On Wednesday night, we were lucky enough to spend a couple of hours in the company of Umbraco founder, Niels Hartvig.
In a very candid and informal talk, Niels enthralled the 90 or so delegates that had travelled to Manchester to see hear about Umbraco from the master himself.
Niels talked about the mistakes the company has made in the past, from the lasting effects of minor typos, to the major U-turn with Umbraco 5. Then, with considerable modesty, Niels talked about the significant successes the company has enjoyed with high-profile companies like Peugeot and Microsoft.
One of the key points Niels made throughout his talk was the importance he placed on the growing Umbraco community. Part of what makes Umbraco so popular with coders is the community it has nurtured:
“Umbraco is transparent and honest… Umbraco lives because of its community which thrives on collaboration and is passionate about technology. We work together to bring about change.”
– Umbraco manifest
Niels affirmed his personal desire to constantly make it easier to use Umbraco’s interface. Its simplicity and intuitive controls are part of what makes this such a popular content management system for web editors.
In terms of set up, Umbraco provides the basis of what’s needed to create a content managed website, allowing you to choose the add-ons and extensions you want to use. In comparison, many other content management systems are really bloated and over complicated giving users all of the options you could ever possibly need, irrespective of their requirements.
From Group Dane’s point of view, Umbraco is a winning solution, as it allows our developers to build sites from the ground up, only adding features that are required by our clients. This makes our clients lives easier because they get a very simple interface, containing only the features that they will actually need.
Niels talked about Project Belle, a new user interface design, which aims to help end users use the backoffice more easily.
Find out more about Belle and how you can have your first look at it by downloading the alpha version.
Umbraco as a service
Perhaps one of the most interesting chapters in Umbraco’s history is due to unfold soon.
Niels talked about Umbraco’s plans to offer a service which will appeal to less technical users, rivalling the simplicity of WordPress in terms of set up.
The packages will offer users development, staging and live environments, with a simple one click deployment between them.
For us, the resounding message was that, other than a great deal of talent and skill, Umbraco’s success has largely been attributed to a strong desire for simplicity, acute perfectionism and transparency within its community. I believe there is a great deal of good stuff still to come from Umbraco.
For more thoughts on Umbraco, check out our post, Umbraco we love you.
Images courtesy of Simon Antony.