Sitecore Developer works best for enterprise applications with a strong understanding of.NET languages, while WordPress works well for startups and mid-level companies.
Now, what is Sitecore? It is a global software company that covers two major products: a powerful content management system (CMS) and a fully adaptive digital marketing system (DMS).
A Sitecore developer is a developer who works with databases, solves complex problems and has coding skills in Sitecore management generally. These are programmers who work with managers, designers and other software engineers to design or build new products. Sitecore developers work for software development companies, although they can also work for digital companies or work freelance on their own.
Sitecore is a known content management system (CMS) that is frequently used by many organizations to create and manage digital ideas. As a Sitecore developer, your role is to build, customize and maintain Sitecore websites and applications. In this article, we will provide more information on who a Sitecore developer is.
Sitecore is a powerful CMS that gives you the leverage to bring your ideas or concepts to life. It also allows you to self-manage and deliver contents across multiple channels. It allows you to also build websites, mobile apps and digital signage under your own brand. Sitecore has so many management features, like content management, digital marketing and customer experience management.
Sitecore is built on the.NET Framework and uses a combination of technologies as its building language. Some of the languages Sitecore uses include Microsoft SQL Server, Lucene.NET, and Solr. Sitecore is highly valued and can be used to store information in the cloud.
As a Sitecore developer, there are basic languages you should understand. First, you will need to have a solid understanding of what Sitecore does and a solid foundation for its architecture and capabilities.
Sitecore Development Process
The Sitecore development process involves several stages a developer has to play through while developing the site. Stages like planning, design, development, testing, and deployment. Hence, development has to go through these stages while developing an app or site.
In the planning stage, you have to first define the project’s scope, the objectives, and what is required at the end. This includes understanding your business needs, identifying the project’s goals, and finally defining the project’s timeline and budget.
This is another stage where the designs are born. The design stage involves creating visually appealing designs and designs that are functional for the Sitecore website or application. These designs should include creating wireframes, mockups and prototypes, as well as defining the site’s layout, navigation, and user interface.
The development stage involves you properly starting to build the Sitecore website or application using only Sitecore’s development tools. This includes creating personalized modules, including a third-party service and also customizing Sitecore’s core functionality.
The testing stage is where the potential of all the programming is judged. Most times, testing the Sitecore website or application to ensure that it meets your requirements is very critical. Also, check if it is free of bugs and errors. This includes functional testing, performance testing and security testing.
The deployment stage involves deploying the Sitecore website or application to a production environment. This includes configuring the server, installing Sitecore and deploying the application’s code and content. So as to know how well the process has been.
Sitecore Development Tools and Technologies
Sitecore Development provides a range of development tools and technologies that you’ll need to use as a Sitecore developer. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most important.
1. Sitecore Developer Tools
Sitecore Developer Tools is considered a Visual Studio extension because it brings a collection of attractive features for Sitecore development. And these may also include a Sitecore Helix project template, which provides a best-practice approach to Sitecore development.
2. Sitecore Powershell Extensions (SPE)
So many tools are out there but just a few are worth the direction. SPE is a collection of PowerShell modules that provides different Sitecore automation and management features. These are exclusive modules for content management, user management, and performance monitoring.
3. Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA)
SXA is a Sitecore module that comes with its own collection of features for creating and managing multi-site solutions. This can easily range from predefined templates and components to collections of different configuration tools.
4. Sitecore Azure Toolkit
The Sitecore Azure Toolkit is a set of tools that is used to explore many features for deploying Sitecore to Azure. This can include modules for Azure DevOps, Azure Functions, and Azure App Service.
Sitecore Development Best Practices
You need to know that, as a Sitecore developer, it is essential that you know what and why to do and not to do. There are ways to ensure that your Sitecore websites and applications are perfect, maintainable and safe.
1. Use Sitecore Helix
First, the usage of Sitecore Helix. Using Sitecore Helix is a good choice for Sitecore development. It provides a good number of guidelines and principles for creating secure Sitecore websites and applications. It includes guidelines for site structure, module development, and deployment.
2. Use Sitecore’s Built-in Features
Sitecore provides numerous features and is built-in for content management, digital marketing, and customer experience management. Before creating your personalized modules, make sure you explore these features and see if they meet your requirements.
3. Use Sitecore’s API’s
Sitecore provides a range of API’s that allow you to interact with Sitecore’s core functionality. This may include content management, digital marketing and customer experience management. Use these API’s to create custom modules and integrations.
4. Use Sitecore’s Performance Optimization Techniques
Sitecore provides a range of high-performance improvements, including caching, indexing and lazy loading. Use these techniques to improve your Sitecore websites and applications’ performance.
Sitecore Development Challenges
As a Sitecore developer, you’ll face a range of challenges, including:
1. Learning Sitecore’s API’s And Features
Sitecore provides a range of API’s and features, and it can be challenging to learn them all. Make sure to invest time in learning Sitecore’s API’s and features. Hence, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the Sitecore community when you have issues.
2. Debugging Sitecore Websites And Applications
Sitecore websites and applications can be challenging to debug. They involve multiple technologies and platforms. Make sure to use Sitecore Developer Tools and SPE to debug your Sitecore websites and applications.
