Umbraco – V4 Is The Future

Umbraco puts a stop to development of v5 #cg12, creates mixed emotions in the developer community – but we’re only interested in the positives.

dotAgency project manager James Russell is at the annual Umbraco conference in Copenhagen with up to the minute information

There’s a lot of information available (if you dig a little) to soothe your need for more insight within the developer community about v4 vs. v5 and why the decision was made to drop a new platform that’s caused such a mass positive reaction. In short it’s about platform performance and maturity; but if you’re a project manager, end-user or in a decision making role watching the Umbraco community then the plain English is going to be more relevant to you.

If you haven’t already, watch the Umbraco CodeGarden2012 Keynote. Presented by Founder Niels Hartvig, and outlines many factors contributing toward the core team’s decision to stop development on their latest and greatest product. Not an easy decision, for anyone.

At dotAgency, we’ve worked with our own and enough other CMS platforms and communities over the past 12 years to know the importance of a mature platform to deliver on-time and on-budget for our clients. Umbraco v4 enables us to provide the flexibility and scalability that our clients require, we’re hooked on the delivery and flexibility of content via custom document types. CMS’ have been enhanced with “custom” feature sets to allow for a content-by-design process, but Umbraco has always run off the back of the runs on the principal that “You can’t enter content until there is a place to put it” (a document type) – and this defines it as the most flexible and scalable CMS. An optimal foundation for building a skyscraper, rather than a one-size-fits-all Wiki House construction set.

Umbraco v4 has provided such a solid base that it is has meant that we’ve therefore only dipped our toes into v5 R&D, and have been recommending to stick with v4.7.x, as a mature platform since the v5’s release in early Q1 2012.

Umbraco v4 is a mature, stable and widely used platform with a highly active and welcoming community. There are 500+ packages available at for v4, and with 40’000+ users it’s quick and easy to find the information you need.


With the removal of v5 research and development time for the core team the entire community is now looking (and we should all expect to see) to the Umbraco team to deliver new features originally intended for v5, plus new ideas to be rolled out in v4 super-quick-double-time to prove it’s maturity, provide confirmation that the platform is just as strong as ever and to re-invigorate the community on v4 projects.

With the new focus on a widely used platform within the developer community it’s also safe to say that the buzz created at Code Garden 2012 will see some killer packages and movements in v4.8.


So, it’s up to you:

You can venture out and look for another CMS, switch technologies, or choose an expensive licensed product.

You sign a petition to advocate sharing and get your hands not only the v5 source, but the documentation & architecture behind the build. Perhaps wait for a new branch?


You can continue to work with a mature, well-documented and well-supported platform that is organically growing in popularity with end-users and the development community in parallel.

The above aside, we say roll on v6.


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