Sitecore CMS Guide for Beginners
2 February 2023
What is Sitecore CMS?
Sitecore CMS is a powerful content management tool developed by a global software company that is built on ASP.NET framework. Originally launched in 2001 and currently at is 7th version, Sitecore CMS provides complete control to content editors and marketers on all aspects of the website from social integration, posts and feed to ecommerce, personalisation, the Internet of Things, etc.
What type of CMS is Sitecore?
Sitcore is an enterprise based Sitecore has been continuously evolving as a software, and every new version offers developers and marketers a wide range of advanced, in-built tools. It allows them to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. The Sitecore Web Experience Manager or Sitecore Experience Manager is another name for the Sitecore Web CMS (content management system).
Is Sitecore a good CMS?
Yes, it is.
Sitecore CMS runs leading multinationals like Toshiba, MayoClinic, Nestle, and Canon, among many more.
- An impactful desktop UI that is fully customizable makes it easier to learn and therefore one does not need a developer.
- Sitecore CMS has multiple functions like content editing, workflow setting, campaign monitoring, user management, etc.
- The .NET framework provides scalability, security, and flexibility, making Sitecore CMS a favorite.
- It is a very powerful platform that helps in catering to market needs and its features aid in creating great user experiences to optimize ROI.
- Sitecore makes the website tailor-made to the customers, based on the potential customer's unique attributes.
- The structural hierarchy makes editing simpler and the variety of templates, the approval process, and the publication time cater to all the basic needs of content management. After all, Sitecore is the innovator in custom-made digital experiences.
The list goes endless when it comes to features of Sitecore CMS
The Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) collects customer interactions from all sources in a synchronized, big-data pit. It connects communication data to prepare a complete, combined report of each customer and delivers the data to marketers to fine-tune the customer experience in real time. The xDB construction is elastic enough to install low-traffic, single-server, results as well as highly scalable, rushing, multi-server, solutions.
The key architecture components in the xDB are:
Content delivery server (including personalization): a Sitecore application server attends incoming HTTP requests for website content from the Internet while employing content delivery and personalization.
Content management server: this refers to the essential functions of Sitecore such as preparing and modifying content, and handling it to configure the website.
Content databases (SQL Server): Sitecore CMS uses three SQL Server databases namely the Core database, which contains all settings; the Master database, which makes and edits all versions of all content; and the Web database, which has the latest versions of published content, achieving a concluding workflow state.
The core database manages membership, control system configurations, and maintain the entire compilation in the CMS. It is accessible through the CMS and opens to modifications, while we can supersede normal functions and build our applications.
Whenever a new piece of content is created, edited, or deleted it is stored in the master database. The master database can be system-enabled and modified to assign specific roles to specific sections of the site or made to go through an admin before broadcasting.
The live content is in the web database. It only stores the recent live version of each content. When a content editor publishes some content, it is then copied from the master database to the web database.
Only the web and core database are accommodated in the SQL server in a production environment. Therefore, the application is more secure since the CMS is concealed from the public website.
Session state server: a standard ASP.NET session state store provider that comprises the support for the Session End event of personalization and optimization. The default session state provider is in Proc ASP.NET but providers for MongoDB, Redis, and SQL Server are also available.
Collection database (MongoDB): the primary storage for all systematic data and the archive of contacts. It uses MongoDB – a highly ascending document-based NoSQL database solution.
Processing server: the accumulation section that draws out data from collected, rough data and converts it into a form appropriate for broadcasting. It also performs mass updates on the database. It is connected to both the collection and a reporting database. However, it can run independently as well as in concurrence with other aggregation servers for higher performance.
Reporting database: a SQL Server depository of aggregated data from the collection database that is apt for fast querying and reporting.
Reporting service: this API executes queries and extracts data from the collection and reporting databases. It is essentially a part of the xDB but can be configured as a transitional reporting server that unburdens termination servers.
It is to note that these databases are not all officially Sitecore products but also secondary and third-party databases working in unison.
A Sitecore web application possesses a Content and Media Library for content editors and Layouts, System and Template folders for developers and system admins. All these folders are stored in the form of a content tree with folders locked down as per users’ roles. Sitecore’s content trees are integrated using the API as separate entities and are easily accessible.
Content: This item folder stores the pages and data, the structure of which is representative of the website architecture. In other words, the items in this folder are the framework of the website for which the website is stored, and the structure of these items represents the structure of the website.
