We <3 Umbraco

I'm in Copenhagen attending codegarden 2013 this week. For those that don't know, codegarden is the annual Umbraco conference where everyone who is anyone in the umbraco world meets up to discuss and share their experiences of the CMS. We've used Umbraco pretty extensively over the last few years and what we love about Umbraco is how simple it is for clients to get to grips with, as well as how much flexibility it allows with regards to layout and markup.

This got me thinking about our experiences with Umbraco over the past few years and I thought it might be interesting to share some of the projects we've done in Umbraco. I've picked 3 of our more interesting projects to give and insight into the many different ways Umbraco can be used.

Quba & Co.

quba.com was our first foray into the umbraco world, Quba is a bespoke ASP.net MVC front end built on Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 but uses Umbraco to manage the content. For this project we kept Umbraco as a standalone site and the Quba site actually pulls all of the content out through the Umbraco web services. Why did we do it this way? At the time we couldn't see an easy way to get both systems to work happily alongside each other, also we wanted to make a really clean lightweight MVC frontend which wouldn't have worked with the pre MVC Umbraco.

The Luxury Chalet Collection

For luxurychaletcollection.com we really wanted to push what was possible with HTML, JavaScript and CSS. We wanted it to feel like a really slick, interactive site based on pure HTML and CSS, with JavaScript progressive enhancement. The design of the site had to be very premium to match the chalets that were being featured, and we wanted to use some of their fantastic chalet images to their full advantage. Umbraco was great for this as it imposes no limitations on the front end so we could really give that premium feel. It's interesting to note that a lot of their competitors now have similar sites since this went live.

Armit Wines

armitwines.co.uk is our latest ecommerce website and is a responsive site which runs on both Umbraco 6.0 and Gibecommerce, our own ecommerce framework. Gibecommerce is built on ASP.NET MVC and when we started this project Umbraco wasn't MVC, but I could see the next version in the Umbraco issue tracker and that was adding the support we needed to merge the 2 systems together. As soon as 4.10 came out we were able to integrate GibeCommerce and Umbraco together which allowed us to use the flexibility of Umbraco's CMS features with Gibecommerce's ecommerce abilities. Turns out to be a pretty powerful combination, and as Umbraco's MVC features have matured, especially with Umbraco 6, it's allowing us to really polish the code and get it working exactly how we'd like.

About the Author

Steve Temple, Technical Director and co-founder of Gibe

Steve is Gibe's technical director and super brain behind the development of our major projects. With over 27 years of commercial experience, Steve is an expert in .NET, Umbraco and Microsoft technologies. Steve is also an Umbraco Certified Master and Microsoft MCSD