Why use Umbraco Cloud?

Umbraco Cloud is all that you love about Umbraco CMS - and then some! Cloud helps you save time on your projects with added features - but what exactly are those features? And besides hosting, how exactly is Umbraco Cloud different from Umbraco CMS?


Read on to find out and hopefully find the answer to the question "Is Umbraco Cloud a good fit for my project?"


"Imagine a Content Management System with less restrictions."

What are the differences between Umbraco CMS and Umbraco Cloud?

If you’re reading this, you probably already know the Umbraco CMS and its features. Maybe you’re even using Umbraco already (if so, H5YR!).

The natural question then becomes: What exactly is the difference between Umbraco CMS and Umbraco Cloud? And when should you choose the one over the other?

 

That’s two very valid questions and something that deserves a closer look.

The core features are the same

Let’s just start with getting this one out of the way: the core CMS is the same no matter how you host it (Cloud or not).

And that will always be the case. Period.

 

The CMS is the most important thing to us and we’ll never limit its core features in any way if you choose the self-hosted version. So if you’re looking for new core features, then Umbraco Cloud won’t give you that. On the contrary, we've made sure that they are the same, so everyone gets the same great developer and editor experience that Umbraco is known for. That means no steep learning curve if you already know the CMS.

Since the core features are the same, the similarities are plenty. What really sets the two apart are the new features in Umbraco Cloud that are added on top of the core features.

These new features generally fall into one of two categories:

  1. Features that take care of tasks for you, that you’d otherwise have to do yourself (eg. hosting)
  2. Features that are unique to Umbraco Cloud, that lets you work smarter (eg. Baselines)

 

Let’s have a look at the Cloud features, shall we?

The new features you get with Umbraco Cloud

The purpose of Umbraco Cloud is to save you time and make your life simpler. The added Cloud features are all built with that purpose in mind, so you can get more stuff done with Umbraco.

 

Let's go through the 7 main features that you need to know about if you're considering Umbraco Cloud.

Umbraco Cloud icon

1. Hosting on Microsoft Azure

First off, there’s the obvious feature: hosting. All Umbraco Cloud plans are hosted on Microsoft Azure, which gives your site a proven and solid foundation.

By using Umbraco Cloud you no longer have to worry about managing the hosting infrastructure. We actively monitor the service at all times (24/7), your website is on 3 redundant disks and we use Premium Storage so all information is on SSD-disks, which increases performance.

All so you can rest easy knowing that hosting is taken care of.

 

While hosting is one of those things that is only really noticed when something goes wrong, it’s also one of the key elements of Umbraco Cloud that enables us to add many of the extra features that you’ll get.

Umbraco Cloud hosted on Microsoft Azure image

2. Secure and updated with automated upgrades and Umbraco Latch

When you’re using Umbraco Cloud we’ll do everything we can to help you keep your site updated and secure.

Automatic upgrades mean you'll always have the latest features and necessary security fixes making your work simpler, worry-free and more delightful. We keep your sites up to date with the latest patch release of Umbraco CMS - automatically (such as 8.6.X).

On top of that we have Umbraco Latch. Umbraco Latch is our service that provides all Umbraco Cloud sites with an updated TLS certificate - at no extra cost to you. Latch gives you zero-config HTTPS without any added cost or needs to buy an external certificate. 

What about custom certificates, you might ask? These can be installed if your project is on a Professional or Enterprise plan.

3. Work with a flexible amount of environments

When you’re working in Umbraco Cloud you always have a live environment for your site which you can connect to your local machine. But that’s not all.

If you need more environments you can add these to your project with a single click - without any setup needed. With multiple environments you’ll be able to take advantage of the Umbraco Deploy core technology, which uses a two-part deployment approach. This deployment approach splits meta data (Document types, templates, etc.) and content (Content nodes and Media), so they’re separate parts. 

How exactly does that help you? Well, that’s actually the next feature you'll read about.

