2013 – My Umbraco Year in Review

Hello all,
As it’s the last day of 2013 I would like to look back and reflect on the year that has been.

It has been a great & fantastic year after a personal rocky year back in 2012, but as this year has progressed I have gained my confidence in myself back.

New Job & New Beginnings

In the beginning of the year I was lucky to join the great team over at The CogWorks who specialise in building Umbraco website & solutions and they have been a great team to work with and have been fantastic to help me with my recovery.


So the first few months was relatively quiet whilst I found my feet & confidence in myself again, but around July of 2013 I started this blog as a place for me to share code snippets, thoughts & ideas as a place to my voice myself clearly and overall it seems like it has been a great way for me to look back on and see what I have achieved over this year.

Popular posts looking back on my stats seem to be as follows:

Training & Certifications

Around May I was lucky to be sent to Copenhagen to take the Umbraco Level 2 Masterclass on V6 & MVC by the guys over at The CogWorks, which was a fantastic and well run course by Umbraco HQ member Sebastiaan Janssen and I am proud to say I passed and am now a certified Umbraco Level 1 & Level 2 developer.

In addition to the Umbraco training I was also lucky to take some Umbraco E-Commerce training from the lovely guys over at Tea Solutions who build Tea Commerce the popular E-Commerce addon for Umbraco. Anders Burla Johansen came over to London to give the training and done a fantastic job in teaching us attendees about the possibilities of building an e-commerce site with Tea Commerce.

Package Development

This year has also been a fantastic year for me to build & develop Umbraco packages be it small utilities to larger projects where I have collaborated with other developers to build something more complete. I will quickly run you through them:



This package is an example for me to start learning how to use AngularJS with WebAPI to provide a way to show diagnostic information about the Umbraco install.



This is a package that allows you to create & edit Sass files inside the Umbraco back office which will automatically compile down to CSS to use in your Umbraco site, this was also a starting point for the collab project Optimus that I worked with Tim Geyssens with.

CWS Start


This is a starter site package for V6 and MVC to show how to build a very simple website using SurfaceControllers and contains features such as a member area, with registration, login, forgotten password & public profile pages as a way for people to download and understand how it was built.

GitHub Snippets


This package is designed for V7 aka Umbraco Belle as this is the first major overhaul to the Umbraco backoffice in a number of years and adds a button to the template & partial editors that allows users to browse & insert Razor snippets from a GitHub repository. This allowed me to sharpen my skills in building an Umbraco package that utilises AngularJS as the new Umbraco UI now heavily relies on it.

Belle Icon Pack


This package was more of a test for me to understand how Umbraco 7 uses icons for document types. This package adds over 2000 icons from WebHostingHub 

Collaborated Packages



Optimus is a package that I have collaborated with Tim Geyssens on, which is a more advanced version of Sassy but allows users to create .NET bundles for minification along with the power of processors such as Less, Sass & CoffeeScript.

Examine Inspector


This is a package I worked with now ex-colleague Ismail Mayat that gives users a friendly dashboard to view & query the Examine Lucene indexes inside Umbraco. Think of it is a better way to query your data for debugging than using the awful java only Luke applet to query your Lucene indexes.

Live Logger


Again this is a package with ex-colleague Ismail that uses the power of signalR and Log4Net to view your log information in real time as it happens, making it a useful tool to help debug & find issues with your Umbraco site.


Lastly in the last few months of the year I have taken the initiative to start a small show & tell weekly hangout for the Umbraco community to show off packages, or installations that they have worked on and I must admit has been alot of fun and I hope to keep it going into next year as well. So keep your eyes peeled over at uHangout.co.uk

So now there is not much more to write apart from thank you all for making 2013 a great year for me and I hope to keep my momentum up and make 2014 just as good as this year.

Have a great evening and enjoy your new year’s eve.

Happy New Year !!!

Warren 🙂

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