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New features in Craft CMS 5

3 min read

Craft 5 is here, bringing an (even more) improved content authoring experience.

Craft 5.0.0 (stable) has been released, following a successful Beta throughout Feb and March. This is always an exciting announcement for us as a Craft specialist agency, but this time even more so, as it’s being touted as the biggest, most ambitious update to Craft - EVER!

Like with Craft 4, there has been a big focus on the authoring experience in Craft 5, with us seeing another big leap forward in terms of the user experience of the control panel - great for site owners and their editors.

There are lots of other improvements too, but content authoring updates always bring a smile to our face, as the ease of making site edits is really important to us - we want it to be intuitive, easy to navigate and a joy to use for our clients.

Here's some (not all) that content editors have to look forward to in Craft 5... you lucky things you!

Refined UI

The user interface has been updated and polished to perfection. Every detail in the control panel has been enhanced to be sleeker, cleaner and more user-friendly. With a fresh icon set, collapsible global sidebar, and improved functionality of breadcrumbs, navigating the interface is now smoother and more seamless than ever.

Element Cards

Element cards are a new feature which showcase element indexes and relational fields in a visually appealing format. These cards include a sizeable thumbnail and allow for customisable content previews, enhancing the overall presentation and usability of the elements.

Element Thumbnails

Element thumbnails now have a designated Assets field within field layouts, allowing them to serve as thumbnails for entries' chips and cards across the control panel interface.

Entry Type Icons and Colours

We can add some colour and vibrancy to the control panel with entry type icons and colours. Each element type now has the option to select an icon and colour scheme, which will give entries' chips, cards, and inline Matrix blocks a tint, reflecting their respective types, improving identification as well as aesthetic.

Element Action Menus

Element action menus have been introduced, enhancing the functionality of element chips, cards, and slide outs. These menus now contain convenient shortcut buttons for common actions such as editing the element or opening it in a new browser tab, improving speed and efficiency of editing.

Bulk Inline Editing

Bulk inline editing is now supported within element indexes, allowing users to edit multiple visible elements directly from the table view, streamlining the editing process and again improving efficiency.

Matrix Updates

Matrix fields now offer comprehensive support for all field layout features, including tabs, UI elements, and conditions. This ensures that Matrix fields are fully equipped with the same functionality as other field types, providing users with more flexibility and control over their content.

Live Conditions

Live conditions will be available for user edit pages and inline-editable Matrix blocks. This means that conditions set for these elements can be applied and updated in real-time, providing content editors with dynamic control and customisation options as they make content updates.

Security Improvements

Account security is enhanced with two-factor authentication (2FA), adding an extra layer of protection to the control panel login process. Passkey, which uses fingerprint or facial recognition technology for quick, easy and secure access to the Craft backend, can also be added.

Accessibility Improvements

Craft 5 includes significant improvements in accessibility, making further steps towards WCAG AA compliance within the control panel. Exactly what has been introduced hasn't been announced yet but we'll have more info once the site moves out of Beta.

Craft 5.0.0 is due to launch officially in late March and we'll be starting production development on Craft 5 as soon as it's been announced as stable and Craft 5-compatible versions of all of our favourite plugins are released!

If you are already running a Craft 4 website, there is no immediate rush to upgrade, as Craft 4 will continue to be fully supported until 30th March 2025, but it's always a good idea to initiate the upgrade process sooner rather than later, especially if you have a large or complex site. If you're considering significant design or feature enhancements, combining them with an update to Craft 5 makes sense.

If you want to move your website onto Craft 5 or want more information, please get in touch with one of our team.

Lauren Article

Lauren Swarbrick

Lauren has decades of experience forming authentic client partnerships and has a genuine desire to create better agency-client relationships.

She has specialist knowledge in digital strategy and digital branding.

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