The story of Umbraco dates back for more than fifteen years. But really, it began on February 16th 2005 when the open-source version of Umbraco was released.

However, before then, a prototype and a mission was born - the mission to create a CMS that’d make it simpler and more delightful for its users to work with, and because of this, also simpler to create amazing digital projects! A mission that still stands today.

When did it all begin? Is it an “It all started in my parents' garage” kind of story? And has it been a smooth ride throughout the years? 

Let’s find out:

Once upon a time...

1997-1999

  • Niels Hartvig learns about Content Management Systems in his first job straight from High School at "Snabel & Co" where Danish CMS pioneers Lars Buur and Thomas Christensen introduces him to the first Danish Web CMS called Site in A Box.’
  • Niels gets frustrated by the various CMSs he tries and decides to build his own. In 1999, Niels makes the first sketches and prototypes to a simple framework for building and maintaining websites. Umbraco is born - why the name "Umbraco"?

2003

  • Umbraco version 1.0 is announced made in a combo of classic ASP, COM objects written in VB.NET and .NET webservices written in C#. Let's call it the caterpillar version that later transitioned into a beautiful open source butterfly. Most of the concepts known today were here including Document Types, Macros and XSLT. Performance and scalability were definitely lacking though.

2004

  • Umbraco 2.0 which is 100% .NET based is taking shape. The beta version sees the light of day on October 2004.

Umbraco becomes Open Source

2005

  • Umbraco 2.0 is released on February 16th 2005 as an open source CMS. This is the official birthday of the open source version of Umbraco.
  • The first Umbraco Developer conference sees the light of day. It's called Codegarden and a "whopping" 23 developers are attending and talk Umbraco for two days in Copenhagen (some would claim that they spent most of the time trying to install Umbraco).

2006

  • Codegarden is held for the 2nd time - this time with 45 developers gathered in Copenhagen to talk everything Umbraco. 

Most Valued People

2007

  • The very first Umbraco MVPs (Most Valued People) are nominated and they are: Casey Neehouse, Douglas Robar, Jesper Ordrup, Per Ploug Hansen, Thomas Höhler and Warren Buckley. 

  • Umbraco gets its first full-time employee as Niels Hartvig decides to take on Umbraco as a fulltime project. Full speed ahead!

  • Umbraco version 3.0 is released
  • Codegarden: 60 developers gather in London to talk Umbraco. 

2008

  • Umbraco version 4.0 is release

  • MVPs: Casey Neehouse, Dirk De Grave, Douglas Robar, Morten Bock, Paul Sterling, Tim Geyssens and Warren Buckley

  • Codegarden: 95 attendees in Copenhagen

  • Number of employees: 2

"Our Umbraco" is born

2009

  • The dedicated Umbraco Community site, Our Umbraco, sees the light of day as it is introduced at Codegarden 2009. A platform for strengthening and growing the online developer community. Till this date, Our Umbraco is still the favourite bookmark by every Umbraco developer as it's the place to go if you need technical documentation or want to ask peers about any Umbraco related query. 

  • MVPs: Dirk De Grave, Douglas Robar, Morten Bock, Paul Sterling, Tim Geyssens and Warren Buckley.

  • Codegarden: 140 developers attend in Copenhagen 
  • Number of employees: 3

H5YR!

2010

  • "HIGH-FIVE-YOU-ROCK!" or H5YR is introduced for the first time by Chief Happiness Officer, Alexander Kjerulf, at Codegarden 2010. It quickly becomes an Umbraco-way of showing appreciation - whether that's for an awesome Pull Request, some friendly guidance or the launch of an impressive website etc. Today, you'll still find the hashtag #h5yr flying around social media among Umbracians, and at Codegarden, you even get to experience the famous H5YR-rush when hundreds of attendees shout "H5YR" in unison. *Chills*. Dive further into the H5YR-story.

  • Happy five year's birthday! 🎉 On February 16th, more than 300 people in seven places around the world celebrate the five year birthday of Umbraco through community events

  • MVPs: Dirk De Grave, Douglas Robar, Lee Kelleher, Richard Soeteman and Warren Buckley

  • Codegarden: 300 attendees get together, talk Umbraco and are introduced to H5YR for the very first time

  • Number of employees: 5

2011

  • Umbraco version 5.0 is released 

  • MVPs: Darren Ferguson, Douglas Robar, Jan Skovgaard, Lee Kelleher, Matt Brailsford & Sebastiaan Janssen
  • Codegarden: 300 attendees
  • Number of employees: 10

R.I.P Umbraco 5

2012

  • Umbraco version 5 was announced dead at Codegarden 2012. Born 2011, time of death: 2012. If you've ever wondered why there is a gap between version 4 and 6, it's because 5 didn't happen. Well, it did, but only very briefly. So, what happened to Umbraco 5? And what happens when life gives you lemons? Read the version 5 "obituary" here

  • Codegarden: 380 attended the Umbraco conference... which turned out to be more of a funeral. 
  • Number of employees: 11

Umbraco moves to GitHub

2013

  • The Umbraco Source Code becomes available on GitHub. Why is this a great event in history? Because it's what helped make Umbraco much more open-source-friendly as it made it easier for developers to contribute to the source code by creating issues and making pull requests in order to e.g. fix bugs, suggest features etc. In 2013, 250 pull requests were made to the Umbraco core by community members. 

