Sitecore has been at the forefront of web technology for years and is one of the very few in its genre that make it easy for non-technical people to build and manage websites with ease. With each release, Sitecore has introduced many enhancements that have made the technology even more versatile. Its latest release is no different. Sitecore 8.2 is aimed at bringing in higher automation and delivering a personalized experience to web users. It introduces many features in content management and web analytics that both marketers and developers are sure to find attractive.
Modifications in the Experience editor
Sitecore’s experience editor is a WYSIWYG interface that allows users to manage content on the web page. The following enhancements have been introduced in its latest version:
- Page workflows for creation, review, and approval of web content can now be adjusted directly from the experience editor.
- Managing page content is easier as the experience editor has been updated to show more information on data sources. This can prove to be very helpful in managing page sources.
- It is possible to see all data sources included in a page, view the details of the data sources, and find out which other pages use the same data source. This helps web managers to ensure appropriate distribution and utilization of web assets.
- Notifications are generated to inform authors on broken pages and links before they can be published.
- The experience editor can now be used to set marketing attributes to each page. This can help marketers to sharpen their marketing strategy by making appropriate use of important pages on their website.
Modifications in Publishing
Sitecore 8.2 publishing service is an optional addition in the release. It supports enterprise level publishing on a large scale by addressing the problems that come with publishing large amounts of data across multiple destinations, including the associated time and network latency issues. Unlike the previous releases, with this release, you no longer need a separate Sitecore instance to upload data. You can use a non-Sitecore server to publish your content. This enhancement has made it easy to adopt Sitecore as it reduces the requirement of new infrastructure.
Sitecore 8.2 now offers improved analytics in the Experience Analytics dashboard that make it easier for marketers to offer a personalized experience to their customers. Charts displaying key performance indicators (KPI charts) allow analysts to interpret data more effectively. The data points in the charts can be drilled down to gather a holistic inference on customer behavior and trends. It is also possible to import historical data from your previous Sitecore versions, which is useful if you are migrating to a higher version. With the improved analytics, marketers can now launch effective campaigns and use customer segmentation to offer targeted messages to their visitors.
Path Analyzer User Interface
The path analyzer application allows marketers to create a map of the sites that visitors have traversed in their website. Various map types can be generated such as path oriented maps, goal oriented maps, asset maps, and campaign maps. The maps are color coded to enhance readability which makes it easy for marketers to decipher them. These maps give an indication of which pages are popular with visitors, which pages need to be optimized, which customer paths are most likely to end in a conversion, and the like. Marketers can analyze such information and gather valuable deductions to improve their website and derive higher engagement value. The path analyzer can also show how customers interact with marketing campaigns. The marketing funnel, which is the sequence of interactions that a user performs before converting, can be analyzed via the path analyzer to understand why some users convert whereas others exit without converting.
Express Migration Tool
This tool removes much of the problems that enterprises face while migrating to a higher version of Sitecore. It supports direct migration from Sitecore 7.2 to 8.2 without updating through the individual versions in between. Website content, media content, user roles and permissions, and configurations can be conveniently migrated using this tool. It allows speedy migration by moving the data instead of updating the whole instance.
This feature helps developers and website managers to build and modify websites with speed. It enables various teams to work in parallel and supports reuse of components, layouts, forms and templates across various pages, leading to faster deployment of the website. It has a drag and drop interface that allows developers to easily add components to web pages. Its asset optimizer improves website performance in real time by reducing the amount of data movement during transactions. It also has a data exchange framework which allows developers to collaborate with external agencies and source third-party content for their websites.
Sitecore 8.2 helps web managers to deliver streamlined content and marketers to analyze user interactions to achieve higher user engagement. With these attractive features, the latest release holds great promise for enterprise websites in general and the e-commerce sector in particular.