Sitecore Audit: A System Architecture and Software Review

Optimize your Sitecore CMS with a System and Software Health Check Sitecore CMS

Website architecture is both an art and a science. It’s a combination of technical and functional specifications, wireframe design, server deployment, coding and testing, all mixed together with page layout, hierarchy and graphic design. The resulting software and hardware system components must work in harmony to achieve your website objectives.

But sometimes there’s a gap between the plan and the execution. 
To achieve a better end-user experience and top performance levels with your Sitecore CMS implementation, you need a well-planned—and properly executed—Website architecture.

If you have a Sitecore content management system implementation that might be delivering less-than-satisfactory results, or if you think you can achieve more, a Sitecore Audit from mindSHIFT is the first step to solving the problem.

Sitecore Audit: How it Works
We approach your Sitecore Audit in two phases. We begin with an analysis of the overall system architecture, Sitecore architecture and solution code. Then our Sitecore-certified engineers and developers produce and deliver a report to you with our findings and recommendations.

Analysis components  

  • System Architecture
    We begin with a complete system architecture review to take inventory of all the servers associated with your Sitecore implementation. This audit also looks at server sizing and configurations, as compared with Sitecore recommended practices. We document the operating system (OS), installed software versions, Sitecore websites and Sitecore databases for inclusion in the final report.
  • Sitecore Architecture
    Next, we review the Sitecore architecture to see how well the implementation follows Sitecore’s recommended practices, with a focus on these criteria:
    • Templates and standard values
    • Items and information architecture
    • Media storage and handling
    • Security roles and users
    • Workflow
    • Presentation layer
    • Page editor usage and configuration
    • Sitecore cache management
  • Solution Code
    In the final assessment phase, we perform an in-depth solution code review, to determine how well the implementation follows best coding practices, from both a Sitecore and an ASP.NET perspective. This code review focuses on these criteria:
    • Code maintainability
      • Naming conventions
      • Well-formed comments
      • Maximize code legibility
    • Sitecore coding best practices 
      • Use of field renderers
      • Reliance on rich text editor fields
      • Reliance on XSLT transformations
      • Template naming conventions
      • Reliance on the Sitecore media library for developer media
      • Sitecore item path usage

Summary Report and Recommendations
After the detailed assessment, our engineers and developers compile a report on your system status and recommendations for improvement.

To assist you in determining next steps and the resolution of any issues, we provide a clearly itemized summary with detailed notes and supporting materials, such as Sitecore technical white papers and Sitecore Developer Network guides. Each review point is graded with a severity level:

- Low - should be addressed, but not a major concern
- Medium - should be addressed, may become more severe
- High - a major concern, and should be addressed to adhere to best practices

With the assessment report in hand, you have everything you need to get started on the optimization of your Sitecore CMS. You can proceed to make the necessary improvements with your existing team. Should you need an extra set of hands on the project, the mindSHIFT Sitecore team is available to assist you with any or all remediation and development work that you require.

With mindSHIFT, you can “grow as you go.” You have the flexibility to start with the managed IT services that make the most sense for your organization, and then grow with us as your needs grow. 
Contact us today for more information.

mindSHIFT specializes in website development and CMS implementation as well. Learn more about mindSHIFT's Sitecore CMS services.

About mindSHIFT – a Sitecore Certified Solution Partner
mindSHIFT has been a Sitecore partner since 2005—one of the first in North America—and maintains one of the largest and most experienced certified Sitecore development teams in the region. We work with Sitecore clients on all aspects of implementation—from website architecture and design, to integration with external systems, multi-lingual sites and all other development functions required to successfully launch and operate your website.