Media: The Media Library archives all the physical multimedia files on the file system or as a blob in the database.
Layout: This item folder contains all the ASPX ‘layouts’ for the web application. It also stores the so-called ‘sub-layouts’; the widgets that make a web page. Layouts together with multiple sub-layouts build pages, inferring that the widgets can be reused or switched with one another without developer involvement. Items on the web page are directly rooted in the item folder or the database.
System: The System item folder is the depository of the standard settings for the content editor and the web application.
Templates: All the template items are stored for the site in this folder. Templates describe objects in Sitecore.
The Sitecore API is very potent.
Sitecore items use many different technologies, from standard .NET web forms to using XSLT and MVC. Sitecore items can also be inquired using several methods; they have their own query languages Sitecore Query and Sitecore Fast Query which are identical to XPath, and you are also able to use Linq to query Sitecore items and use ‘where’ clauses to filter down further.
Sitecore also takes advantage of Lucence to crawl and index content on the website. This can be additionally boosted with a powerful open-source package called Advanced Database Crawler which extends Lucence functionality to index GUIDs, giving developers some great search capabilities such as searching within certain folders, by template types, when a certain field contains a certain value, and more. This is great for developers as it adds flexibility while retaining the speed and performance associated with indexing and searching content via Lucence.
There is a large developer community that helps in easy orientation to Sitecore for beginners. Sitecore frequently hosts user groups at countless places to boost creator community involvement. They are very approachable with the community and often demonstrate internal developments, in addition to conducting development teams’ debates, symposiums, and question-answer interactions via Twitter.
What Does Sitecore Include? Key Features & Benefits
Sitecore is one of the best CMS, a chief digital involvement software used by establishments worldwide to generate continuous, personalized digital experiences. Sitecore is a cohesive platform powered by .NET CMS, commerce, and digital marketing tools. Sitecore’s main creation is the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) which syndicates their potent content management system (CMS), Sitecore Experience Manager, and Sitecore Experience Database (xDB).
Known to continuously evolve, the cloud-first digital experience platform also offers shopping experiences through Sitecore Experience Commerce.
Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) aids in the market exposure of websites. Sitecore Experience Commerce help in boosting conversion through the personalization of content. Finally, Sitecore provides a compact substance to implement the complete range of social, content, and outreach features.
Sitecore has a detailed suite of features to regulate content aptitudes, from reporting, planning, and creation to optimization, safety, and user management. This provides a robust groundwork to support a brand’s digital character, approach, and engagement.
The basic benefits that distinguish Sitecore from other CMS include:
Ease of use
The desktop-like interface, WYSIWYG, and HTML editors make Sitecore easy to use. The hierarchal structure of developed pages in an intuitive tree-like manner makes understanding simpler and page names directly influence the URL.
360 Degree View Of Visitors
Sitecore enables us to get detailed information about all visitors to our website. The attributes of the potential customer, his/her browsing history, necessities, etc. can be obtained through the software and the second and third-party tie-ups. These increase the rate of conversion for ROI and the engagement of potential clients.
This 360-degree view of visitors enhances marketing and personalization.
Personalization & A/B Testing
Sitecore changes content in real time as per the visitors’ attributes, goals, and needs. This creates a customer-friendly user experience that is unique for each customer. This personalized experience helps create meaningful relations with customers. A/B testing and other multivariate analysis further help optimize personalization based on user behavior and an infinite number of criteria.
Until and unless a website is effortlessly visible when searched, the work seems incomplete. On top of that with the high internet traffic regularly and the user’s distrust of online advertisements, SEO becomes crucial for digital marketing.
Well, have no fear when Sitecore CMS is there. Although it performs great in search by default, it has a lot more features for search engine optimization.
Marketing Automation & Emails
Easy drag-and-drop interface and loads of features enable one to induce customer engagement and marketing campaigns. Sitecore CMS also has opt-in/opt-out subscription feature for e-mails which can also be used for regular content as newsletters.
Omni-Channel Automation & Insights
Powerful tools like Sitecore CDP (customer data platform) allow us to extend marketing and analytics capabilities beyond the website to various channels.
Data from your own or third-party systems and apps can be used to activate mechanizations, segment contact data, and amalgamate it in one place for a complete profile of a customer, and his/her behavior on other channels and online to initiate more engagement.
