Developing in Sitecore CMS requires a mix of CMS, .NET, and software development best practices. Here are some key best practices to follow when developing with Sitecore:
1. Layered Architecture:
Follow a layered architecture approach (presentation, business, data layer) for separation of concerns. This makes the application more maintainable and testable.
2. Use Sitecore APIs:
Always use Sitecore APIs when interacting with Sitecore objects. Direct database reads/writes should be avoided.
Use Sitecore’s caching features to improve performance. However, be careful to clear cache appropriately when content changes.
4. Rendering and Sub-layout Design:
Use atomic design principles to build modular and reusable renderings and sub-layouts.
5. Use MVC:
As of Sitecore 7.2, Sitecore supports ASP.NET MVC. Using MVC can help you create a clean, well-structured application, particularly when it comes to the presentation layer.
6. Templates and Inheritance:
Make good use of Sitecore template inheritance to avoid field duplication, and create a logical, easy-to-understand structure for your content.
Follow Sitecore’s security best practices. This includes locking down the Sitecore admin interface, using role-based permissions, and encrypting sensitive configuration settings.
8. Continuous Integration (CI):
Implement a continuous integration process to compile, test, and deploy your application.
9. Versioning and Workflow:
Use Sitecore’s versioning and workflow features to manage content updates and ensure a smooth content production process.
Utilize Sitecore’s Experience Analytics for personalization and A/B testing. This allows you to understand your users and tailor the experience to them.
11. Upgrade Path:
Keep an eye on your upgrade path. Avoid modifying out-of-the-box Sitecore functionality as much as possible and try to keep customizations isolated. This will help you when it comes time to upgrade to a new version of Sitecore.
Make good use of Sitecore’s logging features. Regularly review and clean your logs to help identify issues and keep your application running smoothly.
13. Environment-Specific Configuration:
Use Sitecore’s include files and patching system to manage environment-specific configuration settings.
Make sure your team is trained and up-to-date with Sitecore’s features and best practices.
These best practices will help you create a Sitecore application that is reliable, maintainable, and takes full advantage of the power of the Sitecore platform.