Finding a website platform that is the best fit for your organisation takes a lot of consideration. You’re likely going to want to compare technologies to get a better understanding of how each platform would support your organisation’s digital goals. To help this process, we’ve compared Umbraco vs Episerver (now Optimizely) across core areas such as content, usability and security.
An introduction to Umbraco and Episerver
Umbraco and Episerver both offer organisations a platform to build and manage their websites. Both technologies are built on the .NET framework, however their capabilities significantly differ. A core difference is that Umbraco CMS is an open-source technology and Episerver is not, and requires a licence.
Umbraco is a popular Content Management System (CMS) for small businesses with smaller budgets, whereas Episerver is a leading Digital Experience Platform (DXP) worldwide that boasts a suite of products and services to ambitious, enterprise-level organisations. These include:
Umbraco vs Episerver: Content
Episerver has its roots in content management and its content editing capabilities have evolved to leverage tools like personalisation and AI to deliver the highest quality of content experiences. Episerver’s content capabilities come out-of-the-box and provide ambitious brands with the solution needed to achieve great results. An example of this are the experimentation features available to help deliver engaging content and get to understand audiences better. Episerver/Optimizely A/B testing is a sophisticated tool that gives marketers the opportunity to test content across a wide range of aspects to drive conversions and performance.
Umbraco’s content management offering isn’t to be looked down on though, as the CMS offers a well-rounded product with the essential editing and publishing capabilities you’d expect. The main difference is the size of the platform and that Episerver has a plethora of tools all within one interface, whereas Umbraco relies on third-party integrations. Umbraco requires a lot more manual work to achieve the same results as Episerver, which has a powerful AI engine to help generate intelligent, smart actions that free busy teams up to focus on other activities.
Umbraco vs Episerver: Usability
Episerver has a reputation for its easy to use interface for marketing teams, whilst its world-class features can power premium experiences for website users. Users benefit from a pedigree Customer Data Platform which unifies all customer data across all channels with all devices into a single 360-degree profile. This brings identity resolution regardless of devices or browsers for both online and offline.
Although there is an out of the box version available, organisations also have the flexibility to customise programmatically and have automated flows of data. Marketers can leverage this feature to boost engagement and conversions through personalised user experiences at an individual or segmented level. There’s also the advantage of using this data tool for remarketing.
Umbraco CMS also prides itself in having a simple, user-friendly interface when it comes to content creation. Umbraco was designed more for developers originally meaning, as long as the initial development is completed to a high standard – a straightforward CMS to use. Editing is as simple as populating the appropriate fields and publishing with a click.
Umbraco feels more ‘clunky’ to use than Episerver, With out-of-the-box features like search and analytics tools, not being as easy to you or to the same proficiency as Episerver. From a developer’s perspective there’s more labour involved with Umbraco and getting it right is paramount for a successful solution. Basic features like canonical tags aren’t included, requiring additional coding, which can again make Umbraco implementations more complicated.
The main difference between Umbraco vs Episerver in this context is again, the size of Episerver Digital Experience Platform and the sheer volume of tools and features available unlike Umbraco. From an editor’s perspective Episerver’s UI is seamless, everything is in one powerful environment making it incredibly easy to create sophisticated marketing choices and user experiences. Umbraco is more fragmented in comparison and presents an old-fashioned appearance.
Umbraco vs Episerver: Security and Scalability
For organisations with big growth ambitions, it makes sense to invest in a digital platform that can scale with their business without needing to invest extra in a new, more mature platform in a few year’s time. Umbraco can offer great security and even some scaling potential, but is highly reliant on the initial architecture being set up to a high standard. It’s this technical limit, or rather developer limit that makes it a riskier investment for enterprise-level organisations.
Episerver on the other hand is geared towards organisations that need a global reach and can easily withstand millions of visitors. Its infrastructure and capabilities are designed for multi-lingual, personalised experiences that are backed by a powerful AI engine. Where Umbraco would require third-party tools that can complicate scaling and security, Episerver offers a lot more with built-in products, offering a more robust solution. There are limited plug-ins available for Umbraco, forcing their hand to write more to make up for the deficit. This is one of the reasons why scaling can be problematic with Umbraco, combined with its difficulty in scaling the number of users able to access the system in the cloud – something that Episerver can achieve with ease.
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Which is best for your organisation, Umbraco or Episerver?
If your organisation operates at an enterprise-level, requires a product that can deliver the majority of your digital needs in one environment – Episerver is well-worth looking into further. Episerver (now Optimizely) is recognised by Gartner year-on-year as a global digital experience leader and is chosen by leading brands such as, Dolby, TRW, Pizza Hut and thousands of others.
If your business is smaller and requires a solid CMS, then Umbraco might be better suited. Just make sure the development is spot on at the earliest stage or there’s potential for future usability challenges.
Overall, comparing Umbraco vs Episerver is a bit like comparing a corner shop to a supermarket. One has you covered for all your essentials, the other goes way beyond that in products, services and size.
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To learn more about Episerver / Optimizely, book a demo with an accredited partner. Hi – we’re Ultimedia, the first Optimizely Partner in the UK and Middle East. Our certified developers work exclusively with the platform giving our clients the assurance their projects are in the safest hands.