The top providers are:
Microsoft Azure: Azure is like the godfather of .NET hosting. After all, they’re both part of the same family – the Microsoft family. Azure doesn’t play around – it’s like the Swiss army knife of cloud computing. Need a specific tool? Azure’s got it. This also includes App Services that support .NET and, thus, your Umbraco site.
Umbraco Cloud: This is like ordering a pizza from the restaurant that invented pizza. Sure, other places can make you a pizza, but this one comes from the source. Umbraco Cloud is like an all-inclusive resort. Just sit back, sip your cocktail, and let Umbraco handle the updates, the environment setup, and more.
Shared .NET Hosting: This is the hostel of hosting. It’s a cost-effective way to travel the internet, but you’ll be sharing resources (and sometimes the bathroom) with other websites. You could end up next to the website equivalent of a snorer (aka a resource hog). Providers include the likes of GoDaddy, HostGator, or A2 Hosting.
Dedicated .NET Hosting or VPS: If the shared hosting is a hostel, then dedicated hosting is renting your own island. It’s all yours! Run around and enjoy the freedom. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility (and potentially more maintenance). Companies like Liquid Web, InMotion Hosting, and Vultr are your potential island landlords.
Managed Umbraco Hosting: This is the butler of hosting options. They’ll do the hard work for you: updates, backups, security, you name it. It’s like having Alfred from Batman keeping your website’s Batcave in top shape. But remember, Alfreds aren’t cheap!
Hosting performance options
1. Umbraco Cloud: Umbraco Cloud is the hosted version of Umbraco, which provides various benefits such as automated upgrades, smooth deployments, and excellent support. Umbraco Cloud is built on Microsoft Azure and is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. It comes with automatic updates, making it easier to maintain and secure your website.
With Umbraco Cloud, your database will be hosted on Azure SQL, and you get Azure storage for media files, meaning that your content will be served quickly and reliably.
2. Self-hosted on-premises: If you want complete control over your hosting environment, you might choose to host your Umbraco site on your own servers. This means you’re responsible for server maintenance, backups, updates, and security.
When hosting Umbraco, you’ll need a Windows Server with IIS installed. Umbraco 8 and later versions require .NET Framework 4.7.2, while Umbraco 9 and later versions are based on .NET Core 5 and thus can be run on either Windows, Linux, or macOS.
3. Self-hosted in the cloud: You could also host your Umbraco site on a cloud provider like Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. This gives you the flexibility of cloud hosting while still retaining control over your environment. You can take advantage of services like load balancers, CDNs, and automatic scaling, depending on your site’s needs.
For instance, on Azure, you can use Azure Web Apps for hosting your Umbraco site. Azure Web Apps provide a fully managed platform for running .NET web applications. It provides features like auto-scaling, CI/CD integration, custom domains and SSL, backups, and more.
4. Using a hosting provider: Finally, you can host your Umbraco site with a hosting provider that supports ASP.NET and SQL Server. Many hosting providers offer single-click installers for Umbraco, making it easy to get up and running.
Regardless of where you host your Umbraco site, you’ll need to ensure that your environment meets Umbraco’s minimum system requirements. This includes running on a Windows Server operating system (for Umbraco versions prior to 9), having IIS 7+ installed, and having access to a SQL Server database.
Umbraco supports various deployment methodologies, from traditional FTP uploads to modern CI/CD pipelines. On Umbraco Cloud, the deployment process is managed through a Git-based workflow where you have separate environments for development, staging, and live.
If you’re self-hosting or using a third-party hosting provider, you can use your preferred deployment tool. For instance, if you’re using Azure Web Apps, you can integrate with Azure DevOps or GitHub for a smooth CI/CD pipeline.
Umbraco takes security seriously. Built on .NET, it benefits from the robust security features that the framework provides. You also get fine-grained user permissions out of the box, enabling you to control who can edit what.
On top of the built-in features, security also depends on your hosting environment. If you’re self-hosting, you’ll need to ensure that your servers are secure. This includes keeping your OS and software up-to-date, using a firewall, regularly reviewing access logs, and so forth.
On the other hand, Umbraco Cloud handles much of the security for you, including automatic updates and patching.
