Our first thoughts on Umbraco 11

Ravi Motha
Published December 15, 2022 by Ravi Motha – Developer & Umbraco Community MVP

As an Umbraco Gold Partner we took some time out last week to review Umbraco CMS version 11.  

So, what are our first thoughts on Umbraco 11, the exciting new release from Umbraco with a host of improvements and features?

And why is now a good time to choose Umbraco CMS or upgrade an existing installation?

Significant performance gains

The new version is built on the Microsoft .NET 7 framework – the fastest version of .NET ever. This underlying technology has been considerably overhauled by Microsoft to give performance gains that result in better load times; in fact, between .NET versions 6 and 7 there were 1000+ performance improvements!

Our initial low-level tests found that the Umbraco backoffice was far more responsive when completing typical editor tasks. We also managed to benchmark page load speeds on identical sites running on version 10 vs version 11 and recorded page load gains of over 20%! Better performance can lead to a better user experience whilst also delivering SEO benefits at a time when page speed is still of significant importance. Improved performance, lower loads on the server and increased throughput enable Umbraco websites to serve larger numbers of concurrent users without a detrimental effect on performance.

Improved content capabilities

Umbraco has put a lot of time and focus into improving the CMS and its features, and it shows. In our opinion, Umbraco has taken a huge step forward in making the experience more intuitive for the editor. 

The block grid editor is a perfect illustration of this. The new editor experience moves away from content tied to specific templates and provides a far more flexible and modular approach for creating and managing content, including drag and drop capabilities. The block grid editor provides marketing teams and editors with more creative freedom whilst significantly reducing the need for additional development to produce new templates. 

From our early usage, we can see how the new editor experience will provide content editors with more freedom and flexibility whilst saving significant time when producing and managing web content.

Watch Umbraco's video to learn more about the new block grid editor.

Accessible to everyone

The Umbraco accessibility team, which is comprised of Umbraco HQ and community members, has been working on continually improving accessibility across the platform to help facilitate better experiences for end users with accessibility needs.

With Umbraco’s customisable back end, partner agencies and developers can ensure that key accessibility errors such as missing ALT text on an image or an incorrectly chosen header type are never neglected. This is configured by setting accessibility requirements and including them in the editors’ workflow.   

It also remains flexible, so any changes in legislation or accessibility standards can be easily addressed, helping to keep Umbraco websites compliant to WCAG standards. 

Overcoming content migration

The version of Umbraco that an organisation’s website is running on will determine the best strategy for content migration. There are tools available, such as uSyncMigrations and Moriyama Elevate, that can migrate content from versions 7 and 8 to version 10 (support for version 11 is coming soon).

Our advice is to carefully consider the organisation’s digital strategy before upgrading to the latest version of Umbraco. Teams that are looking to get immediate benefit from the latest content editing capabilities, improved speed and tighter security, will find the best solution will be to automate content migration like-for-like. On the other hand, if marketing or product teams are currently looking at either a website re-design or making improvements to user journeys and information architecture, a partial content migration or re-creating content within Umbraco 11 is likely the best option.

Tighter security and ongoing support

Another benefit of this upgrade is that it’s more secure and, if its needed, customers have the full support of both Microsoft (for .NET) and Umbraco HQ, as well as their partner agency or provider. Organisations running websites on Umbraco 7 or earlier could run into some serious security breaches and performance issues given that it reaches end of life in September 2023. After this date Umbraco will no longer be looking for vulnerabilities, so they will no longer release fixes for bugs, regression or security issues. 

A revamped Umbraco Marketplace

Available in the backoffice and browsable directly at marketplace.umbraco.com, the newly launched marketplace showcases the potential for extending Umbraco and integrating 3rd party services. Upon first review it appears more intuitive and easier to use than its predecessor.

Watch Umbraco's video to learn more about the revamped Marketplace.

The time to upgrade is now

Better performance, increased security, improved content capabilities, a new Marketplace and a range of accessibility options are all valuable reasons to consider upgrading to Umbraco 11. 

For those organisations with websites on version 7, now is an important time to consider the upgrade path given the September 2023 end of life deadline. 

Finally, for those organisations looking for a new CMS, Umbraco 11 is a very strong contender for many B2C and B2B public and private sector websites.

We’re here to help

If you would like to find out more about Umbraco 11, we would be more than happy to set up a session to discuss your organisation's needs with regards to the CMS. Talk to us on +44 0203 8650705 or get in touch via email at info@dotcentric.co.uk.

Interested in working together?

To learn more about working with us, talk directly with Alastair on 0203 8876616 or email al@dotcentric.co.uk.