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Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) is conveniently installed through Visual Studio and the Optimizely Visual Studio Extension, providing everything you need to get a website up and running and get started developing.


See the [System requirements for Optimizely](🔗) 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.

When installing Optimizely through Visual Studio, you will use **IIS Express**, **SQL Server Express** and **LocalDB,** which are included with VS 2015 and higher. Ensure that you [install LocalDB separately](🔗), should you not have this.

## Install the Optimizely Visual Studio extension

Using the extension package for CMS, you can set up a project with a database, required NuGet references, and sample templates (optional). The easiest way to install the [Episerver Visual Studio extension](🔗) is directly from Visual Studio (Community, Professional, or Enterprise) as described below: 

  1. Select **Extensions** > **Manage extensions**.

  2. In the extensions window, select **Online** \> **Visual Studio Marketplace**, and type "_episerver_" in the search box.

  3. Select **Episerver CMS Visual Studio Extension** and click **Download** (or **Update** if already installed).

  4. Restart Visual Studio.

## Licenses

A license is not required when running in Visual Studio and using IIS Express.

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

Later on, when you want to explore more advanced features like multi-site and language support, and to test deployment locally, you will need a more production-like development environment using [Internet Information Services (IIS)](🔗)

When testing deployment and backup and restoring of databases, it is also recommended to install either [SQL Express or SQL Server Developer Edition and Management Studio](🔗).