Trying out Umbraco
This is my first try with a .NET CMS at home - I have used SDL Tridion extensively, but that’s really not something I’d use at home!
Umbraco seems good enough. I got a site running, but haven’t tried adding custom controllers yet. I’m not running this site on Umbraco, cause Jekyll and Github pages work really well for this personal site and workflow. Besides, this is free to host and I don’t need to worry about security, SQL Databases, getting hacked. Static sites are so refreshing.
Getting back to Umbraco. I tried it out last year, but at that point I wasn’t super familiar with ASP.NET MVC, how the routing engine works, partial views, strongly typed models, etc. I spent the past year learning C# for fun, and now know a lot more. Umbraco makes more sense to me now.
I’ve worked with SDL Tridion, which is a true enterprise class CMS. Sidebar - enterprise class doesn’t just mean $$$, though of course that’s true, it also means a bunch of features that let you scale to running hundreds of sites with millions of pages from one CMS. My SDL installation wasn’t that big, we only had 10 sites with maybe 50,000 pages, but it was big enough.
The single biggest difference between Tridion and Umbraco is the separation of content management and delivery. Tridion runs the CMS (analogous to Umbraco’s backoffice) on a separate machine, and publishes out to presentation servers that may be sitting on an entirely different subnet. In fact, we used a three tier architecture, with lots of security between the tiers. Umbraco does not (as far as I can tell, still learning) allow for this kind of split setup. Your content management and presentation are on the same server. This simplifies matters, but has disadvantages from a managment and security pov.
Let’s get real though. Umbraco costs nothing at all, while Tridion is easily in the $50,000+ a year catagory. Umbraco is also a lot easier to set up and get started with, almost too easy if you ask me. It’s still extremely powerful too. Even though I’ve barely scratched the surface, I can already tell that I can use this to create some complex web apps.
I’m looking forward to learning Umbraco, cause I tend to spin up a whole bunch of ASP.net sites for small projects, and I always run into issues managing content. Ideally, I’d like Umbraco to integrate with my hobby app, so that I can use the CMS for content and layout, and build custom controllers, models, and views for the application. That’s my next step.