If you’re in the European region, you will notice a lot of the bigger companies run Sitecore as a content management system. Of course there are Sitecore installations around the globe, but because of their Danish origin, it’s especially dense in Europe.
And I meet people who ask: “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?”.
For those who don’t know:
Sitecore is an enterprise CMS. It runs on Microsoft technologies, and when you extend the system (which you often do), you will use Microsoft .NET as a programming language.
Those who have worked with it know it can be a bit heavy. It can seem slow and your site is a bit locked. You often rely on very expensive consultants to maintain it and develop new features.
This gets worse if you understand the underlying details. There is little open source compared to systems like Joomla or WordPress. It’s very slow to develop to.
Oh, and the licenses are expensive. While Sitecore makes unique prices for each customer, most pay around 10-15k USD a year per server.
So let’s say you have 2 front-end servers and a test server, you will pay 30-45k USD a year for licenses. And then you need very strong machines to run it.
So this makes the question relevant: “why on earth would you use Sitecore?”.
And the answer is two-part. I will start with probably the most real reason:
1) Great sales teams. Sitecore are amazing at doing sales, and they have great cases, resources and stories to tell potential customers. They have amazing partnerships with consulting companies that already deal with high-end customers, and by selling Sitecore into a customer, they make a huge lock-in and can generate huge profits.
The second reason is:
2) Very useful system for enterprises. As companies grow, they need more complex websites. Lets say you have a webshop like the camera manufacturer Nikon. You need a unique frontend for each country / language, you need to modify content and menus in different areas of the website and you need different access permissions.
Sitecore is built to handle this. Sitecore is built to manage the complex world of entreprise organisations. While CMS systems such as Drupal and Joomla easily can handle this, Sitecore is focused on this type of customer which they’ve made a huge profit on.
In addition, they have their digital marketing suite. This is a product that is great to do marketing with in front of marketing departments:
“Imagine you can customize the website depending on what type of customer that is on your website!”
Having used this system the truth is a bit farther from this statement, it sounds great when doing the sales.
So Sitecore. Slow, very expensive but fine for enterprises. But most of all, great sales teams.