Altabel Group's Blog

Archive for the ‘Sitecore’ Category

Sitecore’s CMS flexibility, scalability and security make it an enterprise favorite, powering more than 32,000 websites around the world from financial powerhouses like American Express to some of the largest international sporting tournaments like Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Let’s try to find out why Sitecore is so popular nowadays especially among companies which have got high traffic sites.

What is Sitecore and why it is a choice for so many companies and businesses?

From the start, Sitecore’s architecture is able to meet every unique business need with speed, flexibility and dependability. The large variety of organizations are using Sitecore’s CMS solutions – companies (more than 3,000 of the world’s leading brands such as Experian, Toshiba, Canon, Nestlé, American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, easyJet, Heineken, and Microsoft), schools, and government agencies all over the world in every vertical sector are leveraging from Sitecore CMS to create business advantage and online success.

Sitecore is one of the leading enterprise-level content management systems built on ASP.NET, enabling web content editors and marketers to have full control over all aspects of their website from social integration and blog posts to advanced personalization, e-commerce and more. Launched in 2001, Sitecore has used the .NET platform from the beginning of the language itself, and has been growing in popularity over the last few years. Nowadays Sitecore is a quite popular CMS in the U.S.A. and Western Europe.

Sitecore CMS brings the power of personalization and conversation management right in the hands of your marketers and business users. The CMS incorporates a powerful desktop interface that is controlled by a fully-customizable role-based system. This desktop is very similar in look and feel to a Windows desktop, which makes it easy for users new to Sitecore to pick up and learn the system. Developers will find Sitecore’s powerful technology platform and open API architecture provides them the flexibility and scalability they need.

10 main reasons why companies should use Sitecore CMS

Some of the top features of Sitecore CMS include solutions that offer better insight to website user behavior as well as tools to increase site visitors:

1) Insight to Website Traffic Conversion;

2) Targeted Content Based on User Behavior;

3) Repurpose Content for Different Devices;

4) Easily Integrate with Third Party Tools;

5) Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO);

6) Fast Integration with Microsoft Technology;

7) Highly Scalable;

8) Intuitive and User-Friendly Design;

9) Optimize Web Experience with Multivariate Testing;

10) Web 2.0 and Social Media Integration.

.NET-based CMSs: Sitecore, SharePoint, Umbraco – how to choose the right one for your business?

Comparing Sitecore and SharePoint

Firstly, let’s look at SharePoint and Sitecore, as it is often asked about the possibility of using Sitecore for an intranet or SharePoint for a public-facing website. While the idea of using one technology solution to solve both problems sounds promising, there are many things you should consider before limiting yourself.

Here are some thoughts in which cases you should choose Sitecore CMS for your projects and in when it is better to stick to SharePoint (these points are based on experts’ views as well as on Altabel’s own experience):

  • it is better to use Sitecore for a platform to customize the web user experience based on non-authenticated users;
  • choose Sitecore for a marketing driven platform;
  • for an external content focus, choose Sitecore;
  • choose SharePoint for an IT driven platform;
  • it makes sense to choose SharePoint for a collaboration platform;
  • for an internal content focus with enterprise level security requirements,  choose SharePoint.

Following the beaten path, many companies continue using SharePoint for creating public facing sites – they are well familiar with it and have already invested a lot of time, money, and knowledge in SharePoint. But actually it should be kept in mind that SharePoint was not developed for such sites so it’s worth adopting another CMS to develop them. There are some advantages Sitecore offers over SharePoint as a CMS for a public facing website:

  • Sitecore allows high flexibility for content editors and a logical hierarchical structure;
  • SharePoint is very limited to List Viewsfor content entry;
  • Sitecore’s Web Forms for Marketers makes building forms and triggering goals simple;
  • Frontend development for SharePoint is restricted and requires a lot of customized work, Sitecore on the other hand, is free of restrictions and able to do anything you want;
  • Sitecore offers fantastic technical support;
  • Sitecore offers easy multilingual configuration;
  • A/B testing is included with Sitecore, a must for a modern website. SharePoint does not come with any kind of A/B testing;
  • Sitecore’s DMS (Digital Marketing Suite) – SharePoint has nothing like this. Any website that has marketing in mind can greatly benefit from this tool included with Sitecore;
  • Sitecore is developer-friendly – Development in Sitecore is much easier and requires a lot less specific knowledge. More developers are able to produce a better solution, faster, cheaper;
  • Sitecore has a clear line between data and presentation making content easier to manage.

The bottom line is simple: If you’re looking to build a public internet site on the Microsoft platform, SharePoint makes sense if you meet a certain set of criteria.  But Sitecore provides an extremely compelling alternative that, from a business owner’s perspective, offers superior tools for engaging with the customer.

Comparing Sitecore and Umbraco

Sitecore CMS and Umbraco CMS are two leading content management systems based upon Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework. Their flexibility, functionality, integration capabilities and ease of use is why many have chosen to focus their technical expertise on these systems.

Let’s have a look at the similarities between Sitecore CMS and Umbraco CMS:

  • Easy integration with Microsoft Office;
  • Endless expansion possibilities;
  • Easy-to use User Interfaces (UI);
  • Design layouts are separated from the content;
  • Due to the large open-source Umbraco community and the expert development teams within the Sitecore network both CMS platforms are constantly evolving at a rapid pace;
  • Easily scalable and customizable through modules (Sitecore) or packages (Umbraco);
  • Can be integrated with your internal systems like ERP and CRM;
  • Comprehensive documentation and online help & guidance.

