Umbraco 9 is the latest version of open-source CMS, Umbraco. With this major update comes major change, however, most of this has happened behind the scenes.
With the long-awaited transition away from the .NET framework over to .NET Core/.NET 5, we spoke with our Senior Systems Developer, James Tyne, to ask how NetConstruct is handling the upgrade to Umbraco 9 and what it means for the websites we build.
What are your thoughts on Umbraco 9?
I think the best part about the Umbraco 9 upgrade is that it looks the same as Umbraco 8. People who use it won't have any big changes to get to grips with. It was previously based on .NET Framework, which is getting out of date, but it’s now built on .NET 5, which is the latest Microsoft version. This means that it's using all new tech and it has better performance in the background.
Are there any notable changes for developers with this new version?
There are definitely differences for developers but because it's using the new version of .NET there are new technologies that we can make the most of in the background. So, it's got tag helpers, a new Microsoft dependency injection and view components to name but a few. These are all factors that help developers build faster.
Now that we're using the latest Microsoft technology, we can hopefully build our websites quicker.
What are the main benefits of Umbraco 9 versus Umbraco 8?
In theory, all websites that are built on Umbraco 9 should be much faster because it’s using the latest tech. Not only is it excellent for developers, but the performance for clients is great too.
Umbraco 9 was released in September; however, Umbraco 10 is scheduled for release in spring 2022 using .NET 6 which is quite a short release cycle. When they release Umbraco 10, it will be released as an LTS (long term supported) version which means clients will receive two years of support and an extra year of security updates.
The plan is to release a new version of Umbraco on every new version of .NET as Microsoft are also planning to release them annually with long term supported versions of .NET released every two years. This means Umbraco aligns themselves with the .NET releases.
The two things can then come together, work together and be supported for the long term. In theory, you should be able to upgrade more easily from version to version. But if you don't want to, you still have three years of product support.
What we are doing to provide support clients through this upgrade?
For our clients who wanted to build on Umbraco 8 prior to the pre-release of Umbraco 9, we changed our build process. This meant structuring the websites in a way that they would be structured if it were built in Umbraco 9.
Now, when it comes to an upgrade to Umbraco 9, it will be a fairly straightforward process as we have structured our code to take account of these technology changes.
Does the upgrading to Umbraco 9 change anything to the editor?
A content editor could log into Umbraco 9 and not even realise they've entered a completely new version. That’s how similar it is. When Umbraco 8 was released, there was a different look and feel compared to version 7 but from version 8 to Umbraco 9, it really does look the same.
This means content editors can be confident that when they upgrade, all their tools will remain the same and they won’t have to learn anything new. I think that has been the goal of this upgrade: to keep it the same but on the latest and greatest technology.
Our experts are dedicated to building high-quality websites with the best and most recent software on the market. If you would like to see what our developers like James could do for you, or you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.