The new Umbraco version 11 released on December 1, 2022. This latest version is running now on .NET 7 with more improved features, which is the obvious expectation from a new version. Most importantly, users get a new Block Grid Editor that is a delight for content creators and developers.
For packages and integrations, you get a new marketplace, and many amazing updates are there. Umbraco 11 is bringing an out-of-the-box experience to the table and giving plenty of reasons to be excited about it.
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Is Umbraco 11 merely a CMS release?
Umbraco 11 is a milestone release of this CMS with several updates, improvements, and new features for developers and editors. And the icing on the cake is this version is not only offering updates to the CMS; you get an impressive marketplace with Umbraco 11 for integrations, browsing packages, and Tech partners, that too directly from the back office or new website.
The latest version of Umbraco also came up with a new home for documentation with much-improved discoverability and search options.
New features and improvements of Umbraco 11
A. Running on the latest .Net 7
.Net 7 and ASP. Net Core 7 both contain a long list of new features that make development swift and simplest and likewise Umbraco 10, you have access to the latest C# version.
C# 11 help you write more cleaner and readable code, without having to escape special characters. In short, together .NET 7, ASP. Net Core 7, and C# 11 assist you to be more productive and write better performant code.
1. New Property Editor: Block Grid Editor
Umbraco 11 has Block Grid Editor which is a new Property Editor focusing on getting you better layout and content structure functionalities to editors.
Umbraco 7 had a popular Grid Layout Editor, which was delivering layout capabilities to content editors; though the Block Grid Editor has taken a cue from the older Grid Layout Editor but built on modern and gen-next technology to provide an extremely improved experience.
2. Building Blocks
Block Grid Editor is based on Blocks (Element Types) that allow developers to create tailored editing experiences and content structures. If you have an idea about Block List Editor, the work becomes easier for you.
Using Blocks, you can configure content and settings more easily than with the old Grid Layout Editor. Moreover, you can use Property Editors to create the Blocks. In a nutshell, you have ample options and tools to create and/or tailor your editing experience.
3. Laying out a Grid
You can easily control the layout in the Block Grid Editor. It has two distinct ways; one is Size options for individual Blocks and another one is Areas that make predefined content areas that allow you to nest your grids and control their functionalities. This is basically to provide flexibility in your work creativity with the layout.
Also, there are predefined layouts in which you can resize individual elements and use them. These layouts have all the features such as adding Settings, drag and drop, copy/paste blocks, and Property Actions in the easiest and most familiar editing interface.
4. Advanced Configuration
So, now you know you have features to create a flexible content editing experience that focuses on freedom of creativity. With Umbraco 11, you get advanced configuration options that allow you to add custom views and stylesheets, control the size of the overlay for a Block, and also hide the content edit button to create an inline editing experience or to pull data that is impossible to edit.
These all tools are useful, and it is up to you if you wish to use them or not because they may or may not create a good editing experience. However, the tools can assist you to create an extremely customized editing experience.
5. Creating an attractive Frontend
The best configuration and amazing editing experience are just the beginning and then you need to translate into an impressive front end. Umbraco 11 gives you complete control over markup and CSS.
You have helper methods to render Block Grid Content; you can either use the example that comes readymade with Umbraco or create your custom renderer. You are also free to create partial views for your custom Blocks that come with utter support for Models Builder, which is surely some help for you as a developer.
6. Getting started with Block Grid Editor
Umbraco 11 has done extensive documentation for the Block Grid Editor so that no topic will be missed.
As soon as you add a new Block Grid Editor to your installation, you have the option to add a sample configuration that attaches some simple blocks (like Headline and Rich Text), and you are good to start. It is like the default configuration which was coming with the previous Grid Layout Editor however it is optional with the new Block Grid Editor.
B. Umbraco Marketplace
Umbraco 11 Package Section in the back office has changed with a new home for Umbraco packages.
Now, the new marketplace is browsable directly on marketplace.umbraco.com and it is available in the back office as well. The marketplace includes Umbraco packages for Umbraco 8+ along with integrations and profiles for Tech Partners eco-systems. The new marketplace is a place to go and find out what is possible with extending Umbraco and integrating third-party services.
Additionally, all the old packages are still there for older versions of Umbraco.
C. Uncluttered architecture
Umbraco 11 has abstracted a few of the tightly coupled dependencies, which were there in Umbraco 9 and Umbraco 10. Though these last releases have also worked in this area and created much cleaner architecture, there are a few dependencies that are difficult to upgrade or swap out.
The new version has brought improvements to the architecture. Most of the dependencies are referenced in a way that the changes will not be noticeable. And if you encounter any changed situations, the path forward is simpler.
D. Updated dependencies
The biggest benefit of having a faster release cadence is that the users keep on getting updated Umbraco with amazing features that make Umbraco an exceptional CMS. The updated version also implies more secure and performant installations with modern functionalities.
Upgrading from TinyMCE version 4 to version 6 with an improved user and developer experience and enhanced performance, is really commendable.
One important thing to note is that if there are custom plugins for TinyMCE, you need to migrate them.
And there are some more important updates
- Minimalist from 1.2.5 to 1.2.7
- Async from 2.6.3 to 2.6.4
- Event source from 1.1.0 to 1.1.2
- Mini match from 3.0.4 to 3.1.2
- Updated Smidge, Npoco, and MailKit
- Socket. io-parser from 4.0.4 to 4.0.5
- Engine.io to its latest version.
E. Umbraco 11 Forms and Deploy
The new version of Umbraco has new Umbraco Forms and Deploy as well. Since these two are new major functionalities, they are made in such a way that they will run seamlessly on Umbraco 11 and .Net 7.
There are version-specific upgrade notes for Umbraco Forms and Deploy to know more about them.
Getting started with Umbraco 11
Umbraco 11 is easy to install and use.
Umbraco 11 is available for all the new projects made on Umbraco Cloud, which is the easiest way to begin a new Umbraco project. So, what are you waiting for? Start creating your new project using Umbraco 11.
If creating a new project, you will be using .NET 7 for user; however, existing Umbraco Cloud projects need to follow significant upgrade documentation to move from Umbraco 10 to 11.
To install Umbraco 11 on-premises, you have Umbraco documentation to adhere to.
Umbraco 11 documentation
Though Umbraco 11 has some noticeable and breaking changes, maximum websites are related to the framework update and architecture changes. Thus, for them upgrading to Umbraco 11 is the easiest major upgrade as of now. But if need to upgrade other changes as well, then read the documentation carefully.
Click on Umbraco upgrade documentation and follow the instructions to upgrade your CMS. The good thing is a lot of Umbraco documentation has shifted to a new platform with improved design, better search functionality, and easier navigation.
So, now you can get all Umbraco documentation at docs.umbraco.com.
Umbraco 11 will make your site faster and more delightful to work with and that too existing installations can be easily changed with bare minimum efforts. It is available everywhere now; you only have to install or upgrade and start using this impeccable major release of Umbraco. To know more about updates, changes, and improvements, read Umbraco 11 release notes.
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