Sitecore Implementation Costs: What to Know
As a leading digital experience software solution, brands look to Sitecore to help them deliver the types of experience their customers are eager for. However, planning, implementing, and maintaining a Sitecore project involves a non-trivial effort and isn't cheap.
But just how much money are we talking about here? Well, Sitecore implementation costs aren’t always easy to estimate. They can depend on a few factors, which we’re about to dive into.
Example Sitecore Project Cost
Let’s start with an example Sitecore project. As you can imagine, the cost will depend on the specifics of the project, the status of said project, including the involvement of stakeholders, and how much traffic the site gets.
Project: Hotel website, including a standard brochure experience and booking experience.
Project Status: Strong idea of the final form of the project, with all stakeholders involved.
Approx. Traffic: 500,000 visits per month
Approx. Cost: Between $350,000-$800,000
I know what you’re thinking.
That’s quite a broad range! How are you supposed to pinpoint your overall costs accurately? Outside of speaking with a Sitecore partner to get down to brass tacks, here are some factors that will impact your Sitecore implementation cost.
10 Considerations When Calculating Sitecore Implementation Cost
1. General License Costs
First of all, license costs can differ depending on the amount of traffic coming to your website. Traffic impacts both hosting and licensing fees, and the higher the traffic, the higher the consequent licensing costs, as you’ll need to scale the application to cope with an increase in demand.
Sitecore licensing costs will vary depending on the amount of traffic per month, the number of test and development environments required, the number of concurrent users (ex., editors using the platform simultaneously), and the number of add-on modules.
2. Your Company Structure (And Its Impact on Decision-Making)
A critical factor in any implementation cost is how your company is structured and how quickly you can make decisions. Most companies getting ready for a Sitecore implementation will likely call on a third party to assist them.
Any company that comes to do service work will be impacted by how quickly they can get started working and receive feedback. The more people involved in the decision-making process, the slower progress will be, and the more expensive the service will become. If your company is agile and efficient, with fewer people needed to make decisions and fewer meetings, this will mean fewer iterations for the implementation. The end result will be a lighter fee from the service company.
3. Agency Support or Partner Costs
How much support will you need to maintain your website after the implementation? Agency support or Sitecore partner costs can vary depending on how much custom development and ongoing support you require for your business.
Read More: WCM Implementation Advice: Before You Start
4. Is It a Redesign?
The cost of implementing a new CMS can differ based on whether you need to redesign your website or re-platform to another CMS.
A redesign involves creating a new user experience for your site and impacts the messaging that visitors will see. Having to do a redesign means that more stakeholders will likely be involved, which can increase the project timeline.
On the other hand, a re-platform involves moving all content, templates, and modules to a new CMS. As a more concise and focused project, a re-platform can take less time and cost less.
5. Infrastructure Costs
Another factor to consider is infrastructure cost. If your IT team can build the infrastructure required to host and manage your Sitecore implementation, or if you already have the infrastructure in place, it can end up costing much less.
However, if your agency support team needs to build the infrastructure instead, the cost will be much higher.
6. Content Migration
How many content assets do you have?
Large brands with hundreds of thousands of content assets that need to be migrated can expect higher implementation costs than brands with only a few thousand content assets stored in their database.
7. Number of Websites
Your implementation costs won’t be heavily affected if you’re a medium-sized business with just one or two websites. However, implementation costs will be much higher if you’re a global enterprise with 50+ sites catering to multiple regions and languages.
8. Complex Integrations and Functionalities
Integrations can be complicated to deal with, both for your internal IT team and any outside support agencies you go to for help. For example, if you need to integrate other software solutions that are part of the Sitecore ecosystem or that can be classed as API-first tools, then complexity will be reduced.
However, if you have to integrate legacy software or custom-built functionality, then it can increase the complexity and time required to complete the project.
Do you need training?
Sitecore can come with a learning curve for your developers and even your marketers, especially if you’re moving from a custom CMS or a more traditional platform like WordPress. Working with Sitecore’s .NET architecture can require training for developers, and if the agency supporting your implementation needs to provide this training, then the costs will increase.
10. Readiness to Build
Let’s consider two companies, Company A and Company B, that both need to get to the same level of specificity for their website. However, both companies are at different stages of knowing what to do to take their website to the next level.
If Company B has a detailed plan, and Company A only has an abstract idea, Company B can build and launch faster and more likely at a cheaper cost due to the limited amount of rework required. On the other hand, Company A could find itself going over budget because stakeholders lacked clarity about what they wanted to accomplish in the first place and how much work it would take to complete.
Choosing The Right Sitecore Agency Goes a Long Way
Accomplishing a successful Sitecore implementation doesn’t come without hard work. However, the costs you pay can heavily depend on the agency partner you choose to help you. An inexperienced agency might come at a lower price, but you might spend a lot of time working with different stakeholders to achieve anything.
However, a good Sitecore agency can help you to avoid reworking and enable a smoother implementation process that stays on budget and happens in a shorter time frame. Plus, building integrations and complex functionality is best done with Sitecore experts with in-depth knowledge and expertise.
Is Sitecore even the right fit for you as a CMS? A capable agency will be able to advise you on whether Sitecore is the best option for you or if a platform like Optimizely would serve you better.
Oshyn is a certified Sitecore partner that can help you do Sitecore right. We have lived and breathed Sitecore for years and understand what it takes for you to have a successful implementation that doesn’t necessarily break the bank.
Dole had been leveraging Sitecore for some time to improve visitor engagement. When they needed to upgrade to a newer version of Sitecore, they turned to Oshyn for assistance. After performing a technical audit, Oshyn was able to advise Dole about new opportunities they could exploit to deliver the experiences their customers wanted.
Read more about Dole’s success working with Oshyn: A Tech Audit and Sitecore Upgrade Lead to a Better CX and Easier Management.