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Set up a development environment

Describes how to set up a development environment in Optimizely Content Management System.

Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) is installed with templates through Visual Studio or via the dotnet command-line interface tool, providing everything you need to get a website up and running and to get started developing.



See the Optimizely system requirements for detailed production and development environment requirements.

Install Visual Studio

Visit Microsoft Visual Studio to download a suitable version, if you do not already have Visual Studio installed.



Visual Studio 2022 or Visual Studio Code is required for developing ASP.NET 6 applications. Also, if you are upgrading to CMS 12, see Upgrade assistant.

Install the Optimizely templates

dotnet new -i EPiServer.Templates

Install the Episerver CLI Tool

dotnet tool install EPiServer.Net.Cli --global --add-source https://nuget.optimizely.com/feed/packages.svc/



The latest version of the EPiServer.Templates and CLI Tool require .NET 6.


A license is not required when running in on localhost or domainname.local.

Eventually, you will need a commercial Optimizely license for testing and production environments. You can order a time-limited demo license for evaluation purposes from the Optimizely License Center.

Exploring advanced features

When you want to explore more advanced features such as multi-site and language support, and test deployment locally, you will need a more production-like development environment using Internet Information Services (IIS).

When you test deployment and backup and restoring of databases, you should install either SQL Express or SQL Server Developer Edition and Management Studio.