thebeebs | Learning Umbraco from the Master
Zeroing the desk - Ignore the design

Learning Umbraco from the Master

by thebeebs 7. January 2011 04:40

Neils HartvigI hadn’t got around to looking at it before but Neils Hartvig (@umbraco on twitter) gave a great talk about Umbraco Basics at Tech Ed Europe this year and you can watch it here.  Below I’ve also cut up the video into smaller chunks along with my own notes.

Just in-case you didn’t know, Umbraco is an open source ASP.NET-based content management system. Version 4.6 beta was released in late December more info can be found at or you can view our quick into here.

Installing Umbraco

Niels  shows the installation process using an early beta of Umbraco 4.6. The current version which can be downloaded here now has a much prettier installation screen and a nice selection of skins. If you use the current version of Web Platform Installer to install Umbraco you will not get this skin selection option as you will be installing 4.5.2 not 4.6. Soon you will be able to install 4.6 directly through web platform installer. Watch my blog for updates.

Creating pages in Umbraco

Niels runs through the basics of editing a page and creating a page. He also shows how Umbraco versions content so that you can rollback or preview some content before publishing it.

Adding Properties

Documents in Umbraco don’t have tons of properties by default, for example an article won’t have a teaser field (a teaser field is a brief introduction to a document) you can easily add the different types of properties to a document and in this short demo Niels shows you how. You can also add validation to these properties so authors have to fill in the properties correctly.

Adding a custom control

If you are a .net developer then you’ll probably be familiar with the concept of user controls. You can easily add your own user controls to an Umbraco website. Niels shows you how by creating a really simple “Microsoft conference demo user control” (how very cheeky)  and then adds it to the Umbraco site he created earlier. He also talks about the Umbraco concept of macros which is a great way to add compiled user controls to your Umbraco website.

Using parameters and macros

If you have a reusable control you probably will want to pass parameters too it. This snippet shows you how you can bind data from Umbraco to your controls.

Creating a Gallery Part 1

I found the following demo really useful when I was getting to grips with the flexibility of Umbraco. Niels creates a document type called photo, he then creates a collection of these photos by creating a Gallery Document type which contains these photos.

By the end of the 7 minutes demo he has a list of photographs, in part 2 he shows you how to customise the look of the gallery using jQuery.

Creating a Gallery Part 2

Using the gallery created in Part one, Neils uses a jQuery plugin called pikachoose to take his rather boring list of images and convert it into an interactive gallery.

Creating a Gallery Part 3

In the previous parts Niels used xlst to produce the gallery markup. In this part Niels uses a razor control that he created the previous day to show how you could use razor syntax to achieve the same result. The control that Niels demonstrates is now part of the full Umbraco 4.6 release.

If you haven’t looked at razor before take a look at this for an overview:


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