Which Kentico License is Right For You?


Loads of features, multiple tiers, and virtual servers—let Quba clear a garden path through the licensing jungle for you.

20 May 2019
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Ben Franklin - Technical Director



Choosing the right Kentico license in the first instance is a fairly straightforward decision. Kentico’s own website not only spells out in reasonably clear terms what bundle you need depending on how many websites you manage or servers you’re operating; it also has a few handy tables showing which features are included in which tier. Additionally, if you’re working with a development company like Quba, your project account team will of course be well knowledgeable in this, and will help steer you in the right direction.

But what happens when things begin to change? Your company has grown, and your technology has had to keep pace? It’s all good news. And it also means that it’s time to review your Kentico license to make sure that your website is capable of doing what you need it to do. If your flagship product has its own website separate from your homepage or you’re considering a new server configuration to handle a massive increase in traffic, you need to differentiate your needs across two different criteria—the bundle and the tier. And you may need to consider both. It’s all about how your company is changing. So, ask yourself, how does your business grow? With an increase in views or hundreds of SKUS? Or multiple servers all in a row?

Bundling up

First let’s talk about bundles. If you’ve got a single Kentico website license, then you’ve got one Kentico website. Pretty easy to figure that one out. As your business develops, you may add a website or two to your portfolio. Maybe you acquire a secondary brand. Or one of your own brands becomes so popular it needs its own dedicated domain. Or you create sub-domains when you open a new branch of your brick-and-mortar shopfront. In these cases, buying more individual licenses makes the most sense.

At a certain point however, you’re going to tip the scales over cost-wise, and it’s going to become a better deal to buy a single server license with a 10-website bundle. If you know in advance you are going to be creating multiple websites, then you should buy a server license with a website bundle up front. Bundling after the fact means writing off the cost of the remaining time on the licenses unless they are at the end of their subscription.

Growing up

Okay, that’s all pretty basic bulk-buying advice. Let’s talk about more complex growth. Let’s talk strategic growth planning. This is where the Kentico licensing tiers come in. The main tiers are CMS Base, CMS Ultimate, and EMS. Each one comes with an increasing number of features, with EMS including absolutely everything.

And when you’re making a hundred decisions on your website, picking the license can feel relatively minor. You can fall into one of two easy thought traps. Either: “My business is young. I don’t need all those features. I’ll just go with Base.” Or, “Let’s just get everything! We can figure it out later!” But with a little guidance, you can make the right choice for calibrating your website as a tool for business growth.

CMS Base is a great starting point, for sure, especially if your website is mostly informative. But it doesn’t, for instance, allow for user generated content. This puts limitations on collaborative working, including some project management and partnership models. Additionally, Kentico does have inbuilt eCommerce functionality. We would however recommend plugging into one of Kentico's certified ecommerce partners such as Ucommerce. This third-party supplier caters directly to Kentico customers, offering a more advanced and mature feature set than the Kentico platform..  

If you do want to stick with Kentico’s eCommerce functionality, you need to consider CMS Ultimate, at least. Fortunately, Kentico has offers a graded discount scheme on licence upgrading. Fortunately, Kentico has offers a graded discount scheme on licence upgrading. So even if you start out with a lower level licence, and you your business develops rapidly or in an unexpected direction, you can change your licence at any time. And you’ll always recoup at least some of the costs of your current licence, as long as you have a valid maintenance contract.

In any case, if you do make the jump up to CMS Ultimate, you’ll find it has unlimited SKUs, as well as a few additional marketing features. And it also supports web farms. So if your website growth has to do with traffic or app usage management, which has resulted in a multi-server setup for load balancing, then you absolutely need to move up a licensing tier. Just make sure you have enough server licenses to cover as many servers as you’re running—even if its a virtual web farm.

Topping up

At the top of the line is the Kentico EMS license. This has everything CMS Ultimate has, plus the full spectrum of marketing integration features and GDPR support. This is the big player in strategic growth. This is the license for businesses that are seriously ambitious about what their website can do for their business development over the next few years. This license allows for a much more powerful connection between your website and its users. It connects users with content based on their behaviour and preferences, and directs their journey in a more personalised way. These tools also provide data analysis and insight that you can use to think about future product and service planning. It really is a comprehensive product.

If you’re still not sure which license is best for your company, or if your business is currently going through an awkward growth spurt, don’t worry. Quba’s Kentico account specialists can give you advice on which Kentico license works best for your specific needs.

If you’d like to talk more about it, contact 






Ben Franklin

Technical Director








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