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Why choose Umbraco: The best open source CMS (2018)

If you are looking for a fully-featured, open source Content Management System loved by thousands then this is an article for you. Be prepared for the multitude of information that will occupy your brain in the next 15 minutes. Let’s dive into it!

What is Umbraco?

First, let’s start from the basics. Built upon Microsoft’s .NET Framework, Umbraco is a completely FREE Open Source Content Management System (CMS – platform for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets) and it is one of the most popular platforms for professional programmers. Also, there are over 400,000 websites (Carlsberg, Peugeot, Sony, Heinz, Vogue and others) powered by Umbraco CMS, from startups and charities to global brands.

Why we love Umbraco?

Managing a website couldn’t be easier than with Umbraco CMS. Here is why is Umbraco a good choice for..

- website owners:

  • Multiple Site Management – run multiple websites from a single Umbraco installation
  • Responsive CMS
  • Out-The-Box Features – health check dashboard, device preview and lots more features
  • Support –

- content creators:

  • Easy to Learn and Use – simple CMS interface
  • Hi, Ciao, Adios – built in support for multi-lingual sites
  • Role Based Access Levels
  • Media Library – manage all your media assets from a single location
  • Schedule Content – automatically publish and unpublish content (no geek required)

- our designers and developers:

  • Integrate with Business Systems – open and flexible architecture
  • Easy to Use API’s – Umbraco API gives you programmatic access to everything in the Umbraco CMS
  • Performance Boosts
  • Custom Code – you can develop with whatever approach you prefer
  • Design Freedom – Umbraco places no restrictions or set frameworks to front-end giving designers maximum freedom for their creations

Numbers behind Umbraco

Active installs


Active members in the community


Known free Umbraco packages available



Okay, so why do so many companies use Umbraco?


The answer is simple, Umbraco has its own community where people share their knowledge about Umbraco and talking about different problems and barriers in Umbraco, it is very helpful for developers. The Umbraco community is great because you can get friendly and helpful advice.

Umbraco community, for your problem - another opportunity.

Express speed

There is an easier way to accomplish small to medium back-end development task that Umbraco gives designers. Back-end developers can focus on more complex development issues because this frees up developers project hours that are used to be dedicated to building a custom CMS.

If you want a cheaper version then your friend is Umbraco Express, but we’ll mention it later.


The content is organized in a tree-like structure that gives you a hierarchy and makes it easy to find your content where some content management systems just give you an area with all your pages and you have to hunt for them with no visual cues of their hierarchy or properties – Wordpress, we’re watching you..

Flexible CMS

With Umbraco you get a framework that doesn’t get in the way of whatever you need it to do – that means no fuzz, no limitations. Because it is so flexible it is perfect CMS for both low and high complexity projects – whatever you imagine can be made, it is scalable and makes it easy for a company to grow and add features on the go.

Umbraco Express

There is also an Umbraco Express where you can focus on building a beautiful website and produce some quality content. Simply, value for money. This means that we skip design and everything that comes with it and we can set up an Umbraco Express website with your visual characters. We can help you with producing content (videos, images) if you want and you are a free soul, not tied down to functionality, design or us.

If you want to see how it looks and learn more about it be free to visit this link and if you are interested be free to contact us.


Any page, any content can be rendered in a mobile browser exactly the same as on your computer – same page, same content, same Umbraco site. No changes.


Umbraco uses the Open source MIT License and you can read more about the license here. Umbraco is completely free with this condition. Umbraco is a framework (empty shell), that means we can tailor Umbraco to match our clients needs.


The Umbraco HQ has built some official add-ons to Umbraco, that you need to buy a license to use on your live environment. And just to be clear: the MIT license allows you to do absolutely anything you like with the product, always for free. One of the add-ons is Umbraco Forms, and the second one is a product called Courier. And not forgetting the Umbraco TV.

Easy to use

The biggest advantage of Umbraco is that managing the content is super easy. It is arranged in a simple format and you can also use MS Word to publish your blog posts and pages, you can schedule your content (that gives you more control over your publishing) and you can set content to be approved before it is published.

Umbraco saves versions of the content that you have made so you can revert back if you need to and compare previous versions. There is also the media library that is an excellent feature that makes it simple to manage your media – photos and documents and it contains many useful features (if you update one image, the same image will update everywhere on the site).

Search engine friendly

SEO is fundamental to success; it isn’t just about building search engine-friendly websites. It is about making your site better for people too. However, you want to ensure that your site is ready to get the most of your marketing and Umbraco websites ensure that this is the case. The coding is optimized so that you can start improving your SEO as soon as it has been launched.


The best information comes from the first hand, so I asked some of our developers what they like about Umbraco. Our software developer Semin says that he likes Umbraco mostly because developers can set-up a multi-language site. Why is Umbraco perfect when you want to set up a multilingual website? There are two different scenarios:

  1. One installation – multiple sites

This makes sense when the websites have a similar structure (templates, document types etc.). Each site has a unique root node, but all are constructed a similar structure.

  1. One installation – multiple languages

The case when you wish to have translated versions of the same site. If the range of websites are coherent in content, style and structure and the language is the only difference between them then you should use this method – use package called Vorto.

Goran Hrustić – our frontend developer and designer, was also asked what he likes about Umbraco the most. He said that he likes Umbracos flexibility and specially the newest version of it.

“Umbraco is great because you don’t need to have some great knowledge about databases or SQL, connection strings, you have everything served in Umbraco, it is really easy to use. That’s what helped me a lot. Of course, in the beginning you will have to sit and learn some stuff about it, just so you can use and that’s it.”

He also said that Umbraco has a lot of design/layout flexibility and that it provides a lot of control for customization, it is really easy to learn and use. You have so many choices and everything is up to you.


Umbraco is a CMS that has wide support and the possibilities are limitless, and if we try to describe Umbraco completely this article would be very long so we’ll stop right here. If you would like to extend you knowledge about this CMS, you can visit some of the websites and YouTube channels listed down below.

  • Skrift – the Umbraco Community Newsletter
  • Twitter – explore Umbraco
  • Our Umbraco – The Umbraco Hub for Forums, Documentation and Projects
  • Paul Seal – Paul has his own YouTube Channel where he brings his own blend of Umbraco tutorials (really helpful!)
  • Kevin Giszewski – Kevin also has a YouTube Channel and many helpful Umbraco and general development tutorials
  • Umbraco Slack Chat – an active Slack community of Umbracians


About the author

Irena Vilic

Irena Vilić is an information technologies student at University of Mostar and also our youngest colleague. She loves art and likes to manifest creativity in any possible way. She likes to learn new things and knows a lot about math and social media.

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