Umbraco uses a SQL Server database to store most of its data. This includes content, media metadata, user accounts, permissions, and more. You can use SQL Server Management Studio or Azure Data Studio to manage your database.
If you’re using Umbraco Cloud, the platform handles database scaling and performance tuning for you. If you’re self-hosting, you might need to handle these aspects yourself. This could include tasks such as setting up replication, sharding, or partitioning, based on your specific needs.
If your Umbraco site receives a lot of traffic, you might need to use multiple servers to handle the load. This is known as load balancing, and Umbraco supports it out of the box.
For load balancing to work, all instances must have access to the same database and file system.
Q: Is Umbraco Cloud different from other hosting solutions? A: Yes, Umbraco Cloud is a hosting solution provided by Umbraco themselves. It comes with additional features such as automated upgrades, smooth deployments, and unlimited hosting.
Q: Can I host Umbraco on a Linux server? A: Traditionally, Umbraco has been a Windows-based platform due to its dependency on .NET. However, with the introduction of .NET Core (which is cross-platform), it’s theoretically possible to host Umbraco on a Linux server. But this may require additional setup and may not be supported by all hosting providers.
Q: How do I migrate my Umbraco site to a new host? A: Migrating an Umbraco site involves backing up your database, copying your site’s files, and then restoring the database and files on the new host. Depending on your hosting provider, they might provide tools or services to assist with this process.
Q: Can I use shared hosting for an Umbraco site? A: Yes, as long as the shared host supports .NET, you can use it for an Umbraco site. However, shared hosting can sometimes be slower or less reliable than other options, due to the shared resources.
Q: How scalable is Umbraco with respect to hosting? A: Umbraco itself is quite scalable and can support websites ranging from small blogs to large corporate sites. The scalability of your hosting largely depends on your hosting provider. Cloud-based solutions like Azure or Umbraco Cloud can generally scale up or down quite easily to meet demand.
Q: What should I look for in a hosting provider for Umbraco? A: Besides .NET support, you should look for a provider with good uptime, sufficient bandwidth, and good customer support. You may also want to check if they provide SSL certificates, automated backups, and support for the specific version of Umbraco you’re using.
Q: Is Umbraco hard to learn for a beginner? A: Umbraco isn’t a walk in the park for beginners, but it’s not climbing Mount Everest either. It’s more like hiking up a challenging trail. There might be some steep sections (hello, .NET!), but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be enjoying the view from the top in no time.
Q: Can I set up email accounts with Umbraco? A: Umbraco is more of a master builder for websites, not an email postmaster. It doesn’t create email accounts, but it can send emails if you write the code for it. You might need to team up with an email hosting service if you want personalized email addresses.
Q: Does Umbraco support multi-language websites? A: Oh yes, Umbraco is like the United Nations of CMS platforms. It can handle multiple languages on the same website. So whether you’re speaking in English, Spanish, or Klingon, Umbraco’s got your back.
Q: Do I need to know how to code to use Umbraco? A: It depends on how custom you want to get. Imagine Umbraco as an IKEA flat-pack furniture. You can assemble the basics with the provided manual, but if you want to turn that bookshelf into a convertible dining table, you’ll need some DIY (coding) skills!
Q: Can Umbraco handle e-commerce? A: While Umbraco itself isn’t designed to run an online store, it’s like a good host at a party – it knows when to bring in a friend to keep the fun going. Umbraco can integrate with several e-commerce platforms, so it can definitely support your online store ambitions.
Q: Does Umbraco have a large community? A: Absolutely! Umbraco has a bustling community, almost like a vibrant farmer’s market. You’ll find fresh plugins, juicy tutorials, and even get help from other friendly farmers (developers). Just remember, like any good community, it thrives on mutual help, so don’t hesitate to contribute when you can.
Umbraco 7: This version of Umbraco introduced a redesigned and user-friendly backoffice interface based on AngularJS. The UI overhaul was a game-changer, making the CMS much more intuitive and easier to use.
Example: You could build a small blog site with Umbraco 7, using its rich text editor for blog posts, the media library for images, and built-in SEO support to help search engines find your content.