Sitecore’s .NET framework with incorporated firewalls and other security features makes it secure, strong and a much safer option than any other open-source code CMS.
Additionally, Sitecore’s dedicated security has employed security-as-default across its products and services and maintains several certifications and security reports like ISO, CSA Star, SOC2, and PCI-DSS.
Language & Multisite Support
Sitecore effortlessly hosts multiple websites by simply adding a new page node and organizing the new page node with a domain. This is great for the management of all required websites of the user in one place.
Multilingual / Multi-Cultural
Sitecore efficiently handles multilingual and multi-cultural websites by enabling language variations for any number of cultures or languages (e.g., UK English), easily applying rules like geo-location to show different language versions to different regions. The translation is also available as a feature, where certain fields on templates unique or shared (i.e., a symbol) can be preserved. We can add new languages as per their version history as well.
Sitecore develops websites with a mobile interface as well. It is a simplified experience for developers to have an interconnected and open web design approach. User interface and app support, hence keep improving, thanks to Sitecore’s Experience Accelerator (SXA) with a built-in grid system.
Sitecore Connectors and APIs provide a smooth incorporation into third-party apps and systems like CRMs or BI dashboards. This integration initiates information gathering about your customers or users, crucial in today’s content management.
Sitecore has a fluid nature for developers to build components with rich back and front-end development configurations.
Things are properly compartmentalized with Sitecore, and with a good developer, the sky is the limit for possibilities. Sitecore, therefore, gives developers the ability to modify, and marketers the ability to control and adapt their content.
Sitecore is farsighted to allow marketers to build their own knowledge in a developmental, multi-cloud, low / no code atmosphere.
Launched in Spring 2022, Sitecore’s Experience Manager Cloud is the most future-focused CMS.
Sitecore CMS vs. Sitecore DMS: What is the Difference?
Often the terms Sitecore CMS and Sitecore DMS are encountered together. These are two different types of services that Sitecore provides
Sitecore CMS or Sitecore Content Management System:
- A CMS is the software platform used to produce, issue, and administer content on websites. Specifically, Sitecore is a WCMS (web content management system) that manages outward, customer-facing websites.
- Sitecore considers its CMS the Sitecore Web Experience Manager, intended for professional-grade content administration and scalability. It aids in writing content and dispensing to every promotion channel, customizes content as per visitors, integrates the content to multiple sites and secondary or tertiary databases and websites, has multi-lingual proficiency, and Mobile First sensitivity.
Sitecore DMS (short for Sitecore Digital Marketing System):
- It refers to Sitecore’s background aptitude and omnichannel automation skills. Sitecore calls its DMS system the Sitecore Experience Platform, and it works together with the Sitecore Web Experience Manager with client intellect and cross-channel transfer.
- The Sitecore Experience Platform helps to control data-driven customer perceptions and optimize websites and branding for customer involvement and total performance.
- Sitecore DMS features comprise a central data repository (Sitecore xDB and incorporation with other databases such as your CRM), customer outlines, scoring, and various testing capabilities. Sitecore DMS also encompasses Sitecore Commerce, an innate component for filtering and organizing customer online shopping experiences.
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Who’s Using Sitecore?
Sitecore is the favored CMS for different businesses, counting commerce companies, energy, government, healthcare, insurance, and many more.
Customer experience is of utmost importance within these industries. That is what makes them successful. With the Sitecore Experience Platform, one can reach customers in productive ways and reap meaningful perceptions from those exchanges.
Sitecore primarily focuses strongly on an international enterprise that distinguishes itself from others. If a company is growing into new markets, there are numerous intricacies to pilot, the most important being the ability to appeal to a new audience and make new partnerships.
Sitecore upholds an on-brand experience through every member and customer touchpoint through multi-language provision, profound amalgamation skills, and flexible, linked workflows.
Do I Need Sitecore CMS?
This question opens a lot many more to understand if one needs to get Sitecore CMS.
Firstly, working with scattered or global partners is easier if we can track our content throughout, assign role-based access, and distribute from within the Sitecore platform. so, for global enterprises, such a CMS is a must.
Sitecore delivers amazingly tailored customer experiences to delight your audience. The 360-degree view of customers can help a company gain deep insights that support continual improvements.
Multilingual support has always been a key factor with Sitecore.
