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Umbraco for Public Sector Solutions

The perfect fit for public sector website projects

Is Umbraco a match for you?

When researching if Umbraco is the right fit for your public sector projects, there are a million different variables to keep track of and research. But there are some fundamental questions that always come up. We hope this page helps address most of them.

In the spirit of saving you time, we tried to keep it brief, so there will probably be things that you are looking for that weren't included, or further details you'll need.

If you're researching Umbraco for your project, then reach out to us and we'll gladly help you out.

Let's have a chat

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Best of Breed with no technical debt

There are many arguments to be made in the: ''Best of Breed vs a Suite CMS'' debate (that's why we wrote an entire whitepaper about it). But what about Umbraco specifically? What sets us apart from the rest?

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Free and open source

There are no license fees, no hidden costs, and no limitations on our open source version. Instead of spending your budget on licensing fees, you can spend it on actual development of your website. Lovely, isn't it?

If you need extra services, we do offer direct support, hosting, and multiple add-on products to make it a stronger platform. But you can use Umbraco for an entire implementation lifecycle without ever paying us a dime. 

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Best of breed

There is a reason this page includes a version of the words 'customizable' and 'flexible' 15 times. We've realized that there are only so many use cases that can be covered out-of-the-box with any CMS.

Instead of forcing extra features into the product that you'd never use, we've built Umbraco on a solid foundation that you can build upon and morph endlessly until it's just right for your goals.

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No technical debt

Umbraco is in a constant development cycle from both the open source community and Umbraco HQ. This ensures that you can always have an updated CMS where bugs are short-lived and squashed regularly.

It also means that any code written by you or an agency partner won't come back to haunt you later on. Using an open source CMS means you always have access to the code and can take it with you if you want to change platform or agency.

Proof from real-world projects

Umbraco is not plug-and-play, but requires development before it meets all of your demands. We know that it's easy for us to write up a storm about the usability, functionality and flexibility of the CMS.

So how about we start with some proof from real-world public sector projects that are using Umbraco to meet all of their needs?

Here's just a few public sector cases:


We've also collected a list of some local, regional, national and international public sector sites built in Umbraco.

Accessibility made easier

Web accessibility is important - especially in the public sector. With Umbraco we've made it easier to live up to the web standards and accessibility laws for public sector sites.

The flexibility of the CMS allows your developers to customize the frontend to ensure that everything from content to global code and appearance is accessible to everyone and comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

And with the customizable Backoffice, you don't have to rely on your editors to do extra work. Your developers can customize it to fit their workflows while still ensuring that any content they publish complies with the accessibility guidelines.

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Data privacy & security

Umbraco and GDPR? We got you covered. As a company located in the EU we comply with industry security standards and follow best practices.

The Umbraco CMS is open source, but only us at Umbraco HQ can approve changes to the core of the CMS that are made available to everyone through updates. All development is done with security in mind and regularly tested to ensure any project using Umbraco is safe and secure.

Apart from internal testing we also have an external security company doing thorough penetration testing every 6 months.

If you choose to build your solution on Umbraco Cloud, we've made it even simpler to stay secure. Umbraco Cloud comes with automated upgrades, so all security patches are automatically applied to your project. As a cherry on top you automatically get TLS certificates via Cloudflare as a standard with Umbraco Cloud.


How does Umbraco handle privacy and GDPR?

At Umbraco we care a lot about privacy - both for you and your users. When GDPR was enforced, we made improvements to ensure full compliance and to make it simpler for you to handle. You can get more info about Umbraco and GDPR here.


How does Umbraco ensure that our systems and data are secured against hackers?

On top of ensuring high levels of security in the core code of Umbraco, we've made it possible for you to implement additional security measures for your website.

Umbraco security features:

  • Hashed passwords
  • Default log-out of backoffice due to inactivity 
  • Built-in security Health-check
  • Support for HTTPS
  • Support for OAuth login system
  • Possible to set-up password rules
  • Possible to implement two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Possible to implement single sign on (SSO) 
  • Possible to use custom OAuth providers such as Azure Active Directory

If you're using Umbraco Cloud, here are some additional features you get:

  • Automated Security updates
  • Automated HTTPS certificate with Umbraco Latch


For further information you can take a look at our security section of our trust center or security documentation.


Does Umbraco have independent external audits of your IT security?

Yes, we conduct 3rd party penetration tests. Apart from doing regular internal testing, every 6 months we have an external security company doing thorough penetration testing of Umbraco to detect possible vulnerabilities. Based on the results of these tests we are able to perform any necessary actions.

If any critical issues are found, we follow our internal procedure (see question below).


Does Umbraco have a plan or procedure for handling data and security breaches?


Besides running our internal tests and 3rd party penetration tests to identify issues, we've made it easy for users to report a vulnerability in Umbraco (click the link to see the procedure in detail).

Once a vulnerability has been identified and it's verified to be a part of the core CMS code, our team will determine the severity level of the issue and escalate it accordingly.

Our procedure depends on severity level, but goes through the same main steps:

  1. Decide what and how to notify our users of the issue without it being obvious how to exploit it (to avoid it being exploited in the wild)
  2. Involve the relevant teams at Umbraco HQ to fix the issue
  3. Communicate to our users that a new security patch is coming, so they're ready to upgrade when it's released
  4. Release the patch and communicate to all of our users that the patch is released


Beyond Security, GDPR and UX

As a platform, there's only so much we can do to comply with security and accessibility standards. At the end of the day full compliance will always come down to the implementation - especially when customizing the website to fit your needs like a glove.

At Umbraco HQ we have taken the proactive approach even before the first line of code is written... That's why we've made an official security training course that gives Umbraco developers the best practices for handling security in Umbraco. The developers who've taken this course is listed on our website, so if you need help from a partner agency you can check if their developers have completed the course.

