When we get asked, “Should I Upgrade to Umbraco 8?”, the quick answer could be “Yes!” and to send you on your way, but there’s a bit more to it than that.
Umbraco 8 is an exciting upgrade and helps to set a new standard for the next generation of websites. While it’s still new to developers, we’ve just released our first Umbraco 8 site and the CMS has made some nifty changes to the content editing experience.
This means that while everything in the background will be cleaner, leaner and faster, it’s the content editing changes that will impact you the most – your digital marketing managers or staff who manage your company’s website content day to day, can celebrate because they’ll now have to spend less time hanging around in your CMS!
We’ve talked a big talk, so read on to delve deeper into the new features of Umbraco 8, what you need to consider before upgrading and what happens if you don’t migrate to Umbraco 8 just yet.
Improved editing experience
We’ve been fans of the Umbraco CMS for a long time now. It’s a user-friendly CMS to even the newest of content editors – and it’s getting even better with Umbraco 8!
With the latest version, you can say goodbye to the side menu and page editing in tabs and say hello to ‘accordion’ sections and content apps. These changes will make everything a whole lot easier to locate and work with. The ‘control apps’ also provide the possibility and freedom for an agency (like us!) to build an app that integrates analytics or whatever your business needs!
Indefinite editing feature
This feature has been built to create a ‘frictionless editing experience’, so content editors can create perfection on their website without getting lost a million clicks into the CMS. For all of you out there who are forever losing your place while image editing in Umbraco as you know it – get excited!
The new indefinite editing feature of Umbraco 8 lets you edit media within the page you’re working on, so no more being whisked away to the media library and traipsing back to the page again. Bonus!
We’re experiencing the effects of the increasingly global world we live in, having recently built three Chinese sites for some of our clients. Being multilingual is fast becoming mandatory for not only a well-performing site but also a converting site, and Umbraco 8 will make multilingual site editing more user-friendly.
The new language variants feature will allow you to create and edit language variants in the same project. So instead of editing your English homepage then leaving to find the Chinese version to edit separately, both will be editable simultaneously and in one page-tree. What’s even better is that in the back end, Umbraco 8 has been built specifically to support content variants better than ever before.
Alongside language variant support built into the Umbraco 8 framework, you’ll also be able to switch between languages in preview and publish all or selected language variants in one click!
Ok, you’re convinced you can’t live without it, but how does the migration to Umbraco 8 work?
The move from Umbraco 7 to 8 is a bit more complex than your usual upgrade, which is why we’re calling it a migration. The process looks like this:
- Migrate the Umbraco 7 database and your content to v8 using Umbraco’s new migration tool.
- Make sure to bring over your custom code, templates and any third-party packages (this is where the grunt of the work from the Tera Team happens)
- Do your final content tidy, utilising the new editing features as you go.
There’s a couple of things to think about before you migrate too:
- You will need to be on the latest version 7.14 to migrate using the Umbraco migration tool
- If your site depends on third-party packages, you will need to ensure that they will work with Umbraco 8 before attempting to migrate – but as usual, that’s something we will have a handle on before we start your migration.
What happens if you don’t migrate to Umbraco 8?
Umbraco 7 and previous versions still live on! Umbraco 7 will continue to get security updates but will not get any new features. We know that a lot of budgets may not stretch to a full website migration at the moment, but we strongly recommend upgrading your site to ensure it’s running at its best.
We’re updating our DLS too!
A DLS is a Design Language System and at Terabyte, we use our own DLS for Umbraco builds. Our DLS is a foundational piece of custom code that allows us to accelerate website build times and decrease build budgets.
Moving with the time is what we do best, and we were delighted to announce that our DLS was upgraded at the end of 2019 too. We’ve also just released our first ever Umbraco 8 site for Ross Roof Group. Have a look for yourself!