Last year, I came across umbraco CMS. First thing I liked about umbraco - was the interface - clear and simple. I had an opportunity to create several websites in drupal and umbraco, and this article is a summary of all my thoughs so far, and yes... Drupal is Umbraco wannabe!

Umbraco vs Drupal Comparsion


Umbraco presents much more intuitive interface compared to drupal. Data is organised in the tree that represents the website structure. In drupal the entire content is presented in the single list. It takes a great deal of time to find  the parent or child nodes. Umbraco CMS framework also provides a more convenient way of controlling what documents can be created under a specific content. When there are hundreds of pages published on the site, it becomes almost impossible to track the pages that either appear in the wrong place or should not be published anymore. And obviously, in umbraco there is a proper backend admin panel!

umbraco screen 1

Development Time

Both CMS systems are out of the box solutions. However in Drupal, there is a lot of work involved in getting the website styled and module installed. Umbraco follows the xml standards and presents the hierarchical data structure. In other words - developing the website in drupal is much more time consuming. Initial drupal installation provides only limited functionality - and to be honest - it's easy to get lost with permissions and stuff, when several modules are required. Also, umbraco returns clean xml, with data only - no <span>s or anything! In Drupal you get multi dimensional PHP arrays... it's way easier to inegrate what umbraco returns with flash.

Multiuser support

Both systems support multiuser access. Although, in umbraco that feature is initially split into members and users.

Multiple-content Picker Module

There is no multicontent picker feature in drupal. There is no possibility of creating different instances of the sidebar features etc and letting the user control it on a specific site. In umbraco user can select and reuse the content an unlimited number of times in different places throughout the website.

umbraco screen 2

Extending Umbraco/Drupal

Both CMS systems can be extended in terms of functionality. However since Umbrao is .NET solution, there is a good support of .NET usercontrols - which allows to extend both front and backend. PHP as the programming environment in general, hasn't got such feature. Drupal can be extended by creating a drupal-specific custom module. Umbraco as the .Net solution, is easier to integrate with other systems - extensive use of XML, .Net remoting - really useful for more advanced applications.


Both CMS systems are large web platforms. .Net solutions perform better when it comes to high volume of traffic/extensive use.


Umbraco does not limit the design in any way. In drupal there is no proper backend admin panel - everything is integrated into the main page. While Umbraco returns a clean data, Drupal automatically adds javascipt, and html elements - some elements cannot be changed and often fail the validation. Standards complaint code results in better multi browser support and SEO indexing. In umbraco, any visual design can be implemented, including javascript and flash. Since Drupal adds its own javascipt, there may be some javascipt conflicts.

umbraco screen 3


Both systems are open source.

If you want to see how this website takes full advantage of umbraco, visit how blue and orange takes full advantage of umbraco.

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