Flexible environments icon

ContentFlow high five icon

4. Save time and iterate faster with ContentFlow

Get into the flow - and stay there! When you’re working in Umbraco Cloud we want to give you a tool that doesn’t interrupt your flow. And with our two-part deployment approach we’ve created what we call ContentFlow.

ContentFlow saves you time and allows you to iterate faster. Developers and editors can work in parallel, without the risk of version control or content freeze. With this feature, your editors can edit and publish content without ever leaving the Umbraco backoffice. At the same time your developers can work on feature development.

 

This helps both your editors and developers in having less worries about making changes. Ultimately it gives everyone a better experience behind the scenes, which translates to a better experience for your users.

5. Save time if you’re building multiple projects with Baselines

Are you looking to build multiple websites in Umbraco? Then Umbraco Cloud gives you a huge time-saver: Baselines.

The fail-safe Baselines feature means you can reuse project components from a master site with one-click rather than repetitive setup. Save time (and sanity!) from the tedious tasks of project creation, whilst letting Baselines ensure consistency and quality across every new site created! Best of all, new features or updates will be rolled out across all sites automatically.

Umbraco Baselines icon

Umbraco U Smile icon

6. Permission and user control

When you’re using Umbraco Cloud you not only get the Umbraco backoffice that you know from the Umbraco CMS. You also get access to the Cloud Portal.

The Cloud Portal is where you get can manage your project - including setting permissions and user settings.

With a single-click invitation, you can quickly establish your team with flexible roles, permissions and project access. Perfect for managing your team, working with external contributors or giving clients access to review, test and provide feedback along the way!

 

It is the perfect tool for you to manage multiple projects and gives all of your users a single place to login to get an easy overview of the projects they are a part of.

7. Umbraco add-ons included

With Umbraco Cloud you don’t need to purchase a license for Umbraco Forms, Umbraco Courier or Umbraco TV. It’s all included.

Everyone deserves a form creator that’s as easy to use as Umbraco, so we’ve built just that: Umbraco Forms. And in Umbraco Cloud we've included it in all of our plans. That’s €189 you don’t have to worry about paying for your next project.

And with Umbraco Deploy to handle deployment between environments, you will get smooth deployment flows without having to buy an add-on such as Umbraco Courier (you save €1.299).

Lastly we want to make sure that you are never on your own. That’s why an Umbraco TV subscription is included in your Cloud plan (worth €29/month). This gives you immediate access to online self-paced tutorials for training and troubleshooting. Let us help you get it right the first time with best practices delivered directly from Umbraco HQ.

Umbraco Money icon

3 questions to help you decide if Umbraco Cloud is for you

Now hopefully, you’re no longer asking yourself what the differences are, but rather: are these differences enough to make it worth it for me?

Instead of us saying “everyone should use Cloud”, we’d rather give you a few questions to ask yourself, that can hopefully help you decide between the two.

The big question

Can the Umbraco Cloud features save you time?

Can the Umbraco Cloud features save you time?

The purpose of Umbraco Cloud is to help you save time, so you can focus on the fun stuff. It’s having delighted editors that can update and create new amazing content for your website without worrying about what happens when they click publish. And happy developers who can focus on developing great new features instead of spending hours on tedious maintenance tasks.

The added Cloud features all collectively work together to help you save time and work smarter with Umbraco. But will they save you enough time to make it worth it for you?

That is usually the case when we talk to users who have migrated from self-hosted to Cloud. But that doesn’t mean it will automatically be the same for you.

Most of the features of Umbraco Cloud will benefit everyone who uses it, but some benefit more from it than others. So take a look at your workflows today and the features of Cloud: how much time will they save you?

The technical question

What are your hosting requirements?

What are your hosting requirements?

Umbraco Cloud is so much more than hosting - but it’s a core feature that is important to mention. Especially since hosting requirements can vary a lot from project to project.

Umbraco Cloud will fit the hosting requirements perfectly for most projects. You’ll get secure and updated hosting through Microsoft Azure and we’ll handle it all for you. And with prioritized Cloud computing, prioritized database performance and a hosting SLA your scaling needs can be met on Cloud. 

