What is Umbraco?

We take a closer look at some of Umbraco’s key features and what's led this growing CMS platform to become so popular.


Growing CMS platform

Umbraco is one of the most widely used Content Management Systems (CMS), known for its simplicity and almost limitless potential and delivering on some of the largest global corporate websites across multiple industry sectors. 

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at some of Umbraco’s key features that have led this growing CMS platform to become so popular. We’ll also explore how it compares with WordPress, its ease of use, how it works with SEO, and why your business should use Umbraco.

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What is Umbraco?

Umbraco was created in Denmark in 2000 by Niels Hartvi, was launched to market in 2004/5 and is now considered the fastest growing Content Management System.

Dubbed "The Friendly CMS”, Umbraco CMS is used to run enterprise-level websites for global multinational organisations, including Carlsberg Group, JP Morgan, Mercedes Benz, Microsoft and many more.

Built on Microsoft's .NET Framework, Umbraco is an Open Source Content Management System - in other words, free to use with no additional licenses or fees - while its flexible framework and functionality are designed to support growth, making it a fully scalable and future-proof solution.

User friendly features

Why should you use Umbraco?

Site owners, content creators, designers, and developers around the world enjoy Umbraco’s simplicity, flexibility, security and scalability.

When it comes to the design, development and futureproofing of a website, Umbraco is fully customisable and known for its user-friendly features

  • Integration with third party platforms or systems is made simple.
  • Multi-lingual: Umbraco supports multiple languages, making it a great choice for multinational organisations.
  • Easy to use: Dynamic and ambitious web pages are easily and quickly created using the ‘drag and drop’ page creation tool while its media library with built-in image editor allows full-resolution images to be intuitively added and edited.
  • Scalability: Umbraco’s CMS doesn’t compromise on performance even when multiple custom features, software tools and other functionalities are added to the website – or when inevitable traffic spikes occur as the business grows. 
  • Enterprise level: Umbraco is ideal for managing multiple sites on the same CMS.
  • User control and website governance is made easier through different permission levels for users - i.e. admins, editors or other roles.
  • Ongoing support from a huge team of experts as well as a friendly Umbraco-user community on hand to support clients at every stage.
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What other products do Umbraco have?

While Umbraco may be best known for its Open-Source CMS platform, its ecosystem of other products is designed to offer further flexibility and customisation of Umbraco CMS projects:

  • Umbraco Cloud’s hosting platform, Microsoft Azure, gives clients peace of mind, knowing that their live site is safe and secure in its own protected environment with automatic bug and security upgrades: the ‘autopilot for your Umbraco project’. 
  • Umbraco Heartcore is a headless (back-end-only) CMS that makes content accessible through APIs, used to create an organised content structure and provide a seamless editorial experience 
  • Umbraco Uno’s website platform is the key to taking a site from beautiful to stunning, giving creative agencies a simple, intuitive and flexible way to create content that can grow with the business.
  • Umbraco Forms allows you to manage complex forms and workflows on your website with the same user-friendly experience you’ve come to expect from Umbraco.

Is Umbraco similar to WordPress?

In a nutshell, yes - and no! 

CMS ‘giants’ Umbraco and WordPress are the two open-source software platforms most widely used by large corporate brands across the world – and as such, are frequently compared. 

If you’re in the process of choosing a CMS to build your new website or if you’re changing platforms, you’ll no doubt be wondering what the key differences are, as well as asking yourself: 

  • How easy is it to use? 
  • Will it integrate easily with other platforms? 
  • What are the options for scaling in the future? 
  • How will I be supported once the website is live? 

The host of similarities and differences between these two powerhouse CMS platforms can feel bewildering, so let’s start with a brief overview of some of the key differences:

  • Released in 2003, WordPress started life as a blogging platform, while its Danish counterpart was developed from the start as a pure, purpose-built CMS platform.
  • WordPress was built using a programming and scripting language called PHP while Umbraco is built in .NET.
  • WordPress relies on templates and plugins to make its webpages more effective, on both its paid and free versions, although these plugins inevitably slow the page loading time and can pose a potential security risk. 
  • Umbraco is ultra-flexible from the outset and can be personalised to meet the needs of clients requiring a small and simple website or a much larger scale project with thousands of pages to accommodate high volumes of traffic.
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SEO-friendly CMS

How Umbraco works with SEO

Search engines, such as Google, are one of the key routes to driving traffic to a website and ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ (SEO) is the means to improve those search engine rankings - which is why an SEO-friendly CMS is essential. 

Umbraco’s flexibility, scalability, and functionality are tailor-made for SEO purpose-built websites, helping both web developers and non-web developers manage their own SEO relatively easily while its user-friendly framework makes it a simple process to implement SEO-friendly features including:

  • Metadata – embedded information about the webpage
  • Headings – organisational tools that guide search engines through the content hierarchy. 
  • Internal and External Links - hyperlinks on a webpage that direct the reader to other pages on the same site or to a page on another website.
  • ALT Tags - an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines.
  • Canonical Tags – these help prevent duplicate content issues quickly and easily.
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Is Umbraco easy to learn?

Umbraco is quick and simple to understand, even without any prior experience and the days of clients needing to upload reams of complex HTML are replaced with a user-friendly CMS interface. 

Furthermore, with a choice of different publishing rights made available to them, website administrators can easily add, edit and schedule content or update features, giving them ultimate flexibility to manage their own website - and, if needed, official support is on hand from Umbraco’s central office in Denmark.

For clients wanting a fast, flexible, and secure system, designed to optimise productivity, and scale for growth, Umbraco CMS is an ideal choice.

Yoyo is an Umbraco Agency that creates engaging experiences for brands to communicate with consumers. If you have learnt something new, gained some inspiration or just have a question about Umbraco, please do get in touch, we’re a friendly bunch.

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