Why Your Client Might Be Requesting Umbraco for Their New Website – and Why You Should Offer It

Umbraco is a terrific platform for web development, but if you aren’t familiar with it and your client requests it for their new website project, you might be wondering why.

There are several different reasons I have personally come across:

  1. It was recommended to them – Someone they know and respect told them that Umbraco would be a good platform to use for their new website project, so they are looking seriously at it.
  2. They have already had an Umbraco site – Either their current website, or a previous incarnation, was built with Umbraco, and because they liked it, or just because they know it, they want their new website to use the same platform.
  3. Another part of their company uses Umbraco – Since Umbraco is more well-known in the UK and Europe, it’s common for a company with its headquarters outside of the US to be familiar with and using Umbraco for company websites, so the US branches might be getting recommendations (or dictates) from the mothership.
  4. They want a low-cost .Net (Microsoft) solution – Many corporate entities utilize Microsoft software, servers, and services and want to have their website slot into that familiar ecosystem. Umbraco is a high-quality open-source Azure-compatible .Net CMS platform. Unlike some other high-profile options with steep licensing fees (in addition to the design & development costs associated with any website project), Umbraco looks good to the CFO.

You might want to ask your client why they are specifically interested in Umbraco, just so you can understand their familiarity with the platform and their project priorities – two things which will help your proposal meet their needs and will help guide other technical decisions later in the process.

If they have previously had a website build with Umbraco, be sure to ask them about the features and functionality they liked the most (and least) in those previous sites. You will want to make sure that the new website includes their favorite features and eradicates their biggest problems.

Your agency might not be currently offering Umbraco websites, but I hope that after launching your first Umbraco project you will see it as a desirable platform for other client projects. In case you require further convincing, here are a few more reasons you should start actively selling Umbraco projects.

Your Front-End Designs Shine

Many agencies pride themselves on the visual designs they deliver to clients – beautiful sites with a visitor-focused user-experience and the latest in front-end wizardry. Umbraco is the ideal content management platform to use when you care about controlling exactly what is rendered to the browser.

Because Umbraco itself doesn’t add any markup that you aren’t able to create or change, your front-end code maintains integrity and precision. In addition, you have the ability to control how text content is added (via limited Rich Text Editors or plain text string fields), and to insure the correct format for other data entered (date/time or numeric data, for instance) so that your design intentions are honored.

Modern Responsive Design Flexibility

With the Umbraco Grid Control, Content Editors can have a lot of freedom for their modern fully-responsive pages, while developers can limit how far away from accepted design standards they can stray. The Grid is fully configurable and the rendering of content from the Grid is fully within the control of the developers.

Multiculturalism is Built-In

Translation tools and support for multiple languages are already present in Umbraco, so it is a fantastic choice for clients who want to offer multiple versions of their website to different audiences based on language and geography.

ASP.Net is Perceived as “Enterprise” Technology (and Can be Priced Accordingly)

If you have clients who are concerned about security and are looking for an “enterprise”-level website platform, ASP.Net is a reassuring option. Being able to pre-compile your website’s business logic rather than use a script-based programming language adds peace-of-mind.

Since Umbraco is fully compatible with ASP.Net, it can be integrated with other Microsoft server technologies such as Active Directory, if needed.

Platform Flexibility, Customizations, and Integrations

With some coding know-how you can do practically anything with Umbraco as your website platform. It’s a safe bet that whatever functional requirements your client has now or in the future can be handled.

Umbraco is Open-source and Supported by a Professional Company

What does this mean for you? At the most obvious level – no ongoing licensing fees. Some CMS platforms charge monthly or yearly fees into the thousands of dollars, along with required “setup” fees, “training” fees, and whatever else fees they can get away with. There are no license fees to build a site using Umbraco, so your client’s entire budget can be used for better discovery, design, and development.

Being managed by a profitable company means that Umbraco’s core codebase is continually being maintained and enhanced. Umbraco HQ also offers optional training, certifications, and additional support services if you desire them.

Being open-source, if there is ever anything that you need Umbraco to do, and you can’t achieve it via the myriad connection points available (API, custom events code, etc.), you can always dig into the source code itself.


Excerpted from the book, An Agency’s Guide to the Umbraco Content Management System by Heather Floyd.

Heather Floyd has been involved in website and software development for over 20 years and developing with the Umbraco CMS since 2006. She specializes in information architecture and development efficiency.

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