The Headless CMS Comparison: Sitecore vs Agility CMS

The headless CMS is full of worthy contenders. This time, we compare Sitecore vs Agility CMS

Joel Varty
Joel Varty
May 14, 2021
The Headless CMS Showdown: Sitecore vs Agility CMS

Sitecore was one of the first CMSs on the market. The platform has spearheaded CMS adoption across two decades and has inspired many other tools currently disrupting the sector. But just because a CMS has been around for a long time, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best candidate for the job. Experience in the field is great, but in the CMS game, functionality really matters, and the ability to build a digital experience in minutes is something most users covet.

 Agility CMS has been around almost the same number of years as Sitecore and can cater to both SMBs and enterprise businesses thanks to its hybrid headless architecture.

 We created a new segment called The Headless CMS Showdown to help you navigate the fogs of vendor overload. Here we give users an overview of Agility CMS and another top headless CMS on the market to help you grasp the sometimes chaotic CMS ecosystem and its multiple vendors.

 In this showdown, we pitch Sitecore against Agility CMS and compare both CMSs to see which emerges victorious. Let’s start with the comparison.

Sitecore Product Overview

Founded in Denmark in 2001, Sitecore is one of the leading digital experience software providers. Sitecore is an integrated, ASP.NET-powered digital experience and eCommerce platform. Sitecore Experience platform combines a CMS and experience management for a comprehensive approach to content and digital experiences.

Sitecore is also one of the pioneers in the headless CMS space and has grown over the years to become a household name in the sector. Geared toward enterprise users, Sitecore enables granular control over web content, enabling marketers to personalize content and build headless commerce experiences.

Agility CMS Product Overview

Agility CMS product overview

Agility CMS is a headless CMS platform designed with speed and flexibility in mind. Agility CMS gives users the tools to build, manage, and maintain their content with ease, evolving from a .NET-based CMS to become a JAMstack-ready, API-first headless CMS.

Agility CMS lets authors and editors create and customize their digital experiences by following the content-first approach to building digital experiences with low friction. Traditional development processes begin with design, and prototyping for example, the final layout of a web page with lorem ipsum text as placeholders. Agility CMS begins the development process by defining the content architecture of the organization and then proceeds to the development of layout and styling for each desired channel.

The Agility platform has a rich and deep set of powerful features to power your omnichannel experiences. Most headless CMS platforms offer workflow functionality for approvals, publication scheduling, and similar needs. Agility also offers an HTML and text email builder that can be tied to workflow triggers. It provides multi-site functionality, linking the same content and user permissions across multiple sites. Agility has robust analytics and convenient report generation built-in.

Website search is also built into the platform, rather than requiring third-party services like Algolia, like other CMSs.

On the hosting side, Agility CMS leverages Microsoft Azure's hosting services and provides users with enterprise-grade security and support and data protection. Microsoft was the first cloud vendor to secure approval from European Union's data protection authorities. They have a strong track record with data security standards compliance.

Why Agility CMS?

When we compare Agility CMS with Sitecore, we can see that one of Agility's main strengths is how fast and easy it is to build something on the platform. Thanks to Agility CMS' integrations with Next.js, Vercel, and Snipcart, users can build everything from blogs to virtual events to eCommerce experiences in minimal time and effort and with almost zero coding knowledge.

Agility CMS enables businesses of all shapes and sizes to build a foundation for their content and online ecosystem and scale it over time. Plus, Agility is omnichannel-ready, which gives users control over every aspect of their content across multiple platforms and channels.

Unlike other CMSs out there, Agility CMS gives you the tools you need out-of-the-box, which reduces the need for third-party integrations. Sitecore, on the contrary, albeit strong out of the box, has been known to have a steeper learning curve than Agility CMS and other hybrid CMSs on the market. Also, Agility CMS is a solution designed with growth in mind. For companies who are not yet enterprise-level but have enterprise-sized goals, Agility CMS can be a great solution that enables them to scale their commitment before entering into an expensive agreement.

But that's not it, there are other reasons why Agility CMS is a great alternative to Sitecore.

Sitecore vs Agility CMS

Free Version

At Agility, we believe that it's a must to give users a free version of our CMS to help them get started. Being enterprise-oriented, Sitecore doesn't offer a free version of the platform. They offer a comprehensive and thorough demo, but the truth is that a demo will never show you the software's full capabilities, which is why we offer users, both SMBs and enterprise, a free taste so they can make an informed decision.

Our free plan offers potential users unlimited content types, 2,500 content items, access to up to five users, and community support.


Integrated Page Management

API-based headless CMSs allow you to repurpose content across multiple channels, including web pages, native mobile apps, kiosks, even smartwatches and football stadium billboards. This flexibility comes at a price with many headless platforms. Changes to the page layouts (and other channels) requires developer time.

Agility CMS solves this by using templates and modules that determine how content will look when it's rendered on the website. Editors can modify the page layouts in the easy-to-ease visual interface using drag and drop functionality. The system is extensible, with many built-in modules and the opportunity to add new modules created by your development team.

Sitecore supports content modules with custom styling and functionality through its Content Serialization (SCS) modules. This module enables you to organize and separate serialized items according to their purpose and business domain, but it needs to be configured beforehand, increasing the complexity of the deployment.


Sitemap and URL Management

Most headless CMSs leverage APIs to generate a map of the pages on your site and manage URLs. In Agility CMS, your pages live within your sitemap. You can see at a glance where each page is and how it is related to the other pages. We also call this a 'page tree' and we use it to show the hierarchy of all the pages as they appear on the website.

On the other hand, Sitecore's URLs don't correspond to files on the file system, but to items in Sitecore databases. To retrieve URLs, Sitecore needs to leverage APIs using a query string, which results in less efficient URL management than what you get from Agility CMS.


Unlimited Users

While Agility CMS' free version doesn't offer unlimited users, the $47/month standard version does. This works well for companies of all shapes and sizes because it gives you an unlimited number of users right from the standard price tier.

Sitecore doesn't offer unlimited users. In fact, the platform is very obscure when it comes to the number of users both concurrent and non-concurrent, it supports. You can have as many users as you need registered to the platform. Still, according to the internet experts —because Sitecore won't tell you this— the maximum number of concurrent users is fifteen. 


The Verdict

While Sitecore is a popular headless DXP with a famous legacy and a solid user base of enterprise clients, it simply can't match Agility CMS' greater flexibility and integrated functionalities. Sitecore represents traditional thinking —with an installed, monolithic product that requires upgrades and software installation.

Agility CMS is a solid tool for content editors and companies built on content.

Agility CMS' content-first approach serves as a way to map user journeys and create a product story before proceeding with creating the website. The content-first approach looks at the big picture of what the marketing team is trying to accomplish and then uses the appropriate language to build a beautiful, functional website or app.

Also, from a business perspective, Agility CMS is the more cost-effective solution. Even our enterprise version that gives you everything a company needs to build outstanding digital experiences is less expensive than any of Sitecore’s pricing options.

Agility CMS's content-first approach is also developer-friendly. It has the content authoring tools marketers need to build content quickly and the technical tools and support to do more than merely using templates and content modules.

Still can't decide between Agility CMS and Sitecore?

Take a look at our guide, How To Choose The Best Headless CMS For Your Brand (2020 Edition). We're sure it'll help you make up your mind.



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