Event was March 16-17, 2017 | Sign Up Below to Learn About uWestFest 2018

Event was March 16-17, 2017 | Sign Up Below to Learn About uWestFest 2018

Problems of today, ideas from the future

What is uWestFest?

What is uWestFest?

uWestFest is the North American conference designed for building a strong community of developers, project managers and marketing teams that use Umbraco.  Attendees share enthusiasm and insights specifically around technical know-how, creative tips and hacks, best practices, and sales strategies.  Everything you ever wanted to know about Umbraco, it’s here.

Be amazed at how well Umbraco can make your business hum while presenting world class flexibility and design. Plus, meet a fun, lighthearted group of intelligent people that think just like you.  Join us in Denver in 2017. Learn. Teach. Be Inspired.

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Umbraco for
Developers & Creatives

Umbraco for Developers
& Creatives

It’s hard to turn down a trip to California. It’s even harder when there’s an Umbraco conference going on, and the wonderful community to socialise with. Amongst the very interesting and wide-ranging talks, I hosted one on Personalization, a topic the audience really engaged with. Educational, friendly and expertly organised – what more can you ask from a tech conference?

Theo Paraskevopoulos @theotron

Tech Director, GrowCreate

Sessions & Speakers

Check out our Speakers for 2017!

Anders Trans Sørensen

Keynote: Umbraco HQ and Beyond

Straight from the horses (ehem, I mean Unicorn's) mouth, hear what's currently going on with Umbraco and the community and what's in store moving forward with the State of Umbraco Address.

Søren Spelling-Lund

5 Tips To Get There Faster with Umbraco

Accelerate your development and get more done by sharing your own codebase with yourself.

Through practical examples and principles you’ll learn how you can structure your projects, write your code, and create reusable components, so you focus on the fun part of your projects.

This talk gives you tools and techniques you can leverage tomorrow to shave away a lot of the tedium involved in every project.

And oh, did you know that the most expensive bugs to fix are those found in production? We’ll figure out how to reduce those as well.

Jessica Rowe

The Missing Link: How Investing in Development Met with Our Business Objectives

The setup: Company growth is dependent upon customer retention and new customer acquisition. The primary way to do that is through making improvements to digital pain points… website, mobile, apps, processes/workflow.

The why: An ever increasing desire to transact digitally, and cohesively.

The opportunities: How to go about finding and prioritizing opportunities.

The implementation: Finding the right solution/resources to develop the tools, close the gaps & capture identified opportunities.

The results: The outcomes of our projects using Umbraco

Paul Sterling

Umbraco Cloud and Your Team: Best-Practices from the Trenches

Using Umbraco Cloud can simplify your development and deployment process significantly, you probably already know this.  Adding team members, especially remote team members, multiple projects, overlapping releases and unscheduled tasks for bus fixes and priority work can complicate your process, you probably already know this too.

Paul will discuss and demonstrate best-practice approaches to working with a team with the more complex real-world environment you probably have today.  Using readily available tools and services such as GitHub, Visual Studio Team Services, and others in conjunction with Umbraco Cloud can help get your team to the next level of project nirvana.

Dann Sheridan

How to Deploy Multi-Million Dollar eCommerce on Umbraco Cloud

Wolters Kluwer is a $4.5 billion global information services, publishing, and software company servicing tax, legal, and health professionals that operates in a highly distributed, decentralized manner.  As a result, we have a highly-fragmented set of marketing and e-commerce systems.  

To drive economies of scale, common decision making criteria, and reduce continued proliferation of technologies Wolters Kluwer developed a framework and methodology for selecting marketing and e-commerce platforms.  Extensive evaluations of various technologies resulted in a recommendation to implement a SaaS solution based on Umbraco Cloud and uCommerce.

This session will walk you through the framework, methodology, results, and how you can apply them to your business.

Catherine Stevens

Umbraco's Guide to the Wordpress Galaxy

"Isn't there a plugin we can use to do that? WordPress has plugins for everything!" "Why isn't the upgrade as easy as pushing a button like WordPress?" "Can't we just download a theme and use it for our design like WordPress?"

WordPress is estimated to power 26% of the web. Its a great CMS. But when your prospect or client has a WordPress based perspective, it can present some challenges for an Umbraco agency. We will share our experiences and advice.

