If you already use Umbraco, you’ll know how brilliant it is. You’ve got to grips with the basics and now you’re inspired, hunting down information about Umbraco plugins. And what an exciting journey you’re setting off on. As an experienced B2B website design agency we think Umbraco is the bee’s knees. And we rate Umbraco plugins pretty high too. Read on to find out all about Umbraco plugins and discover our recommendations for a few key must-haves. Are you ready to create even better?
So what are Umbraco Plugins? If you’re familiar with WordPress, you’ll know the score. They’re exactly like WP plugins, designed to extend the capability and functionality of the standard Umbraco software in all sorts of exciting and creative ways.
With plugins, which Umbraco calls packages, you can change the look of a site, maximise the SEO potential, create secure forms and offer a choice of payment methods. Empowering people to do more, do it more efficiently, and collaborating with community members. Plugins support solving real life problems and they inspire people to create ever-better websites. As a result of all this, plugins ultimately help improve your business’s bottom line.
Things are kept fresh by the Umbraco developer community, a large group of dedicated people who are responsible for dreaming up, building, testing and releasing a constant stream of new packages in line with user demand and technical innovations.
Here are some Umbraco plugins that seriously rock our world.
The popular Umbraco Perplex Content Blocks package is a block based content editor. It operates on top of NestedContent to give you an advanced user interface with handy features like disable or hide a block, where the block is still there but out of your way, away from the front end. You can also make multiple layouts in one block and define multiple layouts to switch between.
The preview window reveals the page’s front end, showing you clearly what you’re editing and revealing how your block will look together. You can see the difference between available blocks and categorise blocks, making this package ideal for building content-heavy, brochureware sites.
You want to make the ecommerce customer experience the best it can be. Awesome functionality plus the usual excellent SEO support from Umbraco itself makes Umbraco Vendr special. Vendr lets you make easy-to-manage eCommerce websites. The package integrates seamlessly with Umbraco to give you a consistent content editing experience. It makes discounting incredibly easy, and comes with a built-in rewards builder for making your own inline product/cart and code based discounts. It only takes a few clicks.
You get Plugable Payment Providers straight out-of-the-box and the payment provider architecture is completely plugable. Create your own if you like. Wherever you’re selling from, Vendr creates any country and currency, along with the right tax rate. This makes Vendr perfect for easily creating professional ecommerce sites.
Do visitors need to be able to search your site? Umbraco’s search plugin ezSearch delivers everything you could need from a fast, self contained and completely configurable search function. Popular with Umbraco MVC websites, it searches for words and phrases in your content and media, revealing the results in a list page sorted by relevance, highlighting the search term. The results arrive fast and search is suitably flexible.
Examine is another great Umbraco search plugin, using the same backoffice search as Umbraco itself. Designed for fast data indexing and search, it sits on top of Lucene.Net, the respected search engine library. It gives you APIs to make searching and indexing as simple as it can be.
Umbraco also provides UmbracoExamine on top. It opens your Umbraco-specific APIs for indexing and searching content and media, and it does all this out-of-the-box. Being provider-based, you can configure your own custom indexes if you want. As a result site visitors enjoy a smooth, fast search experience where they find exactly what they need in no time.
If you need an Umbraco calendar plugin, you can’t beat EventCalendar for Umbraco. Create and manage calendars, locations, organiser and events once or recurring times. Re-use the Locations and Organiser for different events. Use the inbuilt security settings to define which users can edit what. Compatible with Umbraco 7. While there isn’t a working calendar in Umbraco v8 it’s fairly easy to upgrade the v7 source code.
Surveys are marketing magic. They can reveal so many useful pieces of insight and information. Your audience’s favourite product from a choice of two. The perfect price point. Feedback about your customer service, delivery speed, page load speed, you name it. A top class Umbraco survey plugin, Umbraco Forms has extensive form related capabilities that take you way beyond surveys. It’s great for making everything from a simple form to a complex multi-stage questionnaire and can even integrate third party services with ease.
The 1902 SEO+ Umbraco SEO Plugin offers a full-featured package to help you easily manage your website’s technical SEO settings. With its help you won’t only improve your content’s natural visibility in the SERPs, you’ll manage your site’s technical SEO requirements with ease. It’s free, and it’s easy to use even when you’re not that familiar with SEO. There are plenty of cool tooltips to show you the way. While there are several great Umbraco SEO plugins / packages, this one is particularly good.
A newsletter is part of the marketing glue that sticks you and your customers together. A great one can even generate loyalty. Use yours to make offers, say thank you, engage your customers, inform them, entertain them, and persuade them to buy more in future. Newsletter Studio is an exceptional resource for sending newsletter email campaigns, putting all your content in one convenient place. Create, send and analyse e-mail campaigns from the Umbraco backoffice. There’s no need for external email systems, you simply send to a built-in mailing list or site members. A nice collection of extension points to customise its functionality makes it unusually flexible.
Umbraco plugins provide the extra functionality you need in every situation and circumstance. Get familiar with the packages above to bring a better experience to users, encourage better conversion rates, drive loyalty, and much more.