Sitecore: A new Horizon

At Lake Solutions we are always excited to hear about any new developments or launches from Sitecore, so when Sitecore XP 9.3 was unveiled recently, we wanted to know more.

Central to the new release is a new editing environment known as ‘Horizon’, which is set to replace the Sitecore Experience Editor in time. The existing editor has traditionally not been the easiest system to work with, particularly when looking to ensure that pages appear like they do when live. It can also be slow, particularly when it comes to saving a page. The good news is that Horizon certainly appears to be faster and has an auto-save feature, without a page refresh. 

Sitecore describes Horizon as offering brands an ‘easy to use, intuitive, and contextual interface with everything a user needs for easy navigation’. It certainly features easier navigation between pages, aided by a content tree pane, as well as functions such as undo/redo and drag and drop. Developers will also be able to more easily view a page in different modes, such as mobile, desktop and tablet, while it’s more straightforward to create new pages and view page insights for a page you are currently working on. 

According to Sitecore the Horizon user interface sets a ‘foundation for the future and also provides real-time contextual insights as content is created and published, giving marketers the knowledge they need to drive improved conversions’.

In addition to the new editing environment, Sitecore XP 9.3 includes enhanced reporting that enables marketers to make informed decisions with more granular visibility into how personalisation is driving performance. 

Also new is the fact that Azure Search has taken over from Lucerne as its search provider. 

Sitecore XP 9.3 includes improvements to out-of-the-box forms, with the ability to publish them from within the forms module, rather than firstly having to move into the Publishing Wizard. There is also the addition of bot detection to verify that the input is not ‘from a robot’, as well as a file upload facility. In addition, as with many standard forms, Sitecore XP 9.3 offers an email confirmation facility, where visitors are asked to re-enter their email address. 

Other innovations which have arrived with Sitecore XP 9.3 include improvements to enhanced email and automation, and performance enhancements — all centred around enabling brands to accelerate their time to value. This is helped by the inclusion of Sitecore Installation Assistance (SIA) which makes installation easier. It has new email templates and aids marketing automation.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding, as we’ve covered in previous blogs, and Sitecore has acknowledged this, including AI Auto-Personalisation within this latest upgrade. This makes tracking a visitor’s journey easier; identifying visitor trends and creating customer segments, which will result in more personalised content. 

If you want to find out more about the new features in Sitecore XP 9.3, then give our team at Lake Solutions a call.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
24 April 2020