How to Develop a Website Using Sitecore CMS?

Updated on :June 20, 2024
By :Victor Ortiz

CMS or Content Management Systems are used for creating, editing, and distributing content, which will attract visitors to your website and get you more leads. As you already know by now, WordPress is the most popular CMS platform followed by Drupal and Joomla.

The biggest plus of Sitecore CMS is that it’s a cloud-sourced software, whereas WordPress and Drupal are open-source. Sitecore cost depends on monthly site visits, add-on modules, and the number of concurrent users. 

Changes to Sitecore cannot be made by anyone other than their developers, and you don’t get support outside the company. Sitecore provides several unique features  and can be integrated with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamic 365 for Sales. More importantly, the software is capable of handling traffic spikes without any major issues. 

WordPress, on the other hand, has scalability issues and requires plug-ins and third-party apps to enhance customer experience. 
 

How Sitecore is Utilized?

How Sitecore is Utilized - Image

Sitecore allows firms to deliver amazing Digital experiences as it has incorporated all the advantages of the .NET framework. Sitecore development can be divided into the following major categories:

Development

Sitecore can be used for corporate websites, eCommerce solutions, and platforms. As a CMS, it provides scalable, modular solutions with functionalities which are unlimited.

Architecture Planning

Sitecore development principles are based on technical architecture quality and translating design patterns into components that are reusable.

Template Customization

Sitecore has JSS templates which are a complete collection of sample applications that can be modified as per need.

Multi-channel & Website Management

For good customer engagement, you need integration across multiple channels like web, mobile, social media, and email.

Integration

Sitecore has a technology alliance program that supports collaboration with other technology firms. 

Performance Validation

Firms can apply standard ASP.NET validation techniques and enforce data requirements to maximize performance and enhance UI.

Fast Content Management

Sitecore helps to create content across different websites, domains, and microsites in diverse languages via a centralized platform. 

Migration

The largest Migration projects are supported by a systematic approach to the content migration process.

Consultation

The in-built marketing tools enable organizing marketing campaigns and content production. You can combine almost infinite customization capabilities and analytical tools as per the requirement of the customer or organization.

Support

Sitecore has a centralized database that collects customer Data from multiple channels. The database has a huge storage capacity and runs both on-premise and cloud. 

5 Case Studies for your Reference


 

Web Page of International SOS

(Image Source: International SOS)

The firm is a leader in international health and security risk management. They wanted to rebuild their website to reflect their true value proposition. 

Challenges

The overall objective was to give a new digital experience that represented their status as global leaders. Along with that, they wanted to generate more inquiries and get more leads through effective content.

The new website was also a foundational project from a design as well as technical perspective.

Solution

Sitecore consultant firm worked in close collaboration with the in-house team of International SOS to create high-level User Personas & User Journeys. In the next phase, these were utilized to build a bold design that represented the value proposition of International SOS.

High-quality prototypes were used to gather feedback from the organization to improve the design further and to ensure the website meets present & future requirements. 

An implementation utilizing Sitecore JavaScript Services(JSS) and Sitecore10.1 was delivered, which was hosted on AWS. 

This enabled faster time to market and cost savings compared to earlier methods.

The new architecture makes use of a technology called “Containers.” Docker and Kubernetes were also used along with several Amazon services for a development pipeline, which is fast, reliable, and responsive.

Results

The new International SOS website built on Sitecore 10.1 is bold and authoritative, which reflects the organization’s respect and care. 

Since the new website’s launch, there have been more than 2.1 million page views, which is a 4.1% increase. There has been a 163% rise in average session duration, a 36% increase in average page visits, a reduction of 25% in bounce rates, and an 8.2% increase in repeat visitors.
 

NICEinContact webpage

(Image source: NICEinContact)

NICEinContact provides cloud-based call center solutions globally for small, mid-sized, and large organizations. The company was hosting its site on ExpressionEngine but looking for a better alternative.

They decided to go for SiteCore due to its personalization options and overall approach to Customer Experience.

Challenges

However, the company didn’t have the time to implement everything at once. So, they decided to take a phase-wise approach. In the first phase, the website would be launched on the Sitecore platform, while in the subsequent phases, new features would be added. 

They wanted to migrate their content from their old site to the new site and wanted to have the same design as well. They wanted to do all this in the time frame of 3 months. 

Solution

The consultant firm's Lift & Shift implementation process is designed to transition the client to Sitecore as soon as possible. This was done following Sitecore best practices. The process was divided exactly into three months.

