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Introducing Umbraco 13: Features & Insights

The eagerly anticipated launch of Umbraco 13 is nearly upon us. The latest release of the platform takes a significant leap forward, introducing a suite of enhancements that promise to redefine content management. This version is a showcase of Umbraco's commitment to innovation, offering developers and content managers a more robust, efficient, and user-friendly experience.

What’s New in Umbraco 13?

Umbraco 13 is not just an update; it's Umbraco’s latest LTS version which will be a comprehensive upgrade bringing a whole host of new features designed to streamline development processes and enhance user experiences.

Improved UI

Umbraco 13 will feature a modern design with UI updates to help streamline workflows for editors. The most notable is a new way of managing content called “block insertion”, wherein users will have the ability to quickly drag and drop content modules on the page to quickly create and adjust pages on the fly. This redesign is indicative of Umbraco's continuous efforts to not just update but elevate every aspect of the user interface, ensuring that every interaction with the CMS is as intuitive and pleasant as possible.

.NET 8 and C# 12 Integration

The integration of .NET 8 in Umbraco 13 brings users improvements in memory management and performance scaling, while the support for C# 12 unlocks new language features for developers. This ensures that developers can utilize cutting-edge tools for more efficient development, leading to better-performing websites and applications. The importance of staying current with technological advancements is critical, and Umbraco's commitment to innovation ensures that developers have access to the best tools available.

Minimal Hosting Model

The adoption of the Minimal Hosting Model, which simplifies the initiation of applications, reflects Umbraco's alignment with the latest .NET best practices. This model reduces the complexity of starting new projects, offering a more streamlined development experience. The significance of this lies in faster project initiation and reduced potential for errors, demonstrating Umbraco's dedication to developer efficiency and project success.


The introduction of webhooks in Umbraco 13 enhances the CMS's interoperability with other systems, allowing for real-time data sharing and actions triggered by CMS events. This feature not only facilitates seamless integration with third-party systems but also underscores the importance of a connected digital ecosystem where platforms can communicate effortlessly, making Umbraco an incredibly versatile and scalable CMS.

Nested Field Limiting and Expansion

With the new nested field limiting and expansion capabilities, developers gain precise control over content delivery, optimizing performance by fetching only relevant data. This level of control is crucial for delivering content efficiently, ensuring a seamless user experience and reflecting Umbraco's focus on performance optimization.

Dynamic Root for Multinode Treepicker

The Dynamic Root for the Multinode Treepicker introduces a new way for developers to define a starting location for content picking. This feature is a stepping stone to future enhancements aimed at improving site performance through better caching and memory management, highlighting Umbraco's proactive approach to future-proofing the CMS.

Blocks in the Rich Text Editor

The ability to include blocks within the Rich Text Editor provides an alternative to macros, offering content managers greater flexibility in designing content layouts. This addition is not only about providing immediate solutions but also setting the stage for future content management functionalities, emphasizing Umbraco's commitment to evolving with the needs of content managers and continuing to solidify itself as “The Friendly CMS.” 

Umbraco 13 Insights

The release of Umbraco 13 - the latest LTS release - marks a significant milestone in the platform's development, introducing a range of features designed to streamline project setup, enhance integration capabilities, and improve both user and developer experiences. As we dive into these updates, we'll uncover how they not only reflect the latest in web development trends but also offer practical benefits that developers and content managers can leverage immediately.

Simplified Project Setup

The Minimal Hosting Model is a standout feature in Umbraco 13, reflecting a shift towards more efficient and modern development practices. This model aligns with Microsoft's recommendations and offers a less complex hosting setup, which can significantly reduce the time and effort required to get projects up and running. It's a move that caters to the needs of developers looking for agility and simplicity in project configuration, allowing them to focus more on creating unique user experiences rather than getting bogged down by hosting complexities.

