As a provider of Umbraco solutions and development services to businesses based in the North West since 2005 (version 2), we've seen it develop into a great product that allows a developer and solution provider such as ourselves to deliver web content projects for our customers to their specification reliably and efficiently. As soon as we started working with Umbraco we knew it had a lot to give and have continued to be surprised by new additions to its features over the years.
It has matured and grown with the .NET Framework and keeps in-line with the most productive trends in the website development arena.
The first version of Umbraco (v1.0) was released in 2003 and was built using classic ASP, VB.NET COM objects and C# webservices.
A year later work started on the first openb source version of Umbraco (v2.0) which was entirely .Net based and released on February 16th 2005. At this point Umbraco was already becoming a powerful and popular CMS and further enhancements were made in the third major version but it wasn't until version 4 released in 2008 that Umbraco gained broader appeal.
There has been one main chink in Umbraco’s armour over the years, in the form of the failed release of Umbraco Version 5. Umbraco eventually deemed the project too complex and that major release was dropped. Since then the product has continued to go from strength to strength and has grown a huge following, both at enterprise and small business level.
So Umbraco jumped from major version 4 to version 6 which saw the move toward MVC (Model View Controller) style of development for the front-end which was a well deserved move forwards for all involved.
In 2013 the much anticipated Umbraco version 7 was released. This latest version was a departure from the well-known Umbraco backend to a new and more up-to-date user interface using more client side MVC in the form of AngularJS, combined with web services. The new backend also brought a more responsive user interface which meant development or at least management on tablet and mobile became a reality.
The Umbraco team summed the release up as:
“This is the beginning of a new era for the Umbraco project. It’s the culmination of 18 months of dedicated work, focused on bringing the project back to the roots of Editor Simplicity & Developer Happiness.”
From the front-end point of view Umbraco still delivered a seamless result allowing the developer and content editor to implement a feature rich and optimised web experience across the board.
In version 7.2 the “Grid layout” editor was added which allowed content editors and developers to manager Umbraco content in-line with current “responsive” user interface layout trends.
Umbraco has a great following with thousands of active developers and packages available to streamline development of new functionality.
Umbraco v7.3 was released in September 2015 moving the platform to MVC5 and Web API 2. It also included support for oAuth identity and native deployment into load balanced environments. There have been several minor version updates to Umbraco 7.3 and these are likely to continue for the foreseable future.
Umbraco v7.4 is also close to release which will include a new content type editor, media library improvements as well as updates to the grid, UX and documentation. Versions 7.5 and 7.6 are also in the pipeline which propose some big improvements to system management and templates. Finally towards the end of the year we can also look forward to Umbraco version 8 which will include some pretty major changes to several parts of the system.
The answer is; if you feel there is merit in upgrading then we believe you would gain from a move to Umbraco 7… however Umbraco 6 is still an active release and continues to receive updates and improvements.
If you have any bespoke sections implemented in Umbraco 6 chances are they’ll need to be modified or re-written for Umbraco 7 due to a change in the architecture of the UI so this is worth bearing in mind as part of your development strategy.
We are often asked how Umbraco compares to other content management systems such as Wordpress, Joomla, Sitecore (to name a few).
Umbraco compares very well to these other solutions however it’s a subjective view. They all do what they’re designed to do well and if you’ve got an existing system based in another content management system and aren’t having any immediate or long term development issues then stay where you are. We will manage solutions already implemented in other content management systems, however if you’re looking to implement a new website or web based application then we highly recommend using Umbraco as all our customers find our solutions built with Umbraco matches their requirements and puts no hurdles in place to the development of their brand or business.
Looking for an Umbraco solution or Umbraco developers in the North West? We are based at Sci-Tech Daresbury near Warrington so are perfectly placed for access to customers across the North West. With our years of experience in Umbraco development and integration we have the skills to take your project forwards to success.
Umbraco is our CMS of choice for new projects and over the years we have successfully implemented many sites for a broad range of customers as well as developing integrated workflows with third party solutions such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Office, Mobile applications, Campaign Monitor and Sales Force.
Because of the extensible nature of the Umbraco user interface and core architecture it can be used not only as a content management system (as it is designed) but also as a core business system if required.
We also like Umbraco's company manifest as it follows our own beliefs:
"Umbraco is transparent and honest"