This year of course we, unfortunately, don’t have a stage to ask people to show off their creations, but making the best of that, we have been able to give package authors much more opportunity for their work to be evaluated. We started with a call for nominations, allowing all community members to nominate their favourite packages (including their own if they desired) for consideration for an award.
Having received this list, we grouped overlapping sets of packages into a number of categories for which they were considered. You can find the full list of nominations below 😉
Making selections between such a group of worthy candidates was no easy task, and we couldn’t expect any one person to have a comprehensive view of them all. This is why we’re particularly grateful to our judging panel, who volunteered their time to review the entries. They did this via a combination of installing the packages and sharing their impressions, group discussions and reaching out to other community members who use particular packages on a regular basis for their feedback.
We put together a diverse team of HQ, package team and community members. So, before moving onto discussing the winners, we want to first give a huge thank you and a H5YR to the following members of the judging panel:
- David Brendel
- Dennis Adolfi
- Heather Floyd
- Janae Cram
- Paul Seal
- Richard Ockerby
- Warren Buckley
Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2021 Package Awards. We had one winner in each of seven categories, and one overall winner.
Best Editor Experience
What’s a content management system without happy content editors? Nominations in this category were for packages that go above and beyond to make the editors experience a delightful one.
Runners up: Plumber, Umbicosaurus
Winner: Contentment by Lee Kelleher
The judges said: I was blown away by the capability of this package. The Data List is worthy of an award on it’s own, it is just so intuitive and powerful. How have I been using Umbraco for years and not found this package yet?! Honestly, have a play with it and you will see what I mean!
Packages selected for this category were those that add substantial additional functionality to the Umbraco, extending into areas beyond CMS and demonstrating how Umbraco can be a true experience platform.
Runner up: uMarketingSuite
Winner: Vendr by Outfield Digital (Matt & Lucy Brailsford)
The judges said: Vendr has everything you need to get up and running with Umbraco eCommerce very easily and quickly. One of the great things about Vendr is the documentation around it, clearly a lot of love invested here. It also allows extensibility, payment providers for example, where you can make your own and contribute it back to the community.
We included packages in this category that offer a full-website starter kit.
Winner: uSkinned Site Builder by uSkinned (Paul Daly)
The judges said: What a superb package! There’s so much customisation that can be done in the back office and with custom property editors it makes everything very simple and intuitive to use. Starting from one of the lovely themes you can build a really impressive looking site with no code. The design preview feature is fantastic too; when in preview mode you can edit the design using the sidebar and you can save the changes right from preview.
In this category we wanted to offer recognition to new members of the community and package ecosystem, limiting entrants to those who have released their first package.
Winner: xStatic by Sam Mullins
The judges said: This package is amazing. With a basic install of the Umbraco Starter Kit and a setup that took about 10 minutes, I generated a static site and opened it in IIS Express. You can quickly plug in a Git repo with credentials or FTP and automagically deploy to it, which is wonderful. It lets you set your static assets like CSS & JS as well as the media crops you want generated. All around, I think this is an incredible package and it also has a ton of helpful documentation.
Sometimes Umbraco out of the box just isn’t quite how you’d like it. Packages in the category allow some single-purpose but incredibly useful tweaks to the back-office experience.
Runner-up: Skybrud Redirects
Winner: Matryoshka by Søren Kottal
The judges said: Such a well written package that feels native to the CMS. I use this on every single project and the clients love it, especially if they are coming from v7. Simply put, it looks nice and works great.
Best Package Care/Holistic Experience
A successful package, of course, doesn’t only consist of code. We also wanted to credit those that go the extra mile in their responsiveness to questions/issues, documentation, and demos.
Runner-up: uSync/uSync Complete
Winner: uMarketingSuite by Perplex Digital
The judges said: uMarketingSuite is such a feature-rich package to explore and can be quite daunting to new users, but right off the bat you find the website full of useful information, video tutorials and documentation to cover all aspects. The team at Perplex are really accommodating to feedback and are transparent with their product roadmap. Bugs are few and far between and the team are very responsive and help resolve the issues.
Best Developer Tool
Some packages are just a go-to for developers when starting a new Umbraco project.
Winner: Skybrud Redirects by Anders Bjerner
The judges said: We like this package and have used it frequently. It is full-featured and editor-friendly. Really great package, better than all of the other options out there and should be a part of core!
And finally, the overall winner, best in show, the grand prix… recognised for excellence in functionality, documentation and customer support, went to uSync/uSyncComplete, from Jumoo (Kevin Jump).
Many congratulations Kevin, and to all category award winners - your work is massively appreciated by the Umbraco community.
The judges said: This to us is the best Umbraco Package available. We use uSync in every project we build and have been doing so for years. There’s almost never any issues with it and if there is, Kevin is quick to help out. uSync solves our problem of deploying back office data, allowing source controlled changes. In our opinion, there is no Umbraco without uSync.
The full list of nominated packages was as follows. Congratulations to all even if they didn’t win an award this time - just being nominated is great credit in itself - you see, there's someone who depends on your package and has taken the time to show their appreciation of it ❤
In total, we received 97 nominations for 28 unique packages:
Full Text Search 8
Matryoshka - tabs for Umbraco 8
Plumber - Workflow for Umbraco
UMazel Starter Kit
uSkinned Site Builder
Virtual Nodes for Umbraco 8
Sending a big H5YR to you all! 🙌