January 17 2023

Considering the Kentico or Umbraco CMS?

comparing kentico and umbraco cmsSelecting the right Content Management System (CMS) for your website design or redesign is an important when thinking about a website design or redesign. CMS technology has come a long way so it’s important to think about which CMS will work best for your needs before you begin planning your website project.
Every business and organization wants to make their website management effortless and scalable for the future but there are other considerations as well. Perhaps you want the CMS to offer advanced marketing features or maybe your business or organization has very unique technology and security requirements. Deciding which CMS may be right for your business is just as important as defining your user experience and conversion goals so let’s walk you through two CMSs ZAG Interactive builds in.

.NET CMS Platforms

ZAG has built hundreds of websites over our two-decade history using Microsoft .NET technology. For a variety of reasons, we have focused our site builds on two popular CMSs: Kentico and Umbraco. Both CMSs allow for the level of customization that our clients require and both products are well supported. So why would you choose one over another? Let’s compare the two.

Kentico – Licensed, .NET Mid-Market CMS

The Kentico CMS is currently in version 13 and has been around for 18 years. This popular mid-market CMS powers over 35K websites and is in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

  • Kentico offers two license options: The Business edition and the Enterprise edition. Both offer the features that most businesses and organizations would need – including easy content management, customizable workflow options, SEO features, an Integration Bus and much more. The Enterprise edition includes everything in the Business edition, plus some more sophisticated marketing features including personalization, marketing automation, email marketing, A/B testing, and more. Licenses need to be purchased for each domain (e.g., domain.com) and subdomain (e.g. welcome.domain.com) and are subscription-based.

  • Annual license fee and support:  The annual license fee includes access to version upgrades (which will need to be implemented by an experienced developer) as well as access to any hotfixes or security fixes. Additionally, Kentico offers great product documentation and a top-notch support team which includes a 7-day bug fix policy.

Umbraco – .NET CMS with No Annual Fee

Umbraco is also a popular .NET CMS but unlike Kentico, is an open-source CMS. Umbraco powers over 700K websites and is a popular choice for businesses and organizations because it offers the same ease of use as CMSs like Kentico, but without an annual CMS subscription fee.

  • Free-Free License: Like any software, Umbraco does require a license to use it, but that license doesn’t have any cost. Sites that use Umbraco and want to have a form, personalization or other features not built into the site should expect a fee for the many plugins that are available in the Umbraco Marketplace. Similar to WordPress, some of these are free, and some have a cost. Likewise, not all plugins are available for all versions of Umbraco.

  • Support: By default the product doesn’t have a support team available unless an annual fee is paid. However, an agency that builds sites in Umbraco should be able to provide related support for the site as well. Upgrades are released frequently, which can be performed by a developer without rebuilding the entire site. Of course, like any technology, this depends on how technology evolves and is supported overall. 

  • Pre-Built Themes: There are companies like uSkinned that have created pre-built themes using Umbraco. Similar to WordPress, Wix or Squarespace, these themes allow a business to customize the look and feel of the site within the parameters of the pre-built components. This has appeal to businesses who do not have sophisticated design or technical requirements and who are on a more conservative budget. While these themes can be customized, this then adds to the development cost which may make this a less viable budget option for some.

So how do you choose?

Choosing which CMS may be right for your business or organization comes down to a variety of criteria for businesses.

  1. Is my project and/or ongoing budget dictating which solution might best?

  2. Do I want to work with a partner company who offers dedicated support as part of my license fee?

  3. Do I want to have my CMS also have pre-built sophisticated marketing features?

  4. Am I comfortable using third parties for features not available in the CMS?

At ZAG Interactive we are happy to consult with you on which CMS might work best for your business now and in the future. Contact us to learn more about our custom website design and builds.

  • Kentico
  • Umbraco
  • Website

posted by
Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown
VP of Sales & Marketing

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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