Umbraco Website CMS Case Study

Umbraco takes the yellow jersey!

The recent Le Tour de France - Grand Départ website was built using Umbraco CMS: we look at why its an ideal CMS

By Lisa Curry


There’s no doubt the world has gone sport crazy recently with the World Cup, Wimbledon and now the Tour de France. Here at Chorus we’ve loved getting involved with sweep stakes and England match streams, however our website team were more excited by the fact that the Tour de France – Grand Départ website was built on the beloved Umbraco system… you can call it our inner geek.

Just recently, we saw the Tour de France start in the UK involving 3 days of cycling from Leeds to London before heading back to France for another 2+ weeks of cycling (we’ll stick to website design thank you!) What we’ve loved is how the Tour de France ‘Grand Départ’ website has showcased exactly what Umbraco is capable of and has been seen and used by millions!


The first thing users will notice, depending on how they access the website, is that the whole website is built using responsive design and is beautifully laid out specifically for mobile and tablet devices as well as desktop computers. The homepage is just as captivating with lovely photography and clear layout with a good focus on big legible text and clear calls to action with large buttons for mobile optimisation. As well as looking good, the website loads quickly on any device, which is key for keeping visitors on your site.

Umbraco Responsive Design

Live Updates

A key feature of the website was its live updates that ran during the 3 day event, including traffic updates (both via social media and the website) as well as an interactive map showing real-time traffic information, which received over a quarter million hits.


Incredible maps

The 3 route maps are all interactive with options of viewing the route in terms of elevation or images. Not only does the website focus on the routes, but also the surrounding areas highlighting nearby towns with links to tourist websites.


Umbraco CMS Interactive Maps


Umbraco statistics

The statistics

With over 3 million page views over the 3-day event and nearly 1 million visitors, this really showed the stability and reliability of the Umbraco CMS – all being run on just one server.

What is Umbraco?

Before explaining why it’s so good, it’s best to make sure you know exactly what it is. Umbraco is an open-source CMS (content management system) based on the stable Microsoft .NET platform, also known as ‘the friendly CMS’. What this really means is that Umbraco is free to use (no licensing costs) and very easy for the end user to maintain and manage websites once built.

Umbraco CMS

Why do we love it so much?

  • Free Licensing

    As Umbraco is an open-source system it means there are no license costs involved.

  • Simplicity

    As a CMS, once the website has been built, it can then be ‘handed over’ to the client to maintain, which helps to keep costs down. The simple interface and intuitive actions allow users without HTML knowledge to edit and publish their own website, giving them ownership and control of their own website. No technical knowledge required.

  • Robust & stable

    Now being used by more than 250,000 sites, ranging between Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, Umbraco is suitable for any website. As shown above for ‘Le Tour’ with 3 million page views in 3 days, it is a stable and scalable system.

  • Clear boundaries

    You can easily determine who can and cannot publish, either by limiting the type of content for users (i.e. blogs only) or publishing permissions. On the front-end you can also limit your audiences by choosing who views what content (i.e. all users, members only, staff only) giving you further control.

  • Media Library

    With a built-in media library, everything is organised and managed in one place. Umbraco also automatically scales all of your images as well as ensuring they are responsive.

  • Integration

    By built on the brilliant .NET platform, our developers can ensure any other existing systems you have in place are integrated with your website (such as Dynamics CRM).

  • Trust

    Umbraco is used by many well-known websites, showing its trust within the website industry. Websites running on Umbraco include: Heinz, Vogue, Bupa, Take That, Warner Bros and Costa.

The key with Umbraco is that both the technical-minded developers love it, but so do the non-tech contributors making it a win-win situation. We’ll be posting more on Umbraco soon so keep checking our news!

In the meantime if you do have any website projects or have been inspired by ‘Le Tour’ website to get a redesign then contact us today.

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