And now let’s get acquainted with the differences between these two CMS:

– Sitecore is an enterprise solution whereas Umbraco is suited to small-medium sized businesses;

– Sitecore is a license-based product. This means a license fee is paid to acquire it. Licensing options can be chosen, taking in consideration a number of factors, making it possible to use Sitecore in a variety of projects: from small non-profits, with websites running on a single server, to big corporations with millions of visits per day;

– Umbraco is an open-source product, meaning there is no license fee;

– In both North America and Europe, you can easily find an existing Sitecore customer. This is very helpful to further increase adoption as it means that new customers have some experience they can tap into. In addition, Sitecore has many government references where Umbraco has almost none;

– Sitecore 7.1/7.2 has advanced feature set;

– Sitecore is an established global player; much more so than Umbraco. Sitecore is in particular strong in the important and highly competitive US and UK markets.

Our opinion is that if you do a proper CMS vendor evaluation, you will probably find that the license cost is only a fraction of the overall project costs. Your criteria should really be to look at which system will meet your requirements most efficiently.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a .NET-based CMS, all these products will work – but right now, at Altabel we would lean toward Sitecore when looking for a pure CMS that provides fast development time, stable platform and ease of use for non-technical content creators.

Of course, each organization is different, and it makes sense to check out the products and run them through your technology selection process to determine which is best for you.

Hope you have found the article interesting and helpful for you.

Also it would be nice to hear your opinion and practical experience. What CMSs do you use and for what kind of projects? What is your favorite CMS and why?

Thank you for your attention and looking forward to your comments.

 

mk

Marina Karabanova
Marina.Karabanova@altabel.com
Skype ID: m.karabanova
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

 

Among posts published in our blog, there are many about CMSs: Umbraco, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, WordPress etc. But one that slipped under our attention is Sitecore CMS.

What is Sitecore?
Sitecore is software Development Company that provides enterprise website, intranet, portal and marketing automation software. Sitecore offers two major products: CMS and its fully integrated “Customer Engagement Platform” which allows seamless integration between its major components: Web Content Management (CMS), Customer Engagement Platform, DMS (Digital Marketing System), E-commerce services, Sitecore Intranet Portal (SIP), Sitecore Foundry.

The Sitecore CMS – an introduction.
Sitecore CMS is .NET-based content management system and vc. Open source .NET based management systems (like Umbraco or Kentico for example), it’s paid resource. It’s not cheap (the cheapest Sitecore license starts around €10k and quickly goes up from there and then you still need to buy support) and depending on this fact the target market of this CMS is big enterprises such as Toshiba, Siemens, KIA, Mazda, Canon, Nestle, Microsoft, including government websites of Denmark. A full list of companies you could find by following this link.

Lunched in 2001 Sitecore’s CMS popularity has been growing over the last few years. According to the results of annual statistics, Sitecore demonstrated good results and what is particular important it is global player and highly competitive US and UK markets.

Sitecore’s benefits.
The Sitecore CMS is considered a pretty good product for its flexibility, scalability and accessibility to the widest range of businesses. Flexibility is an area in which Sitecore CMS excels as it is fully customizable and extendable, and practically anything can be overridden or extended. Scalability – Sitecore CMS is highly scalable and has been architected to scale extremely well, allowing organizations to grow and expand. Accessability – Sitecore is used by many companies, ranging from small and middle-sized to global leading ones.

Let’s have a look also at Sitecore’s benefits from a technical perspective:
• SQL Server and Oracle support allows flexible and hierarchical data storage;
• Simple and understandable API for technical specialists;
• Ability to configure and expand by increasing the pipelines supply, event handing, etc.;
• The engine dynamically collects and cashes management components that help to create solutions to re-use the code;
• Device management – designate page elements and other content for different clients (browser, PDF, XML, feed) or for mobile devices.
• ASP.NET Membership Services manage security, authentication, authorization, roles and profiles
• Workflow facilities make it possible to quickly define sophisticated material before being published
• Media Library provides storage of huge amount of items/data
• Integration with Visual Studio 2010 IDE

How to decide whether Sitecore is the best choice for your company.
If you decide that your company needs a CMS solution you probably need to make first steps towards understanding your use and defining requirements. If to speak about Sitecore CMS we’ve prepared some tips to find out if Sitecore is a good option for your company:
– You/your development team are fluent with .NET (C#, ASP.NET);
– You have a good sized website to host;
– You’re willing/ready to invest and migrate all your websites and web apps into a .NET environment;
– You agree with the payback period that could take over 1 year or longer depending on what you spend to implement and what customization you have done.

One more hot issue to consider is whether you’re ready to go with the paid license. Sitecore CMS is a paid one, it’s not open source. So you should pay for support and access to the code base if you need to create a highly customized deployment with heavy involvement from your team.

So to end up the abovementioned I could say that from technical point of view Sitecore is really looks great and it’s very powerful player among other management systems on the market as it is thoughtfully designed and well developed.

Thank you for your attention to my post and if you have any comments about any aspect of the Sitecore CMS, please feel free to leave your comments.

 

Katerina Bulavskaya

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com


%d bloggers like this: