Umbraco vs Sitecore – Which .Net CMS is right for me?

This is a great question and one I asked of a colleague of mine, Clark, on behalf of a customer. He and I had a great exchange of features and concepts on the two platforms. I’m grateful I get to work with experts like this :D

Clark went so far as to create a great blog post for us to leverage as well! He quickly dives into the top questions I had:

what is the real difference between Umbraco & Sitecore? Umbraco is opensource, so it should cost a lot less, right? Aren’t they both a .NET CMS? Comparing these two is a little like comparing a Volkswagen to a Porsche. Both practically do the same thing, both made in the same country and both come in red. However, the purpose of each is entirely different.

Below I highlight the more compelling features from his post. Do check out his post for a lot more detail.

  • Sitecore is a larger company, with 1,150 employees while Umbraco is smaller with 45 employees. This may or may not matter. However, sometimes this weighs into the features a company can produce, and the quality of support they can offer enterprises. Alternatively, it can also speak to how nimble a company is and how quickly they can shift gears and produce new features for clients.
  • They are both good candidates for enterprises invested in the Microsoft stack, as both run on the .Net Framework and IIS. Many enterprises stick with what they know, in the .Net space these two are great options!
  • Sitecore is a more complex, robust CMS, with more options, more to manage, more to do to ensure proper architecture, etc. Umbraco is a simpler, easier CMS to use for IT and content authors.
  • The interface is “comfortable and friendly” with Umbraco, meanwhile “Sitecore is introducing a new UI [for] casual contributors”. Another strong point to consider: how easy is the CMS for your content authors? How much training will be needed? As we explore options, we have to keep our end users in mind the whole time.
  • Sitecore has the Experience Editor, which allows users to edit content while viewing the page. Umbraco uses a content editing form and does not offer inline editing of content. Another point to consider for your content authors.
  • Umbraco offers this idea of Limitless Authoring, which allows content authors to edit content referenced on the page, like on “the blog landing page, they can drill down and edit blog articles that are referenced on the landing page while in the same editing session.” Sitecore does not. Yet another point for our users.
  • If you need workflows and automation, like publishing review and approval, Sitecore is it. Umbraco does not have anything like this, however, there are 3rd party solutions available.

There are many more features, I highlighted the ones I find most compelling. Towards the end of the article, Clark shares a table comparing many of the features, well worth checking that out.

At the end of the day, lean towards Umbraco if you need a small or medium business site, with content authors who are reliable and can bust out the content as needed. Head towards Sitecore if you require larger, enterprise scale CMS, with tighter user management, permissions, workflows and more. Of course, it always depends on your exact needs.

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