The content management system (CMS) that you choose when building a website is one of the most important factors that influences the success of your digital platform. It affects how easily your website will be able to scale, the type of content or media it can support, the type of user data and analytics it can gather and how practically it can be maintained.
For lack of a better analogy, the CMS you use for your website is the difference between building your house out of straw, sticks or bricks.
Our go-to CMS platform is Umbraco. It has helped us launch some of our favourite projects including the websites for Internet Solutions (IS), Avis Fleet and DStv. Umbraco gives our designers the freedom to dream up enticing interfaces, our developers the framework to code sturdy builds and our content managers the ease to edit, post and update independently.
So how does Umbraco CMS do all this? Let us count the ways.
1. It’s open source
Unlike proprietary CMS platforms which withhold the source code from the public, Umbraco is completely transparent and makes its code publically available. This encourages the growth of a vast community of programmers across the world who are supporting each other in pushing the boundaries of what the software can do.
We can extend the functionality of the platform using a range of packages and add-ons – most of which are freely available. And the open-source CMS platform avoids system handcuffing, keeps content portable and customisation opportunities wide open.
Developer onboarding is free on Umbraco, which makes it an excellent training and upskilling tool for developers. On the other hand, proprietary CMS platforms require additional developer licences per user and aren’t an ideal choice for inexperienced programmers to work with.
You can be forgiven for assuming that proprietary platforms are inherently more secure than their open-source counterparts, but that’s hardly the case. Umbraco has an engaged network of more than 200 000 developers who are committed to reporting and patching security vulnerabilities rapidly as they use the software. Compare this with the smaller teams that proprietary CMS providers have working on controlled security updates and it’s clear that the advantage lies with open source.
2. Solving problems is a team effort
Umbraco CMS brands itself as “The Friendly CMS” because of the tight-knit developer community that we can reach out to for creative solutions to unique problems. The Umbraco forums are the best place to leverage the combined expertise of thousands of experienced developers brainstorming in real time to help us tackle issues.
Because it’s an open-source platform, we can search for the source of the problem and resolve it ourselves. This allows us to restore the service of the digital platform without having to wait for support. Our solution (once vetted by Umbraco) will then form part of the next update so that the entire Umbraco developer community can apply it if they encounter a similar issue.
3. It allows us to offer unique SEO value
Your website is the central nervous system of your digital marketing ecosystem and must be optimised for Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to garner leads that you can convert. With Umbraco you have access to endless packages that can be added onto your system for new modules and extended capabilities, including sophisticated SEO controls.
At League Digital, we have developed our own digital platform starter kit that helps us get website projects up and running with all the best advantages on the market. Our starter kit also includes a range of features aimed at optimising SEO for any website, including:
Global settings – you can set keyword-specific meta-titles to populate automatically across a website.
Page settings – you can also set a page’s meta-titles individually as well as meta-descriptions and meta-words.
XML sitemap – an XML sitemap that lists all the pages on your website helps Google to index it properly and locate pages nested in the sub-navigation.
Open Graph Protocol – Umbraco makes sharing content on social media easier and trackable with custom titles, descriptions and images.
Canonical tags – if you have multiple URLs that reflect the same content, canonical tags help Google understand which URLs to treat as unique for tracking.
4. It has easy-to-use yet powerful functionality
Umbraco is capable of so many customisations and is feature-rich without overwhelming the user, pairing advanced performance with ease of use. Umbraco has WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) input, which makes it intuitive enough for content managers and editors to confidently publish content and update it without taking a crash course in computer programming.
It has a scheduling feature out of the box that lets content editors and administrators schedule when content gets published and unpublished. This allows us to have automated control of when campaigns start and end as well as the power to schedule publication in multiple time zones ahead of time.
It also allows for versioned content with an “undo” that conveniently rolls back published content to the last-saved iteration. This functionality tends to require developer expertise on competing CMS platforms, which sets Umbraco even further apart from the pack.
This level of accessibility that doesn’t compromise on complexity is what makes it the perfect platform for contributors to collaborate seamlessly across departments.
5. It’s an award-winning platform
We pride ourselves on offering our clients the best results by leveraging best practices, cutting-edge technology, innovative techniques and the best resources on the market. We chose Umbraco because it’s heads and shoulders above its competition and has the awards to prove it.
This year, Umbraco CMS took home three awards on three separate occasions. The first was a gold award (first place) in the Content Management System category of Visual Studio Magazine’s 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards. It also received DIGITALEUROPE’s Future Unicorn Award which recognises companies with the potential to become big names in tech in the near future. The third award came from the CMS Critic Awards which named Umbraco as the Best Enterprise CMS.
These awards support our belief that Umbraco is our best bet for producing outstanding digital platforms for our clients. To wit: the IS website we built won us three silver awards at the 13th Annual W3 Awards.
6. It’s totally customisable
IS wanted a website that would reinforce its new brand identity as an industry leader in the South African ICT industry, Avis Fleet was looking for a website that would be a key component of its new sales strategy and DStv wanted seamless integration between its website, mobile app and TV guide to maximise the value of its news and media content. These were three different briefs on which League Digital was able to deliver pitch-perfect executions.
Umbraco integrates seamlessly with any e-commerce, CRM or Martech platforms which gives us endless customisation opportunities. Once again, this is thanks to the open-source nature of the platform. Proprietary competitors have built-in integrations that give users no choice. Umbraco doesn’t add any code into the page’s source, so any code in our projects is code that we wrote, which makes it easier to find bugs and resolve them.
The beauty of Umbraco is that we’re only limited by what we can imagine. We can bend and twist the platform to meet any of our clients’ needs. The same can’t be said for most blog-based CMS platforms and some proprietary CMS platforms on the market. Umbraco creates digital platforms that are visually appealing, agile and built to last.
To find out more about how we can help you get the beautiful and results-driven digital platform that’s missing from your digital marketing strategy, download our Digital Platforms brochure.