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What Is Sitecore?

The Short Version

Sitecore is a comprehensive web content management and marketing platform built on Microsoft .NET and SQL Server. Its extensible and pluggable framework allows for integrations with third-party tools (think CRM, commerce, etc.).

Sitecore Content Editor

The Sitecore Content Editor - one of the primary interfaces for managing content.

The Long Version

Sitecore aims to provide two core products in one product: 1) a web content management system (CMS) and 2) a set of content marketing tools with a focus on personalization. Put another way, Sitecore is a mid-market and enterprise-level CMS and marketing platform with a built-in analytics platform.

Web Content Management System

As a CMS, Sitecore allows for many implementation possibilities, and allows for integrations at almost every point. This flexibility is attractive for businesses who expect to expand and build upon Sitecore, but it also brings upfront complexity in the design and development process.

Experience Marketing

As a marketing platform, Sitecore focuses on “experience management.” This includes a suite of tools such as personalization (displaying different content based on user preferences or browsing history), A/B testing (displaying content based on testing rules), personas (user behavior profiles), and much more. Optional-but-related tools include commerce integration, email marketing, and content federation (displaying Sitecore-based content on non-Sitecore websites).

A robust content editing environment - the Experience Editor - is a powerful way for non-technical content authors to create, update, and personalize website content. No coding required.

Sitecore Content Editor

Technical Info

Sitecore is built on Microsoft .NET, written in C#, uses SQL Server for its data store, and runs on Internet Information Services (IIS) on Windows. Sitecore is closed-source, but may be easily decompiled for reference purposes via tool such as JetBrains dotPeek.