Choosing a .NET-Based Content Management System for Your Business

By: Nikki Dent

If your business is in the market for a new Content Management System, or CMS, you might be feeling overwhelmed with options. One quick way to narrow down the choices is to focus on which type of programming language your development team is most comfortable working in. Here at Aptera, we focus primarily on Microsoft-based systems in .NET. If you do, too, we’ve reviewed five top .NET-based CMS platforms and compared them based on features, cost, licensing, and more to help you determine which is the best fit for your business.

Top 5 .NET-Based CMS Platforms

  • Umbraco
  • Kentico
  • Sitefinity
  • Episerver
  • Sitecore

Platform Reviews

All the platforms we reviewed have the capabilities to build great, professional websites, but each have features that gear them towards different business needs. We recommend finding the CMS that gives you the best balance of affordability and features for your business.

cost v complexity graph


Umbraco is a great CMS for businesses with .NET experience looking to build simple websites. This open source platform has no licensing costs and is developer driven. Umbraco basically provides a starting framework and then your development team can enhance it with custom functionality or with any of the over 300 available extensions. If using an open source platform like this, you’ll want to make sure to have a governance strategy surrounding the use and maintenance of the open source platforms and extensions to keep everything up-to-date and running great.


A great choice for small to mid-size companies, Kentico has more standard functionality than open source platforms like Umbraco. For example, Kentico has a new “headless CMS” which is a cloud-first setup that reduces site load times. This platform also boasts an easy-to-use interface that’s great for administrators and content editors. Large, enterprise level companies may find Kentico lacking in marketing and IT functionality that they require, however.


The CMS that sits happily in the middle of the cost/features comparison is Sitefinity. Sitefinity has plenty of great features for a modest price. One of these features is an easy-to-use drag and drop editor for adding new content to your site. It’s also a platform that’s well-known in the .NET community because of its affiliation with Telerik. Your Sitefinity instance can be hosted in AWS or Azure but it doesn’t have its own cloud hosting solution.


Episerver is a less well-known CMS, but it has a good reputation in the market. They have the most complete product and feature offering and the most streamlined user experience of all the platforms. Episerver also has a great cloud offering, but it is somewhat pricey. Also, more complexity means a longer time-to-market and a higher cost. The other potential drawback to Episerver is that it has a small partner network and market share thus far.


The most advanced option is Sitecore. This CMS is a great choice for large, enterprise companies that need advanced functionality. It provides the fullest set of features and a large partner network. However, all these features do come with a high price tag, making Sitecore the most expensive option. Additionally, the complexity of this platform can make it less user-friendly for administrators and marketers and requires seasoned developers for on-going support.

Which CMS Is Best?

When it comes time to choose a CMS, only your business can answer which is the best fit. The choice is all about balancing the features you need without spending too much money on features you won’t use. At Aptera, our go-to CMS is Sitefinity, as it sits right in the middle of the cost/features spectrum, making it a great choice for many mid-size to enterprise level businesses. Want to start your CMS development project? Reach out to the team at Aptera, today!

Streamline Your Website Maintenance with a CMS

Easily and efficiently keep your website up to date with a Content Management System. Learn how Aptera can smoothly transition your website to an easy-to-use CMS.

Nikki Dent headshot

About Nikki Dent

Nikki is a technical copywriter for Aptera. With a bachelor’s degree in writing from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., she has been honing her craft of marketing copywriting for the past six years. In her role at Aptera, Nikki enjoys learning and writing about the technology and strategy at work across the company.