Sitecore Editor - Which direction to take?

Here at Lake Solutions, we are often asked why Sitecore offers two editing tools – Experience Editor and Content Editor – and which is best? That’s actually quite a difficult question to answer because, in many ways, they both have their uses. This means it actually makes sense for content editors to familiarise themselves with both editors, as the chances are they will use them both when creating a page. 

Firstly, let’s look at the two editors. Experience Editor could be described as a ‘what you see is what you get’ tool. It lets you ‘experience’ what the page will actually look like and you can edit all the items visible on the page – text, graphics, logos, links and so on - directly on the page, immediately viewing any changes straightaway. However, this can bring issues in that you can only edit the content you can see (mostly). 

The Experience Editor however is invaluable for creating pages where pages offer visual flexibility.  Allowing you to add page gridding (rows and columns) and placing components of content where they are needed.

In Experience Editor, you can edit the fields of the current item and the fields of any items rendered on the page. For instance, if the menu on the page consists of titles of the product items, you can edit the titles without navigating to the product items themselves.

Interestingly, when potential customers of Sitecore see a demonstration of the editing tools, it is the Experience Editor function which potentially draws them in. However, sometimes users then find that they can’t create the content they want just using Experience Editor alone. 

Content Editor is an editing tool that you can use to manage and edit all the content on your website. It is designed for more experienced content authors, who are familiar with Sitecore and the functionality that it contains. Its appearance and functionality vary depending on the user’s roles, the local security settings, and the customisations that have been implemented on the Sitecore installation.

Content Editor’s user interface consists of three main areas that can be customised to fit an individual’s needs when you work in the Content Editor. Broadly speaking, these are the ribbon, the area where all the functionality is available; the content tree, the area where all the items are organised; and the content area, where users can edit their items. 

Content Editor basically offers a tree of items and is arguably less intuitive to use. That said, it does offer more tools than Experience Editor. While editors don’t see the final page being edited in real time, Content Editors offers more flexibility and more options. Interestingly most experienced Sitecore users say that, once mastered, Content Editor is quicker and easier to use. 

We find in practice that to be a productive and efficient content author you need to being both tools in to play.  Exploiting the strengths of each.

If you want to discover more about how Sitecore can benefit your business, they contact us at Lake Solutions today.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
08 October 2019