First Month: Design & Solution Architecture

The first month was meant for discovery, setting up, and designing the User Experience for the new site. Before development, the consultant firm first worked on mapping the existing content to the new Sitecore architecture. The architecture was to lay the foundation for developing the code of the website and migrating content to the Sitecore website.  

The next step was to gather visual assets and branding from the NICEinContact team and include them in the new environment.

Second Month: Implementation & Integration

The URL of NICEinContact was replicated so that all of the internal links, along with SEO, are preserved when the new website is launched. Making use of new modules in Sitecore, page structures were also copied. 

Templates were also built for all the pages that had to be migrated, including landing pages to complex pages like event calendars. Search functionality was also included using Sitecore.

Third Month: Quality Assurance & Launch

The consultant firm provided personalized user training with documentation and screenshots to teach each user how to perform tasks required by their role. 

The content of two more websites meant for the UK and Australia was also migrated. 

Finally, QA testing was performed, and the website was submitted to NICEinContact for final review and approval.

Results

From NICEinContact’s point of view, the transition from the old website to the new website was a seamless process. 

As a result of comprehensive user training and solution stability, NICEinContact was able to use the powerful capabilities of Sitecore immediately on launch. They were also able to use Sitecore features like multi-site/multi-language, versioning, and workflows.

On top of that, NICEinContact could create new functionality and redesign its site. As they are on Sitecore, with a modern codebase and solid architecture, subsequent development should be easy and efficient.

The Sitecore consultant is also implementing multi-region functionality to enable NICEinContact to serve audiences globally, making use of multi-language support and localized content.

 

Clarion Housing Group webpage

(Image Source: Clarion Housing Group)

Clarion Housing Group is the biggest housing association in the UK, a major home builder and based in Southwark. They wanted to boost customer engagement on their site and provide them access to all the services they needed. 

Challenges

Clarion’s 70% of transactional customers were accessing their services through mobile devices, and the mobile experience was poor. They required a new product to allow customers to manage homes via devices of their choice, including making payments, updating personal details, and requesting repairs.

Solution

The Sitecore consultant firm built a new digital platform for Clarion Housing Group. It was done using the highly stable Sitecore 9.2 solution with JSS. 

The objectives of Clarion Housing Group which were to be achieved included:

  • Industry-leading accessibility
  • Easy-to-use
  • Re-usability of Infrastructure
  • Customer-focus & Personalization of Services
  • Seamless integration with third-party systems

The consultant worked on addressing Clarion’s key operating challenges by introducing efficiency in each area, starting with a re-designed online presence and an online account for customers.

The consultant firm performed complex integrations between Clarion’s back office, third-party and payment providers. As a result, there was a fully automated and easy-to-use experience, which reduced the customer's need to contact call centers and executives. 

This became possible with the introduction of LiveChat and chatbot.

Results

The new website based on Sitecore has met Clarions Housing Group's objectives. The engagement levels have been increased with an enhanced mobile experience. 

There have been 13,000 new registrations within six months of launch, which is a 30% increase. 

Payments via the new website have increased from 57% to 80% due to the covid-19 pandemic as well as improved customer experience on mobile.

Other than metrics, the Sitecore platform has also provided multiple benefits to Clarion Housing Group internally.

CEDP website page

(Image Source: CEDP)

CEDP, or Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, has 80 training schools functioning in New South Wales in Australia. They have good trade training programs, including vocational education across 26 venues or via online mode.

Challenges

CEDP’s website was running on an earlier version of Sitecore 8, which was not implemented correctly. Native Sitecore functions like personalization and marketing optimization were very basic. 

There was heavy use of HTML, which was handled by team members within the organization.

CEDP’s Sitecore editors were being hindered by some of the native Sitecore functions, which were not working as they were supposed to. 

The new Sitecore website was expected to deliver all features needed to make the editing and reporting process easier.

Thus, CEDP wanted a robust platform that would match its business objectives. 

Solution

Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) is known to fast-track development processes and minimize build costs. 

The website was built on SXA using Sitecore version 10.

The delivery methodology consisted of 5 phases and followed a hybrid agile approach giving customers full flexibility.

The 5 phases were as follows:

  • Inception
  • Elaboration
  • Build
  • Business Readiness
  • Marketing Optimization

The Sitecore consultant, after various discovery sessions, ran reports and got data from Google Analytics.

This insight flowed into wireframing, Information Architecture(IA), marketing automation, and Sitecore personalization.

The SXAs capabilities were used to build the website from the ground up. A diverse library of shareable templates was built with over 15 content components with different functionalities. 

