7 reasons to love Umbraco

As you might know, The Reference recently won an Umbraco Award with Vivaldis Interim for Best Cloud Solution and was also nominated for the Jury’s Choice Award! That confirmed for us that Umbraco is an awesome Content Management System (CMS)! And we are not the only ones who think so. DIGITALEUROPE even considers and awarded Umbraco as one of the potential future European Tech giants.

We argue, however, that it takes more than potential to become a preferred CMS. And it takes even more for a CMS to become a preferred partner to work with when choosing a solution for our clients.

In this blog post, I'll share my reasons why I love working with Umbraco (the CMS and the Danish company)


1. Umbraco is an open-source CMS

Open-source software implies that everyone can download a version of Umbraco and start working with it.
From a business point of view, working with an open-source CMS has other advantages that provide even more added value 

  • No vendor lockin: the network of Umbraco developers and partners is extensive. Your love for Umbraco gives you the freedom in your choice of a partner that completely understands your business needs
  • No licensing cost: the use of Umbraco as a CMS is free. You win a chunk of your budget for features, you receive more value for your money and your project just got cheaper while keeping the same quality
  • Ready to use, (free) packages: the community shares insights and packages meaning you benefit from already developed features to enrich your project
  • “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” (Linus's Law): the community is friendly and has high standards. If a package or a built does not meet expectations, people give feedback, solutions and even helping hands to collaborate on the issue. You can rely on the community to spot and fix bugs and vulnerabilities
We are aware that not all businesses are ready to use an open-source CMS on their own.  Working together with The Reference provides the solution! You enjoy the advantages of an open-source CMS combined with the expertise of a certified team of developers. It's the best of both worlds: we are the only Gold Partner in Belgium with a direct communication line to Umbraco HQ for support and questions. In return The Reference commits to having the Umbraco team certified. Did you know that our Solution Architect is 1 of the 5 Certified Masters in Belgium?

2. The (friendly) Umbraco Community

The Umbraco community deserves a spot in my top 3 reasons of ‘why I love Umbraco’, because I've never met a community that is so open-minded and eager to share expertise. Whether you're a developer, designer, analyst or project manager, you'll always find a kindred soul. Every member of the community is there to give back and help others to become better at what they're doing.

There is a wide range of channels where you can find documentation about Umbraco. I'll list a few of my favorites to prove my point:

  • There is Our, the central hub of information. You can search for documentation, get help and guidance from experts. But you can also download and collaborate on plugins and extensions
  • You can follow tutorials on Umbraco TV as a basic 'get to know Umbraco'
  • The conversations on Twitter are endless
  • If you should ever lack inspiration, be prepared to get inspired by 24 days in, probably the best Advent Calendar to start the countdown for Christmas
  • Give yourself and your FOMO a break by subscribing to Skrift 

Every Umbracian is there with the best intentions, both on a personal level and on a professional level, to spread the love for Umbraco and to help Umbraco reach the status of best open-source CMS.

3. The BUUG meetups

Other thing I love about Umbraco are all the local initiatives. Every month, there is a meetup from the BUUG (Belgian Umbraco User Group) where we discuss cases, new features and packages.
Everyone can host a meetup or claim a spot to present a cool case. Did you know that The Reference will be hosting a post Codegarden meetup?

4. Innovative

Umbraco fits perfectly in the best-of-breed approach The Reference believes in. 
Other than the best-in-suite approach, we go for integrations with 3rd party software the customer already adopted, rather than expecting that one tool can answer all needs. The innovative character Umbraco possesses to always up their game and provide solutions for the evolving market, fits perfectly with The Reference DNA. For us, it's equally important to stay on top of the market and to research which emerging technologies need some extra Tender Loving Care.
In this past year, The Reference was able to innovate on quite some levels in cooperation with Umbraco:
  • We've already done some cool stuff for Vivaldis where Umbraco is integrated with Connexys and Selligent to integrate and automate business processes. As the job market is quickly evolving, we can only suggest the best set of tools so Vivaldis can keep up the pace
  • The idea to have a single Umbraco Headless environment that serves content to all our customers on any device was something we needed to test for ourselves.
    It resulted in a few blog posts about a performance fix and the ability to integrate with React . Our first customer project is still under NDA, but we'll start communication about it in the near future.
  • We're also closing the gap between Umbraco and e-commerce. We currently have 2 solutions: an integration with Ucommerce or a headless approach where the shop is built in React Native closing the omnichannel loop. 

It's still unsure what the future will bring but I'm looking forward to some serious game development, AI, AR & VR experiences in Umbraco.




PS: I know I promised 7 reasons why... However, if I have to elaborate on the fact that Umbraco is the most user friendly CMS I've already worked with (5) and the fact that Umbraco v8 is even more focused on a good user experience for Content Managers (6), I might take up too much of your time. Especially if I have to combine this with my 7th argument why I love Umbraco: the short communication lines with Helle, Ilham, Poul and all the others at HQ. To be continued?

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