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Umbraco 7.5: An Upgrade That’s Well Worth it

Umbraco has been on a mission to make its software “a bit simpler every day.” On track towards this plan the open source CMS released its latest version, the Umbraco 7.5. The new upgraded version is packed with new features based on feedback from the active Umbraco community. We tested the new improved Umbraco to see how it does against our expectations and here’s how it fared.

There are some features that we found were worth talking about. These features make the site administrator’s life so much easier.

1. 301 URL Redirect Management: 

We’re so grateful for this fix. In Umbraco URLs are formed using page names by default. When and if you need to alter a page name, the URL changes. This means the Umbraco site administrator had to write URL redirection rules. The new version 7.5, however, comes with automatic redirect modules. This will auto generate URL redirect rules not only to the page for which name is changed but also to all its subpages if any.

 

As soon as I saw this feature I remembered one of the projects I had worked on for a client using Umbraco 7.4.2. My client’s website had a ‘news’ section and due to integrations with multiple language news sites and improper handling of html encoding and decoding my client’s data base was filled with special and illegible characters. There were problems in terms of SEO and broken links caused by invalid characters in the URLs. To fix this issue by manually correcting the content would have been hard and time consuming. So we identified the patterns of improper data and through scripts corrected it. Then, we republished the content and the URLs of the website were fine. However, we had the problem of broken links and indexed URLs returning to 404 page. We spent a good amount of time identifying URL formats and writing URL rewrite rules. If we had the URL redirect module as in Umbraco 7.5 it would have definitely saved a considerable amount of our time.

Even though the URL redirect management feature is an excellent one I would like to add one enhancement, i.e. allow site admin to edit the 'Redirected To' section. If allowed to edit the site admin will have more flexibility to add more SEO friendly URLs using 'UmbracoUrlAlias'.

2. Health Check Dashboard:

We need different configuration settings in development and production environments. Before Umbraco 7.5 the only way to check Umbraco configuration files was to validate. But now, Umbraco 7.5 has introduced a 'Health Check' Dashboard under the Developer section. This gives a quick overview of the best configuration practices for the production website.

 

The Health Check dashboard also allows the site admin to correct errors by just clicking the fix button or entering the right value.

3. Password Recovery:

Everyone goes through a bad and forgetful day. But now if an Umbraco user has forgotten their password, there’s no need to panic. Umbraco 7.5 is here to help! The simple, but much needed “forgot password?” feature lets one reset their own passwords without having to trouble site administrators.  This maybe a common feature in many portals but it was missing in Umbraco

 In addition to these great features, Umbraco 7.5 has also improved in terms of performance and memory consumption. It comes with a lot of bug fixes. Overall, Umbraco 7.5 is a fruitful release.

 Elizabeth Raj | Blogger

Manjunath Govindappa | ASP.NET Technical Lead

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