When I started using Sitecore in early 2013, I didn’t have a clue about all useful features it has. Back in those days I was building rather simple solutions without using the whole power of Sitecore. After three years, I now realize what I was missing out on. In this short article I will share the things I really like about Sitecore.
From the developer’s point of view
There are a lot of things I like in Sitecore from the developer or architect point of view.
One of them is scalability. It is very easy to extend the solution simply by adding another content delivery server, configuring it and pointing to it from a load balancer. No setup for database replication is needed as the publishing mechanism does what is required.
Sitecore is highly extendable and configurable. There are lot of free extensions and modules on the Sitecore marketplace. You can even write your own and publish them.
Sitecore has a very large and friendly community. There are countless blogs and threads on the Sitecore forum and stack overflow. People are very helpful, so it is very likely that you will receive a helpful hand with any query you have. A lot of developers write about problems they have faced which are then resolved by members of the community.
There is also one useful feature called Debug Mode. There you can see the load time of each component and find potential bottle necks.
From the content editor’s point of view
One of the best content editor features is Experience Editor. It gives the editor ‘What You See Is What You Get’ mode, so editing or creating new content can be done intuitively. Adding new components, replacing them, bringing new data sources – almost everything can be achieved in this mode.
I also like the expanded Content Editor mode. An editor can add new versions of the editing page to preserve previous content and add versions in other languages. The workflows mechanism adds complete functionality to insure all desired changes are accepted before publication.A very useful feature is setting a restriction for publishing, so that the desired page or any other element can be shown online within a specified period of time.
From the marketer’s point of view
There are a lot of marketing features in Sitecore. Personalization is my favourite. You can use it to determine a user and show him the most desirable content. You can specify business goals which he can score (just like a downloaded brochure or viewing a specific page) and based on that score makes your site react just like you would when serving your client.
When you want to test to see if some versions of a page are more friendly to the user you can use Multivariate testing. This is a built in mechanism so you don’t have to write your own.
There is also a module for email campaigns. It can save a lot of work configuring and using third party systems. It is highly connected with the Sitecore analytics database, so any user action is logged and analysed to create a full user profile.
Experience Analytics is similar to Google Analytics but is fitted to your solution. It aggregates data from all user actions and creates a user profile. This can determine what should be presented to the user and in what way it should be done. This is a very big tool. Business Analysts will appreciate the BI tools it includes.
As you can see, Sitecore comprises a bunch of tools which can help you build your complete solution for your business. I like it very much, especially the fact that it creates synergies with a project that meets the clients’ needs.