3. Maintaining Sitecore Websites And Applications
Sitecore websites and applications require ongoing maintenance, including updates and security fixes. Make sure you are following Sitecore’s release cycle and update your Sitecore websites and applications regularly.
4. Collaborating With Other Developers
Sitecore development involves collaboration with other developers, like front-end developers, back-end developers, and DevOps engineers. Make sure to communicate effectively with these developers and follow best practices for collaboration.
Popular Sitecore Developers
These resources can help you find the right Sitecore developers for your project based on their skills, experience, and reputation.
They offer Sitecore development services and have a blog post discussing Sitecore developer skills, experience, and salary.
They provide a list of top Sitecore developers, ranked by clients, portfolio, expertise, reviews, and awards.
3. Sitecore Developer Portal
This is an official Sitecore resource that provides information on Sitecore development, like migration, platform, and experience.
4. The Manifest
They offer a list of the best Sitecore developers, including vendor pricing, industry expertise, and review summaries.
They provide a list of the top Sitecore development firms, including reviews and ratings from clients.
Sitecore Development Tools
These tools are widely used by Sitecore developers to enhance their development environment, improve productivity, and streamline various development tasks.
1. Team Development for Sitecore (TDS)
A commercial tool that greatly improves the Sitecore deployment process by providing features such as adding Sitecore items to source control. It also helps in moving items between environments with continuous integration and automatic ORM code generation.
2. Sitecore Rocks
An essential tool that integrates with Visual Studio to provide a comprehensive interface to Sitecore. It also offers a Sitecore Explorer window and a log file viewer. It gives multi-item creation in the CMS. It helps in publishing items from Visual Studio, cache clearing and package management.
3. Sitecore Instance Manager (SIM)
A free tool that simplifies the management of Sitecore instances. It allows for easy installation and management of Sitecore instances on a developer’s local machine.
4. Google Chrome Extension
A useful Chrome extension for quickly accessing Sitecore admin pages.
5. Debug Attach Manager
An essential tool for attaching to a process and debugging in Sitecore development.
6. Glass Mapper
A popular mapping tool for Sitecore development.
Skills Required To Become A Sitecore Developer
From a developer perspective, Sitecore is a dream to work with, containing more than 1,300 classes and 5,000 methods that form an enriched and extensive developer framework.
1. Strong.NET Programming Skills
2. Understanding of Web Development Concepts
A solid understanding of web development concepts and experience with web and mobile presence. Added is an efficient marketing tool and agile development methodologies are important.
3. Database Management
Understanding SQL and database management, as Sitecore utilizes a SQL Server database, is always important.
4. Problem-Solving and Collaboration
Enjoy working with databases, solving complex problems, and collaborating with managers, designers and other software engineers to design and build new products.
5. Relevant Degree or Certification
While a formal degree is not always required, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a relevant field, or a Sitecore certification, is often preferred by employers.
Sitecore As A Skill
In addition to these core skills, most Sitecore developers hold a Sitecore Developer certification. They are acquainted with and familiar with agile development methodologies, which is also important.
To become a Sitecore developer, coding skills are essential, and a relevant degree may be preferred by some employers. Sitecore offers a developer portal that provides essential product documentation, reference material, and communities.
Sitecore development options include in-person or online training. There is space for a robust framework for managing large volumes of interrelated data, built with extensibility in mind, and advanced and flexible APIs.
Common Challenges Faced By Sitecore Developers
Most common challenges faced by Sitecore developers include performance issues. Poor configuration, upgrades and migrations, training and skill development, and the complexity of the Sitecore platform.
1. Performance Issues
Sitecore performance problems can affect customer experience and ultimately impact sales, traffic, revenue, and search rankings. These issues can stem from poor configurations, lack of oversight, insufficient testing, and optimization.
2. Poor Configuration
Improperly configured Sitecore can lead to performance issues and affect customers’ experience. Ensuring proper configuration of servers, databases, and other settings is crucial for optimal performance.
3. Upgrades and Migrations
Upgrading and migrating Sitecore solutions can be challenging due to Helix violations. Versioning discrepancies, legacy code, and other issues. Addressing these challenges requires a detailed approach to configuration and deployment.
4. Training and Skill Development
Keeping up with the latest Sitecore versions and features requires ongoing training for developers. Ensuring that developers are fully conversant with the latest versions and best practices is essential for maintaining a high-performing Sitecore solution.
5. Complexity of Sitecore
Sitecore is a powerful and complex platform, which can make it challenging for developers to navigate. Familiarity with Sitecore’s architecture, Helix principles, and other best practices is crucial for successful development.
Addressing these challenges requires a detailed approach to configuration, ongoing training, and a deep understanding of Sitecore’s architecture and best practices.
Being a Sitecore developer involves a range of skills, knowledge, and best practices. By understanding Sitecore’s architecture and following the Sitecore development process. This is using Sitecore’s development tools and technologies.
And following Sitecore development best practices and being aware of Sitecore development challenges. You can create high-quality Sitecore websites and applications that meet your clients’ requirements and provide excellent user experiences.