This session should be valuable to agencies, consultants and end-users or website owners with a lot of WordPress experience but limited Umbraco experience.

Heather Floyd

A Peek Inside the Kimono

The goals for our uWestFest site build were clear: One Umbraco install, a new unique site each year, fast deployments. How we pulled it off (for the most part) using Umbraco Cloud, theming and custom Grid widgets. The challenges faced, solutions created, and how the heck we got all those old sites stuffed in there as well.

This talk will cover the requirements from a developer's perspective - but in plain English, along with creative solutions to keep the project under control.

Jeavon Leopold

Painting the Clouds Orange

Over the past 3 years’ cloud services have become an essential part of our day to day working process at Crumpled Dog but many Umbraco agencies aren’t yet fully airborne and some are stuck firmly on the ground.

This session will take a look at the cloud services we utilize at Crumpled Dog for development, automated deployment, performance monitoring, hosting and how these services can be integrated together to improve workflow and output quality.

Covering setup and configuration of services such as GitHub, AppVeyor, New Relic, Umbraco Cloud and Azure, this session is a goldmine for agencies who need a supersonic lift-off into the clouds or who want to see how another agency is approaching modern cloud based development processes.

Matt Shull

The Physical Web

The Physical Web: BeaconSage is an Internet of Things solution that allows businesses and individuals to create great content, manage proximity beacons, and deliver that great content to customers/visitors on-site.

Under the hood, it's using The Physical Web and Umbraco to create a great solution for many attractions and event planners.

In this talk we'll explore The Physical Web, how it's already changing the way we discover the things around us, and how Umbraco plays an integral role in powering CodeGarden 2016's Best Technical Solution recipient.

Anders Johansen

The Umbraco Grid on steroids

Ever wanted to do more than just the default Grid in Umbraco? Learn how the Umbraco Grid can be extended to do more than what is just available out of the box.

You will see how to create new grid items from scratch, use other packages to easily create grid items, how you can customize Umbraco’s rendering of the Grid.

And most importantly – when NOT to use the Grid - yes there are cases

Pete Duncanson

Time to Raise Your Perception Periscope!

Time to work on our soft skills instead of just our software. Pete talks about how developing is more than just problem solving via code and that you as a developer can make your client, team and project run smoother and happier by thinking about how others receive your work, your mood, your communication. Level up and start to understand the power of other people’s perceptions and how they can impact on you and how you can manage them for a better outcome for all.

Alex Vilmur

AMP Up Your Website

More and more people are browsing the internet on their mobile devices. What's more, as of 2015, searches conducted on mobile devices have surpassed those on desktops.

Because of this, Google is now leveraging "Mobile-first indexing", where they rank a website's content based on it's mobile performance before that of desktops. Google and other search engines have announced numerous tools and resources to help web developers create mobile-friendly websites, like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

In this session, you will learn what AMP is all about, what it looks like in search engines, and how you can integrate it with your current Umbraco website.

Matija Grcic

Progressive Web Apps with Umbraco

In this talk you will learn what exactly makes something a Progressive Web App (PWA) and how to create one using Umbraco as a backend.

Exposing raw data stored in Umbraco in a simple format that gives a consistent and an easy way to hyperlink between resources we can serve content in multiple formats and to any consumer.

We’ll use React to enrich sites with content combined in small reusable components and build your first Umbraco driven PWA.

To achieve, test, and better explain the process we will use Chrome DevTools so be prepared to enhance your knowledge.

Paul Marden

Umbraco powered Intranet for Harwoods Group

Harwoods Group is a large automobile dealership with franchises across a number of premium brands including Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover and Audi.

In 2016 Carbon Six delivered an Umbraco 7 powered Intranet. It is hosted on Umbraco Cloud, with a number of interesting features including SAML based security, integration with ActiveDirectory, customization of Umbraco Forms to support complex workflows and approval processes, development of a custom package for managing social media integration and content personalization.

This talk will review the key features, discuss how these were implemented, issues and key achievements.

Jason Prothero

Anti-Patterns: The Funniest and Craziest Things We've Seen from Inherited Sites

For better or worse, ProWorks has adopted quite a number pre-existing Umbraco sites (call us crazy). We are going to share some of the wildest Umbraco practices and architectures we have seen.

