What is Umbraco CMS?

Umbraco is an open source CMS built on Microsoft ASP.NET framework. Its flexibility allows designers and developers to customize the design and functionalities as well as integrate it with third-party systems such as ERP, CRM, and mobile apps.

Umbraco was released in February 2005 and has then grown rapidly to more than 400,000 active installations and more than 200,000 proactive community members. You can read more about Umbraco here.

Umbraco is open source

Using an open source platform is a cost-effective choice when developing websites or web applications, as opposed to using a proprietary framework. Unlike many blogging systems, Umbraco was designed as a CMS that can be extended to meet special requirements or integrated with third-party business systems. Normally you will need an Umbraco developer to program, install, and configure the site/webshop to your requirements.

Umbraco applications

With ASP.NET as its foundation, Umbraco can be used as a platform for many applications, such as:

  • Classic CMS for maintaining a company website
  • Webshops (e.g., uCommerce, TeaCommerce, Merchello)
  • Publish updated content to multiple servers (e.g., global websites, news media sites)
  • Custom web applications
  • Social media sites
  • Blog sites

Designing Umbraco

Customizing the overall look of an Umbraco site is fast to do if one uses themes. With readily available themes and a wide-range of online themes market, choosing the best one that represents your brand is often efficient and cost-effective. We can also do minor modifications to a purchased theme to better fit your needs.

If you prefer a unique look, we can create a custom design that meets exactly your branding requirements. This is done by our graphic design team. We can also work with your designers, if you have your own.

When the design is finished and approved by you, our development team takes over and develops the functionalities, sets up and configures Umbraco, before deploying it to the hosting server of your choice.

Umbraco extensions

Extending the functionalities of Umbraco is almost limitless. You can use available off-the-shelf extensions (also called packages) to enhance the features of your Umbraco site, or we can develop a special extension that meets your unique requirements.

To get an idea of the kind of extensions available for Umbraco, go to Umbraco.org where available Umbraco extensions are listed.

Umbraco hosting

Umbraco CMS can be hosted by various providers. For smaller setup, a shared or dedicated server with a hosting provider you’re already using will suffice. For bigger solutions, using Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure may be a better option due to the scalability. We can also help you choose a hosting company. Whatever you choose, we can handle the setup, installation, and configuration.

Optimizing Umbraco

Besides designing, developing, and installing your Umbraco solution, we also consider its performance by conducting several technical optimizations, such as but not limited to:

  1. Minification of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. This step is done to eliminate unnecessary codes on the server of your Umbraco site, in turn, making the website load faster.
  2. Prioritize visible content and eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  3. Image compression and CDN. Images must be compressed to lessen the time it takes for the image file to be sent over the internet. Umbraco has a built-in image handler where images are optimized before they are sent to the browser. 
    Depending on the media files needed in your Umbraco site (images, video, sound, etc.), these files can be hosted on separate servers around the world so that they are closer to the users (physically). This is typically done by using a content delivery network (CDN) service. Examples of CDN services are:

  4. Browser caching. To lessen the time it takes for a page to be displayed, we implement browser caching. This is a process where CSS and JavaScript files are saved (cached) in the browser so that they do not need to be sent over the internet from the server to the user every time the user opens a web page. This saves time, and the effect is that the page loads faster—an important factor for a great user experience and search engine rankings.

SEO for Umbraco

We perform the following technical SEO optimizations on Umbraco site:

  • Configure Google webmaster tool.
  • Install Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager.
  • Install a plugin that will check if page title or description follows specified rules.
  • Create a Sitemap for search engine.
  • Set the default structured data schema to "website" (schema).
  • Use correct schema for Breadcrumbs, Organization info, and site links.
  • Speed optimize the site to achieve a high Google Page Speed score.
  • Check for missing page titles, duplicate H1 tags, broken links, etc. 
  • Ensure that open-graph images and texts are in place. 

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Peter Skouhus

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