Speed up website production and style for re-usability

What is SXA?

Sitecore Experience Accelerator (usually known as SXA) is a new way of building websites on Sitecore. At its core, the goal of SXA is to create a standardized set of page layouts and componentry based on best practices that can be reused across multiple websites. With SXA websites can be built and launched more quickly while simultaneously allowing for faster website iteration in response to changes in the market.

Why build with SXA?

The Benefits of SXA can be enormous

Speed – normal Sitecore development begins with wireframes. After UX and design does their magic, front-end developers begin their work, followed by back-end developers and finally content editors. SXA speeds up this process; content editors can begin much earlier, most of the team can work simultaneously and all team members have both greater impact on the design and the ability to work more closely.

Flexibility – instead of developers strictly following the design, locking in componentry and restricting their placement, SXA allows content editors to sculpt unique layouts using a larger and more flexible component library.

Reusability – With SXA, not every rendering needs a new layout and new code. By using variants, which change the presentation of data without while keeping the same underlying data structure, developers can provide content editors with components that can be slightly altered to fit the flow of each individual page without needed to build a separate component for each variation.

Unique User Experience – SXA’s out of the box drag and drop functionality makes using the Experience Editor much more intuitive. Content editors can now influence design from a business perspective in real time because they are able to begin working so much earlier.

Use Cases for SXA

SXA allows teams of back-end development, front-end development and content entry to work in parallel. SXA might be especially useful in circumstances where the focus is on:

Microsites and Branding

Businesses that want to be able to create pages, or more ideally micro-sites, for new products, content or campaigns at great speed may find SXA ideal for them. SXA has a component-based page builder which allows content creators and teams in general to drag and drop to build pages and sites, which gives teams more power and enables them to work at greater speed.

Timeline and Budget

SXA can save time in a project cycle as front-end development, back-end development and content entry tasks happen almost in parallel.

Team Experience with Sitecore

The comfort level of the team with Sitecore development can play a major role; if the web developers are mostly non-Sitecore developers SXA is a perfect choice as many of the typical tasks that a Sitecore developer or architect would do (such as data architecture and component development) are largely complete. Once the team is comfortable with SXA there can be a substantial time savings.

Commerce

Sitecore Commerce 9 includes SXA storefront components out of the box, including sample product catalogs and 40+ commerce components including checkout and virtual shopping cart. Because of this functionality, any customer looking to re-brand a typical shop would be extremely interested in SXA; the samples provide an excellent structure for developing and building a unique product catalog, and the existence of necessary commerce features may shorten project timelines.

 

Thinking

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SXA: Build a Website with Front-End in Mind

From taking a mobile first approach to naming conventions, there are a number of foundational tips and tricks that can make building with SXA easier. Senior Solutions Developer Una Verhoeven explores some of the ways you can organize your workflow and facilitate business needs with SXA. 
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A Content Creator's Guide to SXA

From speed and iteration to re-usability and variants, SXA has a host of features that are useful for content creators and editors. Marketing Specialist Jacqueline Baxter dives in to SXA advantages for your content team. 

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