Friday, 14 April, 2017

Should You Use Umbraco?

Why you should consider using Umbraco to mange your web content.

What Is Umbraco?

Umbraco is a free, open-source, Web (based) Content Management System (WCMS) created by Niels Hartvig, and like all WCMS attempts to simplify website authoring so that ordinary, none web-developers, may manage and control the content of a website.

However, the installation and set-up of Umbraco itself does require some technical knowledge, and although it comes with starter kits you’ll probably need to hire a web-developer to implement or develop the Umbraco front-end website for you.

Umbraco places few restrictions on the type of website it oversees, but to be frank the quality and user-friendliness of the end-product depends heavily on the time and quality of the developer who provides the underlying Umbraco website.

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Should You Trust Umbraco?

Umbraco has been tried and tested, with big brand names such as Costa, Harrods, Heinz, Microsoft, Peugeot and Vogue all reportedly using Umbraco to manage their web content.

It's backed and supported by the “Umbraco HQ” a private organisation with 25+ employees.

“We help you deliver delightful digital experiences by making Umbraco friendly, simple and social.”
Umbraco HQ. Mission Statement.

And while Umbraco HQ’s claim that over 400,000 websites are actively using Umbraco[ 7/2/2017 ] is hard to verify, technology information BuiltWith detects over 21,000 [ , ], and SimilarTech market research[ ] detects over 24,000+ Umbraco powered websites active on the internet today.

Umbraco Is Open-source

Umbraco is open source software, licensed under the MIT Licence [ ] so you have full access to the source code, the right to modify it, and 100% of your budge goes towards development and hosting The code is well documented, easy to build, and accessible to any seasoned ASP.NET developed. So, if there’s an issue, Umbraco HQ will probably be on it, but if not then someone from the community will probably have already found it and provided a solution, but if not, then you can always sort it yourself.

Umbraco and .NET

Umbraco is built on Microsoft ASP .NET and Angular 2, with future versions aiming to use ASP.NET core. This means Umbraco has access to the full Microsoft development stack, support, tools and .NET framework; and it means that your Umbraco site will be one of the 45,000,000+ ASP.NET website out there, with over 6 million developers capable of turning their hand to programming it.

Umbraco’s .NET core is usually the key factor in deciding whether to go with it or another CMS. PHP and LAMP enthusiasts will prefer Wordpress or Drupal. Businesses with development staff already trained and working with C# .NET will see Umbraco as a natural fit. To my knowledge there are no meaningful speed or performance comparisons between the Umbraco and other types of CMS, predominately because they are so many implementation variations and it’s just too difficult to measure them fairly, but also because much comes down to code quality, know-how and system set-up.

As someone who develops in both C# (Umbraco) and PHP (Wordpress), my advice is that If you have a particular performance requirement, is that you do the research, run benchmark tests on the closest thing you can get to a real live environment, and If there still isn’t a clear winner, go with the one in which you have more up-to-date experience.


The Umbraco community prides itself on being the friendliest CMS community on the internet. There’s a free and active online forum, with 220,000+ members, any questions you have will be answered promptly. There are also a number of Umbraco meetups around the globe [ ] and very active presence on Twitter. The community is also active in Umbraco development, with Umbraco HQ says 1700+ pull requests have originated from the community and GitHub shows 249 current contributors to the project.


Umbraco’s has a Package plugin system [ ] with 1000+ packages available; 300+ of which are free of charge. All the usual CMS extensions are available: Starter Kits, Search Engine Optimisation, Google Analytics, System Performance and Metrics, Google Maps, Blogging and E-Commerce(Merchello).

Learning Umbraco.

The default Umbraco installation comes with three free starter kits to help you get to grips with Umbraco; Good written documentation and tutorials are freely available on the Our Umbraco website [ ]; Umbraco TV [ ] also provides some free training videos for Content Editors and some excellent paid for videos developers and technical configuration; there is also an annual developer conference – Umbraco Code Garden – with video talks and presentations often available on Vimeo free of charge.


If you require professional support Umbraco HQ has 27 dedicated employees and is willing to offer Cloud Hosting and a series of support packages from 25 Euros per month.

If you require more personal support, configuration or development then why not considering getting in touch, I’m available for project work and offer retainer agreements to my clients, my contract rate is £35 per hour.

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