HOW DOES UMBRACO COMPARE TO WORDPRESS?
Let’s start with what they have in common: they are open-source, which means they do not come with license fees. They are also both easy to use. Choosing the right one depends on what the project’s requirements are. If you want a corporate site with custom design, specific requirements and dynamic content – then Umbraco would be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you are looking to run a blog or a personal website that you will build yourself or with the help of a freelance developer, Wordpress would be a wise choice. However, there are 3 challenges with Wordpress that you will not experience with Umbraco: it can be vulnerable to security breaches, it requires a lot of resources to run effectively and it also requires intensive maintenance to function properly, all this related to the heavy reliance of plugins and templates.
WHAT DOES UMBRACO MEAN ANYWAY?
Umbraco is Danish for a allen key. It is actually written unbrakonøgle… and our guess is the English equivalent would be Umbraco!
ARE THERE ANY BIG SITES RUNNING UMBRACO?
There are many large sites running Umbraco including many Microsoft sites (like asp.net and technet), as well as corporations like Heinz and Carlesberg.
IS UMBRACO FREE, OR JUST FREE FOR BASIC FUNCTIONALITY (WITH ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONALITY ONLY AVAILABLE WITH A COMMERCIAL LICENSE, LIKE DNN)?
Umbraco is 100% free, now and always. Now, there are some companies that offer additional functionality to the CMS, like import tools, newsletter creation tool or custom ecommerce packages - but these are not required as there are many more free, open source add-ons to the CMS. There is no reason why these functionalities cannot be written specifically for you, with just the features you require, which sometimes is an even better option than a general package.
I DON'T WANT TO LOOK LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. CAN UMBRACO WEBSITE LOOK UNIQUE?
Each client is different and it is our belief that each site we develop should be unique. This is not to say a templated site or one that is less "differentiated" than others do not have their place, they do. But sometimes the business or marketing objective is to offer something different or represent a brand in a way that makes it stand out from the competition. Umbraco lets you have this creative design, this cool technical feature or that little extra something our designers, UX specialists or developers can dream up in conjunction with your needs and ideas.
IS UMBRACO RESPONSIVE?
Responsive design is a development process used when writing web pages and this is fully supported by Umbraco. As Umbraco gives you a clean sheet for developing your site with no reliance on templates or any forced structure, you can make sites as responsive as required. Umbraco has starter sites to help speed up development that can be used, which are also fully responsive.
WHAT ARE THE DESIGN LIMITS FOR AN UMBRACO BASED WEBSITE?
Well, there are none. Umbraco forces no template or sectioned content areas at all. A base Umbraco install has literally zero html defined, so you have complete design freedom.
CAN I USE A TEMPLATE?
There are templates that are built for Umbraco and it is possible to take a Wordpress template and modify it to work with Umbraco. However, this is not the optimal way to go. Because of the flexibility and some of the advanced UI abilities of the CMS, it is usually beneficial to simply write the website specifically for the client based on their needs. Most templates demo well and look great but implementation can quickly become a challenge, as there are usually small (and big) modifications that require the template to be customized. This is problematic for a few reasons, the main ones being that upgradeability is lost and the changes usually have unexpected impact on other parts of the template, since it is usually tightly integrated.
I HAVE MULTILINGUAL NEEDS. DOES UMBRACO SUPPORT SEVERAL LANGUAGES?
Umbraco supports hundreds of languages out of the box. Each language gets a site tree for content, with content being linked using associations between the site content nodes. The back office can also be translated to allow content editors to see the UI in their language. All shared labels such as form labels, are stored in a centralized dictionary that has a dashboard for easy management and updates.
CAN I USE UMBRACO AS AN ECOMMERCE STORE FRONT?
Yes. However, like personalization, this is an area that generally seems straight forward but, as is usually discovered during analysis and development, there are always 2 or 3 things that are very specific to your business. After all, your business is unique and so are your processes. There are extensions to the Umbraco CMS to provide the ecommerce basics such as product definitions, pricing, multiple currencies, multi-store, shipping, taxes, etc. And because of the way the CMS is built, there are extension points to extend or replace the areas that require change without the need to hack the structure to fit your processes. Because at the end of the day, rendering your processes is what Umbraco is built for.
IS THERE A BUILT-IN WEB STORE FOR UMBRACO, OR A PLUGIN LIKE WORDPRESS’ WOO-COMMERCE?
There are a variety of options, both open source and paid, to add a store front to your site. These all provide the basic ecommerce services you would need to run an online store including products, inventory management, variants, cart, payment gateways, shipping, taxes, etc.
MY CONTENT EDITORS ARE SPREAD OUT OVER THE WORLD. HOW CAN WE ADDRESS THIS?
This is not an issue, since the back office is accessed through the web. Basically, any internet-connected computing device can update content in Umbraco. Laptops, tablets even phones can easily access the back office securely and users can modify content via their own login access.
I HAVE A GLOBAL SITE. WHAT CLOUD OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ME?
There are multiple options available to host your Umbraco site in the cloud. The more well known cloud providers, including AWS, Rackspace and Microsoft Azure, will easily run Umbraco. Umbraco also has a cloud offering that is interesting, as they keep your instance updated to the most current version as well as offer elastic scaling of your site. Shared hosts are also supported and services such as discountasp.net will easily handle your Umbraco sites. Basically, any service that allows for Windows hosting will run Umbraco.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR UMBRACO?
From 10 permanent employees just a few years ago, there is currently a team of around 30 people working for Umbraco HQ in Denmark. They also have a couple of employees in the United States. This number is expected to climb to over 100 in next few years. Umbraco is definitely experiencing tremendous growth, especially in the UK as well as in North America.