Paul Gower

Unit Testing in Umbraco

Unit testing is a great way to help you improve your code and your team. It allows you to make changes or refactor your code to improve it with some confidence that your changes did not break a project. I am sure many of us realize the benefits of unit testing but find it difficult to do when working with a CMS or platform that you don't have full control over. This is the situation we will be discussing and I will show you how I have added unit tests to my customizations that are built on top of Umbraco.

Nik Wahlberg

Closing Comments

Nik will summarize the day's events and follow up with news and information for evening activities and Friday's sessions and speakers.

Andrew Barta

State of Umbraco - Closing

Come hear the latest news about Umbraco's foothold on the CMS marketshare.  Find out what's happening in North America and abroad and how you can be a bigger part of the community.  Thank you to Scandia for organizing this year's event!

Check out videos from 2016!

Niels Hartvig

Keynote: Umbraco HQ and Beyond

Straight from the horses (ehem, I mean Unicorn's) mouth, hear what's currently going on with Umbraco and the community and what's in store moving forward with the State of Umbraco Address.

Søren Spelling Lund

E-commerce Your Clients Give a C**p About

Your clients care about solving their problem, which in e-commerce terms is to sell.

In this talk you'll get practical insight into how you can use Umbraco 7 to create e-commerce stores your clients give a crap about; regardless of which platform your client uses.

You'll get concrete techniques and examples based on real-world experience from dozens of existing Umbraco stores, you can leverage tomorrow in any store to increase sales and delight your clients.

Heather Floyd

Building Grid Layouts Based on a Framework

The Grid Control in Umbraco 7 can revolutionize the building of modern responsive websites, but does represent a bit of a departure from “traditional” Umbraco website building practices. In this session Heather will present the best practices and lessons she learned while doing two sizeable grid-heavy builds. She’ll cover:

  • How to think differently about specifications, design, and architecture when utilizing the Grid
  • Using the Grid with strongly-typed models
  • Creating complex custom widgets – without Angular knowledge
  • Elegant error-handling for Grid widgets
  • “Grid on Steroids” – Customizations of row settings and the rendering framework file
  • Tools and tips for grid-building ease

Andrew Watt

Use Case: Southwest Power Pool

You have a client that wants a document repository on steroids? A full service search and deeply integrated events and membership area? Then Umbraco is the management tool for you. In this session you’ll learn how Umbraco accomplished these goals and more for Southwest Power Pool, a company that keeps the light on for millions! Andrew Watt will show the complexity of each challenge and discuss how his team built the frontend and back office to meet and exceed each goal.

Matt Shull

Umbraco and the Need for Speed

Site speed is a critical part of a great user experience. In 2014, 40% of users abandoned a site if it didn’t load within 3 secs. In 2015, users demanded more and expected sites to load within 2 seconds for both desktop and mobile. So what does that mean for 2016 and beyond? How can developers use Umbraco to ensure that their sites meet and exceed user expectations?

Fear not, in this session you’ll learn how to meet those expectations. This session will discuss current performance techniques and how to include them into Umbraco. We’ll look at live websites using these techniques and what performance challenges our team encountered during the development, how to set site speed metrics for a project, and how to test site speed to make sure you’re meeting your goals. Whether you’re a beginner level or advanced - developer or designer - there’s a lot to learn on how to deliver your content to the user at a high speed.

Kevin Giszewski

Pushing the Limits - Umbraco Media

Imagine having 15k+ images that need to be keyworded, protected behind a username, automatically cropped and live in the cloud. This session involves pushing the limits of the core technologies that power Umbraco.

We will explore how to search and archive all of those images without the need for a database along with some of the challenges that were overcome. In the end you will come away with a feeling that anything is possible with Umbraco.

Heather Alvis

Reshaping Requirements with the Grid - Verifone Media

Come find out how we've reshaped our workflow to take advantage of the Grid Layout. Using Verifone Media as an example, Heather will cover methods she used to document requirements and define scope of a project that heavily utilized the grid. In this session:

  • Discover why the grid's flexibility is useful & attractive to content editors
  • Learn how the flexibility of the grid can simplify project specs
  • Learn how to build replicability into project process
  • Explore ways to define widgets so they reduce scope creep
  • See how we used the grid in a production site


This session is primarily geared toward project managers, business analysts and client-facing individuals. The information provided should help you develop and manage proposals, requirements, estimates and scope to improve communication with clients and your team.

