One of the reasons Umbraco is a great content management system is the wide range of packages and extensions that are available for building sites — many of which, like Umbraco, are free and open source.
As Umbraco developers, we’re always watching out for the latest and greatest packages. Here are a few of our favorites. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list or even a top 6 list, but rather a glimpse into the great ecosphere of Umbraco extensions.
Want a blog on your Umbraco site? Since Umbraco 7.1, Articulate has been the blogging package of choice. It supports many of the features that make up a great blog including categories & tags, themes, Live Writer support, BlogML import/export, RSS feeds and author profiles. Developed as a free, open source project by Umbraco HQ core developer Shannon Deminick, Articulate has been actively maintained and is widely used.
ASP.Net Identity for Umbraco
Looking to add single sign-on, so your website users can log into your site using their Facebook, Google (and other) accounts? You can use ASP.Net Identity for Umbraco. This enables Umbraco to work with ASP.NET Identity and use something called Owin Middleware to enable external logins with OAuth providers including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and more.
Azure Blob Cache and UmbracoFileSystemProviders.Azure
These packages offload static files in the media section to the Microsoft Azure cloud so when an editor uploads a file in Umbraco, instead of saving the file to the media folder on the local drive, the file gets saved to Azure Blob Storage which can then be served via the Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN). Another package, Azure CDN Toolkit for Umbraco, makes it easy to link to resources on the Azure CDN from Umbraco templates.
Merchello is one of the e-commerce offerings for Umbraco (the others are uCommerce and teaCommerce). Since we started using it 2 years ago, it has come a long way, adding many features expected in a modern ecommerce platform including support for promo offers and improved reports. We love it because the flexible programming API makes it great for customizing. The new FastTrack starter kit makes it easier to launch a storefront with Merchello.
If your editors need to have the ability to create their own forms and export data submissions, Umbraco Forms is what you’re looking for. The form editor provides an intuitive user interface for creating responsive forms. As with most things Umbraco, Forms offers flexibility and extensibility with its ability to setup advanced workflows that can integrate with other systems via web services. While it is the only commercial package listed here, we think it’s worth the 99 Euros.
Building a multilingual site? Then you’ll want to use Vorto. Vorto is a property editor wrapper that wraps an existing property editor and converts it into a multilingual property. This provides a great user interface for managing content in different languages.
These are a just a few of the many packages and extensions available for Umbraco. There are many, many others — most of them listed here. Interested in learning more about Umbraco? Flightpath will be hosting an Umbraco meetup on October 18 at 7 p.m.