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Web Design & Development

What Is Sitefinity? A Simple, Straightforward, and Jargon-Free Answer

by Dennis Junk
on February 5, 2014

Sitefinity logo

In times of yore—all the way back in the early 2000s—websites were almost all completely static. Each site had however many pages it needed to tell visitors whatever they needed to know about the organization, and that was it. If you visited a site twice over a six-month period, you would see exactly the same thing each time. Over time, though, as internet marketing gradually began to take center stage, companies realized their websites were one of the primary opportunities—if not, the primary opportunity to connect with customers. Before long, even the businesses with the coolest sites started getting restless. Stasis began to seem more like stagnation.

Against this backdrop, the software company Telerik created Sitefinity to help businesses maintain a dynamic presence on the web (Sitefinity = a site that's up-to-date unto infintity). Sitefinity is a Content Management System (CMS), which allows users to sign in to their company’s website to make edits, updates, or additions to any written, graphic, or video elements on the individual pages. If you think of your website as the storefront display for your business, Sitefinity is the secret door you go through to replace or rearrange the items you want to showcase. Before Sitefinity and other CMSs, businesses had to hire web developers to make changes to their sites. Now, you can manage your own content, and competition in the realm of web marketing has come to focus on who can maintain the freshest and liveliest web presence.

Of course, no sooner had dynamic websites become necessary than they were no longer sufficient. With the rise of social media and mobile devices, websites became mere way stations along the route from shares to visits to contacts. Once again, Sitefinity got out first with tools for creating and managing mobile apps and social media strategies, including blogs and email campaigns. The latest versions of Sitefinity come equipped with an ecommerce module, and they integrate with other platforms like Marketo and Salesforce so businesses can control purchasing options for customers on their sites. Essentially, then, your CMS can be your central hub for coordinating a diverse range of digital marketing platforms.

How Does Sitefinity Work?

Sitefinity Dashboard 1 resized 600Let’s say you want to add a video to one of the pages on your website. When you sign in to your Sitefinity dashboard, you click on a button that takes you to a list of your pages. Click on the page where you want to feature the video, and you will be brought through that secret door from our analogy into the storefront display. Next, you find the video widget (which is just a web tool marked by an icon), click and drag it to where you want it positioned on the page, and then click on the upload option. Now, you can browse your files for the video and let the widget do the rest. Click to save your changes and you’re done.
Sitefinity tools 1 resized 600

The whole idea behind Sitefinity is to make it easy for non-technical users to manage their digital content, so most of the changes and updates you’ll want to make are about as easy as uploading videos or images or text. You’ll still probably need a web designer for major changes to the overall look or layout—and you’ll want to overhaul your whole website every couple of years to keep things looking fresh. But, since the first impression most people get of your business these days will be online, tools like Sitefinity that help you keep up an active and appealing digital profile are indispensable. 

This description of Sitefinity barely scratches the surface of all the things the platform allows you to do. If you want to know more about how Sitefinity might help with some specific aspect of your web or mobile strategy, feel free to write your questions in the comment section below. You can also contact us through our website. 

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Dennis Junk
I'm Aptera's Content Strategist. I've been writing about tech and marketing for 5 years and have certifications from HubSpot and The Content Marketing Institute. A big science and literature geek, I taught college rhetoric and composition while I was still busy going to school for way too long, earning bachelor's degrees in anthropology and psychology, along with a master's in British and American literature. Look me up on LinkedIn.
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