06.06.2024 by Tess Zurawski

Extending Your Umbraco Back Office

Umbraco is a powerful open-source CMS that allows developers to create robust websites and applications. One of the standout features of Umbraco is its extensible back office, which can be customized to fit the unique needs of any business. Whether you're looking to enhance functionality or streamline your workflow, there are several ways to extend the Umbraco back office. Here, we’ll explore some effective strategies to achieve this.

  1. Custom Sections

Creating custom sections is a great way to add new functionalities to the Umbraco back office. Custom sections allow you to group related content and tools, making them easily accessible. This is particularly useful if you have specific requirements that aren’t covered by the default Umbraco sections.

To create a custom section, you'll need to:

  • Define a new section in the config/Applications.config file.
  • Create a tree controller to manage the content within the new section.
  • Build the views and controllers for your custom content using AngularJS, as Umbraco’s back office relies heavily on Angular.


  1. Custom Property Editors

Property editors are essential for managing content properties in Umbraco. Sometimes, the default property editors might not meet your specific needs. In such cases, you can create custom property editors.

Steps to create a custom property editor include:

  • Create an AngularJS view that defines the editor’s interface.
  • Register the editor in the package.manifest file.
  • Handle data binding between the AngularJS controller and the view to ensure smooth interaction.
  • Custom property editors can be as simple or complex as needed, offering endless possibilities for enhancing content management.


  1. Dashboards

Dashboards in Umbraco provide a way to display useful information and tools directly in the back office. You can create custom dashboards to display analytics, quick links, or any other relevant data.

To add a custom dashboard:

  • Edit the config/Dashboard.config file to define your new dashboard.
  • Create a view for the dashboard using AngularJS or HTML.
  • Include any necessary controllers to manage the data and interactions within the dashboard.


  1. Plugins and Packages

Umbraco has a rich ecosystem of plugins and packages that can extend the functionality of the back office. The Umbraco community and third-party developers contribute a wide range of packages that can be easily integrated.

To install a package:

  • Browse the Umbraco package repository to find a suitable package.
  • Follow the installation instructions provided with the package.
  • Configure the package as needed to fit your requirements.

Using packages can save time and effort, allowing you to leverage the work of others to enhance your Umbraco back office.


  1. Event Handlers

Event handlers in Umbraco allow you to execute custom code in response to specific events, such as content publishing or saving. This is useful for automating tasks or enforcing custom business rules.

To create an event handler:

  • Create a class that implements the appropriate interface, such as IContentService or IMediaService.
  • Register the handler in the Composer class.
  • Write the logic you want to execute when the event occurs.


  1. APIs and Custom Controllers

For more advanced customizations, you might need to create custom APIs or controllers. This allows you to interact with the Umbraco back office programmatically, enabling complex integrations and functionalities.

To create a custom API:

  • Define a new controller that inherits from UmbracoApiController.
  • Implement the API methods to handle the desired operations.
  • Secure the API if needed, using Umbraco’s built-in authentication mechanisms.



Extending the Umbraco back office can significantly enhance the functionality and usability of your CMS, tailored to your specific needs. Whether you’re adding custom sections, property editors, dashboards, or utilizing event handlers and APIs, Umbraco provides the flexibility to create a powerful, customized back office experience. By leveraging these methods, you can ensure that your Umbraco installation is not only robust but also perfectly aligned with your business requirements. Contact Scandia today to learn more tips about your Umbraco skills. 


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