Published Date: 23 January 2024
Umbraco is a flexible and cost-efficient option for businesses seeking a secure and reliable content management system (CMS).
The platform's remarkable flexibility has made Umbraco the CMS of choice for enterprise-level websites across a variety of multinational organisations, including Mercedes Benz, Amnesty International and Microsoft.
This article will explore the benefits of using Umbraco to create your organisation’s website and provide a comprehensive understanding of its performance capabilities, security features and customisation options.
What is Umbraco?
Umbraco is an open-source CMS built on the Microsoft .NET framework, using ASP.NET.
It’s a popular, powerful and flexible CMS solution that can be endlessly customised and scaled to manage content on everything from simple websites to complex intranets or web applications.
Developed in 2005 by Danish developer Niels Hartvig, Umbraco uses the Microsoft technology stack. This, combined with their heavy focus on security and strong governance, ensures the platform is well protected.
As an open-source platform, Umbraco is actively supported by a committed global community of more than 220,000 people who regularly contribute to the platform in terms of features and new capabilities.
This does not mean, however, that just anyone can add code directly to the platform. Umbraco has a strong vetting process to ensure all new code and capabilities meet Umbraco’s strict security and quality criteria. Only once it meets their Quality Assurance process, do they allow a new capability to be available for use by others.
The Benefits of Umbraco
1. It’s a free platform
As an open-source platform, Umbraco is free from licensing fees and provides a cost-effective solution to content management.
The platform’s collaborative, community-driven model means that Umbraco HQ freely shares available security patches, bug fixes, feature upgrades and other updates.
The result is that instead of using various plug-ins and rigid templates that generally impact performance and security, you can invest your financial resources in having a secure, performant solution that can be customised, enabling you to have an Umbraco CMS implementation that meets your exact requirements.
2. Easy integration with third-party systems
Umbraco is built on the Microsoft .NET framework, making it a natural fit if your business already uses Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft 365 (Office, Email), SharePoint, Dynamics etc.
It integrates smoothly with Azure for reliable hosting and can also integrate with old and new third-party systems, including e-commerce platforms, payment systems, customer or community management systems, and other marketing tools.
In 2019, I-Finity worked with Indie York to redevelop and redesign their website, including creating a new signup form, secure member profile area and system for processing member payments. By integrating a secure third-party payment provider with Umbraco CMS, we were able to streamline the user flow and make it easy for Indie York admins to manage members and ongoing subscriptions.
3. Security and Accessibility
Umbraco is one of the most secure content management systems available. Often the chosen platform choice for public sector organisations for whom security and data protection are imperative, users benefit from the platform’s robust security features and reliable data protection measures.
The Umbraco community and development team actively monitor and address security vulnerabilities, releasing regular updates and patches to keep the system secure against evolving online threats.
Unlike other platforms, however, Umbraco does not force security updates, allowing users to exercise planned change controls.
It provides comprehensive security controls, with implementation of multiple factor authentication and TLS 1.2 as the default supported TLS protocol. Other security features include granular permissions and access control, and the ability to track content changes by user.
The platform is also fully compliant with the accessibility standards and practises of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), offering full customisation of content, code and appearance to ensure complete compliance.
Architecting Umbraco on Azure provides a streamlined solution for managing increased website content and user traffic. This enables flexible scalability, allowing your business to easily adjust to changing demands by scaling up or down as necessary.
Umbraco gives developers the flexibility to write our own highly performant code, so we can deliver optimal page speeds no matter the size of your audience. Whether you have 100 or 100,000 users, Umbraco allows us to write code that is reliable and responsive, ensuring a positive experience for everyone.
As an example: Door Open Days is a Scottish heritage festival that takes place every September. I-Finity planned and delivered a successful move of their existing Umbraco CMS website to Azure hosting.
We were able to effectively scale the site to ensure peak months were supported for the increase in traffic – up to 70% of their total yearly website traffic – while scaling the capacity down in quieter months for a cost-effective approach.
5. Flexible and customisable
Umbraco's flexible architecture means the CMS can be tailored to a limitless set of requirements.
Whether you're running an e-commerce site, a news portal, or a corporate website, the platform's flexibility extends to diverse industries, providing seamless integration for specific features and workflows.
This flexibility extends to every aspect of the system, allowing us to customise not just the look but also the functionality of each website or application to suit your specific business needs.
6. Efficient content management
Umbraco excels in managing various forms of content with its built-in media library – which supports text, documents, images and other multimedia – with useful media features including auto crop, resizing, and the ability to set image focal points.
Its user-friendly approach allows content editors to easily manage page creations and make quick content updates, while the powerful preview feature lets creators review content across multiple devices and screen sizes before publishing.
Umbraco also provides meticulous user access control and version management, tracking content modifications and governing which users are allowed to push content live.
7. Responsive user interface
Umbraco's responsive user interface simplifies navigation for content creators. The intuitive design ensures a user-friendly experience, making content creation a straightforward process.
With Umbraco, users can easily organise, manage and update content without the need for any technical expertise. It is aimed at non-technical people, focusing on those who manage and create content.
8. Integrated SEO tools
The Umbraco platform has built-in technical and on-page SEO features that can help improve search engine rankings.
There is no need for third-party plug-ins to manage SEO as Umbraco automatically includes the option to manage title tags, metadata, canonical tags, sitemaps and robots at both a page and global site level.
Tracking scripts can be added to the site before launch, allowing data-driven marketing to be managed via a range of analytical tools. Customisable fields for social media also make sharing content easy and efficient.
I-Finity: Umbraco CMS experts
Umbraco is a versatile and powerful content management system, offering a host of benefits for businesses of all sizes. The platform's flexibility provides a dynamic CMS solution that can seamlessly adapt to evolving business needs.
As an Umbraco Registered Partner, I-Finity is an officially recognised Umbraco partner with validated accreditations.
Whether you're launching a new website, managing an existing one, looking to re-platform or seeking a robust foundation for digital growth, we can deliver a custom Umbraco CMS solution that’s scalable, efficient, performant, secure and meets your exact requirements for both design and functionality.