Umbraco 8: Launched in February 2019, Umbraco 8 added three significant features: Content Apps, Language Variants, and Infinite Editing. Content Apps allow developers to extend the backoffice with custom functionality specific to their content. Language Variants bring native support for multilingual websites, allowing you to manage content in different languages easily. Infinite Editing aims to streamline the editing process, allowing editors to stay in context of the task they are performing without getting lost in the backoffice.
Example: Imagine you’re managing a multinational corporation’s website with Umbraco 8. With Language Variants, you can easily create and manage different language versions of your content. Infinite Editing lets you edit a product description, its images, and its SEO metadata all in one flow.
Umbraco 9: Announced for 2021, Umbraco 9 is a significant shift as it is built on .NET 5 (.NET Core), Microsoft’s cross-platform framework. This shift means that Umbraco is no longer tied to Windows and can be run on Linux and MacOS as well.
Example: Suppose you are running an Umbraco 9 site for an online store, hosted on a Linux server (which would not have been possible with earlier versions). The new version also gives you access to the entire .NET 5 ecosystem, so you could leverage a library like Polly for more robust error handling in your custom backoffice code.
Remember, each version also includes numerous smaller features, updates, and bug fixes. It’s a good practice to read the release notes for each version when planning an Umbraco project or considering an upgrade. Also, keep in mind that each major version bump (e.g., 7 to 8, 8 to 9) involves breaking changes, so upgrading an existing site to a new major version can be a significant task.
Master Templates: In Umbraco, you can create a Master Template which serves as a layout that is common to all (or most) pages of your site. This could include elements like your header, footer, and navigation menu.
Example: Let’s say you want a standard header with your company logo and navigation menu on all pages. You could create a Master Template with these elements, and then every other template will inherit from this master template.
Nested Templates: Umbraco supports nested templates, meaning you can have a child template that inherits from a parent template. This is handy for when you have a common layout for certain types of pages but don’t want to apply that layout to every single page.
Example: Suppose you have a set of product pages on your site. All product pages should have the same layout, but this layout is different from the layout of your blog pages. You could create a “Product” template that inherits from your Master Template, then apply this “Product” template to all your product pages.
Content Placeholders: In your templates, you can use placeholders to mark where your content should go. When Umbraco renders a page, it will replace these placeholders with the actual content from your content nodes.
Example: In your “Product” template, you might have placeholders for the product image, product name, and product description. When you view a product page on your site, Umbraco will replace these placeholders with the actual image, name, and description of the product.
Template Language: Umbraco templates are written using the Razor view engine, a templating language that allows you to write HTML mixed with C# code. This enables you to include dynamic content in your templates.
Example: Suppose you have a “Latest Blog Posts” section on your homepage. In your homepage template, you could use Razor to write a loop that goes through your most recent blog posts and generates a HTML list item for each post.
Partial Views: For parts of your layout that are reused across multiple templates, you can use partial views. A partial view is a smaller, reusable template that can be included within other templates.
Example: If you have a newsletter signup form that appears on multiple pages, you could create a partial view for the form. Then, in each template where the form should appear, you can include the partial view.
Umbraco and .NET
1. Backend Technology: Umbraco is built on ASP.NET, which is part of the .NET framework. ASP.NET is a server-side framework that allows developers to build dynamic websites, applications, and services.
Example: Using ASP.NET, you can create custom routes, handlers, and modules in Umbraco. This means you can have fine-grained control over how requests to your site are handled, allowing for complex customization.
2. MVC Architecture: Umbraco follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. This pattern separates an application into three interconnected parts, allowing for efficient code organization and separation of concerns.
Example: If you want to create a custom form in Umbraco, you would create a Model to represent the form data, a View to display the form, and a Controller to handle the form submission. This separation makes it easier to manage and maintain your code.
3. Razor Syntax: Umbraco uses Razor syntax in its views. Razor is a templating engine built into ASP.NET that allows developers to write a mix of HTML and C# code.
Example: You can use Razor syntax in your Umbraco templates to loop through content, display conditional content, and much more. For instance, if you have a list of blog posts, you can use Razor to loop through the list and generate HTML for each post.
4. APIs and Services: Umbraco provides a variety of APIs and services built on .NET. These allow developers to interact with and extend Umbraco’s functionality.
