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Guide to Umbraco hosting requirements

We’re an Umbraco agency. We love it, and so do our clients. Umbraco is an open source content management system built on Microsoft's .NET framework using ASP.NET, written in C#. So far, so cool. But Umbraco also offers developers like us high flexibility, exceptional security, and awesome scalability. We also provide top class Umbraco hosting, and that brings us to Umbraco hosting requirements.  As an experienced B2B website design agency that specialises in Umbraco, we’re perfectly qualified to talk about everything to do with hosting for Umbraco sites. Welcome to our world. By the end of this article you’ll understand the key requirements along with all the essential Umbraco server requirements for superb hosting for your Umbraco 8, Umbraco 9 or Umbraco 10 application.

Types of Umbraco hosting

Let’s dive right in. First, what are the different types of Umbraco hosting? Hosting simply means keeping all the files that make up a website on a server, which is a computer designed to run hosting software. The server ‘serves’ the site content to people online. Every website on the planet sits on a server, and you can’t run a website unless it’s hosted on a server.

That’s the simple bit. There are several different kinds of hosting, each with its own technology, features, and support levels. Here’s a run-down of your choices for hosting your beautiful new Umbraco website.

Shared hosting

The simplest of all the Umbraco hosting requirements, shared hosting means sharing server space with several other users. This is the cheapest of all hosting services, and you don’t need any technical knowledge to achieve it. On the other hand you’re only given a fraction of the server’s computing capabilities, which are shared between the multiple sites on the server. This can mean slower performance and longer loading times when other sites on your server are busy, and it means you can’t access the system configuration.

Virtual private server hosting

Virtual Private Server or VPS hosting means you still share a server with other sites, each with their own users, but the web server is subdivided. Because your own section of server gives you dedicated resources, your bandwidth can’t be hijacked by anyone else if they get busier than usual. And that  means you’ll enjoy better reliability, fast load speeds, and good up-time. As you can imagine it’s more expensive than shared hosting but there’s more opportunity for customization. In turn, this means you’ll need a higher level of technical knowledge.

Dedicated hosting

When you want unlimited bandwidth and full control over the configuration of your server, dedicated hosting ticks the right boxes. You, and you alone, can access your own server or multiple servers. There’s no sharing of resources. When your business is big and you need hardware to support and protect customer and prospect data, it’s ideal. If you have visitor spikes and user surges, dedicated hosting withstands heavy traffic to give everyone the same excellent user experience.  As the most expensive hosting model, it’s ideal for big brands with reputations to keep. 

On premise hosting

On premise hosting means you actually own the servers your website is hosted on. You protect your data behind your own security firewall and it is completely separate from the outside world. The server is there to touch, in real life, which makes it the ideal solution for enterprises and companies operating in very sensitive, highly regulated industries like financial services. It’s also ideal for businesses taking payment online, and for companies storing and using customer data, the best way to achieve the right levels of Data Protection. You need to put in place the best possible security and data control, and while it costs less than dedicated hosting in the long term, it comes with risks. You’re responsible, there’s nobody else to blame if things go wrong!

Cloud hosting

With cloud hosting your website won’t be stored on a single physical server. It’s spread widely across numerous servers, in the cloud. This means you should never experience any significant downtime. If you get surges in traffic and peaks in transactions, the busy server simply redirects the traffic to another server in the cloud. It’s brilliant for instant scaling, when the bandwidth you use and the space you need shoots up.

Umbraco hosting requirements 

Next, the Umbraco server requirements. Here’s what you should expect from a good hosting company. You want the space needed to fit all your website files, along with room for growth and expansion. You’ll insist on a good, fast load speed that people don’t notice, and you want to stay up and running whatever resource issues come along, which means great up-time stats. Technical support matters a lot if you’re not familiar with hosting jargon and the way it joins the dots so the elements of the hosting speak to each other properly. And you want great security to keep the business and your customers safe.

Umbraco 8 requirements

Here’s the technical bit. To run a site built in Umbraco 8, you’ll need a hosting with:

  • IIS 8 and higher
  • SQL CE, SQL Server 2012 and higher
  • NET 4.7.2
  • The ability to set file permissions to include create/read/write, or better for the user who ‘owns’ the Application Pool for your site (usually the NETWORK SERVICE)

Here are your Umbraco 9 requirements

  • Either OS: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1, 8.1 and 10 or MacOS High Sierra 10.13
  • Linux (Ubuntu, Alpine, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE and other major distributions)
  • A .NET Tool or Editor with Visual Studio Code with the IISExpress extension
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 version 16.8 and higher
  • JetBrains Rider version 2020.3 and higher
  • .NET Core CLI
  • NET 5.0
  • SQL connection string (SQL Server)

And here are your Umbraco 10 requirements

  • Windows Server 2019 and higher
  • IIS 10 and higher
  • SQL Server 2019 and higher
  • .NET 6.0.5+
  • Ability to set file permissions to include create/read/write (or better) for the user that "owns" the Application Pool for your site (NETWORK SERVICE, typically)

How to pick best Umbraco hosting provider

Now you know the Umbraco hosting requirements, Umbraco 8 and Umbraco 9 requirements, and understand the Umbraco server requirements. Next we’ll explore how to choose the best hosting provider for your Umbraco site.

First, figure out your needs. Ask yourself what you’ll value most of all in  a host. Is the business small enough and the site simple enough to perform perfectly on shared hosting with great support? Is the brand popular and busy enough to merit flexible dedicated hosting, with minimal support, and are you up for the job of managing it all yourself?

The budget matters as well. While it’s always wise to buy the best quality hosting you can afford, money is important. You might want to take it easy with a month-by-month hosting plan or pay up front for two years of hosting. It depends on so many things, including the host’s cancellation and refund policy. Bear in mind very cheap hosting can be nasty, with poor service and no support.

Location is a factor. Are you happy with hosting abroad, unable to visit the host? Would you prefer someone in the UK? Otherwise you might find communication a challenge across different time zones, or have annoying language difficulties.

What extra services or features do you need? Maybe you know, perhaps you have no idea... in which case it’s good to have someone who knows the score to answer your questions. As a rule, where hosting a business site is concerned, it’s better safe than sorry. And that means buying good quality hosting in the first place. 

Are you happy to choose a great host with confidence? 

We’ve clarified what hosting is, and explored the different Umbraco hosting requirements and Umbraco server requirements . You can see the Umbraco 8 requirements, and those for Umbraco 9 and Umbraco 10. Do you need more help? If you’d like expert  advice and support choosing the right hosting we’re always happy to pitch in. Because we sell superb hosting for the Umbraco sites we design for our clients, you can trust us to know what’s what.

We do amazing web design, Oxford based and beyond, for a wide variety of clients. We also do web development in Oxford and the surrounding counties, a popular choice with brands of every size, shape and flavour. Feel free to get in touch with the Intuitiv team by calling us on 01844 888 777, emailing hello@intuitiv.net, or using our contact form. We’ll be pleased to help.


Intuitiv Digital

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