Umbraco as an alternative to Optimizely CMS?


Umbraco and Optimizely (Episerver) are both prominent DXP choices rooted in .NET technology. While they perhaps aren't direct competitors per se, as they target slightly distinct consumer groups, a notable overlap exists in their user category. We'll do our best to illustrate why Umbraco is a compelling alternative, particularly for businesses encountering potential hurdles posed by steep licensing fees and system complexities.

Optimizely CMS alternatives: Consider Umbraco .NET based DXP as an alternative to Optimizely Episerver system Optimizely vs Umbraco: ROI time, go to live, pricing comparison – Looking for a good alternative to Optimizely CMS? Consider Umbraco DXP Optimizely CMS is a beast and a digital fortress for enterprise-level companies, while Umbraco can work very well for corporations and the middle market. The first is fundamentally proprietary, catering to companies adhering to non-open-source tool policies. While this structure aligns with certain organizational preferences, it ties platform development and support to the vendor and certified specialists. In contrast, Umbraco, being open-source, thrives on an exceptionally vibrant user community and independent, specialized agencies. This dynamic fosters a swifter, more efficient, and more flexible approach to problem-solving and implementing changes in digital projects, setting Umbraco apart in its agility and collaborative ethos.

Expect a faster return on investment with Umbraco

As an Umbraco Partner deeply valuing the system and with limited experience in Optimizely, we won't go deep into intricate technical comparisons. Instead, our focus is on highlighting objective business aspects that can assist you in making an informed choice between platforms or transitioning from Optimizely to Umbraco.

Umbraco's inherent flexibility and lightweight design manifest in the Go-Live Time and ROI metrics. This is evident from user feedback on G2, with setup ease standing out as the primary differentiator in platform ratings. Notably, 85% of Umbraco users rate its setup positively, while in the case of Optimizely, the figure is 69%. The correlation is clear: more effort in system setup correlates with a delayed return on investment. According to G2 data, the average duration for Umbraco is 15 months, while for Optimizely, it extends to a considerable 27 months.

This is important not just at the start of a new digital project but also for the long term, particularly for companies with dynamic marketing teams. Such teams may seek to swiftly launch side microsites for newly introduced products or seasonal promotions within one system.

Ease of use and composability

The distinction between the systems is also apparent in the evaluation of user-friendliness. With Umbraco, nearly 90% of users positively assess this aspect, whereas almost a quarter of Optimizely reviewers raise objections. The critics frequently highlight the unintuitiveness of Optimizely's interface. While Umbraco's UI is occasionally described as "raw," it is consistently praised for its simplicity and user-friendly nature, positioning these attributes as among its most significant advantages.

Moreover, historically, Optimizely has been perceived more as a monolithic DXP. While it does possess composability, the distinction lies in its reliance, akin to the previously discussed Sitecore, on add-ons and extensions predominantly owned by Optimizely rather than third-party entities. In contrast, Umbraco prioritizes the seamless integration of best-of-breed digital tools through various APIs, aligning with the principle of "build like you want to build."

Pricing for Optimizely and Umbraco

Estimating the cost of an Optimizely project in advance might be tricky due to the array of plans available, and the final expense is contingent upon specific requirements. 

According to diverse sources, licensing fees for Optimizely tools alone can range from $36k to over $200k annually. Conversely, crafting a robust, multi-functional, and secure website on the open-source Umbraco can, depending on circumstances, be accommodated within a budget of less than $60k. 

It's crucial to note that these figures are approximations as the detailed valuation hinges on numerous factors. Nevertheless, the prevailing trend indicates that Umbraco consistently emerges as the more economical choice in nearly every scenario.


Who should rather bet on Umbraco

  • Choose Umbraco if you want your project to be completed within months rather than years.

  • Choose Umbraco if your website is managed by a small, agile marketing team eager to implement changes and swiftly adapt to market dynamics.

  • If you are already using Optimizely CMS and maintaining your site costs more than its benefits and revenues - definitely contact us to discuss the option of migrating to Umbraco.


Considering a Umbraco project? Moving away from Optimizely and looking for alternative CMSs? Let's talk about options.

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