Choosing the Best .NET-based CMS: Sitecore vs. SharePoint vs. Umbraco

A Content Management System (CMS) is an application that is used for the creation, modification and publication of content on the website. There are many features that may be utilized by users, including collaborative environment, web publishing, format and version control service, indexing and much more.


There are many clear advantages to using CMS for your website. First and foremost, you don’t need to know any programming language to actually run the website. It can be done by your marketing or sales team, and your software engineers can work on the continuous integration of your website or on other tasks of your company. You can create a unique look and feel for your website by using a plethora of customization tools that are a part of any CMS.

Another big feature that CMS provides is version control. You will never have issues with it due to the constant logging of changes and reserve copy functionality that stores your data periodically or on-demand, based on a pre-set timetable. Also, one of the biggest advantages of CMS is, obviously, the management of access. It is very easy to add and remove users, manage access to content, analytics, insights, social elements and content control. Specific users can be assigned to perform tasks such as moderating comment sections, if there are any on your website, adding and editing content and modifying the website itself.

While a good portion of CMSs are built using open-source, a lot of content management systems that are popular in the business community are built using ASP.NET, including Sitecore, SharePoint and Umbraco.

ASP.NET significantly reduces the amount of code required for building large and complex applications that can increase the overall development speed and reduce development costs. For this reason, many of the top CMSs are built using this programming language. It readily migrates across platforms and is easy to configure and deployments.

Let’s look at these .NET CMSs and compare the main advantages and disadvantages of these platforms.

Sitecore

Sitecore_Logo_

Sitecore is a great CMS for .NET website tool .NET is very popular among mid- to large-sized web enterprises. It is widely known that .NET infrastructure is a popular base for business information strategies, hence the popularity of Sitecore in the business community. It has tremendous support for multiple websites and web farms. One of the strongest features of Sitecore is its load-balancing functionality.

Sitecore is best utilized by midsize and large businesses that are looking to build a strong SEO marketing website. The platform is multilingual, includes the A/B testing capability and has an integrated SEO module. The costs for installing this CMS differ and are usually around $85,000 to $100,000, but these prices can change exponentially based on the business needs and available resources. Sitecore is gaining more popularity with businesses due to its phenomenal third-party tool support and User Behavior Analysis capabilities.

Check our Sitecore CMS experience

Sitecore strengths include:

  • Combining web content management with marketing automation, email marketing, social media, e-commerce, optimization and analytics into one unified platform
  • Access to multilingual components
  • Comprehensive filtering and funnel analysis
  • Designed for complete customization of every aspect of the platform
  • Dynamic content based on user behavior

Sitecore weakness is:

  • High prices on the initial package

 

Umbraco

umbraco

Umbraco is one of the best CMSs for .NET websites. Umbraco is open-source, which makes it one of the best CMSs on the market. The CMS itself is free and you only pay for support and the training for your team. It has significant mark-up storage, content storage based on logic and API that can be used to create a first-rate website. It is not simply an out-of-the-box solution that has many modules that you can hook up to the main system, but rather it is a very flexible and easy-to-modify system that can serve as a base for any web-based solution or website imaginable.

Umbraco was released in 2004, and it has gone through many updates since. It has a big community and a modern UI, which make Umbraco a good platform to build your website on. After a free 14-day trial, you can use it for a low price of $30/month.

Check our Umbraco CMS experience

Umbraco strengths include:

  • Very flexible CMS due to its open-source model
  • Big open-source community to draw from
  • Built to host and manage several websites
  • Extensive personalization tools

Umbraco disadvantages include:

  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript expertise needed
  • Not enough documentation available to help you learn the system if the team has no previous experience with the system

SharePoint

SharePoint

SharePoint is based on .NET, but it is not a CMS implicitly, although it can be used as one. SharePoint is great for document management. If you need your website to host PDF files and MS Office files, SharePoint is the system for that task. It is great for building an effective intranet solution for the same reasons.

SharePoint could also be used to build a website for customers. However, you do need a development team of expert software engineers that know and understand SharePoint inside and outside and are aware of the existing design limits.

Check our Sharepoint CMS experience

Sharepoint strengths include:

  • Office 365 capabilities that give you great flexibility. OneWindow Workplace, for example, allows minimizing the hassle when installing and setting up.  
  • SharePoint is managed by Microsoft, and this guarantees great uptime that is much appreciated.
  • New features are added fast.

Sharepoint weaknesses include:

  • When the system is updated, it may break some of the customizations that you installed. So if you update your system — be careful.
  • If you want to successfully utilize the Office 365 capabilities, you will have to ensure that your bandwidth is large enough.

How to Choose

It is really important to understand that CMSs are not that easy to choose based on the description of the platforms themselves. What you must consider is the consequences of the CMS for your business. Each business has its own needs. It is important to understand what your website is created for. Is it a landing page, a blog or you need a website for hosting your text and image data? Also, one should keep in mind the scalability of the solution. You will always be expanding the website and adding more content to it, so the ability to scale your solution is a vital function. And don’t forget security! Websites can be attacked and security measures should be considered.

A large demand for today’s websites is, of course, responsive design. You don’t want your logo to be displayed as half the screen on a potential client’s screen, covering the text.  Having a mobile version of the webpage does not account for the many types of screens and platforms, and a huge part of functionality can get cut. The good news is that most of .NET content management systems include great responsive design capabilities.

The Sitecore vs. Umbraco discussion also comes down to your business needs. This includes the number of your websites, offline system integration, budget and ambition. Each platform can provide benefits for different uses. An organization’s willingness to take risks, its long-term vision and offline technical roadmap can influence the decision to choose one platform over another.

If you need your website to be an important part of relationship building with your clients, Sitecore is a perfect choice. Umbraco is better suited for smaller companies and organizations, as it can utilize the open-source framework that can be expanded when needed. While we don’t work with Umbraco at the moment, several of our team have built sites using it. We rate it highly as an open-source CMS.

Budgets and Resources

Obviously, we cannot skip the question of budgeting. No one wants to overspend on CMS, and one should look at the points mentioned above as they relate to the needs of their businesses. On the surface, Umbraco is much cheaper than SharePoint, due to the fact that a SharePoint website requires a team of experts in the field, while Umbraco does not. The open-source nature of the software and a big and involved community makes the development of a website based on Umbraco less resource-consuming. But this may be a logical fallacy if one does not account for the real online presence needs of your business. Despite the initial reaction to the pricing and resources needed, if one looks at the real business goals, SharePoint websites may be a better fit. Our company is a perfect example. We use SharePoint-based intranet resources to maintain many parts of our own infrastructure.

Conclusion

We looked at the best .NET platforms that lead the market in 2017 and compared their strong and weak points. As you see, the many differences between these platforms imply the differences in the application of these platforms. Some of these CMSs have their own niche where their strengths can be utilized to the maximum. For example, SharePoint has a clear advantage in building an intranet solution, Sitecore is useful in creating a vibrant marketing website and serves as a stable CMS, and Umbraco is one of the best platforms to look at for a small/mid-size business level web solution.

Feel free to contact our experts if you are looking to build a web solution for your business here.

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Eugene

A copywriter at SaM Solutions, Eugene is fond of writing about innovative technologies and solutions that improve living standards and add value to business operations.