Published: 30 November 2016

One of the most commonly used quotes is to 'keep it simple.' Sometimes that is easier said than done. Other times the simple is actually complex. And sometimes the simple (as is the case with Sitecore's licensing model) has been made more complex through a lack of general understanding or awareness as to how to price and license a new Sitecore project correctly.

The very fact that prospects, agencies and customers alike are at times blatantly bewildered means that somewhere along the line what should have been simple has become complex. So the purpose of this blog is to make it simple again!

So how do you correctly price for a Sitecore license? Well simply put, start with the key info you need based on what ACTUALLY impacts on cost. Anything else is superfluous. Let's clear up a few anomalies and industry myths for starters.

  1. Sitecore charges per domain. Myth.
  2. Sitecore charges for multiple language sites. Myth
  3. Sitecore charges for named users. Myth.
  4. Sitecore only cares about selling a big license. Myth.
  5. Sitecore don't include xDB (Experience Database) as part of the license. Myth.

So now that we've cleared that up what do you need to know about Sitecore licensing?

Sitecore xM (Experience Management )(CMS only) and xP (Experience Platform (full system) can be purchased via perpetual or consumption-based licensing.

Perpetual installation pricing takes into account the number of production vs. non-production installs, concurrent users and add-on modules.

Consumption pricing takes into account visits per month, non-production installations, concurrent users and add-on modules, but allows for unlimited production installations. This option is perfect for auto-scaling cloud hosting.

There are now only two levels of support on offer - one of which you need to budget for as part of your project:

  • Standard Support (Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm) at 20% or
  • Priority Support 24/7 365 days a year at 30%

A few more important facts of note...

  1. Sitecore License per legal entity. Fact. If the company is structured with multiple legal entities obviously expect to pay more. A subsidiary with its own company and VAT number would incur a typical 20%-30% fee of the overall license price assuming they were benefiting from use of the Sitecore license.
  2. Sitecore license by concurrent users. Fact. You can choose the banding of users you will drop into which are available currently as 5 available bandings, namely; 3, 5, 10, 30 or unlimited users.
  3. Sitecore license by limiting the number of Production servers allowed. Fact. You can choose the banding. The current options are up to 1, 3, 5 or 7 production servers.
  4. Sitecore are willing to sell you a CMS version only of their platform. Fact. After all, who wants to buy something they don't need? Of course be sure you actually don't need the xDB (Experience Database) before making that decision. You'll only end up wanting it after ;)

Can I have anything else bundled in please?

Yes. Microsoft Dynamics Connector, Salesforce Connector, and over 400 marketplace Sitecore modules which are listed here:

Is there anything not included I should know about?

Yes. Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA), Print Experience Manager (PXM) and E Commerce connector are all separate chargeable modules.

We appreciate at Sagittarius that not every client is going to know what they need, what they want or indeed most importantly what is right for them.

So the KEY questions I would ask to ensure you get the RIGHT license for what your business needs are as follows:

  • What are your peak anticipated page requests and visits in any one day?
  • How many territories do you operate in?
  • Current setup - does the current site and/or new site require load balancing, failover, resiliency? (this will impact on number of servers needed)
  • What is the current size of the editorial team needing to submit, approve, reject content etc? If simultaneous content editing is expected what are the maximum number of licensees they would require?
  • Are you looking to use some or all of Sitecore's feature set? (email, e-commerce, marketing automation, campaign manager, analytics, xdb, CMS etc)

Having reviewed those questions I'll often get asked ''What is the bare minimum Sitecore license a prospective customer could go for?''

My advice to this one is simple. Don't choose a product off a price list. It might be right for the vendor it doesn't make it right for you. Remember that company decisions can impact massively on the license you need to buy and there is an education process at times required to help the business you work for to grasp how decisions they've made around security, content teams, locations of servers, fail-over or backup and other resiliency based decisions may force you to a larger license than you might have otherwise liked.

We will help you navigate those discussions to ensure that don't pay more than you need too but also don't end up with a license that isn't actually fit for purpose.

We can help you with any queries on Sitecore costs or licensing based questions, we can help you price up what a Sitecore project will look like and should look like, we can help separate the facts from the myths.

But most importantly we can help you define what you need and see whether buying Sitecore will actually benefit you as an organisation. Feel free to get in touch with me at if you would appreciate some assistance in this regard.



Brad Smith

Commercial Director


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