in the Installer have tooltips available, which can help you make the right decisions during the installation process.

This page gives advice about some of the options in the Custom installation:

How to choose the target location?

The target location depends on the type of server you want to use for the development of websites:

  • The Local IIS/IIS Express option is practical, because the live site will also run under IIS.

  • The Built-in web server in Visual Studio option is suitable for developing and debugging of your web project. It is intended for developers, who are used to working with Visual Studio web server.

  • Prepare for installation on a remote server option only copies the web project files into the chosen location on your local computer to prepare them for deployment to your production server over FTP. See Deploying Kentico to a live server.

If you are not sure, select the Local IIS/IIS Express option. If you do not have IIS server installed, the free IIS Express version is installed automatically for you.

How to install Kentico to the root of a website?

If you wish to run Kentico in the root of an IIS website:

  1. Perform a standard installation of Kentico to a virtual directory.

  2. Develop the project inside the virtual directory.

  3. Deploy the project to the root of your IIS website. You can choose one of the following approaches: 

    • Use the Deploy to feature of the Kentico Installation Manager utility (recommended, only available for web site projects)
    • Directly copy the content of the project’s CMS folder (for example, C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Kentico81\CMS) to the root

Note: You will not be able to compile the deployed project.

You can find more information about virtual directories in this article: Understanding Sites, Applications, and Virtual Directories on IIS 7.

Which web project type to choose?

Each project type has certain pros and cons. You should consider them carefully before creating your project, as it is quite difficult to convert one project type to another.

Please read the Web Application Projects versus Web Site Projects in Visual Studio article to learn about the differences between Web application projects and Web site projects.

To learn more about the requirements for installing Microsoft Azure projects, see Requirements and limitations for running Kentico on Microsoft Azure.

When should I install only program files?

The Kentico program files contain the external utilities (Kentico Installation Manager, Kentico Service Manager, etc.) and are needed to install web projects on your computer. The installation of program files is separated from the rest, so you can install only the program files if you do not want to install the web project, database and website at the same time. When you run the Installer again, you do not have to install the program files and can install a new web project without delays.

You can also uninstall the program files or move them to a different location:

  • For uninstalling, use the Uninstall -> Remove only Kentico program files option of the installer.
  • For moving the program files, uninstall them first and then use the Custom installation -> Program files -> Install only program files option to install them again in a different location.

The option Install only program files is available only during the first installation of Kentico or after you uninstall the program files using the Installer.

What if I do not install the database with my web project?

Without the database, your web project cannot function at all. If you do not install the database during the installation process, you can always install it later. You only have to access any page of your web project in a browser and the system opens the database installation wizard (see Additional database installation).

If you do not have any SQL server available during the installation process, consider checking only the Installation with database option. In this case, the free SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB will be installed automatically for you.

How can I access my LocalDB database through Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio?

Use the (localdb)\Kentico server name. The database files (Kentico8.mdf, Kentico8_log.ldf) are physically stored in your user’s profile (e.g., C:\Users\Andy\).

What are Windows services for Scheduler and Health Monitoring?

You can install the following Windows services to further improve the performance of your Kentico web project:

  • The Health Monitoring service - some performance counters require database access for collecting values, which can slow down the health monitoring process. By using this Windows service, you can improve the performance of Health Monitoring. You can also use this service to additionally register performance counters.
  • The Scheduler service - allows you to improve the performance of scheduled tasks.

You can also install and uninstall these services separately after the installation using the Kentico Service Manager.

What are performance counters for Health Monitoring?

Performance counters collect information about the performance of a Kentico web project. If you let the Installer register the performance counters in Windows, you will be able to use the data they provide to determine weak spots and bottlenecks of your web project.

However, Kentico does not provide means for displaying the performance information and you need to use an external application for this purpose (for example the Windows Performance Monitor). See the Health monitoring chapter for more information about monitoring the performance of your system.

Can I install and uninstall modules or other components after the installation of my web project?

Yes, using the Modify option of the Installer. See Adding and removing components from an installed Kentico web project for more information.

Which sample site should I install?

If you want to evaluate the capabilities of Kentico or if you are new to the Kentico system, choose the Corporate site or the E-commerce site.

For development, we recommend the Blank Site, which is best suited for developing websites form scratch. However, you can also install one of the preconfigured sample sites and then adjust them accordingly.

If you want to install sample sites after the installation, use the New site wizard. Keep in mind, though, that you must have the Sample site templates installed (you can add these templates additionally using the Modify option of the Installer).

Saving the XML configuration

If you save the configuration of an installation into an XML file, you can load it the next time you need to install Kentico on a computer. You can also use the XML file to install Kentico through the command line. See the Installing Kentico from the command line topic and the Command line installation - XML configuration, where you can also learn how to adjust the XML file manually.

Can I run the Installer if I accidentally delete the Kentico_8_1.exe file?

Yes, you can find the Installer in Windows Start -> All programs -> Kentico 8.1 -> Kentico Installer 8.1. If you run the Installer this way though, you will not be able to uninstall the Kentico program files.

To run the Kentico Installer with all options:

  1. Open Windows Start -> All programs -> Kentico 8.1 -> Uninstall Kentico 8.1.
  2. Select Kentico 8.1 in the Programs and Features list.
  3. Click Change.

The Windows system opens full Kentico Installer.

I can’t open my site in the browser

If your browser shows the 404 error after trying to open a site, try to open the site from the Windows Start menu:

  • Click Start -> All Programs -> Kentico 8.1 -> Sites -> your site

If you have installed a site with a LocalDB or IIS Express, then it may happen that these applications are not run automatically after you restart Windows. In this case, open the site from the Start menu, which ensures that these applications are started properly.

Where can I find the installation log?

The path to the log is C:\Program Files (x86)\Kentico\8.1\ or the location of the program files.

Where can I get more information?

You can contact our support department, which will gladly help you at