At the end of 2014 Microsoft announced they would be removing the Public Website feature from their SharePoint software. As of 9th March 2015, the feature is no longer available to new customers, and existing customers will see the feature disappear in (around) two years, although no set date has been announced.
The primary users of Microsoft SharePoint Public Website are SME businesses, traditionally with large numbers of staff and those who have an ISO 9001 standard. SharePoint is also used by the public sector and Microsoft development teams who create internal intranets as well as websites, for example city councils and universities. One of the major benefits to the service is that businesses could establish a web presence quickly and easily.
Existing SharePoint Public Website customers have the option of working with Microsoft partners using third party alternatives to the feature including Go Daddy and wix.com at a discount however users aren’t constrained to using them.
Alternate CMS platforms that can help
There are a number of alternate CMS platforms that offer the same functionality, with more features as SharePoint’s Public Website.
We work with Kentico, Sitefinity and Sitecore as our core CMS offering, and each have their individual pros and cons however as an ‘out of the box’ platform, they are all worth exploring as a Sharepoint alternative.
Here at Quba, we have recently adopted Kentico CMS as it has the option to be as simple or bespoke as you like, based on your requirements. We now have experience in building over 10 websites using the platform. Kentico also offer an Intranet feature as part of their Ultimate Licence that may appeal to current SharePoint customers. The easy to use interface and excellent support is great for content managers and the installation, extend-ability and add-ons make it great to work with for developers.
We have also had a long standing relationship with Sitefinity and have developed over 30 web solutions using this platform. Sitefinity’s out of the box capabilities are also good - again, the usability and support for content managers are great features, however it scores less marks than Kentico for performance and add-ons, so if your business is significantly complex, you may struggle to achieve everything you need. We find Sitefinity to be popular with organisations with large content management teams including Faro Technologies as the back-end is really simple and easy to use.
Sitecore is the market leading content management system, and due to this it is the most expensive platform we offer. Sitecore’s functionality goes above and beyond that of other CMS and is predominantly aimed at large enterprise companies who need a complex and sophisticated system to run their site. Due to this Sitecore also demands the highest price tag. The platform relies significantly on having different functions plugged into their out of the box offering, including their Digital Marketing System and eCommerce features.
Need our help?
If you’re a SharePoint Public Website customer and you’re struggling with where to move your site, give us a call or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily discuss some options.