Introduction to Sitecore Experience Accelerator

Current version: 10.2

Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) is an add-on tool for the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) content management system. SXA is designed to:

  • Speed up the production of websites by allowing developers, designers, and content authors to work in parallel.

  • Enable reuse of renderings, layouts, and templates across a variety of sites.

Examples

The following examples show you how SXA can help you work in parallel:

  • Implementing grid systems to make your website responsive - a developer can implement a new grid system without affecting the work of the content authors.

  • Changing website themes while continuously working with content and content publishing - you simply export the website, using the Creative Exchange feature, and send it to an external creative agency. When done, you can import the site without overwriting any content changes.

  • Changing page designs while working on content - you can keep working on content while a developer creates page designs that you can apply to your pages later. Page designs ensure a consistent look and feel while giving you the flexibility to use different page designs for certain websites or situations.

Working with renderings:

  • Developers can customize existing renderings by creating rendering variants. As a content author, you can select variants available from a drop-down list while working in the Experience Editor.

  • Developers can create Scriban templates for rendering variants, for example, to dynamically create adds for your webshop based on structured information about the sales items, for example, item name, availability, and price.

Common uses for SXA

With SXA, you can define a structure for your pages using ready-to-use renderings, you can style the renderings, or use page designs configured beforehand by a developer. The renderings, also called components, are the building blocks required for you to add various types of content to your pages, for example text, titles, images, videos, promos, and navigation.

Renderings let you reuse content on multiple pages across different sites. This means that you can link any rendering used on any page to a particular data source item. This is relevant, for example, if you want to display a particular promo in different places. This also applies when renderings are used with page designs.

Note

If you need a rendering to look or work differently, you can customize it by creating a rendering variant. To do this, you might need help from a developer.

To get an overview of renderings and which of them support rendering variants, see The SXA renderings and rendering variants.

Here is a list of the most common tasks for content authors. Mostly, content authors use the Experience Editor for these tasks, but you can also do the tasks in the Content Editor.

Task

Application

Duplicate an existing page.

Content Editor

Change the layout of a page by adding renderings for your content, selecting a page design, or applying a theme.

Content Editor

Experience Editor

Change the layout of renderings by applying a theme or changing the style settings.

Content Editor

Experience Editor

Use customized renderings for your pages by selecting rendering variants.

Select a rendering variant in the Experience Editor.

Content Editor

Experience Editor

Add and edit text, images, and other types of content on your pages.

Content Editor

Experience Editor

Reuse content by selecting data sources for your renderings.

Content Editor

Experience Editor

Developer key tasks

Some SXA-related tasks are typically done by developers, for example, the configuration of the sites you will be working on.

Task

Application

Create and configure sites and site collections:

  • Add features by adding modules, and then configure the features.

  • Configure the site settings, for example, domain and cache settings.

  • Shared sites, for example, define which data sources and styles to share between sites within a site collection.

  • Set up security roles for site collections and sites, and assign users to the security roles.

Content Editor

Create a custom theme, extend a theme, and assign a theme to a site.

Content Editor

Create data templates, for example, the page templates to be used when you create new pages.

Content Editor

Add language versions for your sites, for example, if you need your site to be available in English and Japanese.

Content Editor

Create and configure page designs, including the underlying partial designs.

Content Editor

Create page branches to give content authors a text template with predefined text and document structure that they can easily modify.

Content Editor

Customize renderings by creating rendering variants.

Content Editor

Additional tasks

Here is a list of additional tasks where the division of labor is not clearly defined:

Task

Role

Application

If your site is configured to use interactive maps, you can add maps to your pages.

Content author

Experience Editor

Improve search engine optimization (SEO) by adding title, description, and keywords to your pages; or telling search engines how often your pages are updated.

Content author

Experience Editor

Improve the performance of your links on social media by adding meta tags to your content.

Content author

Experience Editor

Redirect search traffic if the location of your pages has changed.

Content author / Admin / Developer

Content Editor

Add search functionality to your pages.

Content author

Experience Editor

Use Creative Exchange to export your sites, for example, if you need an external creative agency to work on the design.

Content author / Admin / Developer

Experience Editor

Use the Asset Optimizer to improve the end user experience on your website by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred.

Admin / Developer

Content Editor

Enable and use JSON for data modeling.

Developer

Content Editor

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