Feb 08, 2024 / Craft CMS

Everything you need to know about Craft CMS 5

Craft CMS 5 now in beta

Now launched in beta, both Craft 5 CMS and Craft 5 Commerce are on the horizon.

We were lucky enough to get a demo of the latest Craft version at the annual Dot All 2023 conference. Since then, all we’ve been able to think about is how it’s going to improve the website experience for our clients, their customers and our developers. What’s abundantly clear is that it’s going to mean some big changes in authoring, delivering a much more intuitive and seamless process to non-developers who use the system. Here’s what you can expect from Craft 5.

What's new in Craft CMS 5?

A major visual change is that elements such as entries, categories or users can be displayed as cards in the control panel. These element cards can also be customised to show specific previews, which includes being able to add key information to the cards such as price or a content overview. This change makes navigating Craft CMS a much more visually intuitive experience. It should also save you time and improve the overall process when you're working on and editing your Craft CMS website. The table view is still an option and you can apply colour coding here, so it’s entirely up to your team what approach you take.

The latest version of Craft CMS
Image Credit: Craft CMS

You’ll also notice that the elements now have their own menus allowing you to carry out typical actions such as edits or viewing the content in a new tab. And the introduction of bulk inline editing will allow you to carry out multiple edits in table view without having to open each item individually. This will be useful for authors who need to carry out minor edits such as price changes and should prove to be a real time saver!

Overall, the Craft 5 CMS control panel promises a refined user interface (UI) and the look and feel is much more crisp, lighter and user-friendly. It has some nice touches such as being able to toggle the sidebar for an icon-only view. You’ll even be able to colour code your entry cards and other elements, making it easier to customise to suit your way of working in the CMS.

Craft 5 brings huge improvements across the board, from authoring experience to content modelling to DX. It’s our biggest, most ambitious update—ever.

Pixel and Tonic, Feb '24

Craft 5 CMS and the dawn of entrification

Way back in March last year, Craft introduced us to The Entrification Plan. Aside from being a completely glorious play on words, this announced that Craft 5 would see the phasing out of categories, tags and global sets. They also promised a more unified information architecture (IA) for authors. The team has delivered on both. Categories, tags and globals are all now ‘entries’ and you’ll see all content in one place under this section. The major impact here is that you’ll be able to make the changes you need from here - all your content is in one place, nice and tidy, just how we like it!

There are a host of continent modelling updates in the new version of Craft; while you don’t need us to go into the finer details, just know that Craft 5 is going to give us developers a lot more scope to choose and improve how things are going to look from a display point-of-view. And overall, the page building experience will be more visually manageable for you. A nice touch is that you will be able to add content such as images directly into rich text content. Introducing nested entries might seem like a relatively minor change, but you’re really going to notice an improvement when you’re creating or editing those SEO-friendly, content-heavy pages.

What other functionality can we expect from Craft CMS 5?

We’re also expecting more functionality and flexibility when it comes to native fields. Currently, where an organisation has more unique or complex requirements for their website, we’ll seek out, or even build a plugin to ensure that your website is performing exactly as it needs to. With Craft CMS 5, the latest craft version, developers will now be able to make and manage a wider range of content elements using the native, or built-in, elements available.

And speaking of plugins, Craft Commerce 5 will be delivering some much sought-after functionality including multi-store, multiple currency and catalogue pricing options. This will allow you to set rules or pricing by product group or customer. So you don’t need to rely on promotions to offer discounts because you can set bespoke pricing.

Our commerce customers often require this type of functionality, and we have the in-house expertise to be able to deliver what they need. Historically, this has involved building our own plugins such as Commerce Currency Pricing or using third-party plugins such as the NEO field plugin. Now though, If you have these types of requirements and you're switching to Craft Commerce 5, the functionality is already there making for an even more seamless experience and intuitive way of creating content pages.

The latest Craft CMS version has multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication has now been built into Craft CMS 5, so for example, you can now use touch screen or facial recognition to log in. Not only does this make it more secure, it’s another example of how the Craft CMS team is helping to streamline processes for authors, by allowing them to choose the authentication process that works best for them.

We're here to answer your questions about the next version of Craft CMS!

Craft CMS 5 represents a significant advancement in content management systems, with enhanced features tailored to streamline user experiences and boost flexibility. Transitioning from categories, tags, and global sets to unified entry types exemplifies Craft’s commitment to simplifying and centralising content management, while the introduction of multi-factor authentication demonstrates dedication to security and user convenience. If you’re still eager to find out more, you can read a full list of the improvements over at Craft CMS.

Empowering users and developers alike, Craft CMS 5 is ushering in a new era of digital content creation making the future of content management brighter and more promising than ever before. We can’t wait to get stuck in, but we’ll have to wait a little while longer because we never launch in beta and here’s why.

In the meantime, if you’d like to discuss how your organisation is likely to benefit from Craft CMS then get in touch and we’ll talk you through everything you need to know.