Choosing the right CMS for your business sounds simple, right? You’d think so, however until you have a good understanding of what capabilities are available from which platforms it can feel overwhelmingly complicated.
Though we are a Sitecore Platinum Partner, it’s important for us to know what other platforms are delivering and of course which could be compatible with Sitecore. Ultimately our clients want to know what solution is best for their business.
One of the questions that clients ask if they’re looking for an intranet or extranet solution is – which is best, Sitecore or SharePoint? The truth of it is, these two technologies aren’t directly comparable despite there being some cross overs, what solution is best for a business is dependent on a number of factors which this article will explore.
Round 1: Websites out of the box
When Sitecore steps into the ring to compete on the subject of websites, SharePoint may as well admit defeat. Not because SharePoint can’t deliver this capability but because it’s not its primary purpose. SharePoint is primarily a DMS (document management system) and it’s CMS capabilities shouldn’t really be applied to anything beyond a basic brochure site.
Sitecore is an omni-channel CXP with a state of the art CMS (that also has DMS capabilities) that’s robust enough to drive powerful websites on the internet, it’s been developed to stand strong and not be phased by feature-rich sites, enabling it to consistently present optimum displays.
One of SharePoint’s strengths is that it can be deployed straight out-of-the-box in many scenarios, however when it comes to your public website this can pose some issues; such as the lack of detailed controls over aesthetics. The reason being that the components were not originally designed for and optimised for front-end performance, which is where Sitecore’s custom build capabilities excel. Sitecore is all about building your own pages and giving you the freedom to customise your own integrations and navigation.
Round 2: Implementation
When looking at Sitecore vs SharePoint for ease of implementation, information architecture shouldn’t be overlooked. If you compare both technologies, the way in which their content trees are organised plays a key role in ease of deployment. Sitecore is organised in a hierarchical sitemap style which makes content easily accessible for authors. Due to often growing in multiple directions, it’s common for SharePoint deployment to become a bit more disorganised for lost and outdated content which can become a nuisance for users.
Although both solutions are technically sound, Sitecore’s design and capabilities make it easier (and more time effective) for information architecture specialists to work with and to determine why a project has failed.
The out of the box experience, previously mentioned also plays a role here.
SharePoint doesn’t require the same amount of custom code to the server which can be a good thing in this instance as poorly written code can cause all sorts of problems for servers and performance. As Sitecore is a pure code solution this risk obviously exists but with code at its core the technology it often a lot easier for developers to work with.
Round 3: Money
It’s not really fair to compare cost, as Sitecore looks more like a middleweight champion against its lightweight competitor, SharePoint. Sitecore’s pricing is affected by what it’s being built for, this could include a number of domains, operating territories and bespoke functionality to name a few.
With Sitecore the financials are representative of the work being done for long term investment, for SharePoint the cost tends to be for those whose budget can be sustained over a longer period of time with additional development to achieve desired features.
And the winner is…
Honestly…it really does depend entirely on your business and your requirements. The two are compatible to use together but if you’re only looking for an out of the box internal system to share documents, an IT driven platform then SharePoint definitely delivers well on these areas.
If you’re an ambitious business that’s looking to invest in a robust CMS that is driven to gain customer insights, that can seamlessly integrate and maximises on ROI then it’s probably time to give us a call to chat about how Sitecore can work for your business.