Bottom line—Sitecore CMS is the complete package for a company looking to expand and go global. However, one should keep in mind whether the company has such sensitive content to need such security and outreach and whether it is generating enough revenue already to sustain under Sitecore CMS.
How does Sitecore work?
Why is Sitecore so popular?
Sitecore comes out to be the most preferred choice of CMS among developers and marketers alike. For mammoth enterprises, Sitecore CMS is a godsend as it can handle multiple applications and websites from one platform. Here are some of the benefits offered by Sitecore CMS.
Seamless Integration: As Sitecore CMS is based on the .NET framework of Microsoft technologies, integration with business applications is hassle-free.
Dynamic Interface: The spontaneous user interface of Sitecore CMS is so easy and flexible that even non-technical users can manage the content and update websites.
Cross-browser Compatibility: Sitecore CMS is versatile and compatible with various formats and styles for many devices.
Social Media friendly: Sitecore CMS can effortlessly manage your website coordinated with social media platforms. Innate features like forums, polls, and surveys help develop online communities.
Great for developers: Sitecore allows developers to design and create websites as well as applications with .NET and XML protocols. They follow the compliances given by the World-Wide Consortiums and support CSS norms.
The facility of Online Marketing Suite Module: Because of its integrated Online Marketing Suite, Sitecore CMS improves the website features like Email Integration, AB Testing, Analytics and Reporting, Profiling, & more.
Is Sitecore like WordPress?
While both are core content management programs, WordPress is free for all, while Sitecore is a proprietary platform. Sitecore is specifically meant for high-traffic, customer-centric brands with unique demands. WordPress appeals to users of all economies irrespective of technicalities. However, Sitecore is having a narrower spectrum to meet specific commercial difficulties.
Additionally, unlike WordPress, Sitecore is now inclined to embrace the MACH framework.
The following is a comparison between Sitecore and WordPress
|Overview||Enterprise level||Most popular|
|Ergonomics||Powerful and complex||Basic with extended plugins|
|Flexibility and customization||Extensible flexibility and pioneered customization||Monolithic, restricted|
|Costs||Competitive annual license||Free and open-source|
|Security||.NET core-safer and more secure||Vulnerable to hacking and security breach|
|Marketing||Digital experience platform with content management, SEO, commerce, personalization, optimization, and marketing automation||Complete reliance on third-party plugins- lagging and downtime|
|Training and certification||Available||Not available|
|Partner ecosystem||Robust and difficult to manage||Basic|
Should I upgrade my current CMS environment to Sitecore What are the risks?
Switching to Sitecore CMS might seem a favorable and fascinating idea to up the content management game. The leading CMS platform is consistent and incessant in adding new functions and upgradation. However certain things must be kept in mind before transitioning to Sitecore. Sitecore no more supports older versions. It is, therefore, advisable to upgrade to a new version. Other challenges that can be encountered are:
- Unavailability of a compatible version of the Sitecore marketplace module
- Newer versions of Sitecore CMS do not support the WFFM form
- Conflicts in fixing Sitecore configuration
- Outdated services, obsolete codes, and APIs
- Shifting from on-premises into the cloud
- Taking care of the database with valuable data while updating without losing the customer data
Things to consider before upgrading to Sitecore CMS:
- Changes in infrastructure: keep track of any new hardware needed for the new software
- Check site language variations: newer versions might have newer language variations. See to it that the website is compatible with the version’s language
- Codebase clean-up: obsolete codes may not work. Rewrite them immediately.
- Database Platforms Support: databases need to be compatible with new CMS versions. Or else valuable data might be lost.
- Manage Expenses and Time: transition itself is a hefty and expensive affair. Switch only if the business is already generating enough revenue to fund the transition.
- Migrate critical functionalities first: copy and install all necessary elements that are required for your website to function.
- Plan your content migration: proper planning and step-by-step workflow are necessary
- Reorganization of configuration files: reorganize configuration files to maintain the smooth functioning of the website
Does content management with Sitecore have a future?
Sitecore is one of the few that are essentially independent, organically developed applications. It manages all the content and visitor experience, to make products sellable. Sitecore remains the dominant player in CMS for .NET, and the highest-rated .NET e-commerce solution, especially for B2C (plug-ins from vendors like Insite focus more on the B2B market). With constant market shake-ups, Sitecore has managed to survive and thrive by constantly evolving and acquiring newer tools from other stakeholders as well. It is safe to say that it is not to leave soon, and there is a lot in store for content developers and marketers from Sitecore in the future.
