Getting Started

Created: 11.3.2020

SXA Video Tutorial

Even though SXA is there since many years, adopting towards SXA seems to be a very slow process. When I heared of SXA in 2016 for the first time I directly fell in love with it. I managed to introduce it to a Multisite and Multilanguage Project end of 2017 and by working with it, I became an ambassador for SXA.

There are still concerns about using it, but for most of the concerns there are good answers.

Anyway, this is not an FAQ page (planned to come), but it should give you some overview where to get started.

Reasons to choose SXA

SXA for me is a big toolbox (not meaning one of the features in SXA). It provides a lot of tools in the areas of:

  • Multisite, Multilanguage
  • Simplified Page Architecture (using Page Designs, and Partial Designs)
  • Caching approaches on several levels
  • Ease of configuration
  • Sitemaps
  • Error Handling
  • Quick and easy process of creating own components
  • Standardization
  • Improvement of Authoring UX
  • Quick Multisite Rollouts
  • and a lot more

Of course there are also Out of the box components but this is "just" the tip of the iceberg and by the way, you can:

  • easily override the view files to make adjust the markup and keep the business logic.
  • create variants of a rendering, which is also a UX improvement for an author
  • clone a rendering to make it your own

Just to summarize: It is not 100% SXA or 0% SXA. And it's not about righting zero code. SXA is helping with some routine jobs, base setup, things you do in every project, that are not challenging. Pick the tools that you  need for the project. 


1. Watch some good getting stared videos

Below you find some good getting started videos by Una Verhoven and Peter Prochazka.

Last but not least there is a video of Natasha Batra and myself about the project we did together using SXA (incl some live demos).


2. Download and install the new SXA Styleguide Implementation

Download and install the new SXA Styleguide Implementation by Mark van Aalst to see what (only the Item Package is required)

I usually check out a site starting from:

  • Layout (ususally SXA Standard Layout "MVCLayout")
  • Page Templates and mapped Page Designs
  • Assigned Partial Desings
  • Custom Renderings and Rendering Variants


3.  Getting started following the Best Practices Guide

Once you get started with a sample implementation (could be your Partner Company Website) make sure you understood the idea of Themes, Page Designs and Partial Designs. 

Follow the best practices guide (makes sense to read, but can be also used as a look-up)

Especially there is a new chapter of an example workflow: (Please note: this is just one workflow out of many. In real life there might be adoptions needed based on requirements and project/ team setup)

Check the unoffical SXA Channel on youtube for more dedicated info:


4. Before doing your first client implementation

When I started in 2017 with my first SXA project, there was not much documentation, no tutorials, no best practice guide. So as any new technology or toolset that you get into there is a learning curve. Same for SXA.

But most of the concerns I hear today are either about not knowing SXA or the preference to build everything from scratch and keeping the full freedom. SXA is an accelerator compared to normal MVC development, if you gathered a bit of experience with it. SXA is also accelerating JSS development with a limited scope of features.

So, I can say you are definately faster using SXA but using the offered tools maybe limit your freedom.

"Gain time during your website implementation, and deliver the cool stuff (context marketing) to your client project in time. This is actually the reasons why Sitecore licenses are purchased, right?" (me).      

If you really consider using SXA in a client project I highly recommend to go for the SXA Workshop offered by the Professional Services Team at Sitecore. Yes, I am now also a sitecorian and I give thows worksops. Let me explain you from my past experience why this workshop makes sense:


4.1 Minimizing the learning curve and save costly time

We could have saved a lot of time starting off with the workshop as we figured out some of the features at a very late stage. This lead to some refactorings, confusions and unnecessary custom implementations.


4.2 Learning about the options you have and tools your can use

Get a good overview of all the tools you have in your SXA box so you can pick the right ones at the right time. 

I see in a lot of client projects that the biggest factor eating your time is missing knowledge of SXA. In most cases custom development is choses prior to using out of the box tools.


4.3 Being well prepared to deliver a successful implementation project

Maybe more as a conclusion: the better you are prepared the better the project goes time and budget wise. This keeps motivation high (or your frustration low). Happy you --> Happy customer = Great project result.  

If I would have had the possibility to join the SXA Workshop by the time we started we would have saved a lot of time. The Workshop will be customized to your needs and can be even customized towards your client requiremnts. Just Contact your Partner Manager, Technical Account Manager or Service Contacts at Sitecore.