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#H5YR, Umbraco 13 is here!

Umbraco 13

by Tony Gledhill

Umbraco has updated its CMS to version 13. Find out what the changes could mean for your website.

With the release of the newest Long-Term Supported (LTS) version of Umbraco CMS (Umbraco 13), now is the perfect time to upgrade your existing sites to take advantage of the new security and editor features. 

The release of Umbraco 13 has been made in tandem with Microsoft’s LTS version of .NET 8 and the latest version of C# 12 to support projects until Q4 in 2026, bringing support for updated syntax and various performance improvements.

Updated security and ongoing support

With more of the world heading online, it's never been more important to ensure that our internet-connected products are kept up to date to stay secure. With the release of Umbraco 13, this means that Umbraco 8 will be moving from active development to a “security” phase from Feb 2024. Whilst it has been one of the most popular versions of the platform, it will soon only receive security patches and no further features, with Umbraco making this version of the CMS End-of-Life (EOL) by Feb 2025. 

By upgrading to version 13 you can ensure that you will receive 24 months of bug, regression and security fixes, 12 months of security-only fixes (once in the security phase), which in total provides 36 months of support. 

get a head start with Umbraco 13

To expand on the above, Umbraco has multiple penetration tests every year, with security patches being released as soon as possible after any vulnerabilities are reported. Code-based attacks are actively developed against and assisted by the platform. For example, the CMS product has increased protection from database attacks (SQL injection attacks) and Cross site scripting attacks (XSS attacks). However, after the “security” phase there will be no further releases if a vulnerability was to be found.

What are the newest features?

Umbraco CMS 13 has some nice new features for developers and content editors. For developers, with the release of .NET 8, improved garbage collection has been added that can lead to improvements in performance on larger-scaled sites. These improvements also showcase advantages when it comes to more sustainable websites, with a smaller carbon footprint benefiting our planet.

Dynamic Root

Xpath, which was developed in 1998, will soon be retiring from use in the Umbraco Backoffice. This is primarily used to traverse up and down the content tree when using the Multinode Treepicker (MNTP) datatype. Umbraco has also released a new feature called Dynamic Root, which allows developers to create content selectors in the back office with some added performance improvements, as the content cache will no longer be used to select content. 

Block updates

For content editors, Updates to the rich text editors will now allow for content editors to include custom content blocks from the Block List and Block Grid into the rich text content. Umbraco is also planning to release more reusable content with Global Blocks, something that we are particularly looking forward to using with our clients.

Upgraded image support

ImageSharp has been upgraded to version 3.1. This brings some security and performance benefits, as well as the introduction of a new supported image format - Quite Ok image (Qoi).. Watch this space for support in the image library. Animated Webp and PNG are now also supported.

Content Delivery API enhancements

Output caching has now been added as an opt-in feature to the content delivery Application Programming Interface (API) service. This allows for calls made to the API to be cached in memory to reduce the number of calls that are made to the database. This feature is turned on/off via the applicationSettings.json. Although an excellent way to increase performance, it does come with some trade-offs. The cache does not expire automatically when the content changes, and it’s also advised not to use memory caching when using personalised content.

Webhooks

This exciting new addition to Umbraco CMS 13 allows real-time, event-driven communication with your site to post notifications elsewhere, allowing for updates to your teams and other systems. They are a lightweight way for Umbraco to trigger instant actions and synchronise data. 

For example, when a user publishes a page in Umbraco, this can notify Slack of the details of the page that was updated. Or we could trigger a build from a 3rd party hosting service to fetch the latest changes if our site is hosted with static files. 

All of the webhooks are customisable from within the Umbraco Back office in the settings section.

Umbraco 13 webhooks

Developers are able to customise all of the attributes of the webhook, including URL, the event type, even the type of content or media that needs to be targeted.

All of the responses are sent back in the JSON format, which is a web standard supported widely on the internet. Developers are also able to add more than just the default events by writing a custom web composer and adding more options to be used when creating a webhook. All of these are then configured for each of your environments through the new webhook setting in appsettings.json

Umbraco 13 JSON

Umbraco Forms and Umbraco Deploy

As well as Umbraco CMS getting a release, the Umbraco Add-ons, Umbraco Forms and Umbraco Deploy are also getting new versions, released to coincide with the new support for .NET 8. There are two updates that could bring some performance improvements for sites that have increased traffic. 

The first is the addition is for Umbraco Forms and the addition of async/await workflows, which should allow a user to submit a form and view a confirmation immediately, allowing Umbraco to process the data behind the scenes.

The second is for Umbraco Deploy and the introduction of webhooks support - for the transfer of schema between environments, as well as adding webhook events for deployment operations. 

Updated login screen

With each new version comes a new back office sign-in page, and Umbraco 13 is no different, which has a brand new backoffice login screen. This update gives developers a sneak peek into the new “Bellissima'' update that is coming to the back office in Umbraco 14. We are particularly looking forward to seeing the next release of updates for this.

Umbraco 13 login screen

If you have an Umbraco site, we can help. Our Umbraco team is part of the gold partnership programme and can assist you with everything, from upgrades to building new sites.

Tony Gledhill's avatar

Tony Gledhill

Senior Developer

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