That's your way to ensure that the developers who work on your solution knows of the Umbraco best practices.

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An unparalleled editing experience

Umbraco is great for developers - but that doesn't mean we've forgotten about the editors.

It's actually quite the opposite.

"Infinite Editing" is the out-of-the-box editor experience you get with Umbraco. This is basically integrated workflows that ensure you won't get interrupted in your work by making sure you never lose track of your context. Workflows that have been designed to make it possible for you to create better content, a lot faster.

And if your editor team has additional requirements, it's possible for a developer to extend the backoffice to meet them. That's what we've done ourselves here at Umbraco.

An analogy right from the source

At Umbraco our communications team spend a lot of time in the Umbraco backoffice creating and updating content every day. And while a lot of their requirements are met from the start, some development has been needed.

Luckily, that's more than possible in Umbraco, where developers can extend and tailor the backoffice experience to be exactly like your editors want it. This results in happy editors that can spend more time on actually creating content and less on long and complicated workflows.

The flexibility of Umbraco also keeps your editing future proof. Does a new accessibility law require you to have ALT text on all images? Then your developer can make it mandatory to add when uploading an image. That way you know you'll always live up to the laws and not rely on your editors to remember it each time.

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Don't just take our word for it

The only reason Umbraco can keep improving at the current rate is thanks to a constant stream of feedback from our community. We collect this feedback in all forms: reviews, case studies, and video testimonials, and you can see everything good and bad that the community is saying on our ''reviews'' page.

Find more reviews from our public sector users here:

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Permission structure and user groups

When handling large scale publication on a public sector website, you need a clear permission structure for your users. This can often be an overly complex experience, which requires a lot of manual work.

     Unless of course... you choose Umbraco:

  1. A new team member is only a single invite away
  2. The onboarding experience is intuitive out-of-the-box and requires very little customization (if any)
  3. You can pick from pre-defined user groups or create your own to easily control user permissions. Administrator? Content editor? One time contributor? Anything is possible
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A scalable solution

When choosing a CMS, the question of best-of-breed vs suite solutions inevitably comes up. (For more, see our whitepaper on the topic)

With a best-of-breed solution like Umbraco you won't have code bloat or be forced into a specific set of tools or workflows. Instead you'll have the flexibility to make it yours and fit your needs. This also ensures that you're able to scale your solution to fit new requirements or workflows.

And with unlimited users and no license costs, you're not limited when it comes to site architecture; you can pick the one that fits your needs without worrying about restraints or extra costs.

If you need a multisite setup, we've made it possible to set up with reusable project components using Baselines. If you need to make sure that multiple websites look and feel the same, you can do that too. And if you need to make updates you can do it in one place and push the changes to all of your sites in a fast and efficient manner.

Integrations? Yes please.

Part of what makes Umbraco flexible is its extensibility that makes it possible to build and add anything. Whether it’s your CRM, Active Directory authentication with SSO and 2FA or your on-premise legacy business systems - you can add it to your Umbraco project.

Umbraco’s full API for both frontend and backoffice allows you to combine these data with great and beautiful content.

With Umbraco you’re not trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. We provide a flexible and semantic content model that ensures that Umbraco match your content and not the other way around. We even provide APIs for developers to extend and tailor the User Experience for the type of content that your specific project requires.

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Want to know if Umbraco is a fit for your project?

We'll be happy to help you out in any way we can. Got a question that wasn't answered on this page? Or do you need help finding the perfect partner agency that can develop you new project? 

Fill out the form below and we'll get in touch soon.

We use this so we can get the right person to contact you, so you get the best possible guidance. You can leave this field empty and tell us about your needs on the phone if you prefer.

Here's what happens when you submit the form

  1. We will reach out to you to set up a time for a call
  2. We will have an in-depth 30-minute discovery call, where we get to know more about your specific needs and answer any questions you might have
  3. We follow up after our call with the next steps that was agreed upon in the call. This can be anything from a personal live demo, in-depth answers to your questions or a quote on a paid plan that fits your needs


Jim Jensen the Chief Support Warrior at Umbraco

Frequently Asked Questions about Umbraco


How many websites use Umbraco?

Umbraco is used by over 731438 active websites worldwide and is used to build all sorts of projects - small and large, public and private.


What's the easiest way to try Umbraco?

The fastest and easiest way to try Umbraco is by taking a free 14-day Umbraco Cloud trial. All you need to do is fill out your name, email and choose a password - then we'll create a new project for you in just a few minutes. 

If you're only interested in testing out the editor experience we highly recommend that you try Umbraco Uno. It is full of prebuilt editor features and a WYSIWYG editor that lets you get started creating and editing content right away. Take a free 14-day Uno trial right here.

Alternatively you can always download the free open source version of Umbraco and set it up as a local copy or on your own hosting solution.


Can I get a demo of Umbraco?

You can get a demo in 3 different ways:

  1. You can take a 14-day Umbraco Cloud trial, which will have you up-and-running in 5 minutes (no installation required).
  2. We host weekly live 45-minute webinars where you can get a walkthrough of the CMS or one of our SaaS products and ask any questions you might have. Find an upcoming webinar right here.
  3. We can give you a live one-on-one demo of the CMS. If you're interested in this, please let us know and we'll arrange it for you.


What does Umbraco cost?

Umbraco is open source and free to install, setup and host for yourself.

If you want us to take care of hosting (and get the extra features) you can choose one of our SaaS products: Umbraco Cloud, Umbraco Uno or Umbraco Heartcore. Pricing starts from €30/month.

If you need support or have any advanced needs for your project you can also get an Umbraco Support plan. Pricing starts from €6.000/year.