Your Guide to Craft CMS 5 for Businesses

Craft CMS 5 was released in March 2024 and is now available and ready to use. The latest update to Craft CMS offers a new and improved interface. While some of the new features and updates are aimed at developers, this can streamline processes for the developer, meaning your website could benefit from faster turnaround, and you can use your website retainer time for other fixes or features.

Want to learn more about this platform? Check out our Craft CMS review or see how Craft CMS compares to WordPress. Meanwhile, we’ve created a list of some of the most important new features of Craft 5 and how they will benefit your website. Let’s get into it!

Key Updates from Craft CMS 5

1. General Changes

Firstly, Craft CMS 5 uses PHP 8.2 – we’ve discussed the importance of updating your PHP version previously, but essentially this means websites using Craft 5 will be using the latest version and be fully up to date. The team at Craft have also introduced a new middle-tier version of the platform, so alongside the previous Solo and Pro plans, there is now a Team option, ideal for SMEs or small teams.

The UI has also been refined, meaning a cleaner look and easier functionality with new icons, collapsible global sidebar and clearer breadcrumbs, and multiple accessibility changes have been implemented to improve compliance with WCAG AA.

2. Reusable Fields

Here’s one we’re particularly excited about – on previous versions of Craft CMS, developers needed to create multiple of the same field to use on the same page. However, with the new update comes reusable fields, meaning developers only need to create a handful of fields, which can then be used multiple times on the same page! This is key for speeding up development times and streamlining processes.

Additionally, entry types can now be created independently, so a developer can use them on multiple sections, and entries can be assigned multiple authors, which is ideal for demonstrating expertise when optimising your website for search.

3. Matrix Blocks Are Entries

Unlike versions previous to Craft 5, Matrix is no longer a separate element type. Each block you create will be saved as entries into the Craft 5 database with similar properties to the entries we’re all used to. This means that matrix blocks can be reused across entry types and field layouts for all sections and matrix block types. This integration makes data entry and general maintenance a lot faster for your developers, meaning they can focus more of their time on proactively improving your website. This was previously achieved with a plugin, such as Neo, but now, this can all be done by your developers directly.

4. Longform Content with CKEditor

Craft CMS 5 has updated their CKEditor plugin, which allows for more flex­i­ble long­form con­tent cre­ation. This update allows you to embed nested entries from inside the rich text editor.

5. Custom Element Index Views

Before Craft 5, you had no way of organising the content view other than adding and removing columns. Craft 5 allows you to customise how the entries look from the element index page. This is yet another update which makes general maintenance of your website quicker and easier.

6. Bulk Inline Editing

Ele­ment Index on Craft 5 offers the ability to make quick edits to element content in the Inline Editable Interface without the need for clicking into each element to make the change. This promotes a faster turnaround for these edits, allowing your developers to use your retainer time for more pressing fixes and features.

For example, if one of our team created an entry field on a page, and the client selected something like ‘services’ but wanted to change the content on services, instead of having to leave the page, we can edit the services page inline.

7. Passkey Support

In addition to two-factor authentication, Craft 5 allows you to speed up logins with a more secure passkey system. This comes fully integrated into Craft CMS 5 and doesn’t require any additional application or setup, making it so much easier to upgrade the security of your website. You can also set up biometric access using fingerprint or facial recognition.

Do I Need Craft CMS 5?

Like every system used to build a website, your Craft CMS requires frequent nurturing and updates, but do you really need the upgrade? In short, yes! This ensures optimal performance of your website, as updating your Craft CMS can make your website run faster as each update becomes more advanced to the last.

Learn more about the importance of updating Craft CMS on our blog.

Craft CMS Roadmap

The Craft CMS platform can’t support all versions of its product forever, and you can see from their roadmap of supported versions that older versions are slowly losing support. Craft CMS 3 is no longer supported, while Craft CMS 4 will only have full support for one more year, and basic security support until 2026.

Upgrading to the latest version of Craft is the easiest way to ensure your website receives the latest functionality upgrades until 2027 and is supported against critical security breaches through to 2028!

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the changes brought about by Craft CMS 5; if you would like to discuss this in greater detail or talk about how we can improve your website’s functionality and performance, please get in touch today and speak with one of the web development experts at Welford.

Ready to make the move to Craft CMS 5?

Get in touch today