But there are cases where Umbraco will not meet your hosting requirements.

Auto-scaling and load balancing is currently not possible on Umbraco Cloud. So if your project requires either of these, Umbraco Cloud will not be the best fit. That is also the case if you want to run your project in multiple Azure Regions, as Umbraco Cloud currently runs in the Azure West Europe region.

The workload question

How many resources can you spend on the project?

How many resources can you spend on the project?

One of the key differentiators between website projects are resources available. Both in time and money for initial development as well as for continued maintenance after launch. With Umbraco Cloud we have focused on saving you time. Time is the most important resource we all have and we want you to feel productive with your time when you're using Umbraco.

Besides saving time on server setup and maintenance, you also get features such as ContentFlow, Baselines and Deploy that saves you time while developing and maintaining the website. All to make sure you get to do more with the resources available to you.

While it's commonly said that time = money, that is not always the case. For your project, it might be more important to save money rather than time. In that case, you can take on more of the setup and maintenance tasks to save on costs. In that case, you might be better off working on a self-hosted project instead of using Cloud.

The big question

Can the Umbraco Cloud features save you time?

The technical question

What are your hosting requirements?

The workload question

How many resources can you spend on the project?

Frequently asked questions about Umbraco Cloud

 

Where is Umbraco Cloud hosted?

Umbraco Cloud sites are hosted on Microsoft Azure in the Azure West Europe region. Currently it is not possible to choose a different region or run in multiple regions.

 

Can I run a high traffic site on Umbraco Cloud?

Currently we have benchmarked a "well built" site with approximately 50,000 unique visitors per day (~1.5mm per month) that performs very well. For business critical, high traffic sites, we recommend that you look into Umbraco Cloud Professional and Umbraco Cloud Enterprise possibly in combination with a dedicated server.

 

How about backups? Are there redundancies in place?

We are using the LRS plan, which you can read about in the official Azure documentation.

Your website is on 3 redundant disks and we use Premium Storage so all information is on SSD-disks, which increases performance.

 

Can I move an existing site to Umbraco Cloud?

Umbraco Cloud is best when used as the base for a new project. There is a specific way of working with Umbraco and Umbraco Cloud in order to take full-advantage of the service.

That’s not to say you can’t migrate an existing site, only that some changes may be required in order for your site to fully work with Umbraco Cloud. For more information read our guide to moving an existing site, check out the documentation.

 

What level of support is offered?

All plans get access to Umbraco Cloud Platform support. That means you’ll get help with all Umbraco Cloud related questions, more specifically setting up sites, deployments between environments and hosting features.
Umbraco Cloud has great documentation and quick how-to videos to help you get started fast and work efficiently. You also have access to all Umbraco TV videos. If you need support for your Umbraco work we have the Professional Plan with Support which includes full Umbraco Support.

 

Can I find more questions and answers somewhere?

You can find further questions and answers in our full Cloud FAQ or our technical Cloud FAQ.

 

Is Umbraco Cloud for you?

We believe that Umbraco Cloud is a great solution for most Umbraco projects. But ultimately - as we’ve hopefully shown on this page - it will ultimately depend on your requirements. 

Some projects have requirements where it just doesn't make as much sense to use Umbraco Cloud as it does for other projects.

If you want to take a deeper dive into what Umbraco Cloud can do - and whether it fits your requirements or not - here’s a few helpful resources:

 

Umbraco Cloud webinars. We regularly host webinars that introduce you to Umbraco Cloud and it’s a great way for you to go behind the scene. Learn more about the workflows and best practices in Umbraco Cloud - all in 45 minutes.

Sign up for a Cloud webinar

 

How agencies scale their business with Cloud. If you work at an agency, you might find this recorded webinar interesting. We had a chat with 3 of our partners about how they scale their business with Umbraco Cloud.

Watch the video here

 

Get your hands dirty. If you want to give Umbraco Cloud a try yourself, you can take a free trial. It lasts for 14 days and is ready in less than 5 minutes. No credit card needed and no strings attached.

Start a free trial