As an Umbraco Gold Partner, we have fully embraced Umbraco as part of our core technology. We believe in supporting the vision that Umbraco has set out — to create the Content Management System (CMS) that was promised. A CMS that is built around how people work, is powerful enough for enterprises level functionality and is a safe and secure platform. With Umbraco, there is no more fighting with the CMS. It's a powerful system that's easy to use and adaptive to many needs and allows for the design of beautiful and user-friendly sites.
The Umbraco Content Management System (CMS) is an open-source platform that is used for building websites, intranets, extranets, and other web-based content. Built on the Microsoft .Net platform, Umbraco is known as the “Friendly CMS” because of how easy it is to use. It can be integrated with a number of other systems, including analytics and e-commerce platforms.
While Umbraco is open source, it’s maintained by Umbraco HQ, a company dedicated to updates and support of the platform. Being open-source offers a number of benefits, including being highly extensible. Umbraco can be hosted on servers you choose or can be hosted on the Umbraco Cloud.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to building a site on a CMS. So why choose Umbraco? After years of experience with a multitude of other CMSs, Scylla Group was blown away by the features, functionality, flexibility, and sheer intuitiveness of the Umbraco CMS. We were so impressed, in fact, that we became an Umbraco Gold Partner.
The Umbraco CMS platform is built on the Microsoft .Net stack, primarily using C#, and stores data in a relational database, frequently Microsoft SQL Server and works on Microsoft’s IIS web server.
Using the .Net stack gives Umbraco a number of advantages right from the start. It’s a programming stack backed by one of the largest technology companies in the world. That means that there is no shortage of developers who can learn, build, update, and support an Umbraco website. It also means there are thousands of developers who can, thanks to the open-source nature of the platform, contribute to the Umbraco feature set.
Since Umbraco runs on Microsoft’s SQL Server and IIS web server, it’s supported by enterprise-grade solutions.
Umbraco defines two different kinds of access accounts - members and users.
Members are external users of an Umbraco site who need authenticated access to features, functionality, and content.
Users, on the other hand, are people who have access to the backend of the Umbraco site, like designers, developers, and content editors.
These distinctions are unlike some other CMSs, which only segregate user accounts by permission levels, making it easy for human error and confusion to give a site visitor more access than they should have.
Umbraco goes beyond these account definitions, though. For Users, there are multiple access groups, including those mentioned above and roles such as administrator and a Sensitive Data group. The CMS also allows for the creation of custom user groups, as well. The permissions for groups can be customized as needed, providing a granular level of control and security, unlike most other CMS platforms.
The power and flexibility of the Umbraco CMS platform doesn’t translate into being a heavy, complicated tool. Instead, Umbraco is well known and highly reviewed for its simplicity and user-friendliness.
The interface is focused on making life easier for editors and writers. Plus, because Umbraco is the most widely installed CMS on Microsoft technology, it has an extensive, active, and highly supportive community of users willing to help out with questions and issues.
It isn’t just the editor features that earn Umbraco high praise. Developers love it too, which results in an active community willing to help and who continues to build additional functionality.
This committed community grows the already flexible CMS platform by adding to the main source code as well as add-ons. The development and use of APIs for integrations further expand the platform’s capabilities.
Umbraco’s use of the internal feature of hostnames and cultures lets users control multiple sites from a single Umbraco instance. This can be a huge help for companies with multiple brand sites, as well as those who have localized versions of their website to cater to a multi-lingual or global audience.
With the Block List Editor, Umbraco gives developers the flexibility to create refined and intricate content blocks that can be controlled and displayed in the way that best meets the needs of the site. It also provides a single location for managing multiple content blocks.
The forms builder in Umbraco is both intuitive and powerful. Inherently responsive, Umbraco Forms integrates seamlessly with the Umbraco platform, and can easily create standard form elements as well as validation and conditional form elements. Advanced workflows are also possible with Umbraco forms, where form submission can kick off an email series, add information to a CRM, or even update or run a webservice.
The extensible nature of being open source means that innovative additions to Umbraco can be added that significantly enhance the development and user experience. For instance, web blocks is an Umbraco package that allows for the rapid development of new pages with a drag and drop interface. This package unshackles new page development from the developer backlog, accelerating page and content publication.
