Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Best .Net Based CMS
There are plenty of CMSs available in the market today that help website owners manage and update the content regularly. Whether you own an e-commerce store, a blog or a news site, based on the kind of development platform you want and the budget you are comfortable with, you can choose the right CMS that will cater to essential features like SEO, social-media friendly and more.
Depending on your business goals and budget, you can either buy a licensed CMS or use one of the many open-source solutions available today. Coming to the development platform, there are several open-source as well as licensed CMS platforms that have been built on Microsoft .NET, which have proven to be high-performance solutions and make content publishing very easy.
One must consider various factors and weigh in the options while choosing the best CMS for their business. So, to help you decide, we bring to you a list of some of the popular .NET based CMS platforms and their unique features that make them so highly sought after!
Umbraco is a fully-featured, extendable, free open-source Content Management System that can help you run several websites with one single installation and helps set-up multilingual sites too. At GajaDigital, we love to work with Umbraco CMS as it has the flexibility to run anything from a small marketing campaign to some of the largest sites for Fortune 500 companies! It’s super easy-to-use and robust to build upon, and it has been successfully running large websites like wired.co.uk and asp.net.
Umbraco CMS has a modern User Interface, is simple to customize, has a pure .NET architecture and a strong active community making it one of the topmost choices for web CMS. It has recently released the latest 7.7 version that has many new features such as the built-in module to create Nested Content.
Having delivered several website projects to happy customers, we feel that Umbraco is the best open-source .NET based CMS, which is not only highly flexible and scalable but also has a strong developer community that makes it the right candidate. So much so that we just can’t find any drawbacks in the platform! Umbraco comes with numerous options for plugins and it also offers options for paid support and add-ons.
Created for small to enterprise level websites, Kentico provides Content Management System and Customer Experience Management System with a range of features for building websites, intranets, community sites and e-commerce solutions on the .NET platform. Kentico can be run on-premise or in the cloud and supports mobile websites, SEO, multilingual websites and various marketing tools to suit your business goals. Kentico CMS has pages organized in a tree hierarchy, making it easy for users to find the page they want to edit.
However, there are certain drawbacks in Kentico, which you might want to be aware of:
(i) In the free version, you would have to provide the Kentico logo and links on your website. And it also has limitations wherein you can have only 1000 pages, 100 site members, 1 administrator and 1 editor. It does come with paid versions but they can prove to be too expensive with prices ranging from $3,499 to $59,999 depending on the components required.
(ii) Kentico CMS has a relatively small community in comparison to other CMSs like Umbraco, which could mean that the support forums maybe less reliable if you depend on them for site management with the free license.
Sitefinity is a next-generation web content management system developed by Telerik, and it uses .NET standards like MasterPages and Controls for template management. This feature makes the website’s front-end development very straightforward. Sitefinity has a task-oriented User Interface that makes it convenient for users to manage and interact with the system.
Although it supports Responsive Design and Mobile Development, there are some drawbacks with Sitefinity that we would like to draw your attention to:
(i) Firstly, there is NO open-source version of Sitefinity and the cost varies from $2,999 for the Standard edition to a whopping $50,000 for the advanced versions!
(ii) It doesn’t offer as many plugins, helpful modules or administrative tools when compared to other open-source CMS software.
(iii) Most importantly, you would need to put extra efforts to manage its dashboard, register your Analytics module, configure it and continuously upgrade your analysis capabilities. Usually, enterprise companies would need an IT team to handle these issues.
4. DotNetNuke (DNN)
DotNetNuke (DNN) is a secure, scalable and extensible open-source Content Management System that powers around 800,000 websites worldwide. Based on Microsoft .NET, DNN can be used as a CMS as well as an application development framework. DNN is available for free (Community Edition) and subscription-based (Professional and Enterprise Editions).
Although it has a strong community and provides lot of options for themes and plugins, users have often been troubled by some of the below-mentioned disadvantages in DNN:
(i) DNN has been found to be very resource intensive when compared to other CMSs like Umbraco or WordPress.
(ii) The response time of a DNN site and its URL dependency have been some concerns with users.
(iii) Another problem is the missing support for multiple languages. Although you can install different languages, you can’t write separate content for each installed language in DNN.
This enterprise-ready CMS is suitable for mid-sized to large-scale websites, and is preferred by enterprises already using .NET CMS. Sitecore supports multiple sites and web farms, has an integrated SEO module, multi-lingual and multivariate (A/B) testing support. This makes it suitable for businesses in search of a marketing-friendly site.
However, there are some major drawbacks with Sitecore CMS such as:
(i) Firstly, the installation itself is a costly affair and could range anything from $85,000 to $100,000, which is far more expensive than other CMS options! Licensing fee starts at $40,000 with an additional $8,000 per year
(ii) Most of the functionalities in Sitecore are not logically organized, making it quite a daunting task for the editor to get used to the product.
(iii) They have issues keeping up with their technology and this is clear with the fact that they still have no official support for Azure Websites.
Choosing the right CMS platform to develop and manage your business website or web application involves a lot of careful planning. You will have to keep in mind the tools and technologies on offer and the extra benefits the platforms provide such as themes, extensions, third-party plugins, community support, security and flexibility among others.
There are several other options in the .NET based CMS sphere apart from the ones listed above, but according to us, Umbraco certainly takes the top honours and is the perfect choice for a .NET based CMS. If you would like to more about our Umbraco Website Development services, please feel free to contact us or visit our blog section for some more interesting reads.
Shwetha Bhat | Blogger