Thursday, October 21, 2010

Umbraco CMS: Features and Flaws

Umbraco is a free ASP.NET CMS that also allows you to create your own design and allows editing with an integrated WYSIWYG editor that is a lot like Microsoft Word.  It has over 85,000 active users/installations.

I would say the number one thing that I don’t like about Umbraco by just looking at their site is that they have a security hole in their installation. They mention it on their home page, but that would still deter myself from using their system, especially for any clients or businesses. I haven't had a chance to build a site with Umbraco, but I'll try my best to give a good summary review.

Best Features
  • JQuery Multi-level Navigation
  • Supports internal and external flash videos
  • Allows the client to post Tweets based on node publishing
Additional Features
  • multi-level galleries
  • e-commerce with PayPal
  • Current weather (which I thought was interesting)
  • widgets 
Flaws
From what I've been reading, Umbraco's biggest flaws seem to be "bugs". It looks like they have bugs with publishing and upgrading to the new V4. Umbraco does, however, have a bug fixing warranty on their products page. 

CostUmbraco is ultimately free, but you can pay for extra bundles that they offer which could cost up to $700 depending on what you want. 

Sample Sites that use Umbraco
Technical Details
Built on the .NET framework 2.0 with ASP.NET 2.0 and C#, Umbraco supports .NET Custom Control and .NET User Controls with very little change. Umbraco fully supports ASP.NET Ajax, ASP.NET Master Pages, and XSLT for generating dynamic lists.
 


Summary
Umbraco seems to offer a decent CMS, they just need to get their bugs under control. And they are working on it, but until then they have the bug warranty to make sure that the client is covered. It's simple and easy to use. If you would like to see how it works yourself, you can watch their 3 minute tour video on their home page. Umbraco will surely have a learning curve, which seems to be a trend so far with CMS, but here is a blog that contains a new user guide by BlogFodder! They also offer 80+ online training videos and a friendly community for support. And they will have a book out coming soon -- the book is scheduled for an early-2011 release to coincide with the v5 release of Umbraco. 


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TBH Creative is an Indianapolis-based internet strategy agency. Our services include web strategy & planning, website design, mobile solutions, application development, and analytic reporting.

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