The emphasis was not only to deliver exceptional customer experience but to improve the look and feel of the website and make CEDP’s editing easier.

As they had many schools, it was necessary to define the organization’s key personas. They were assigned to relevant content in Sitecore. 

Results

CEDP had a clutter-free website with much better usability than the older one. It has the quality and aligns with CEDP’s core values. The website is informative yet brief. It has a call to action (CTA), driving visitors to conversions.

There has been an 80% uplift in traffic, and the bounce rate has dropped by 12% since the website was launched in January 2022.

CEDP’s website has two search types; one is General, and the other is “Find a School.” These search options are simple & intuitive. The second search type is integrated with Google Maps. 

There is personalization, which is implemented via various pages on the website, including Home Page Hero Carousel. Pattern matches and campaigns also trigger personalization.

For content, there is simplified editing provided, which will deliver a consistent authoring experience to CEDP’s content team. 

Along with this, CEDP’s content team can create and publish news articles, announcements, and alerts. 

Toshiba-Australia webpage

(Image Source: Toshiba-Australia)

Toshiba (Australia) offers a range of products/services delivering the best customer experiences. Having a tagline of “leading innovation,” they produce technologically advanced products. The company wanted to transform its website to empower its clients.

Challenges

Toshiba(Australia) was being restricted by its online presence, which had been more or less the same for several years. The User Experience was not ideal; the website was not responsive and lacked integration. 

The website did not capture useful data, was not personalized, and had no marketing automation feature.

Solution

Toshiba (Australia) did not have the resources to perform an internal digital transformation. Hence, they needed an external team to manage the project and lead the Sitecore development, SharePoint, and Oracle EBS integration.

The Sitecore consultant was selected for its multiple award-winning works, delivering success to its clients across various domains.

The Sitecore consultant worked with Toshiba using Waterfall and Agile methodology to deliver the project.

The website was made capable of delivering success to its audience and meeting competitive market challenges. The content was customized and functionality which ensured that what customers need is provided across desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Systems integration was performed with Sharepoint, Oracle, and Sitecore Commerce and combined with personalization capabilities. 

The personalization experience has been delivered to B2B customers making use of five personas and easy access to tailored information.

Sitecore Commerce manages complex relationships between products, firmware, and accessories.

SharePoint was used to incorporate information that has allowed Sitecore Commerce to deliver true value to B2B clients.

Results

Toshiba (Australia) has delivered a digital platform that will take them toward digital maturity.

The Sitecore Experience Platform has been implemented, and Toshiba (Australia) has a powerful marketing suite, which has raised its customer experience. 

With the newly integrated website, there has been greater alignment with product development and marketing communication teams. As a result, customers and partners have personalized access to product & service information. 

Pro & Cons of Sitecore CMS

All technologies have their pros & cons, and it depends on the requirement and application to decide whether to adopt that technology. Let’s have a look at the major Pros & cons of Sitecore to help you make a decision.

Pros of Sitecore

  • Advanced features like headless content delivery, path analysis, and advanced commerce storefront.
  • Developers can easily replace classes, rewrite the working of default features, and export customized functionalities
  • Depending on outlined needs, there is scope for scaling horizontally and vertically
  • Supports data privacy in compliance with the latest GDPR regulations
  • Managing Security is not complicated due to the technical guidance provided by Sitecore
  • RESTful APIs ensure the application of web content management & implementation of customer intelligence
  • Company can choose between on-premise or cloud deployment
  • Fully-managed environment with select self-managed cloud or Microsoft Azure

Cons of Sitecore

  • Expensive as compared to market competitors, a good option for large-scale organizations
  • 24X7 priority support requires an additional fee & regular support can take one business day
  • Training process is costly and requires certification from Sitecore
  • Scarcity of skilled developers

Wrapping Up…
 

In order to ensure compatibility and the best User Experience, it is necessary to adhere to the latest Sitecore development practices.

You will not be able to decide whether you can use Sitecore for your Web Development until you do a thorough analysis of your requirements and what Sitecore offers. It can be used for completely new projects and even for the migration of old sites.  

Although, there are some scenarios in which you can implement Sitecore. It can be used if you have a preference for .NET technologies, require enterprise-large tech solutions, and need a centralized digital experience. 

You are still not sure whether to go for Sitecore for your web development; you can get in touch with one of these top Sitecore development companies listed on Goodfirms. 

Victor Ortiz
Victor Ortiz

Victor Ortiz is a Content Marketer with GoodFirms. He likes to read & blog on technology-related topics and is passionate about traveling, exploring new places, and listening to music.

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