Let’s start with the statistics, to see which businesses choose Sitecore as their core CMS platform. The chart below shows some websites with traffic levels of 10k, 100k, and 1 million visits, categorised vertically.
Sitecore is popular, especially among companies that have high-traffic sites, and its popularity is growing enormously, when it comes to the business industry. This can easily be explained by presenting the features that Sitecore offers to enterprise-level websites. More details later in this article.
What about popularity? According to Quantcast.com rankings, Umbraco is the number one choice among content management systems built on ASP.NET. Across all websites scanned, Umbraco had almost 30,000 sites, compared to Sitecore with 10,000. It’s quite easy to guess why. Umbraco is an open-source system, so it’s free to use, while Sitecore is a licensed solution, which means a fee is paid to acquire it. Price is a common tipping point leading medium and small organisations, for whom costs outweigh all other aspects of the systems, to choose Umbraco.
Let’s make an overview of the Microsoft technology-based content management solutions to determine the most significant reasons and factors affecting their popularity, apart from their prices.
Scalability and performance
Many tests conducted by independent organisations prove that Sitecore surpasses any other systems we know in speed, dependability and scalability. These are the main factors that make it a favourite among enterprises. Sitecore is designed to be a highly scalable platform, and importantly, scalability comes as an out of the box feature, with three separate databases used to achieve it: Core, Master and Web.
From the perspective of marketers and web administrators, the Master and Web databases offer useful functionality for content editing and content delivery. When editing website content, all changes are made to the Master database, and only after they are published is the content pushed to the Web database. This helps to prevent human error, as content can be double-checked, and the system will only display items that have been published. This is also important for technical reasons. Draft content is stored in the Master Database, which means that it’s not placed on a live website. This doesn’t affect the speed of our website and means faster load times.
By default, Umbraco runs off one database. This means that editors make changes to the live website, which can lead to problems with the application’s stability. Umbraco can be expanded by packages. There is no defined roadmap for development as Umbraco is an open source system. It can be developed through the effort of the community, with extra functionality added by plug-ins created by community members. However, this method of development can cause long-term issues when it comes to additional functionality that is not available in additional packages. It is important to check the availability of plugins, whether they meet feature needs and calculate their prices, before opting for Umbraco.
The Sitecore platform provides a lot of security-related configuration options. By default, the system offers advanced security permissions. It enables role configuration if one needs to restrict access to selected chunks of functionality.
It’s hard to achieve this kind of security personalization using Umbraco. It’s system configuration demands customised settings and needs to be deployed by the developers, which implies additional costs. When there are multiple content editors in an organisation and an advanced process of creating and accepting content, Sitecore architecture outdoes all other systems.
It’s all about conversions
Sitecore outranks other CMS platforms, because of its focus on business value. It has a proven track record in delivering site traffic and transforming it into site conversions. The most dominant feature of Sitecore CMS for marketing pros is full insight into website traffic conversion, reflecting every interaction that every visitor has within the website. Sitecore builds a marketing repository of customer interaction data, showing what potential customers have viewed, opened, clicked through, or bought when visiting the site. With access to such valuable information, marketers can take advantage of Sitecore’s unrivalled suite of marketing tools, like dynamic content and website personalization, setup of A/B tests, marketing automation and social media integration. Personalization and vibrant content deserve particular attention. Sitecore significantly enhances the conversion rate by providing a customised website experience for users with context that closely matches their interests and goals.
Umbraco’s marketing functionality is very limited, compared to the tools offered by Sitecore. It can be extended using certain 3rd party packages, but again, this method of software development means relying on external suppliers to gain a fully featured solution.
What about Sharepoint?
Many companies that have already invested in SharePoint infrastructure and can boast deep organisational understanding of this platform continue to use SharePoint for their public websites. SharePoint is great for document management and collaboration, especially for Microsoft-based companies. This is why it grew to be a very popular choice for internal portals (Intranet), focusing on cooperation and sharing. However, there are many advantages that Sitecore brings out of the box which SharePoint doesn’t offer – like flexible role-based content management, multilingual configuration and most importantly – the Digital Marketing Suite, which covers conversion management, with personalisation and marketing automation features
Let’s briefly recap on Sitecore’s features, which outperform all other systems in its class. Sitecore offers a lot of functionality out of the box, which is built-in and maintained by Sitecore. It supports external websites with large traffic volumes as well as an expanded content management process. Managers hold its compelling marketing suite, which enables customer engagement, in high esteem as it measurably leverages growth of their businesses.