Umbraco 7 or Umbraco 8

Should You Stick with Umbraco 7 or Leap into Umbraco 8? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Umbraco is a CMS built on Microsoft ASP.NET. Umbraco 7 was released in 2013, while Umbraco8 was released in 2020. Both are still supported and both are still receiving updates and improvements.

Version 7 was built on the ASP.Net Framework, which limited it to a Windows environment. Umbraco 8 is been built using the latest ASP.Net Core, which, besides bringing significant performance improvements, can be hosted on most mainstream operating systems.

A lot of the features, bug fixes, and improvements requested for version 7 have been implemented in Umbraco 8 from the start. Umbraco 8 was designed to solve many of the issues with workflows and speed that users reported while using 7.

Umbraco 8 offers 3 new features over Umbraco 7

  1. Infinite Editing
  2. Language Variants
  3. Content Apps

Infinite Editing is Umbraco’s implementation for their new back-office CMS workflow. This allows content editors to edit content more easily, access related content, and intelligent stacking and expanding of windows. This means the editor does not need to leave the section they are editing to do a related task.

For instance, an editor does not need to navigate away to the media admin, to upload and tag an image, or create a gallery, while editing page content.

Language variants allow content nodes to have multiple variants for each language, this is now part of the core functionality rather than through a 3rd party package.

Content Apps allow developers to create “plug-ins” which are contextually relevant to the content you’re working on. It can even bring you suggestions on how to improve your content while you’re creating it.

For instance, the “Preflight” content app checks the content you’re working on for general readability, including the Flesch reading level, sentence length, word length and complexity, as well as checking links and providing suggestions and replacements.

Umbraco provides an official migration path from 7 to Umbraco 8 for the database and content. Custom code and 3rd party packages need to be manually rewritten or re-installed, and cannot be migrated automatically.

In summary, Umbraco 8 is a well-built improvement of the CMS and offers valuable new features and performance improvements.

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