Example: You can use Umbraco’s Content Service, a part of the Umbraco API, to programmatically create, read, update, and delete content nodes. This could be used, for example, to create new blog post nodes based on data from an external source.
5. .NET Core and Umbraco 9: With the release of Umbraco 9, the CMS has moved from the .NET Framework to .NET Core (also known as .NET 5 and onwards). .NET Core is a cross-platform, high-performance framework for building modern cloud-based applications.
Example: With Umbraco 9 running on .NET Core, you can now host your Umbraco site on a Linux server or in a Docker container. This was not possible with previous versions of Umbraco, as they were built on the .NET Framework, which is Windows-only.
6. Dependency Injection: With the transition to .NET Core in Umbraco 9, Dependency Injection (DI) has become a first-class citizen. DI is a design pattern that allows for more flexible, decoupled design in your code, making it easier to manage dependencies.
Example: Suppose you’re writing a custom service that interacts with your Umbraco content. Instead of directly instantiating the Umbraco Content Service in your class, you could have it injected into your class via the constructor, allowing Umbraco to manage the lifecycle of the service.
7. Middleware: .NET Core introduced a new concept called middleware, a series of components that are assembled into an app pipeline to handle requests and responses. Umbraco 9, being built on .NET Core, allows developers to add custom middleware into the request pipeline.
Example: You could write a custom middleware component that checks for a special cookie in every request and modifies the response accordingly. This middleware could be inserted into the Umbraco pipeline to execute for every request made to your site.
8. Entity Framework Core: .NET Core also brought updates to Entity Framework, Microsoft’s Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework. Starting with Umbraco 9, developers will now be using Entity Framework Core for data access.
Example: When writing a custom Umbraco migration, you could use Entity Framework Core to handle the database interactions, benefiting from its unit-of-work tracking, LINQ integration, and other features.
9. .NET Standard and NuGet Packages: Umbraco can take advantage of thousands of .NET Standard compatible NuGet packages for a variety of functionality like image processing, PDF generation, data manipulation and more.
Example: If you need to manipulate images in your Umbraco application (resize, crop, change format), you could use a NuGet package like ImageProcessor. This is a .NET library for on-the-fly processing of images, which integrates smoothly into your Umbraco project.
Overall, the synergy between Umbraco and .NET provides a potent combination for developers to build dynamic, robust, and scalable web applications, while also enjoying the benefits of a fully-featured CMS.
1. User Management: Umbraco provides comprehensive user management, allowing you to control who can access the Umbraco backoffice and what they can do there.
Example: You can create a user group for your content editors that only allows them to edit content and not to publish it, ensuring that only authorized users can make changes to the live site.
2. Password Security: By default, Umbraco uses the ASP.NET Identity system for password management, which includes features like password hashing and salting to secure user passwords.
Example: When a user sets a password, it’s not stored as plain text but instead stored as a hashed value. Even if a malicious actor gains access to your user database, they won’t be able to see the actual passwords.
3. HTTPS/SSL Support: Umbraco supports the use of HTTPS for secure communication over the network. Using an SSL certificate, you can encrypt the connection between your server and your users.
Example: If your Umbraco site is an online shop, using HTTPS would mean that the personal and financial information of your customers is transmitted securely, protecting against eavesdropping or data tampering.
4. CSRF Protection: Umbraco includes built-in protection against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks, a type of attack that tricks the victim into submitting a malicious request.
Example: Every form in the Umbraco backoffice includes a CSRF token. This token must be included in any POST request, ensuring that the request is legitimate and not a CSRF attack.
5. Content Security Policy: While this isn’t a built-in feature, you can add a Content Security Policy (CSP) to your Umbraco site for an extra layer of security. A CSP can help to prevent various types of attacks, including Cross-site Scripting (XSS) and data injection attacks.
Example: You can configure your CSP to only allow scripts from trusted sources to run on your site, blocking any attempts to run malicious scripts.
6. Security Patching and Updates: Umbraco regularly releases patches and updates that address security vulnerabilities. Keeping your Umbraco installation up-to-date is crucial to maintain a secure environment.
