How to Keep Your Sitecore Solution Running Smoothly

  • Chris Brady
  • May 6, 2013

Over many years at the forefront of Sitecore development, we have noticed a common factor in every Sitecore solution that we’ve encountered: there is always room for improvement.

It is no big secret that a well-managed website should evolve as new business challenges are introduced, and as new web capabilities emerge such as responsive design and dynamic personalization.  But beyond embracing the latest trends, it is vitally important to look back at your solution periodically with a critical eye to ensure that it is performing optimally.

Problems can arise within a Sitecore solution for a variety of reasons.  Decision points finalized during a discovery phase may not be used by content authors in the way imagined early on in the project, or portions of a solution envisioned may go unused or end up being used differently than was originally intended.

Improve Your Website & Save Staff Time and Resources

At Velir we established our Sitecore Audit service to facilitate optimizations and help organizations understand how authors and visitors are interacting with a website once it has been launched.

Our process enables our clients to take advantage of Velir’s deep Sitecore expertise without committing to a long development project. During the course of an audit, our team works to:

  • Gather independent feedback on site build. There are always a lot of decisions along the path to a new website. By stepping back from the tactical decisions made during the build, and investigating the underlying business needs, we can assess your implementation in an unbiased manner.
  • Conduct onsite stakeholder interviews. Our team interviews key users of the system to determine their key challenges and identify what features they might use or ignore.
  • Run software analysis. We use our custom-built, proprietary Audit Tool to deeply analyze the Sitecore solution. We use this data to produce a series of reports that help surface any potential problem areas and provide objective data about utilization.
  • Provide recommendations which improve function and stability. We write up our recommendations in a detailed report and present our findings to the internal website team.

Once the recommendations report has been produced, our clients determine what, if any, actions they would like to take. We can work with our clients to implement all of our recommendations, or help make cost-benefit decisions on which improvements would be the most valuable.

Sample Audit Findings

  1. One client found that 25% of their Sitecore build was not being utilized by the content editors. As a result of this, we were able to help our client adjust their solution in order to improve data entry usability and increase editor satisfaction.
  2. Another client was using enumerated fields in their build to accommodate up to ten authors for each Sitecore item. In their case, there were 4 fields per author x 10 potential authors, creating 40 fields under each item just in case the editor needed them. Our tool uncovered that only two authors had ever been specified. After presenting this data to the business, we were able to adjust the input method, resulting in a more streamlined solution that was far easier to manage from an editorial standpoint.

These are just a couple of examples of how a Sitecore Audit can create huge improvements for an organization without a large budget or a long, drawn-out timeline. Could your solution use a tune-up?