On public forums some people are asking about choosing between Joomla CMS
and Sitefinity CMS
so I’ll do my best to clarify advantages and disadvantages of using Sitefinity CMS from my own perspective as an independent Joomla consultant
. Also, if you’re currently using Joomla CMS, you may be wandering what you may be missing if you did not switch to a proprietary and Windows based CMS. The goal of this analysis is to provide business and technology leaders an independent view related to selecting Sitefinity or Joomla CMS and hopefully help both Joomla and Sitefinity camps improve their offerings. 8 Pros of using Sitefinity CMS:
8 Cons of using Sitefinity CMS:
- Usability. Sitefinity is easier to use than Joomla CMS meaning that site admins will have easier time managing their site and need less time getting started. With Joomla CMS, considering that there are so many different contributors, things are often not set up in the most intuitive ways and many businesses find it hard to use. Additionally, Joomla code contributors typically think of themselves first as the target audience and making their own life easier where with Sitefinity, Telerik can set guidelines and requirements related to what target audience they’re building a new version of Sitefinity for.
- Integrated well with windows server environment. If you run a Windows server and use many other Windows tools, you’ll probably be interested in Sitefinity. It has a reputation of a "natural extension to ASP.NET" making coding nice and simple (relatively) for those familiar with the .NET environment.
- Relatively certain future and roadmap. While there are enough paying customers and Telerik does well, Sitefinity will progress. On the other hand, with Joomla CMS, it’s a bit crazy how things get implemented and often you cannot get volunteers to meet their deadlines and commitments.
- Sitefinity’s documentation is professional. On the other hand, Joomla’s documentation and conversations are all over the place and you have to know how to use a search engine very well. My personal favorite place for well organized and paid Joomla training is http://www.ostraining.com/joomla-training/ with Steve Burge.
- Very professional Sitefinity presentation in all areas. All materials produced by their marketing team is top quality.
- Ability to easily import data from other content management systems and data sources. I did not test this one myself but I will trust their video.
- A lot of good people working for Sitefinity. The Sitefinity CMS was first launched in Sept 2002 as the RadDesigner control. The product was rebranded in 2005 as Sitefinity. Sitefinity evolved in functionality and was continuously extended based on feedback and suggestions from customers and partners. Telerik, the manufacturer of Sitefinity, was awarded Microsoft Central and Eastern Europe Partner of the Year in the ISV category for the development of Sitefinity.
- Free trial. While Joomla is free forever, you still get an initial free trail with Sitefinity. If you don’t like it and don’t find enough value, then don’t use it.
- No technical edge. There is nothing new in Sitefinity 4.0 that would give it an edge over current Joomla CMS 1.5 or 1.6 beta.
- Fewer extensions. Sitefinity has about 78 modules and controls in their marketplace while Joomla CMS has over 6,000 extensions at the moment.
- Less Hosting Providers with 1 Click Installs. While there are some hosting providers that support Sitefinity CMS, there are basically unlimited hosting providers that now allow for 1 click installs of Joomla CMS including major ones.A good example of one such company is siteground.com which also originated from Bulgaria and expended its reach to the US Market.
- Less Templates. Sitefinity really lacks in this area. WIth Joomla CMS, there are a few highly professional pre-made template shops and then almost an unlimited number of free and paid Joomla templates.
- Smaller developer community. Less designers and developers with Sitefinity than with Joomla CMS.
- Licensing. This comes with any proprietary software. You basically get tied to a company and you have to pay for licence renewals, updates, etc.
- Sitefinity Pricing. It is very interesting to see Sitefinity changing their pricing model where the current Sitefinity Standard Edition costs $899 and new pricing now ranges from free to $20,000 per year: http://www.sitefinity.com/purchase/license-comparison.aspx While I don’t doubt that many companies would spend the money, there is much more value a free Joomla CMS offers.
- Extension pricing. With Joomla CMS, you get access to many top class and free extensions. With Sitefinity CMS, get ready to burn more money as you’re likely to be paying for most well developed and supported Sitefinity extensions.
Questions for Sitefinity & Telerik’s Leaders:
Ogy Nikolic Joomla Consultant
- What will Sitefinity do to differentiate on the market considering that their CMS does not have much or any overall edge compared to features of Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress? There is no difference except that it’s a .NET ASP product and I’m not sure if it alone can give it a competitive advantage? I did look into workflows, languages and integrated Google Analytics of Sitefinity 4.0 but it’s not something I would brag about.
- What will Sitefinity do to create a better breeding ground for independent developers?
- Is Sitefinity trying to do too much? Can you build a CMS that meets needs of community, small business up to enterprise audience all at the same time? Aren’t there different needs of all these markets? Is it possible that it may lose to WordPress on small and simpler sites, Joomla on smaller to medium size sites and Drupal for mid to highly complex and enterprise websites. Based on the recent article by Mashable “Joomla Leaders: Enterprise Is Better With Open Source [INTERVIEW],” Joomla use in the enterprise is also growing.
- Will making Sitefinity more expensive make its perceived value higher?
- Are the current numbers and adoption rates of Sitefinity and Joomla a good indication of what the future holds?
- A lot of asp solutions are recommended by partners because that’s just what the partner happens to know or make money out of and I often find that such systems are in no way superior, it’s just some people who may be Microsoft partners have invested heavily in such stuff and they can make money doing it. Will Sitefinity create more diverse ways for Sitefinity adoption?
- Windows is losing ground in certain areas such as mobile, tablets and around the web. A switch from windows live spaces to wordpress is just another example of a market shift where Sitefinity tries to compete. Why didn’t Microsoft switch 30 million people to a service powered by Sitefinity CMS?
- If I were to write this blog post in 1, 2 or 5 years, what would it look like and what current trends tell us what may be coming up?