For those not familiar with Umbraco, it is a free full-featured open source content management system (CMS) that uses the .NET development platform.
Since the first open source version of Umbraco was released in 2005, Umbraco has matured over the years and significantly grown in popularity. Some of the biggest brands in the world use Umbraco for their websites, such as Microsoft, Carlsberg, Reebok and Heineken.
There is a lot of love for Umbraco here at Chorus, which is why we’re Umbraco Gold Partners. As Gold Partners, we also invest in the development of Umbraco. Our clients love using it and our developers love developing with it. So, why do we use Umbraco when there is a seemingly endless list of CMS choices such as WordPress, Sitecore or Drupal?
During the early phases of a project, we seek to understand our clients’ requirements in detail and learn about the users and their specific needs. Therefore, we need to know that we have the freedom to deliver on these requirements. With Umbraco, we have that freedom—it’s completely customisable and you can create brilliant customer experiences.
Although open-source, Umbraco is commercially supported. Umbraco works well straight out of the box, however there are both free and paid components available to Umbraco developers too. This again helps with customisation and reduces the time to develop additional features.
When it comes to customisation, many will shout about how good WordPress is as a CMS. The sheer volume of plugins that WordPress offers can provide a huge amount of functionality quickly. However, they can also lead to code bloat and poor performance—requiring a lot of development time to optimise the site.
Umbraco boasts powerful site speeds and has an incredible extension capability. It was also designed as a CMS whereas WordPress was originally a blogging platform which evolved into a CMS.
Microsoft’s .NET development platform was designed to negotiate many of the common obstacles associated with application development—lengthy development times, slow changes and difficulty with deployment.
.NET allows you to develop apps in C# as the language has such a wide range of use cases. WordPress on the other hand is based on PHP – a less popular programming language that is limited to one major use case i.e. web applications. With .NET applications, you also benefit from extremely high levels of integration with existing applications (and many existing code languages) and legacy systems. For example, if you’re using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for customer relationship management (CRM), your Umbraco site won’t have any problems integrating with it.
.NET applications are scalable, maintainable, deployable, reliable, secure and can operate cross-platform (web, desktop, mobile etc.). The flexibility that comes with .NET is brilliant for both our clients and our developers: Our clients get solutions that integrate and deliver real quality and value—now and in the future—while our developers can enjoy piece of mind that less headaches and unforeseen issues are further down the line.
This is why we favour .NET development and work with Umbraco. It allows us to develop more robust, flexible and future-proof web solutions for our clients, saving time and money for everyone.
Content Managers Love It
It’s all very well saying how customisable Umbraco is, but you want your website to be easy to manage day-to-day. Marketing and communications teams need to be able to update their website and publish great looking content quickly and easily.
Umbraco is brilliant for this. As you’d expect, you get all the great ‘staple’ CMS features from the most popular CMSs such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. For example, you can:
- Create, edit, publish and delete pages
- Customise navigation and site structure
- Use templates and customise page layouts
- Preview pages and mobile responsive layouts
- Maintain media libraries and file structures
- Search for content and media
- Benefit from SEO features
- Set permissions and access settings for content management
- Manage page and folder redirects
The list could be much longer, but you probably get the picture—you aren’t limited at all with Umbraco and you can manage and publish the content as you want to. Check out our blog on ‘Umbraco for Marketers’ for more detail on what content management looks like in Umbraco.
Security is rightly a huge concern to many businesses, which is why it was built into the .NET platform from its initial development. Umbraco is considered a significantly more secure CMS than WordPress, which is known to be highly vulnerable to hackers. Third-party plugins for WordPress are renowned for their vulnerabilities which can often provide cyber criminals with an entry point to corporate websites and data.
Umbraco integrates well with Microsoft’s security stack, providing you with cutting edge security and a great user-experience. If you are using Microsoft’s cloud (Azure), you can use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single-sign-on (SSO) to allow users to securely sign in with a single click—making annoying and forgettable passwords a thing of the past.
Partner Programme and Community
Finally, we use Umbraco as it has a first-class partner programme and developer community. As Umbraco Gold Partners, at Chorus we benefit from having access to:
- Unlimited Umbraco support
- Architectural advising
- Code review
- Umbraco certified training
- Opportunities to input into Umbraco platform’s development
- Umbraco’s thriving developer community
- And more…
This means that when our clients want something built in Umbraco, we can often save valuable development time for the client by drawing on the experience of the Umbraco community to find existing solutions—allowing us to get the job done even quicker.