Episerver CMS Review
A development and maintenance nightmare, avoid this product.


Valuable Features:

If you install one of their sample web sites on exactly one machine, it might actually work.

Room for Improvement:

This product is not open source, and thus, you are at the mercy of poor documentation and support personnel, who generally lack enough experience to solve difficult problems. Their API has poor coding standards, and you will find just about every Object Oriented anti-pattern in their exposed API.The product includes a set of ASP.NET server controls to use when building a basic site, which tend to be extremely flawed. The HTML generated by the server controls are generally impossible to style properly with CSS (for example, no classes/IDs on elements that you would like to style). Your only option is to use their poorly documented and buggy APIs, or attempt to use XSLT to transform the output of their server controls.An Ektron "min site" includes a 300MB Workarea folder, which makes compilation and deployments take a very long time.If you attempt to use multiple web servers with Ektron, you will find that their synchronization solution, eSync, barely works. It will successfully synchronize a MS SQL database instance, but we were never able to get Ektron to reliably synchronize files between web servers. This actually becomes extremely troublesome, because their search feature relies on .txt files dumped onto the filesystem of the web servers with the contents of every web page on your site. Because Ektron fails at synchronizing files, Ektron search fails on multiple servers too.I used this product from versions 7.66 to 8.01 SP1, which totaled about a year and a half. The team I was working on used it to build a number of public facing sites which are still running on Ektron today, unfortunately. We slowly became entrenched in this product due to deadlines and resistance to switch to a different CMS.This review attempts to sum up the miserable experience of using Ektron from a developer's perspective, a server administrator's perspective, and the actual end content editor's perspective.In order to cope with the endless number of bugs with the CMS, we ended up writing our own wrapper API over a basic Ektron site that used REST web services to retrieve content so we didn't have to deploy the actual Ektron codebase with our sites. This allowed us to fix many of the bugs (such as not expiring content properly) , but this kind of effort when we're already paying for a solution is ridiculous.

Other Advice:

If you're looking for a .NET based CMS, do yourself a favor and go with an open source CMS. If your company is afraid of open source products, there are much better, less expensive proprietary .NET content management systems out there.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

1 Comment

Fraser GoffinReal UserTOP 20

Can't comment on Ektron, but if you are looking for .Net integration from your CMS you might want to take a look at SiteFinity. It's not open source or particularly cheap, but for large enterprises it may be a better bet than betting the farm on open source (although that depends on your attitude to that so YMMV).

29 March 14
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