Example: If a security vulnerability is found in an older version of Umbraco, the Umbraco HQ team will typically fix the issue and release an update as soon as possible. By updating your site to the latest version, you ensure you’re protected against known vulnerabilities.
7. SQL Injection Prevention: Umbraco makes use of Microsoft’s Entity Framework, which helps protect against SQL Injection attacks. This type of attack involves an attacker injecting malicious SQL code into a query, which can then be executed against the database.
Example: If you’re using Umbraco’s APIs to retrieve data from your site, the queries are parameterized, meaning that any user input is safely encapsulated and can’t interfere with the query structure.
8. Data Leakage Prevention: Umbraco’s backoffice is separate from the frontend of your site, which helps to prevent data leakage. Sensitive information stored in the backoffice isn’t exposed to the frontend unless explicitly configured.
Example: If you’re storing additional data in a content node (like author notes or internal comments), this information won’t be visible on your live website unless you specifically add it to your templates.
9. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Umbraco features robust role-based access control in the backoffice. This means that you can precisely control what sections and content nodes each user or group of users can access.
Example: You could restrict a group of users to only access and edit a specific section of the site, ensuring that they can’t accidentally (or intentionally) modify anything outside of their area.
1. Backup Existing Site Depending on the existing CMS, you could use built-in tools or third-party plugins to create a backup of your site. If your site is static, you might just need to create a copy of all the files and the database. For example, if you’re migrating from WordPress, you can use plugins like UpdraftPlus or Duplicator.
2. Plan Your Migration Start by creating a spreadsheet detailing all the pages on your existing site and what their equivalent will be on the Umbraco site. You might have a row for each page with columns for things like URL, template, new URL, and notes.
3. Setup Your New Umbraco Site Install Umbraco via the NuGet Package Manager in Visual Studio. Then, define your document types (these are like the different types of pages or content on your site). For instance, you might have document types for a blog post, a product page, and a landing page.
4. Migrate Content If you’re migrating from another .NET CMS, you might be able to write a script that pulls content from your old database and pushes it into your new Umbraco site. If you’re migrating from a non-.NET CMS, you might use a tool like CMSImport, which can import content from a variety of sources.
5. Migrate Functionality If your old site had custom functionality like a product configurator or a dynamic form, you would need to recreate this in your new Umbraco site. You could do this by creating Surface Controllers in Umbraco, which can handle form submissions and other user interactions.
6. Testing Perform a thorough testing process that includes clicking every link, testing every form, viewing the site on different devices and browsers, and so on. Tools like Selenium can help automate some of this process.
7. Redirects and SEO Use Umbraco’s URL Rewrite module to set up 301 redirects from your old URLs to your new ones. This ensures that visitors following old links will end up in the right place, and also helps preserve your SEO ranking. For example, if you had a page at /about-us on your old site, and it’s now at /about on your new site, you would set up a 301 redirect to forward all traffic from /about-us to /about.
8. Launch After extensive testing, it’s time to go live. This typically involves updating your DNS records to point your domain at your new Umbraco site. Remember to monitor your site closely for any unexpected issues in the days following the launch.
9. Monitor and Improve Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor your site’s performance and identify any areas that might need improvement. You might also consider using user testing or feedback tools to gather insights about how your visitors are using the new site.
Umbraco and E-commerce
1. uCommerce: uCommerce is a feature-rich e-commerce platform that seamlessly integrates with Umbraco, making your shopping cart dance in harmony with your content. Consider uCommerce as the shapeshifting actor who can play any role with finesse in the movie of Umbraco.
Example: You can manage your products in uCommerce, including details, images, and prices. Then, using Umbraco, you can design rich, interactive product pages that pull in this information from uCommerce. It’s like having your cake (dynamic CMS) and eating it too (powerful e-commerce functionality).
2. Vendr: Vendr, built specifically for Umbraco, is another solid choice if you want to turn your Umbraco website into an e-commerce powerhouse. With Vendr, your checkout process becomes as smooth as a freshly ironed shirt, and managing your product catalogue is as fun as sorting your bookshelf… if you’re into that sort of thing.
