Having a website is critical for businesses of all sizes and industries. A company’s website is the first place many of us visit to learn more about a company. It helps attract and retain customers, establishes credibility and drives revenue.
However, launching a website can be a real nightmare for organisations due to the effort and time it requires. To improve time-to-market and achieve main marketing goals sooner, companies are looking for ways to speed up this process. This is where Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) comes into play.
In this article, we will explain how you can build an entire content website in just 30 to 90 days using AEM. Adobe Experience Manager comes with some interesting tools that accelerate your set-up so you can benefit from a fully operational website right away.
Want to learn what AEM is first and why it is the best CMS out there? Read this article before continuing.
Website implementation projects have been known to be cumbersome and time-intensive. Any Content Management System (CMS), especially ones used in enterprise-level organisations, can easily be seen as overly complex and hard to implement. Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is no exception, so Adobe has come up with a toolbox of sorts to help clients implement AEM in a very short timeframe.
Enter, the Digital Foundation Blueprint.
The Adobe Digital Foundation Blueprint is a combination of an automated project setup, default components, and a basic data layer implementation that any client receives when they purchase AEM. This enables you to bring a simple content website live in 30 days. If you want to include personalisation and more extensive analytics or e-commerce capabilities, or if you have a lot of custom requirements for your components, you can go live in under 90 days.
Let’s take a look at what the blueprint encompasses.
The AEM Project Archetype is a Maven template that you can use to configure everything about your new AEM website(s). It is based on best-practices defined by Adobe itself that are constantly updated, and it can be extended or reduced based on what you need for your specific project. For example, the archetype can generate a content structure for multi-language and multi-country setup, or you can include an Adobe Commerce integration and Commerce Core Components right from the start.
Apart from fully automating your initial project setup with the AEM Project Archetype, the blueprint also comes with a set of Core Components. In Adobe Experience Manager, components are the structural elements that contain the content of your pages, like a title, button, image, product card, etc. Next to these examples of more basic components, they also contain components such as language settings, navigation, and breadcrumbs. This gives you a full component library at the start of your project that you can easily transform into your specific branding.
Not only can you use the Core Components out-of-the-box with the options they come with, which are all based on Adobe's own best practices by the way, you can also extend each of these Core Components and customise them to fit your unique specifications. Since you already have a starting point, you don't need to worry about setting up the most basic elements of your website and you can focus your development efforts on the elements that are unique to your business.
The Core Components also provide an out-of-the-box integration with the data layer. The blueprint holds instructions on how to set up the data layer initially, and then each of the components will automatically send events to the data layer when certain actions occur. For example, when a page is opened, it will send an event to the data layer to let it know when the page was opened, what the url is, what the page title is, and so on. The data layer can then be accessed by Adobe Analytics, or another analytics platform, where you can still choose which information you want to collect in analytics and which is irrelevant. This makes sure that you don't pollute your data.
The Digital Foundation Blueprint also includes AEM as a Cloud Service to make sure you have an environment up and running quickly with a deployment pipeline attached to it in an environment and setup that ensures speed and security.
In the past, we have been able to spin up new content websites using custom branding and including Core Components (with no additional changes, obviously) in a matter of days. This is just the initial configuration, of course. To have a fully operational website with all of your unique requirements, you have to take into account a timeline of 30 to 90 days. Then again, a timeline that short for a website that is tailored entirely to your needs is still pretty impressive.
Keep in mind that you might need more than just a content website. You may require an integration with a PIM system, or a commerce engine like Adobe Commerce, or perhaps personalisation-at-scale with Adobe Journey Optimizer. For some, like the Adobe Commerce integration, the AEM Digital Foundation Blueprint already provides a solid foundation. For others, like an integration with your own PIM system, you will need to do some custom work. Because you have a great foundation to start with, though, you can focus your development capacity on what really matters.
Our sales team is always ready to discuss a challenge you are currently struggling with and see how we can help you come up with a solution. We have an in-depth knowledge and years of experience with the Adobe platforms so get in touch and we'll happily help you build a more scaleable, adaptable and personalised experience for your customers.