Experience Accelerator
Sitecore Development

What is Sitecore Experience Accelerator?

Aug 04, 2022

Do you want to get your site up and running as fast as possible? Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) might be the way to go.

While several companies prefer building a robust system from scratch, some brands and businesses see accelerators as the right option for their development projects. Sitecore SXA is a framework for streamlining and accelerating web development.

Let’s explore the reasons why SXA may be a good choice for your business.

Introducing Sitecore Experience Accelerator

Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) is a development approach that enables development teams to rapidly build websites and reuse templates, components, and layouts across multiple sites. It separates design from development, allowing frontend designers, content authors, and developers to work side-by-side to develop and deploy multiple websites.

By default, Sitecore SXA supports multi-tenancy. It uses themes (scripts, images, and stylesheets) to enable easy and seamless customizations and provides pluggable theme options.

Once you set up an SXA tenant and site structure, all teams can start working with all resources across the platform. To get started, content authors can create content for the wireframe environment. Marketers can easily create and define security roles for select content types. Meanwhile, frontend developers work on getting the theme up and running.

Some of the key elements of Sitecore SXA:

  • Tenants and sites:The SXA platform offers multi-tenancy through a folder structure that assigns security roles to help isolate content. In addition, you can build several sites on a single instance with the help of a tenant. You can also enable and disable any of the features available on the tenant.
  • Toolbox:This feature helps you find all reusable renderings that you can use to build pages easily. To do that, you can simply drag and drop them onto your page.
  • Grid and column layout: SXA uses responsive prebuilt grid layouts. Additionally, you can design your own column and grid layout for each tenant/site.
  • Pluggable themes: SXA splits the site structure (HTML) from the design style (CSS). To ensure easy customizations, it uses themes. The theme may consist of scripts, images, and style sheets. Also, you can apply pluggable themes quickly to change the look of your website.
  • Page and partial designs: A partial design includes elements from a layout design that appear in multiple areas of a site. A page design consists of partial designs and renderings that define the presentation of a page.
  • Creative Exchange: This feature makes the life of a frontend developer easier. With it, frontend developers can work directly with static HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, allowing them to export static pages or sites for creative designers to work on independently.
  • Asset optimizer: You can improve the overall performance of SXA sites with this feature by optimizing the JavaScript files and CSS.
  • Share content and presentation: In SXA, you can share presentations, pages, and data sources between tenants.
  • Data modeling: SXA provides a JSON API feature for accessing SXA content.

Benefits of Sitecore Experience Accelerator

Sitecore SXA offers several unique benefits to businesses, which include:

  • Faster development: SXA provides a faster time to market for businesses that want to launch their site quickly. It does this by isolating the design from the site structure, enabling your team to work concurrently on code, content, design, and deployment.
  • Cost-saving: It reduces development costs by leveraging reusable renderings and components.
  • User-friendly: It comes with a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to build pages. Moreover, the content authors and designers can simultaneously create prototypes and content as part of the entire design process and test the ideas on live content as they develop.
  • Team alignment: SXA patterns include prescriptive processes in which roles and responsibilities of team members are defined, setting clear expectations in the process.

Drawbacks Of Sitecore SXA (Why You Need Other Options)

While SXA has its place in helping businesses build faster sites, it often acts as a straightjacket, limiting a company’s future growth. Once implemented, you may have to navigate some stormy waters when adding functionalities that are not already included on SXA.

Some of the challenges with SXA are as follows:

  • Steep Learning curve to get to know the components and their customizations.
  • SXA components do have bugs in them and sometimes the only option is to upgrade to get the fix.
  • Customizing search functionality and related components that go with search. As it comes prebuilt with a set of assumptions about search, any changes to these assumptions would result in need for customizations at different layers.

SXA works with both Sitecore Experience Manager and Sitecore Experience Platform. All XP features are able to be utilized within the SXA components (such as Personalization, Analytics, Multivariate Testing). However, it remains to be seen what Sitecore will do with SXA now that the direction the company appears to be headed is Headless and Sitecore Personalize (SaaS). These two initiatives appear to devalue, to some extent, the value proposition of SXA.

Sitecore Experience Manager

This is Sitecore’s enterprise-class CMS-only solution. With Sitecore XM, you can manage multiple websites across multiple digital touchpoints, offer multilingual content, and integrate third-party applications and data. You can integrate Sitecore XM with a CRM (client relationship management), digital asset management (DAM), ECM, customer data platform (CDP), and more.

Additionally, it features a WYSIWYG editor for content authors to create and edit site pages and items.

Sitecore Experience Platform

Unlike Sitecore XM, Sitecore XP builds on the CMS by empowering marketers with digital marketing solutions that include marketing automation features and advanced personalization. This solution offers several features that enable marketers to combine customer data from multiple sources to deliver personalized experiences across all customer journeys.

Start Your Digital Experience Journey With Oshyn

Enterprises are continuously looking for solutions that can help improve efficiency, accelerate product launches, save costs, and grow ROI. Sitecore Experience Accelerator helps businesses build sites faster, streamline development processes, and align their teams to work concurrently.

However, it may not be the best solution for enterprises to grow and deliver the best digital experiences. To do that, they need additional features such as personalization, CRM, DAM, ecommerce engine, analytics, or multilingual capabilities built into their digital experience platform. Sitecore XP is a better option to enable enterprise-class features to help adapt to ever-changing business needs.

Oshyn is a Sitecore implementation partner that can help you assess and build your digital experiences.As a Sitecore implementation partner, Oshyn can help you assess and figure out the best combination of Sitecore products for your needs. Our Sitecore expertise helps you reap the full benefits of implementing Sitecore, regardless of the product.

Want to discover which solution is right for your business? Get in touch with Oshyn today.

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