The much anticipated release of Concrete5 content management system version 5.7.0 is now available. This version is the largest release by the Concrete5 team since 5.5. New interfaces, new tools and some pretty slick functional changes come with this big release. So is it time for you to upgrade?
In Pixo's opinion, although this release has some great stuff you will want to wait a few weeks until you start using it. With any CMS release there will be bugs and some minor performance issues that will be in any new release. The Concrete5 team is usually pretty quick in coming out with a new release within weeks of the .0 release and that is anticipated for this release. As Andrew Embler with the Concrete5 team has stated, "5.7.0 is not as fast as 5.7.1 will be. We have a long history of building big new stuff in a .0 release and then optimizing in a .1 release. Expect more attention to performance in the next version."
A possibly bigger issue with using 5.7.0 is possible problems with add-ons and themes that your site is using that might not be compatible with the latest release of Concrete5. Often developers tend to be kind of slow in putting out upgrades with the latest release so it often works to your advantage to wait a week or two until after the release of 5.7.1 to upgrade your website.
Having said all of that, version 5.7 is a leap forward for the content management system. Once a user becomes familiar with the new interface (which will take a bit of time) we believe that most concrete5 users will find this latest release will have a multitude of advantages and only help a businesses website.
It is worth noting, that at this time there is no way to upgrade from version 5.6 to 5.7. I'm guessing that may come in the future, but at this time because of permissions and other issues there is no way to do that.
Some highlights of what comes in version 5.7:
- A completely new layout engine allows for inline editing of content, layouts and style customization. Blocks can be dragged into the page and easily rearranged.
- Inline content editing uses the Redactor editor, a beautiful editor with deep integration to concrete5, and full bootstrap 3 interface integration
- The Dashboard user interface is completely updated. Navigating it is much easier, and the interface is much more attractive.
- concrete5's user interface is now powered by Bootstrap 3.
- The concrete5 Dashboard, main toolbar and Elemental theme are all fully responsive.
- Themes can optionally refer to grid frameworks, and can have full grid support built in. Layouts have been substantially updated to support these grid frameworks (as well as be fully responsive.)
- Theme controllers can control many aspects of a theme, including its grid framework, custom CSS classes that are available for different block types, which assets a theme supports, and more.
- Theme customization is completely rewritten, far more powerful and based on LESS.
- A completely new image editor is now built-in. Resize and crop images, and add filters.
- Conversations are now built-in, with the Conversations block replacing the Guestbook block. Conversations is a reusable, object-oriented way to build conversations throughout a site, and use the same system for powering a guestbook as ultimately powering a forum. Conversations features threading, asynchronous loading, file attachments, spam filtering, flagging, rating and more.