Enhanced Integration Capabilities

With the introduction of new webhook functionality, Umbraco 13 opens the door to seamless third-party integrations. This feature simplifies the process of setting up and managing webhooks, enabling developers to create more dynamic and responsive websites. Whether it's integrating with CRM systems, marketing automation tools, or custom applications, the enhanced webhook capabilities ensure that Umbraco can serve as the central hub for a wide array of digital experiences.

Dynamic Content Management

Content management takes a leap forward with Umbraco 13. The Dynamic Root for the Multinode Treepicker and the inclusion of Blocks in the Rich Text Editor are just two examples of how the platform is evolving to handle more complex content structures with ease. These improvements not only make it easier for content managers to organize and retrieve content but also enhance the end-user experience by enabling more dynamic and interactive content elements on websites.

Security Improvements

Umbraco 13 doesn't just focus on functionality; it also brings additional improvements to security. This includes a number of more secure default settings to protect both content managers and end-users from potential security threats.  As always, Umbraco demonstrates its commitment to providing a platform that balances a seamless user experience with the latest security and technology. 

Developer Experience and NuGet Dependencies

Developers will appreciate the updated NuGet dependencies in Umbraco 13, which streamline the management of project dependencies and contribute to a more maintainable codebase. These updates reflect the platform's dedication to staying current with the latest development standards, ensuring that developers can leverage the most up-to-date libraries and frameworks as they build on the Umbraco platform.


Transitioning to Umbraco 13: A Strategic Approach

As Umbraco 13 introduces a new era for the CMS, it's crucial for businesses and developers to understand the best approach for transitioning from older versions. This transition is not just about accessing new features; it's about ensuring that your digital presence continues to be robust, secure, and aligned with the latest technological advancements.

Evaluating Current Systems

Before making the leap to Umbraco 13, take a comprehensive look at your current Umbraco installation. Assess custom code, third-party packages, and integrations to determine compatibility with the new version and what would be needed to migrate. This evaluation will help you identify potential challenges and to plan for a smooth upgrade process. An experienced Umbraco Gold Partner can help you evaluate your setup and identify any potential challenges and opportunities. They can also provide you with a comprehensive strategy to upgrade you to the latest version in the most efficient manner. 

Planning the Upgrade

Upgrading to a new version of a CMS should be approached with a well-thought-out plan. This includes:

  • Backup: Ensure that you have complete backups of your website, including the database and all files.
  • Testing: Set up a testing environment to trial the new version, allowing you to address any issues before going live.
  • Documentation: Stay up-to-date on the latest documentation provided by Umbraco for version 13 to understand the new features and changes in depth.

Training and Support

With new features and functionalities come new learning curves. Invest time in training for your team to get accustomed to the changes in Umbraco 13. Consider the support options available, whether it's through the Umbraco community or professional support services, to assist with any challenges during the transition. Enroll in HQ supported training or work with an Umbraco Partner that can provide training and education ahead of and throughout the life of the transition. 

Going Live

Once you've thoroughly tested and are satisfied with your upgraded setup, plan for a strategic rollout. Choose a low-traffic period for go-live to minimize the impact on your users, and have a rollback plan in case unexpected issues arise.


Transitioning to Umbraco 13 with Marcel Digital

As an Umbraco Gold Partner for over a decade, Marcel Digital is adept at navigating the complexities of upgrading to the latest versions like Umbraco 13. Our team of certified developers ensures a smooth transition, minimizing disruptions and aligning the upgrade with your business's unique goals. With Marcel Digital, you gain more than just an upgrade; you receive a strategic partner committed to your continuous growth and success in the digital landscape.

Let us help get you on Umbraco 13 so you can experience all of the incredible features it has to offer. 

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Our team of experts is here to help. We've developed and launched Umbraco custom and uSkinned sites for businesses just like yours, helping you make the right choices along the way!

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About the author

Kyle Brigham

Kyle Brigham is the Chief Strategy Officer at Marcel Digital. He specializes in client services and project management, but also original Nintendo games and ping pong.

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