What Is Sitecore, How Does It Work, & Why Should I Care?

Sitecore currently powers the websites and eCommerce platforms of some of the world’s leading brands and digital vendors, including Microsoft, Puma, Volvo, and L’Oréal. These larger brands trust Sitecore CMS with their websites because it can help them deliver rich customer experiences and inspire conversions.

So what exactly is Sitecore? How does it work? Is it worth using to grow your business? We’ll answer all of these questions and more.

What Is Sitecore?

Sitecore is a content management system (CMS) that allows businesses to host websites and manage and publish digital content. Sitecore’s service focuses on creating personalized and unique experiences for you and your customers by combining automation technologies with CMS services.

Is Sitecore Similar to WordPress?

Sitecore is similar to WordPress in that it is a CMS that helps businesses manage their websites and eCommerce platforms. They are both relatively easy to learn, can flex to your business needs, and contain the marketing tools businesses need to promote their products. 

How Many Companies Use Sitecore?

Over 60,000 companies utilize Sitecore, including major corporations such as: 

  • Microsoft
  • Subway
  • Puma 
  • Merck 
  • Salesforce

How Does Sitecore Work as a CMS?

To understand how Sitecore works, we’ll need to get a little technical. 

Sitecore is built on ASP.NET, a Microsoft framework that allows developers to build applications and websites using .NET and C#. The flexibility of this framework allows Sitecore CMS to be highly flexible, secure, and scalable for its users.

What Are the Three Different Sitecore Databases?

Aside from using ASP.NET as a framework, Sitecore is made up of three different databases to function properly:

  1. Core database: Essentially, the core database is where a business’ website is built. Businesses can configure settings, add buttons and functionality to the site, and build custom applications here.
  1. Master database: All content creation work is done on the master database, including initial creation, editing, deleting, and previewing.
  1. Web database: All live content for web applications can be found on Sitecore’s web database. Unlike the master database, which stores everything, the web database only stores the latest versions of each item, simply copying and pasting from the master.

What Are the Three Major Products of Sitecore?

Sitecore comprises three primary products that give it full functionality:

  1. Sitecore Experience Manager (XM): This is responsible for all web content management, from creating to managing to publishing content. 
  1. Sitecore Experience Platform (XP): This combines XM with marketing tools, as well as customer intelligence features called xConnect (services located between xDB and a client, device, or interface) and xDB (services that process experience data).
  1. Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC): This manages all storefront services and is designed to work with either one or multiple storefronts, depending on your needs.  

What Are the Benefits of Sitecore?

When comparing Sitecore to other CMS platforms, like WordPress or Umbraco, you’ll likely notice Sitecore features the following advantages:

  • Better customization options: It’s easy to use Sitecore to customize your website and stand out from the competition. You can also easily apply branded designs across multiple web pages.
  • More marketing support: Sitecore has built-in tools, like content engagement testing (A/B testing) and email marketing support, ready for immediate use.
  • Built-in analytics: Sitecore offers robust data and analytics on your website, including who is visiting your website and what they do on it. This information can be used to tweak your content strategy to be more appealing to the people visiting your web pages or eCommerce store.
  • Simple path to automation: Part of Sitecore’s ability to personalize customer experience comes from its automation features. For example, Sitecore will gather relevant information about website visitors and display applicable products and information based on their browsing history.

Consider Sitecore for Your Website

Sitecore is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Suppose you’re considering switching CMS platforms or looking for one to power a new website. In that case, we encourage you to think about how Sitecore can improve your customer experience and grow your business.