CMS Spotlight on... Umbraco

If you’ve already read Dave North’s Spotlight on Kentico CMS, then you’ll know you’re in for a treat. Content Management Systems have never seemed so understandable.
 
This time, True’s Head of Technology gives us the lowdown on another True favourite - open source CMS, Umbraco.
 
Over to you Dave.  

What is Umbraco CMS?

Umbraco is a feature-rich, open source Content Management System on the Microsoft .net platform. Open source means that a developer community is constantly producing updates, modifications and customisations of the system, so if there’s something you particularly want Umbraco to do, it’s likely someone somewhere has already built it.  

What are the standout features?

Umbraco CMS has 4 main strong points:
  • The platform has no license cost
  • It has a great streamlined interface
  • Its flexibility and extensibility means it can be as simple or as complex as you need
  • An inspiring ecosystem of inventive users and partners are constantly advancing the platfor

Who uses it?

Carlsberg Group, Sport England, Council of the European Union and Redbull Stratos (remember the guy who skydived from the edge of space?)

What does Gartner say?

Gartner Peer Insights gives you access to over 23,000 reviews, independently vetted and verified. Umbraco is rated a solid 3.9 out of 5, with comments including: “perhaps the best tool on the market for customisable CMS.” Impressive.

Why do we love it?

Umbraco CMS is flexible enough to answer a huge range of business requirements from clients of all sizes. It’s great to work with for developers and editors alike.

In no particular order, our favourite things about Umbraco are:

1. Impressive flexibility  

What that means for us:

  • It’s easy to develop new features, even those that go beyond the standard features of Umbraco or any community plugins already created.

What that means for our clients:

  • A platform that can deliver everything they need, unrestricted by pre-defined templates or skins.

What that means for the end user:

  • ​A seamless experience across all devices.

2. Outstanding editing experience
 
What that means for us:

  • A great intuitive user interface to build against.

What that means for our clients:

  • An easy to use, streamlined and powerful interface to manage their website and content.

What that means for the end user:

  • A seamless experience across all devices.

3. A super-talented community  

What that means for us:

  • Openness and transparency for the future of the platform. Loads of expertise, especially in the Bristol area, plus some great social events and community knowledge sharing.  
What that means for our clients:
  • Safety in the knowledge that the platform is well supported and constantly improving and evolving.  
What that means for the end user:
  • A seamless experience across all devices.

4. Umbraco Cloud hosting  

What that means for us:

  • Easily scalable and robust hosting. Provides quick setup of environments without time needed for deployments. The predefined content flow makes collaboration easier.  

What that means for our clients:

  • Fully managed and cost-effective hosting. It also means automatic upgrades and the ability to push content between environments, all from the admin interface.  

What that means for the end user:

  • Guess what? A seamless experience across all devices.

5. Great support and training  

What that means for us:

  • The ability to get the best out of the platform.  

What that means for our clients:

  • The ability to get maximum value from their investment and get up to speed quickly and easily.  

What that means for the end user:

  • And again, a seamless experience across all devices.

How could Umbraco CMS be better?

For projects that need a solid bread and butter CMS, Umbraco is usually a perfect fit. Even though it’s open source, Umbraco does provide a support service at a cost. This gives access to the core Umbraco team for any issues or support needs with an SLA. Some clients still feel more comfortable with an Enterprise level system, particularly if they’re looking for certified security features.
 
Although Umbraco supports a wide range of features, some of these can be basic in comparison to other CMS. Of course, Umbraco can always be extended, but for more complex elements such as workflow or multiple language support other platforms may provide more capability “out of the box”. Things don’t stand still though and there are some exciting advances  coming in Umbraco 8.
 
Umbraco is a pure CMS that can be integrated with other platforms to provide eCommerce, marketing automation, analytics or personalisation.  If you want a truly integrated platform providing all of these things, other CMS options might be more appropriate.

Dave’s Diagnosis:

If there isn’t a clear reason or feature set to use another CMS, then Umbraco is our go-to choice. The strides made in the last few years have propelled them forward and they now provide a great experience for a lot of different websites. In short, Umbraco offers a streamlined core CMS experience that can be molded to pretty much anything you need. What’s not to love?

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about our CMS expertise or find out what solution would be best for your business, please talk to Bertie.
 
Also in this series: CMS Spotlight on... Kentico and CMS Spotlight on... Episerver.