Popular Sites Using Sitecore
The following sites are using Sitecore
Q: What are the essentials to check for in a Sitecore implementation partner?"
Ans: Finding the best Sitecore services to meet your needs asks for a few requirements. Some of these must-check items are
- Experience implementing Sitecore,
- Technological know-how,
- Sector expertise,
- Best-in-class customer support
With our comprehensive Sitecore services, Jeel Techsoft provides all of the above mentioned services.
Customers from all over the world, including B2B, B2C, and small to large organizations, have used our services to build, integrate, and configure the Sitecore CMS and Sitecore DMS platforms. We have industry-specific, certified Sitecore developers ready right away.
We are specialists in the platforms that underpin Sitecore, such as Microsoft.NET Framework, Visual Studio, ASP.NET MVC, and C# (C Sharp). Our advanced services delivery approach helps you at every level of the Sitecore implementation process, from determining your Sitecore requirements to finishing the code and delivering your customized solution.
To talk about your Sitecore needs with one of our qualified solution professionals, contact us via phone or email right away. Get the conversation going so you can control your Sitecore experience!
Q: How you can help me in implementing Sitecore for my specific needs?
Ans: you can completely customise every aspect of your marketing dimension using Sitecore, which is the biggest advantage. But how can you take advantage of the greatest possibilities for you when there are so many options available?
Being an expert organization in Sitecore implementation, Jeel Techsoft can help you in this case.
You may take into consideration your product or service, customer lifecycles, industry-specifics, and contemporary technology when evaluating your marketing and Sitecore demands. Every Sitecore implementation is different, necessitating a system assessment, a migration strategy for historical data, a plan for streamlining processes, an expansion of platform capabilities, and channel optimization.
In addition to other content management and marketing software systems, JeelTechsoft has implemented, integrated, and modified Sitecore platforms. From evaluating your present technology and systems to choosing our sector-specific, certified Sitecore developers, we customise every aspect of our services.
Following are a few of our professional specialties that Sitecore CMS and Sitecore DMS solutions can help with:
Q: Sitecore CMS and Sitecore DMS, what are the differences?
Ans: The Sitecore Web Experience Manager, as their content management system is known, is created for enterprise-grade content management and extensibility. Its features include multi-site integrations and management (including even non-Sitecore websites), multi-lingual capabilities, and Mobile First responsiveness. Its features include the ability to write content once and distribute to all marketing channels.
Whereas Sitecore's contextual intelligence and omnichannel automation features are referred to as Sitecore DMS, or Sitecore Digital Marketing System. The Sitecore Web Experience Manager, customer intelligence, and cross-channel distribution are all included in Sitecore's DMS system, which the company refers to as the Sitecore Experience Platform. Utilizing data-driven customer insights, you can improve the performance and customer engagement of your websites and branding using the Sitecore Experience Platform. A centralised data repository (Sitecore xDB and connectors with other databases like your CRM), customer profiles, scoring, and numerous testing possibilities are a few of the characteristics of the Sitecore DMS. Sitecore Commerce, a natively connected module for optimising customers' online purchase experiences, is also part of Sitecore DMS. To manage pre-purchase, point-of-sale, and post-purchase marketing experiences, Sitecore Commerce offers three methods.
Q: What is Sitecore?
Ans: Sitecore integrates a content management system with contextual intelligence and omnichannel automation technologies to create a powerful digital marketing system. It provides marketing automation tools that help you control your website (or websites) and communicate with your target audience at the right time and in the right place.
The Experience Database (xDB) in Sitecore's contextual intelligence features stores information about customers' locations, interactions, and behavioural patterns for both historical and real-time analysis. This helps you to tailor your communications with customers at each point in their journey, thanks to the automation of your numerous marketing channels (web, mobile, social, email, commerce, and print).
The Sitecore CMS is a platform that can be changed and added to in any way you want. Developers can make solutions that are quick, flexible, scalable, and complete to meet a wide range of business needs. Anyone who doesn't know a lot about technology will be able to update dynamic and rich content whenever they want. One thing that developers love about Sitecore is that it can be changed and added to. There is a developer community for Sitecore that helps new users learn how to use it.
Planning to start your own CMS system? Don't forget to use Sitecore.