There’s a reason that most websites run on Linux servers, and why so many run on PHP with MySQL server. That reason is price. MySQL is free, PHP is free, Linux is relatively free depending on which flavour you use.
The Microsoft platform has, for several years, been an expensive one but the Umbraco content management system (CMS) is a bit of a game changer. This CMS is an open source CMS based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET that even allows editing with Microsoft Word. With Umbraco, designers can create accessible and valid xhtml with their mark-up left intact.
The support community is growing, which means the software is likely to grow too. Once an online support community mushrooms around an application, the popularity of that application grows. After all, there’s safety in numbers.
Umbraco is not free if you choose the Pro version, so that’s still the preserve of corporate users rather than one man band operations. The maxim “you get what you pay for” is true though. A lot of free CMSs require hours of manipulation to get them to do what you want, or you have to pay for plugins and modules that are written by any number of third parties.
Because Umbraco Pro comes with a price (think €3,000 for the full service) it offers more intuitive interfaces and tighter code. Developers such as Sumac digital agency, London, and Studio 24 web design Cambridge both specialise in Umbraco. Mike Boogaard, MD of View Plc, which does a lot of work with corporate intranets, also recommends Umbraco as his CMS of choice.
The creators of Umbraco say it has been installed more than 85,000 times and that it is “one of the most deployed web content management systems on the Microsoft stack”. The company is privately owned and has been profitable since 2008.
The software includes simple editing tools, Microsoft Word 2007 integration, version control, translation services, content scheduling, a media library, role based permissions, workflow and event tracking, multi-language capabilities and more. The CMS also gives you easy access to editing markup and CSS styles. There is also built in content cache control to ensure optimal performance of your website.