These two Nordic-born (but now global) Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) vendors frequently get mentioned in the same breath, though under the covers, they are actually quite different. I sometimes refer to Episerver in shorthand as "a poor man's Sitecore," but as you'll see below, that's a real over-simplification. Having just updated our evaluations of both vendors, it seems like a good time to contrast them.
How Sitecore and Episerver Are Similar
It's no accident that the two vendors get frequently compared:
- Both are (proudly) built on .NET
- Both hail from Scandinavia originally (skol!), but both have made significant in-roads into EMEA, Asia, and North America
- Both go to market primarily via implementation partners
- Both have been relatively late in building packaged cloud offerings
- Both are developer-intensive
- Both got acquired by private equity firms looking to pump them up for an exit
- We ding both of them for overly-busy editorial interfaces in our WCM vendor evaluations
How They're Different
At RSG, we think Episerver and Sitecore are more different than alike. If you're an RSG subscriber, you can try our RealTime Vendor Comparison tool to see all the key differences, but here's a handful you might find interesting in the meantime:
- Episerver has a dramatically simpler entitlements model
- Sitecore is much more object-oriented
- Episerver's core content model is more page-based, rather than Sitecore's placeless paradigm
- The two vendors' all-important channel partners have substantially different profiles
- Episerver can get hype-y; Sitecore remains a bit old-fashioned and nerdy
- Episerver can become expensive, while Sitecore will most definitely set you back a lot more lucre
- The two vendors have significantly different approaches to personalization and other marketing campaigns
- For better or worse (see our research), Sitecore pushes integrated inbound and outbound marketing, while Episerver has expanded more via ecommerce
- I could go on...
Note that I'm not saying that one is inherently better than the other because of these differences. I just want you to understand the full import of the choices you make. In fact, that's why RSG exists.