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Umbraco 12 vs 13: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to content management systems (CMS) like Umbraco CMS, staying updated with the latest version is crucial for performance, security, and user experience.  

The release of Umbraco 13 brings with it a host of exciting new features and improvements over its predecessor, Umbraco 12. And with Umbraco 8 retiring in February 2025, many people are beginning to explore which version will be right for them.  

Here are the key differences that you need to know about Umbraco 12 vs Umbraco 13. 

Umbraco 13 logo banner

Technical Foundations: .NET 8 and Long-term Support 

Umbraco 13 is built on the .NET 8 framework, marking a significant technical leap from Umbraco 12, which was built on .NET 7.  

This upgrade is more than just a technicality; it introduces numerous performance enhancements that directly benefit Umbraco 13 users. Notably, .NET 8 is Microsoft's latest long-term version, offering more robust and extended support than the short-term support of .NET 7.  

With .NET 7 support ending on May 14, 2024, and Umbraco 12's support ceasing on June 29, 2024, transitioning to Umbraco 13 means continued support for the years to come and better performance to match.  

User Experience and Editor Enhancements 

Put simply, the improved performance of Umbraco 13 will translate to a better experience for users—and it's this enhanced UX that makes Umbraco 13 a standout in the field of CMS.  

The introduction of pre-built blocks in the rich text editor is a game-changer. It allows the use of complex HTML structures in standard editors without overwhelming users with intricate details. This feature means blocks can be used anywhere a Rich Text Editor is present. Users of previous versions will know this presents a significant step away from the previous limitation to pages with block list editors. These advancements make for more accessible and responsive design so that standard users can easily create sophisticated layouts. 

Umbraco 13 has also upgraded its individual editors like TinyMCE, which now integrates with premium features such as accessibility checkers, link checkers, and spell checking. These enhancements (albeit at an additional cost) elevate the content creation process, and thus UX, to new heights. 

Umbraco 13 man smiling while on laptop in office

Low-Code/No-Code Webhooks 

Another notable factor in the comparison of Umbraco 12 vs Umbraco 13 is the addition of low-code/no-code webhooks. This new feature enables users to integrate with remote APIs for various actions, such as sending data to an external service when a new user is added. This capability simplifies processes that previously required significant backend coding, enhancing reliability and efficiency. 

Performance and Security Advancements 

In addition to UX improvements, Umbraco 13 boasts notable performance upgrades, especially for large-scale websites using Umbraco Forms. This improvement streamlines form submissions, catering to the needs of extensive web platforms. 

Security is another area where Umbraco 13 shines. While Umbraco versions 8 through 13 have security support, the shift to .NET 8 offers substantial security enhancements over .NET 7. Features like SHA-3 cryptography and support for Https Proxies, courtesy of .NET 8, provide Umbraco 13 with a more fortified security framework. 

Umbraco 12 vs 13 - Comprehensive Feature Integration 

Importantly, Umbraco 13 isn't just about new features; it also includes all the features from versions 10, 11, and 12, combined with the latest bug fixes. This comprehensive integration ensures that users of Umbraco 13 have access to the best of what Umbraco has offered over the years, along with the latest advancements. 

With its foundation on .NET 8, innovative features like low-code/no-code webhooks, and enhanced editor capabilities, Umbraco 13 is poised to offer an unparalleled content management experience. For those looking to stay ahead in the digital space, Umbraco 13 is a great choice. 

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