Episerver vs Sitecore

Learn which Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is better when comparing Episerver vs Sitecore. Take a closer look at the key features of both technologies and which is best aligned with your business goals.

Episerver and Sitecore at a glance

Before we get into pitting Episerver vs Sitecore it’s important to be aware that these are both industry-leading global Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) that are built using Microsoft .NET and at face value are closely matched in terms of their capabilities across content management (CMS), personalisation and digital asset management (DAM).

Episerver rebranded to Optimizely in 2021 following the acquisition of the experimental and optimisation software, strengthening its capabilities and making it an even more attractive choice for digitally ambitious brands. Optimizely has been consistently evolving and leading the way for digital experiences, gaining recognition from Gartner since 2015. Sitecore, however, has seen a downward trajectory in its industry recommendations from Gartner and Forrester in recent years, specifically for CMS and Commerce performance.

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Both DXP platforms boast impressive module and tool portfolios when it comes to content management, user experience and specifically personalisation. However Episerver and Sitecore differ in how easy they are for organisations to use and progress. Whilst Sitecore is a sophisticated platform, it’s accessibility for its customers is restrictive, with organisations being heavily reliant on specialist development support and lengthy, expensive upgrades to access new features.

Episerver (Optimizely) on the other hand works on a different framework, where websites are able to upgrade to the newest versions in a fraction of the time (depending on the size of the site). In fact, Optimizely’s cloud service means over 6,000 clients can upgrade seamlessly, with ongoing maintenance and optimum performance. This level of agility is a big cost saver for businesses and the time and budget saved on a Sitecore upgrade means businesses can quickly invest resources in keeping their current site up to date and leveraging new features at speed.

Scalability and security

Episerver and Sitecore are both excellent in terms of scaling and security. Since they both share a vision for helping businesses to grow their cloud-based technology makes them quite evenly matched. 

However, Episerver’s cloud solution is arguably more comprehensive and reasonably priced in comparison.

Intelligence and AI

Like with many aspects of Sitecore, customers often successfully get a good ROI on the product because Sitecore has made accessibility too complex. Although the platform recently acquired Boxever and has its own AI module, any artificial intelligence or machine learning has to be sourced from a third-party.

Episerver, since evolving to become, Optimizely, offers customers an intelligence layer and is the only DXP leader to embed automation and AI technology to facilitate everyday marketing tasks with an extremely agile customer data platform at its core.


Episerver and Sitecore have been leading the way with their premium content capabilities for a long time. Both platforms have easy to use editing and publishing tools for organisations to take advantage of and useful workflow features.

Since the DXPs are favoured by enterprise-level businesses that often have multiple sites or teams working across different offices, Episerver and Sitecore’s content modules allow users to collaborate easily in a secure environment that enables users to set up different approval and access settings for managers, administrators, editors etc.

Although Sitecore has some testing functionality, when it comes to experimentation, Optimizely’s A/B and MVT  testing and other tools have the edge in this category.

Which is best for your organisation Episerver or Sitecore?

Comparing industry leading technologies can be difficult, especially when both share some powerful features. In this case it comes down to the future of the platform and the value.

Episerver (Optimizely) is recognised for its innovative approach to using content, experimentation and new technologies to create world class digital experiences. In one year Sitecore dropped two places to #4 in the Gartner MQ for DXP, whilst Optimizely overtook. This decline in trajectory for Sitecore might just be a blip, however for brands who have big ambitions for the future, Optimizely is an attractive choice. So which DXP will you choose, Optimizely vs Sitecore?

To find out more about Optimizely pricing and if it’s aligned to your business needs contact us. We are Ultimedia, an accredited Optimizely Partner that’s been helping brands since 1995 to achieve their digital goals. Talk to one of our experts to see how we can help.

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