Example: Suppose you’re running a quirky sock store. With Vendr, you can easily manage different product variants (polka dot socks, stripey socks, socks with ducks on them), and the checkout process is built into your site for a seamless user experience.
3. Umbraco + Snipcart: Snipcart is a lightweight e-commerce platform that can be added to any website, Umbraco included. With Snipcart, transforming your Umbraco site into an e-commerce store is as easy as slipping into your favorite pair of slippers.
Example: If you have a blog about vintage teapots and decide to start selling them, you could add a “Buy Now” button to your posts using Snipcart. When a visitor clicks the button, they’ll be able to purchase the teapot right from your site, without being redirected elsewhere.
4. Tea Commerce: Don’t let the name fool you, Tea Commerce isn’t just for selling tea! It’s another popular option for adding e-commerce functionality to your Umbraco site. With Tea Commerce, selling products online is a piece of cake… or a cup of tea, if you prefer.
Example: Let’s say you’ve written an eBook about the adventures of a time-traveling chihuahua. With Tea Commerce, you can sell this eBook directly on your Umbraco site, managing orders and payments through the Tea Commerce backoffice.
5. Umbraco and Custom E-commerce Solutions: Since Umbraco is so flexible, you can also build your own custom e-commerce solution. This is like going off the recipe and throwing in your own secret ingredients to make the dish your own. However, be warned that it requires a good understanding of both Umbraco and e-commerce principles (and probably a lot of coffee).
Example: If your e-commerce needs are unique (like selling personalized moon landings or renting out a fleet of jet-skis), you might decide to build a custom solution using Umbraco’s flexible APIs.
6. Merchello: Merchello is an open-source e-commerce solution tailor-made for Umbraco. It’s a highly flexible and customizable platform that can be adapted to a wide variety of business requirements. Imagine it as a customizable action figure where you can tweak and adjust each part as per your whims and fancies.
Example: Say you own a business that sells personalized superhero capes. Merchello lets you easily manage your product catalog, shipping, taxes, and more, right within the Umbraco backoffice. So you can focus on the important stuff like choosing the right shade of glitter for your capes.
7. Umbraco Heartcore + E-commerce Platforms: Umbraco Heartcore is the headless version of Umbraco. In the headless model, the front-end and back-end are decoupled, allowing you to use any technology for the front-end while managing content through Umbraco. It’s like having your favourite pizza but with the freedom to choose any type of crust you want.
Example: Suppose you’re a tech-savvy boutique owner and you want to create a mobile app for your store. You could use Umbraco Heartcore to manage your content and products, and a technology like React Native or Flutter for your mobile app’s front-end. On top of this, you could integrate with a platform like Stripe or Square for payments. Now, that’s a modern shopping experience!
8. Umbraco Cloud + E-commerce: Umbraco Cloud is the hosted version of Umbraco. It comes with a range of benefits like automated upgrades, smooth deployments, and excellent support. Think of it as living in a fully serviced apartment where all the mundane tasks are taken care of.
Example: You’re a busy bee running an online honey store. Umbraco Cloud can host your site, automatically upgrade it when new versions are available, and back up your content, while you can focus on the sweet stuff – marketing your delicious honey.
9. Integrations with Major E-commerce Platforms: If you’re already using a major e-commerce platform like Shopify or WooCommerce, you might choose to integrate this with your Umbraco site. You get to leverage the powerful e-commerce capabilities of these platforms while enjoying the flexibility and simplicity of Umbraco for content management. It’s like enjoying a scoop of your favourite gelato (Umbraco) topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream (Shopify/WooCommerce).
Example: You run a popular travel blog on Umbraco, and you decide to start selling travel gear through Shopify. By integrating Shopify with your Umbraco site, you can manage your blog and product information in one place.
Before you begin, ensure you have the following prerequisites installed and set up:
- Visual Studio: As of my last update, Visual Studio 2019 was the latest stable version, but any version from 2017 should work.
- SQL Server: You can use any version from SQL Server 2012 onwards. SQL Server Express edition is sufficient for local development.
- IIS: This is bundled with Windows, but you may need to enable it via the “Turn Windows features on or off” panel.
Once the prerequisites are in place, follow these steps:
Step 1: Create a New Project
- Open Visual Studio and create a new project.
