Umbraco v8: The features we’re excited for

Ben Haigh
By Ben HaighJunior Backend Developer
5 minutes to read

 

Umbraco v8 is the next instalment in the content management system (CMS). We’re already being teased with features despite the release date potentially being as far away as 2020! We’ve done a little bit of sleuthing and found more information on some of the features that we’re most excited for.

UX changes

Umbraco is practising what it’s preaching and have made some significant user experience (UX) changes to v8. The menu has moved to the top of the page and the icons are now clear titles. This is now much more in line with web design so looks like it should be intuitive to use. Plus, it’ll be easy for first-time users to get to grips with.

Data types have moved to the settings section which, for me, makes a lot of sense. This means the developers section is now left to house tabs for rebuilding indexes and flushing caches.

In addition to the new menu, information is presented in a much clearer, friendlier way. So no matter how experienced you are with Umbraco, it should be really easy to navigate your way around the CMS.

It’s small touches that will make a big difference. A simple widening of panels and shadow effect helps make it clear to users where they’ve been and where they are now. I always find that working with something that looks good makes the job that little bit easier!

The new cache, NuCache!

Umbraco is getting rid of the aging umbraco.config file and is doing caching differently. It’s moving away from traditional large XML files and instead using a key value store powered by CSharpTest.Net.Collections BPlusTree. This means that on start up, we can load the cache from a local store which not only saves us from making expensive database calls, it also means that the site will be back up to top speed much sooner. I mean, who would moan about a faster Umbraco?!

Variations and segments

Some of the most exciting features to come are variations and segments.

Variations make our lives easier. They remove the need for multiple nodes when creating multi-lingual sites, an increasingly important function. Content can be set on one page instead of editing the same page across multiple site nodes. This makes both content editor and developers very happy people!

Segments are clever wizardry that enables the site to change the content based on a user’s behaviour. It can also be used to optimise content for your users. For instance if you have a paragraph of copy that looks good on desktop but doesn’t scale well to mobile, you can specific within the CMS how it’s displayed and who it’s displayed to.

This obviously presents us with a LOT of marketing opportunities. Changing the content based on user location, how they’ve navigated to the site and a whole host of other factors give us the chance to display the right content at the right time. It’ll be useful for email marketing, conversion rate optimisation, user experience… the list is almost endless!

What does the future hold?

Umbraco v8 is probably still a long way off but there’s already plenty to be excited about. If segments turn out to be exactly what the Umbraco community is speculating it to be, it’ll be a powerful tool for providing an enhanced experience for users. And it could prove to be the edge for a brand over its competitors.

So all that’s left for us to do now is wait!

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Articles by Ben Haigh