Not too long ago we reviewed Umbraco 9, calling it a significant milestone and a major step up from prior versions of Umbraco. In this article we’d like to share our thoughts on Umbraco 11 and see if it’s worth the upgrade.
- Alignment with .NET 7 and significant performance gains
- New block grid editor
- Updating and decoupling of dependencies
Alignment with .NET 7
Umbraco 11 runs on the latest version of the Microsoft .NET stack, which brings a multitude of improvements when it comes to performance. These aren’t only minor speed boosts either; performance was a key focus for this release and the results are super impressive.
TLDR; .NET 7 is fast. Umbraco developers, users and clients will get a much quicker experience.
Alongside the performance gains, there are some notable new updates too such as rate-limiting and output caching middleware; improvements to minimal APIs and OpenAPI options in the core.
New block grid editor
The standout feature for us has to be the Block Grid Editor. It provides a new editing experience for the back office with much more feature rich options and flexibility to allow the editor to focus on what they do best: curating great content with ease.
It’s now truly possible to provide a WYSIWYG like experience within Umbraco, and we’re sure it’s something that our clients will benefit from greatly. The nice thing here though is that even with the increased flexibility, the underlying developer experience is very familiar to those that have used the Block List since it uses Element Types to define content options.
Be sure to follow along the deep dive blog posts (part 1 and part 2) from Umbraco to view how it can be used to enhance the editor experience.
Updating and decoupling of dependencies
With every major release, it’s a good opportunity to upgrade some of the dependencies within the product. Umbraco have decided to bump up a number of these with the most notable being TinyMCE, the rich text editor within the back office.
From a decoupling point of view, ImageSharp is now added as a package and so can be updated independently of Umbraco, as well as allowing for other image implementations in the future.
One more thing…
Although that’s it from an Umbraco 11 perspective, there’s more! Umbraco Workflow is now a fully fledged product, taking all the great features within the package formally known as Plumber and a few extras for good measure.
A new marketplace has been launched and a new documentation site is a very welcome upgrade on the previous OurUmbraco versions. It’s now got a nice, clean look and feel with versioning, search options and better navigation.
Long Term Support (LTS)
It’s worth mentioning that although Umbraco 11 is noted as the latest and greatest, the Long Term Support (LTS) version of Umbraco is 10.
The reason for this is that Umbraco are now aligned with the Microsoft release tracks, with LTS versions receiving updates and patches for up to 3 years and Standard Term Support (STS) versions for only 18 months.
All of this is to say that if there is a version of Umbraco to upgrade to, and you’re not expecting continuous development, then Umbraco 10 might be the preference since it will be supported for a longer period of time. For new projects, Umbraco 11 would be a suitable choice.
The good news is that the Block Grid Editor and some of the other more significant features will make their way into Umbraco 10 so, even if you don’t upgrade to the latest version, you’ll still see most of the Umbraco benefits.
For Umbraco 10, there were a few handy updates too:
- Improved cross-platform support, now using SQLite for development
- WebP support for optimised images
- User permissions based on languages
- Read only mode for properties
- Runtime modes
- Maintenance page
Time for an upgrade?
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the Umbraco ecosystem, and an even better time to upgrade any of those legacy Umbraco websites that you might have. For reference, End of life (EOL) for Umbraco 7 is September 2023. It was a great version, but this now means Umbraco will no longer be providing any further updates for Umbraco 7, making it outdated and potentially open to security issues. But fear not; there are options available and our experienced team of Umbraco experts are here to support you. Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to get your upgrade underway.
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