Embracing streamlined deployment processes, Umbraco includes a configuration file that makes pushing changes to the Umbraco Cloud hosted environments painless. The file helps determine the right environment for deployment, preventing developers and administrators from second guessing or making mistakes.
Umbraco’s price is very flexible. Standard sites with no need for support or assistance are free, while yearly subscriptions for professional and enterprise licenses are available and include support, additional features, and training offers.
Is Umbraco Secure?
Don’t be fooled by the fact that Umbraco is open source - that doesn’t mean that it’s not secure. In fact, quite the opposite.
Umbraco HQ ensures that the CMS, Umbraco Cloud, and the official Umbraco packages are solid and that updates that are the result of any vulnerability found are fixed quickly and automatically applied to all Umbraco Cloud instances. Those hosting Umbraco themselves receive the patches immediately as well.
Umbraco follows secure best practices in the development of the CMS, and employs third-party penetration testing on the platform and the Umbraco Cloud system.
With a large developer base, any potential vulnerabilities are found and reported quickly, making the open source nature of Umbraco a security asset.
In addition, Umbraco offers a number of security features within the platform itself, such as:
Umbraco prides itself on being the easiest and most intuitive CMS available today.
Integrated workflows in Umbraco offer what is known within the platform as Infinite Editing, supporting faster and better content creation.
The platform uses a tree structure for the back office that models many popular file systems. Section, such as Content and Settings contain a number of trees underneath them, grouping like functionality together logically. Trees are also customizable.
Searching within the back office of Umbraco shows the user all of the section trees that the user has permission to access.
Sections, like Trees, make navigating the back office of Umbraco a breeze, as well as simplifying things like user access permissions. The out-of-the-box main sections for Umbraco include:
The template model in Umbraco is, like much of the rest of the platform, intended to get you running quickly with a polished and flexible website. These pages provide a framework for editors to place content into based on a defined structure and look and feel.
With Umbraco, you can either create a completely custom template or start with a pre-built template, or theme, that reduces some of the initial lift of creating a site. Umbraco HQ has pre-built templates available, and because the system is open source, it’s possible to customize them to make them all your own.
Umbraco CMS Support & Maintenance
Through the parent company, Umbraco HQ, the platform offers enterprise-grade support packages that include access to highly knowledgeable specialists and guaranteed response times.
Additionally, the company has designated a small number of gold-certified partners. These Umbraco web developers and agencies have been designated as top tier consultants for the CMS, and are given access to training and resources not available to other Umbraco developers. As a Umbraco gold certified partner, The Scylla Group can offer support and maintenance for your site at an expert level.
Umbraco Website Hosting
Users of Umbraco have a wide variety of choices when it comes to hosting their site. Umbraco uses Microsoft’s IIS web server, so it can be installed locally with the rest of your Microsoft servers.
Umbraco also offers hosting services with the Umbraco Cloud. By using Umbraco Cloud, you don’t need to worry about upkeep, maintenance, or updates - that’s handled for you. Instead, you can focus specifically on the administration of your site and keeping it full of new content.
CMS Migration to Umbraco
Your migration from another CMS can be complex, but Umbraco makes it as easy as possible. If your existing site allows you to export your content in an XML format, you’re well on your way to getting your new site up and running. Umbraco offers the CMSImport tool which maps your XML file to the document types that you create.
We put our clients’ needs above our needs as designers and developers. That means technology and software selection must meet their needs, not just ours. Sometimes that means high-end enterprise systems, or an entry-point CMS makes sense. But Umbraco makes sense for most situations we encounter.
That’s because Umbraco CMS fits in between the out-of-the-box inexpensive WordPress/Squarespace style entry-level website CMS tools and the very expensive subscription based services that give you a lot of options and abilities that you really don't need. Why pay for all the extra stuff just to get the few things you need?
Umbraco can deliver all the custom high-level controls and system integrations you need, without the plug-in bloat or expensive licensing fees. You can make it whatever you need ─ the sky's the limit.
How well does your site perform?
Take advantage of a free site assessment and consultation. Shoot us an email and let us know you're interested in a FREE consultation.
Related Umbraco Project Examples