Introducing Umbraco: The Friendly, Flexible CMS Posted by: Greg on 15/05/2013

Introducing Umbraco, the friendly, flexible CMS image

We’ve been using Umbraco for the last 5 years at Screenmedia, so it’s no surprise that we’ve grown terribly fond of it. 

Originally released in 2004 by a Danish programmer named Neil Hartvig, this open source CMS has flourished over the past 9 years amassing a passionate community of developers in the process.

Developed on the Microsoft .Net framework it currently powers more than 90,000 websites worldwide. Some of the biggest companies in the world are using Umbraco such as Tesco, Vogue, Microsoft, Wired.co.uk and let’s not omit the “Take That” website! Already Sold? Wait, there’s more…

Umbraco is easy to learn and use for content creators, webmasters, and web developers alike. Training clients on the system is a joy while the simplistic interface and intuitive workflow speaks for itself. Its endless flexibility means that we can customise the CMS to suit the needs of our clients without compromising the user experience.

Why Umbraco?

There are many reasons why we use Umbraco - here are a few of our favourites:

1. It's open source of course

This means no license costs and you're not tied in to one particular company or agency for ongoing support and development. Yes, you can shop around if you really want to (but not all Umbraco developers are as good as us!).

2. Simple but powerful

It's intuitive and easy to use despite the fact that it has a powerful and feature-rich core.

3. Limitless design

Unlike so many other systems, Umbraco does not provide any default visual or structural templates so we can apply it to any design our clients want.

4. Extensible and expandable

It uses plug-ins so that we, as developers, can enhance the core functionality of Umbraco. E.g. Google Analytics integration, Map API's, Blogs or many other, even bespoke, plug-ins.

5. Accessible content creation

Ah, we love this one because it means we can meet any accessibility requirements we need to, for example W3C.

6. Intuitive content creation

Umbraco simplifies the creation of new content by maintaining minimal, simplistic, and context-sensitive functionality throughout the content publishing process. Users are only presented with relevant and useful options when creating or editing content.

7. Works everywhere

Yes, you can even update your website at the shopping centre if you want. It's cross-browser and cross-platform compatible.

8. Microsoft Word integration

It’s there if you need it, although you really don't have to because of the web based WYSIWYG editor. Sometimes though, it's just more convenient to use a desktop program to write your content off-line then upload when reconnected.

9. Dedicated media library

Images, docs, videos and flash files stored in the media library are instantly available everywhere in Umbraco. Upload once and use many times. Nice.

10. Built on Microsoft .NET

It is and it uses a SQL Server database, and XSLT. It supports both custom and web user controls, Ajax, a framework  for dynamic content and javascript, and XSLT for creating dynamic lists.

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