Web application developer

Installing Umbraco on Localhost


Written by: willem | Nov 4 2012 3:52 PM

In this series of tutorials I will describe how I built my website. I used Umbraco as a CMS and did not know much about it. After struggling a lot and watching ours of video (which takes way to long, hence the pictures in this tutorials) I managed to understand the basics: installing umbraco with the provided blog , changing the structure of the default site and applying a custom skin. This first tutorial will show how to install Umbraco on your local machine, so you can practice, break it, install it again, and when you succeed, put it online. Before you start you will need to have Internet information server (IIS), Asp.net and Ms Sql server installed.

The tutorial will go through the next 4 steps in more detail:

  • Setting up IIS with a custom local host name e.g. http://umbraco
  • Creating a database in with Sql server management studio
  • Installing Umbraco with Microsoft Web Platform Installer
  • Running the Umbraco installer

Setting up IIS

Click the start button, type "IIS" and press enter.


If you have installed IIS properly, the IIS Manager will start up. Right click 'Sites' and click 'Add Web Site'.


Give the site a name, this will be the name in the sites list in the IIS Manager. Enter a path, this is the place IIS will look for the web sites's files. Enter a host name, this is the url for the web site. You can enter anything here as long as it is according to the url format. To keep things easy, I enter umbraco, so the site will be reachable on localhost by going to http://umbraco. Click OK until you're back in the manager.


Now open windows explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc and open "hosts" in a text editor. In this file you can define urls and ip addresses, in practice to overrule the DNS settings. What we want to do is to tell your computer that when you type in http://umbraco it should go to your local ip ( So lets add this rule to the bottom of the hosts file.            umbraco

Save the file and close your editor. Setting up IIS is done.

Creating the database in Mssql server

In this part you will create a database and a database user for the Umbraco installation.

Click start and type 'Management'. Click on Sql server management studio.


When Sql server management studio starts it will show a login screen. Depending on your installation of sql server you can login on local host, with windows authentication. If you changed these settings, make sure you login with an administrator account.


Click right on databases and click on 'new database'


The 'new database' dialog is shown. Enter a database name and click 'ok'.


Open in the object explorer of Sql management studio the 'security' folder and right click the 'logins' folder. Select 'New Login'.


Enter a login name and a password. If you are not sure about the password policy, uncheck this setting here. This prevents the obligatory password change on first log on, which locks the account for use with Umbraco. If you forgot this checkbox, or want to use the password policy, log on with this account in Management Studio and see if it works. If a password change is demanded, you can change it here. If you are able to log on with Management studio, Umbraco will be able to log on as well.


Next, click on 'User Mapping' and check in the databases list the Umbraco database. When selected, check in the roles list below, the 'db_owner' role.


Click ok and close Management Studio.

Installing Umbraco with Web platform installer

This chapter will describe the installation of the umbraco files. For this Microsoft's Web platform installer will be used. If you don't have it installed yet, you can download it here.

Click start and type 'Web platform installer'. Click on Web platform installer or press enter.


Wait a little:


The web platform installer will show a list of available applications. Type umbraco in the search box, right of the screen and click Add.


Then click options in the bottom of the screen. This will show a series of extra settings. Make sure IIS is selected and Remote Database support is set to localhost. Click ok, click install.


In the next step, select SQL server (remote: localhost)


Click accept


It will download the files and after that show a configuration screen. In de 'Web site' drop down list, select Umbraco so it will takeover the settings we made in IIS. Click continue.


Wait again…


And finished.


Running the Umbraco installer

Start up your browser en go to http://umbraco or to the url you chose while configuring IIS. Click 'Let's get started'.


Click 'Accept and Continue'


Select the option that you already have a blank database and Microsoft Sql server as database type. Fill in the credentials you gave when you made the database user while setting up the database and click 'Install'




Now fill in the information for the main Umbraco user. With this account you will log on into the Umbraco system. Click 'create user'


In this step you can choose a starter package. I chose for the blog. In the next tutorial I'll show how to configure a website and will use this blog as an example. So if you plan to do that, install the blog here by clicking the icon.


Next you can install a skin. I will use the 'Sweet @s' skin in the next tutorial so if you plan to follow it, you should choose this one.


And we're done! Here you can choose to look at your website (located at http://umbraco) or go to the edit modus (http://umbraco/umbraco/default.aspx). Have fun with it!



  • Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization?
    I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords
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    antalya said
  • Since upgrading was not (really) possible with Umbraco I decided after a year to switch to Orchard for my CMS. So I don't know much more than this about umbraco. They have a good user base though, try to use their forums.

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About Me

I'm a web application developer specializing in asp.net. I have skills in asp.net, C#, html5, javascript, asp.net mvc, design patterns and more.

more about me

Random background module

This module for Orchard CMS lets you upload a list of images. For every page it chooses one randomly and sets it a the background image.

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The Monack Framework

This open source framework makes it easy to build and develiver custom web applications. Unfortunately I can't spent much time on it so it is still work in progress. 

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Since I decided to create this website in Orchard and didn't know anything about
it when I started, I also post my experiences with this CMS.