Why we Use Umbraco to Benefit Our Clients.

Harriet Lawrie, Full-Stack Developer at Cogent, discusses why the togetherness agency uses Umbraco to benefit their clients.

Umbraco at Cogent 

Here at Cogent, Umbraco is our choice of Content Management System (CMS) which powers over 700 of our client’s websites, from simple blog sites to installations that control hundreds of websites with complex extended functionality.

Umbraco provides flexibility and scalability, meaning it is an ideal CMS for most web projects. Clients can start with a simple website, and as their business grows, they can add functionality to their site without accumulating technical debt.

Umbraco Features and Benefits

• Umbraco is free – It costs nothing to build a website! Umbraco only charges for their cloud services and some optional licenced packages. There are lots of built-in features which make Umbraco ideal for developers and editors alike. People can be allocated to select user groups; this gives them specific permissions which control what pages they are able to see, edit and publish. There are also extensive audit trails which show who made changes to pages while also providing the ability to rollback changes, should it ever be needed.

• Umbraco imposes no creative limit to front-end designs – it doesn’t require you to build a site to fit the CMS, although coding in a clean and modular way does make integrating the front-end easier.

• Umbraco is open source and has been developed over the years by a large helpful community who contribute to the code base and online forums. As Umbraco is a well-established CMS, it gives us confidence that it will continue to be maintained and developed for years to come.

• With increasing occurrences of cyber-attacks, one of the concerns for many developers is, ‘Are my websites secure?’. Umbraco is frequently pen-tested to ensure there aren’t any vulnerabilities. Agencies that regularly security test their sites are also able to feedback to Umbraco to improve security further. Additionally, Umbraco isn’t heavily reliant on plugins which is a major source of vulnerabilities for many websites.

• Another benefit of Umbraco is that it is easy to make multilingual websites. Multiple languages can be added to Umbraco sites, once this is done the option to switch between languages appears in the back-end. Umbraco even gives the option to have a side by side comparison of two languages for easy translation. Text in the layout that shouldn’t be edited by the user can be managed and translated by the built-in dictionary. This has an overview of all the words and highlights those translations that haven’t yet been completed. Umbraco also has a built-in user group which allows external translators to access the dictionary when a translation is required for the site.

• Furthermore, all media in Umbraco can be found in the dedicated media section. Here documents and images used on the site can be organised, swapped out or deleted. There are built-in tools such as the Image Cropper which removes the need for CMS users to have to use external image editing tools which clients can often struggle with.

Future of Umbraco

• Umbraco has recently released version 8, which has many improvements over Umbraco 7. Most importantly it has restructured the code ready for Umbraco 9. This will move Umbraco from .NET Framework to .NET Core, introducing major benefits for Umbraco. Most notability it will be able to run on Linux servers and can be developed across multiple platforms. Loosening Umbraco from the Microsoft stack will make it a genuine competitor in the CMS market. Will it overthrow WordPress? I believe it has the potential to.