WHAT HAPPENS IF UMBRACO STOPS BEING DEVELOPED, SINCE IT IS OPEN SOURCE?
While open source, Umbraco is backed by a profitable company that offers professional support and warranty. Umbraco HQ has invested time and money in their solution, and now have an install base of over 350,000 sites in 169 countries. While Umbraco HQ does not do client side development, their team is responsible for maintaining the code base and roadmap with input from the community as well as providing code fixes and new features. Umbraco is developing well, as is its partner network around the world. Attitude Marketing is the first Gold Partner in Canada, and being certified on Umbraco as well as certified in .NET, we have the capability to maintain the code base to support our existing clients.
AM I LOCKED IN WITH ATTITUDE BECAUSE OF THE PLATFORM?
As much as we would be sad to see you go, it would be against our values to hold you captive. The sites we develop are entirely owned by the client, and the CMS it is built on is 100% freely available. It is written in a technology known to hundreds of thousands of active developers, so any programmer with knowledge of .NET can take over development of the site.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR ME THAT YOU ARE A GOLD PARTNER?
You benefit from the fact that we are required to maintain a level of certified developers guaranteeing that the people working on your site have a solid understanding of the platform they are working on. At Attitude, all our developers that work on Umbraco sites are certified by Umbraco. Also, as gold partners, we have a direct line to the Umbraco HQ who are in charge of the core CMS, and there is no one better to help with an issue than the developer of the software. We also have unlimited rights to use all the paid add-ons to the CMS that Umbraco provides, such as Umbraco Forms and Courrier.
SINCE UMBRACO IS OPEN-SOURCE AND 100% FREE, HOW DO THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY?
Umbraco has a few revenue channels, the first one being their partner program. This program is a way for agencies and development companies to give back to the product, both monetarily and technically, allowing Umbraco HQ to continue to provide such an amazing free CMS. Umbraco also provides training all over the world and generate revenue via two products they sell, which are Umbraco Forms and Courrier, both great additions to the CMS. Lastly, the Umbraco Cloud service was recently launched, which is a SAAS offering to host Umbraco sites.
I DON'T HAVE I.T. OR LARGE SERVERS TO HOST MY SITE. CAN I STILL USE UMBRACO?
There are many options available for clients that are either too small or don't wish to maintain expensive servers or dedicated hosting. The first option is to be hosted here at Attitude, as we maintain a high performant web server that can run most small- to medium-sized websites that we build for our clients. Another option is to source low cost shared hosting services from a third-party provider, such as discountasp.net. Finally, you could investigate the cloud, a highly scalable option which is available since Umbraco will run on AWS, Rackspace or Microsoft Azure with no special version required. All of these options need to be upgraded manually, as Umbraco releases patches and feature releases. If you wish to have those updates taken care of by Umbraco, the SAAS option will keep your instance always running the latest release.
I DON'T HAVE CONTENT EDITORS. CAN YOU HELP?
Attitude Marketing is a 360 Marketing Agency offering not only copyright and translation services for content but also for SEO and social media publications. Our team can help with content entry and website updates.
I KEEP HEARING ABOUT PERSONALIZATION. DOES UMBRACO SUPPORT THIS?
The answer to this is yes and no. Umbraco is so flexible it will basically support any feature that can be coded, so the only real limit to its functionality is budget. Personalization is rarely the same for each client, as it is driven by business imperatives. Therefore, rarely is any service or system able to deliver this out of the box. However, there are add-ons to Umbraco that provide the basic functionality for personalization (such as country specific rules, return visitors, etc). Umbraco has numerous extension points allowing developers to add their own rules and conditions to the personalization processing engine. If this is something that is required, please contact us. We would love to discuss the possiblities with you.
WHAT IF MY SITE REQUIRES EXTENSIVE CUSTOMIZATION?
Customization is where Umbraco really shines. There is no front end structure forced on the development team, giving complete freedom to implement the true vision of the site without any hacking of the CMS. The development team literally has a blank canvas to work with, which is cost effective because there is no need to force a customization into an inflexible or limited template. Only what is required is built and delivered.
MY SITE NEEDS TO INTEGRATE INTO MY LOB APPLICATIONS. IS UMBRACO SUITABLE?
This is another area that Umbraco excels in. Since it is essentially an asp.net website, the entire .NET framework can be used to integrate into virtually any LOB system, from SAP to Salesforce or even an IBM Mainframe. With the release of the .NET Core and the fact that .NET is now open source, Umbraco will run natively on Linux or OSX, providing unparalleled flexibility for an enterprise application.
I HAVE HEARD ABOUT IOT. EXACTLY HOW FUTURE PROOF IS MY UMBRACO SITE FOR THESE EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES?
There are many options available when building your enterprise infrastructure using Umbraco. First, it runs seamlessly in most cloud-based hosts such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft's Azure. Umbraco also has their own hosted cloud offering that keeps your sites running on the latest release of the CMS and automatically partitions development and staging instances based on GIT. This allows the site to run at almost infinite scale, allowing it to support the massive amount of requests an IOT application may generate. Add to this the ability to have Umbraco run as a headless CMS, where there is only the back office for content management, with all clients only accessing the CMS through an API. This is also interesting as it can scale this API as well as the CMS independently, providing greater flexibility. Through this API, websites can run by accessing the data with Angular or Backbone, making it entirely client side. Mobile apps can get real time access to the data as can any IOT devices. The flexibility this offers is virtually limitless.