I'm currently planning a new ASP.NET MVC3 project which will be quite bespoke. However, there will be a lot of common features (login, profile edit, blog etc).

Initially I was planning on building this all from scratch, however I'm tempted by CMS so that I'm not reinventing the wheel, and don't waste time building standard features which will need a lot of testing.

I've been looking into using Orchard Project CMS, and installed this the other night so that I could have a play around. The CMS seems great, however it seems restrictive in terms of wanting to add new sections.

I was hoping that the CMS would basically be an ASP.NET MVC3 solution, with login features etc, which I can then build on. However I feel bound to having to write "widgets" for my application.

I understand CMS's are great for simple blog sites etc, but would it seems too restrictive to be able to build a social network for example.

Is there such a thing as an open-source MVC3 solution with pre-built login functionality etc, which isn't bound by an interface? Or if I'm planning to build a large application, are CMS's the wrong path to take?

  • have you seen Kentico? It might have a lot (or all) of the features you need.
    – jao
    Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 13:33
  • @jao: That doesn't look like an open-source solution. Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 14:53
  • sorry I didn't see you were looking for open-source
    – jao
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


CMS is for Content Management System. It is sensible not to reinvent the wheel and build around it, but don't think for a minute to build on top of it because you will be limiting yourself to its limitations. What you'll want to do is write mvc portions independent of it (they can sit on a subdomain) and then iframe those pages into the CMS. It'll look completely transparent but you get all of the flexibility of an independent app while still being able to hook into the CMS's apis.

As far as login and other common features, ASP.NET itself has a lot of simple providers which can be stood up with minimal effort

  • Thanks Kevin, I've now started building the application without any CMS.
    – Curtis
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 8:15
  • Ain't iframes dirty hacks of the past?
    – marko
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 12:29
  • iFrames are indeed deprecated as of HTML5, but I still consider the approach I outlined to be a sound one. To replicate the functionality you'd use the <object> element.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 3:01

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