- Select the “ASP.NET Web Application (.NET Framework)” template.
- Choose a name and location for your project and click “Create”.
- In the next screen, select the “Empty” project template. Ensure that “MVC” is checked and click “Create”.
Step 2: Install Umbraco
- In Visual Studio, go to “Tools” -> “NuGet Package Manager” -> “Package Manager Console”.
- In the Package Manager Console, type
Install-Package UmbracoCmsand hit Enter. This will install the latest version of Umbraco CMS into your project.
Step 3: Build and Run Your Project
- Hit F5 to build and run your project. This will open your default web browser and take you to the Umbraco installation screen.
- Click on “Customize” to customize your installation settings.
- Fill in your name, email, and password. This will be your admin account.
- In the database setup, choose “Microsoft SQL Server” and provide your database details. You can also choose “Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition” for a simpler setup, but it’s less suitable for production use.
Step 4: Complete the Installation
- After filling in the database details, click “Install”. Umbraco will then install itself using the details you provided.
- After the installation completes, you’ll be taken to the Umbraco backoffice, where you can start building your site.
User management and permissions
In Umbraco, there are two primary types of users:
- Backoffice Users: These are users who have access to the Umbraco backoffice, i.e., the admin area of your site. This is where content is created, edited, and published. These users can have different roles and permissions, depending on their responsibilities.
- Members: These are front-end users of your site. This is typically used for websites that have a login area for visitors, like a forum or a support portal. Members don’t have access to the backoffice.
User Roles and Permissions:
For backoffice users, you can define different user roles (called “User Groups” in Umbraco), each with its own set of permissions. For example, you might have a “Content Editors” role that can create and edit content, and a “Publishers” role that can publish or unpublish content.
Permissions in Umbraco are based on a hierarchical structure. This means that you can set permissions at a high level, and they will apply to all items below that level, unless you specify otherwise.
For instance, if you give a user group permission to create content in a specific section of the website, they can create content in any sub-section as well. But, you could go to a specific sub-section and deny the create permission for that user group.
Managing Users and Permissions:
To manage users and their permissions, you go to the “Users” section in the Umbraco backoffice. Here, you can:
- Add or delete users
- Assign users to groups
- Set user-specific permissions
- Set start nodes for users (the content node that a user sees when they log in to the backoffice)
To manage user groups and their permissions, you go to the “Groups” tab in the “Users” section. Here, you can:
- Add or delete user groups
- Set default permissions for each group
- Set start nodes for each group
Members are managed in the “Members” section in the Umbraco backoffice. Here, you can:
- Add or delete members
- Assign members to Member Groups (similar to User Groups, but for front-end users)
- Set properties for members (like name, email, password, etc.)
1. Umbraco Forms: Formerly known as Contour, this is an official package from Umbraco HQ. It lets you create forms from within the Umbraco backoffice, without writing any code. It’s as simple as drag and drop! You can then capture user submissions and either view them in the backoffice or send them to an email.
2. uSync: One of the challenges in Umbraco development is synchronizing your data types, templates, content nodes, etc., between different environments. uSync takes care of this problem by serializing your site settings to disk, which can then be version-controlled and synced between different environments.
3. Articulate: If you’re looking to add a blog to your Umbraco site, Articulate is the package for you. It’s a full-fledged blogging platform that integrates seamlessly with Umbraco, and it comes with various themes that you can choose from.
4. Nested Content: This package allows you to create list-based content structures in a user-friendly manner. It comes handy when you want to manage collections of items in Umbraco like a list of employees, a gallery of images, or a set of product features.
5. SEOChecker: SEO is a critical aspect of any public-facing website, and SEOChecker makes it easy to manage your site’s SEO within Umbraco. It provides features like URL management, validation of SEO-related fields, generation of XML Sitemaps, and more.
6. Vendr: If you’re building an e-commerce site, Vendr can be a great fit. It’s a fully-featured e-commerce platform for Umbraco 8+, and it’s built with a focus on simplicity and ease of use.
7. LeBlender: LeBlender is an open-source package for creating and managing Grid Editors. With LeBlender, you can create reusable grid editors that enhance the capabilities of the Umbraco Grid.
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