Theo Paraskevopoulos

Hi-end Personalization with Umbraco

Personalization is a hot topic in digital marketing. Done right, it can lead to a dramatic increase in traffic and conversions. Although light-touch personalization can increase user engagement (“Welcome back, John!”), richer rewards can be reaped from advanced use cases, such as using social mining to make product recommendations or tracking abandoned carts.

Commercial CMSs rushed to fill this gap a while ago, rebranding themselves as "customer experience platforms." Umbraco has taken big strides in this area as well though. With a flexible API and packages such as Personalization Groups and (my very own) Pipeline CRM at our disposal, we can now compete for briefs which require complex design or content personalization.

In this combined use-case and technical session, I will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of personalization, and present examples of this fast-moving practice. We will then do a technical deep-dive, looking at code samples and integrations that help us deliver highly personalized user experiences with Umbraco.

Sunday Coulter

If you build it, Will they come?

You have just built the best Umbraco site ever created... or did you?

Sure the code is rock solid, the visuals are smokin’ hot… but guess what? Your visitors really don’t care about that... or do they?

These are just some of the questions that WILL BE ANSWERED in this presentation focused on the importance of bringing ALL the pieces of web site creation together. We all know Umbraco is the best CMS on the planet, but what other tools can we use to measure our users’ experiences and how can we use this data to make the sites even better? I will not be touching on the Umbraco admin UI/UX for this talk, others have covered that, my focus will be on the introduction and exploration of tools that will give us, as site builders a better understanding of the full spectrum of responsibilities of building AMAZING WEB SITES.




Pete Duncanson

Error Handling Like a Pro

Errors happen and they tend to happen when you least want them to, after launch. Join Pete as he wades through the murky world of sensible error handling and logging that goes beyond just throwing it into a Log file that no one ever reads. Backend to frontend is gets looked at in Pete's usual opinionated style.

Kyle, Janae & Erica

Skrift - The Community Driven Resource


Mark Bowser

DevOps: Code Deployment, Content Deployment and more!


Bob Baty-Barr


With 20 plus years of marriage, family, career and the never ending pursuit to find the fountain of youth, I have been in the rat race, started and failed as a small business owner, earned a black belt and have learned to be a loving husband, father and member of several communities. This session will share some of my personal highlights and low lights while exploring why the elusive topic of work-life balance has become such a hot button topic.


Favorite / Must-have packages and techniques


Blake Smith

Setting Up Your First Site

Walk through a step-by-step process to setup your next Umbraco site. This use case will demo some of the basics and look at a way to give your content editors a little more control.

Per Ploug Hansen

Umbraco 7.4

Whoa! Come get the latest with this major release that makes life so much easier for developers and an even better experience for our editors!

Paul Sterling

Closing Comments

Paul talks to us all about the future of Umbraco in the US and how we can come together as a community.

Attendee Stats

Top Selling Points

We were hoping that uWestFest would continue to get better year-over-year, and 2016 certainly did that. The tracks and speakers were outstanding and of course the community feeling and camaraderie second to none. You'll miss out if you don't attend in 2017.

Paul Sterling

North American Lead, Umbraco

Company Types

uWestFest is a great way to meet fellow Umbracians from North America and learn interesting ways to apply the friendliest CMS to common problem domains. uWestFest is always on my short list of conferences to attend each year.

Kevin Giszewski

Senior Web Developer, University of Notre Dame

Attendee Age

There’s a reason why Offroadcode has attended every single uWestFest since it started 3 years ago. The North American Umbraco scene just gets bigger and bigger every year and the conference has shown a steady increase in both quality and attendance. Such a great community.

Pete Duncanson

Managing Director, Offroadcode

Sign Up for Early Early Bird
Pricing for 2018!

Thinking of registering for the 2018 event? Don't miss out on the best possible price. Sign up with us now to get a reminder when early bird tickets go on sale.