  • Umbraco version 6.0 is released (January)

  • Umbraco version 7.0 is released (November)

  • MVPs: Lee Kelleher, Jeroen Breuer, Jan Skovgaard, Ismail Mayat, Douglas Robar & Chriztian Steinmeier

  • Codegarden: the 9th Codegarden takes place.
  • Number of employees: 12

2014

  • MVPs: Jan Skovgaard, Jeavon Leopold, Jeroen Breuer, Lee Kelleher & Warren Buckley 

  • Pull Requests: 308

  • Codegarden: the 10th Codegarden takes place

  • Number of employees: 14

Umbraco in the Cloud

2015

  • In November 2015, Umbraco as a Service (UaaS) - now known as Umbraco Cloud - is born. "With the Umbraco CMS making it easy to build sites and the community making it easy to share and learn we have a phenomenal combination. But there’s only one thing that’s really been bothering me. More people could build better solutions if they only had to worry about their craft. Not all the tedious things that surround the craft: installing, upgrading, hosting, deployments...But most of all, the uncertainty.Niels Hartvig 

  • Torben Frigaard Rasmussen steps in as chairman of the board (or the Umbraco cup-bearer). Torben has great experience when it comes to growing start-ups and SaaS companies and wants Niels to continue with his passion and journey when it comes to Umbraco, making him the obvious choice as chairman. 

  • MVPs: Jan Skovgaard, Jeavon Leopold, Jeroen Breuer, Lee Kelleher, Matt Brailsford & Warren Buckley

  • Pull Requests: 259

  • Codegarden: the 11th Codegarden takes place.
  • Revenue: 11 M. Danish Kroner

  • Number of employees: 16

2016

  • MVPs: 15 fantastic community members get rewarded with the Umbraco MVPs title! Find the full list here

  • Pull Requests: 369

  • Codegarden: For the first time, Codegarden takes place in Odense, Denmark. The home-turf of Umbraco HQ. Everyone is invited to a pre-party at Umbraco HQ and encouraged to bring pull-request-drinks from home. What a party! 🕺

  • Kim Sneum Madsen joins Umbraco HQ as Chief Friend Maker and becomes co-owner of Umbraco.  

  • Revenue: 14 M. Danish Kroner. 

  • Number of employees: 20

400,000 active installs of Umbraco

2017

  • In February 2017 we celebrate 400,000 active installs of Umbraco world-wide! 🎉 A massive milestone, bringing us one step closer to our 2021 vision

  • Ilham Boulghallat is hired as the (U)CEO - Umbraco Community Engagement Officer. The first full-time dedicated position at HQ that focuses on the welfare and growth of the Umbraco Community.

  • MVPs: 19 awesome community members get rewarded Umbraco MVPs.

  • Pull Requests: 296

  • Codegarden: 500 attendees from around the world comes to Odense to spend 3 days learning and talking Umbraco. 🚙🙃 

  • Poul Anders Lerche Jensen (AKA Seabass and head of Fishtank - the HQ's financial department) joins Umbraco HQ and becomes co-owner of Umbraco
  • Revenue: 18 M. Danish Kroner

  • Number of employees: 30 - A lot of new friendly faces joins Umbraco HQ! From 2016 - 2017 there's a 50% growth in staff at Umbraco HQ.

First dedicated Community/HQ teams

2018

  • The Documentation Curators and the PR team are assembled. A collaboration between selected community members and employees from Umbraco HQ. Both teams are put together in order to improve the users' experience when creating Documentation and Pull Requests respectively. Who better to ask and get involved than talented community members? And with dedicated people from HQ working on these initiatives as well, things are really picking up - just look at the number of PRs in 2018! 👇

  • Pull Requests: 693 !!! From 2017 that's a 134% increase 🤯 In 2018, Umbraco joins Hacktoberfest for the first time and reward Umbraco contributors with exclusive Umbraco-Hacktoberfest swag. Results: 336 pull requests for the CMS and the Umbraco Documentation were created in October alone! 🎉

  • MVPs: 16 community members become 2018 MVPs and 18 gets their MVP status renewed. See the full 2018 MVP list

  • Codegarden: 600 attendees come to Odense for the yearly official Umbraco conference.

  • Revenue: 37 M. Danish Kroner

  • Number of employees: 47 - a 56.7% growth from 2017! 

Umbraco 8 is released

2019

  • In February 2019, after 6 years with Umbraco version 7, Umbraco 8.0 becomes a reality 🎉 Umbraco 8 comes with a cleaner codebase and 3 new major features: Infinite Editing, Language Variants and Content Apps. This new version of Umbraco really steps up the games when it comes to providing a friendly and smooth editing experience. 
     
  • Number of Installs: the 500,000 milestone is reached 💪

  • Umbraco gets a new CEO. Kim Sneum Madsen becomes the new CEO as Niels Hartvig wants to focus 100% of his time on initiatives that'll help grow the Umbraco community. 
     
  • MVPs: 14 2019 MVPs and a whopping 32 renewals! 🙌 See the full list of 2019 MVPs
  • Pull Requests: 999... and counting!
  • Codegarden: A very impressive 750 Umbraco users from around the world join Codegarden in Odense. It's the biggest and best Codegarden ever... or so far? 

  • ...

Loved by developers, used by thousands around the world!

One of the biggest benefits of using Umbraco is that we have the friendliest Open Source community on this planet. A community that's incredibly pro-active, extremely talented and helpful.

If you get an idea for something you would like to build in Umbraco, chances are that someone has already built it. And if you have a question, are looking for documentation or need friendly advise, go ahead and ask the Umbraco community on Our.

Number of active installs
502567
Number of active members in the community
221745
Known free Umbraco packages available
1211

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