So what's up with this “smarter way to do Umbraco?”

Niels Profile
Written by Niels Hartvig

As you’ve probably heard we’ve spent the last four years working on a Software as a Service version of Umbraco called Umbraco as a Service or lucki(less)ly shortened to UaaS.

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We released UaaS back in November and already have more than 600 projects running and about 500 new people try it every month. But what is it really? What does it mean that we want you to “Do Umbraco Smarter”? While that’s more than I could possibly cover in detail in a single blog post, let this be the beginning of more regular posts about UaaS because it truly is an amazing product.

It’s amazing because it’s a product that compliments the Umbraco CMS, not replaces it. When we started on the UaaS project the initial idea was making a “Managed Umbraco”. One-click install, automated upgrades and ultra-reliable hosting. Simple as that.

But would that really change the status quo? Would it really differ much from us just turning into a hosting company. If we were going to do this, we had to do it because it would really move the project forward. A third major iteration of Umbraco.

The first iteration was when Umbraco saw the light a decade ago and changed how you could do CMS driven websites and who could do it. It made it easier and the open source nature meant that there was no financial barrier to entry. As the project matured and more contributors joined, it also became better and more stable than the rest of the industry.

The next iteration was when we started consciously looking at the community and designing what we believed was the best experience. A combination of the friendly ethos, the features of Our Umbraco and the real life events such as CodeGarden. It wasn’t just yet-another forum or a new space on StackExchange. It was a product as well and lots of thought has been and continues to be put into it.

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.

I felt there was an enormous opportunity there for moving Umbraco forward. What if Umbraco wasn’t “just” a great CMS and a fabulous community. What if it also was a driver towards smooth projects, happier clients and great bottom lines? Boom! That was the goal - how hard could it be?

Hard it turned out. But also incredibly rewarding as we rapidly have been progressing towards the vision becoming a reality. And it fits perfectly with our mission statement - to “Enable and Inspire Digital Craftspeople to Create Delightful Online Experiences”.

With Umbraco as a Service you’re up and running with a new project in seconds - and that’s not just an isolated install on your laptop or a VM somewhere. You’re up and running with separate - yet magically connected - environments, that makes sure you can share your work as soon as it’s ready and just with a single click. Whether that’s showing your latest features to your fellow team members, whether moving a bug fix to staging or going live with a complete new site.

Say goodbye to unexpected all nighters due to deployment issues, say adios to content freeze for clients and stop worrying about endless merge headaches with co-workers. You can finally iterate. All the time. With zero uncertainty. It’ll enhance the way you do projects and your clients are going to love it.

So what’s holding you back. Start your trial today!

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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 advice, go ahead and ask on the community forums.

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