I have been playing around with Umbraco for just over a week now and overall I’m very impressed, from a developer’s perspective, for the following reasons:
- It was quite easy to install although on my first installation I ran into problems related to file permissions. However, upon doing the installation a second time, I went through the process without a hitch. I will detail the installation process in another post and more importantly explain what issues I went through and how I resolved them.
- The basic starter packages “Runway” and “Creative Website Starter 2” were very useful in helping me get started and learn more about the system.
- There is no need to learn about new templating systems.
- Not only is the front end “easily” customisable and extensible but so is the back end i.e. the CMS itself.
- The CMS is designed such that it’s possible for even non .NET programmers to extend the system through the use of macros and XSLT.
- The documentation although not perfect was very helpful in getting started.
- The Umbraco community is simply amazing in terms of providing help. For instance, I’ve read posts from Umbraco MVPs answering newbies who were asking what I can only term “Do a google search before asking” types of questions. The former replied in a very calm and non patronising manner and I really liked that because it promotes an environment where you are not patronised.
However, there are some aspects of Umbraco that need to be highlighted:
- Although Umbraco as it currently stands (umbraco v 4.0.3 (Assembly version: 1.0.3625.27276)) is a fast maturing product, there are still some coding issues that need ironing out. For instance, the gallery section that comes with the “Runway” package is buggy and also some of the HTML supplied is in upper case which is against W3C recommendations.
- There is a learning curve associated with XSLT (but I love it!).
- Free e-commerce functionality is not mature yet.
- Documentation still needs to be completed.
- Repisotory package is not as comprehensive as other CMSes.