Sitefinity Release Notes

Sitefinity Upgrade: What's new in 13.3.7600?

Need-to-know information regarding the Sitefinity upgrade to version 13. *Click images to enlarge

The upgrade to Sitefinity 13 is scheduled for Sunday, May 16th which will introduce several key changes to the web content administration process. These changes will mostly impact content authors and designers. We'll cover the key need-to-know changes here below. 

Enhanced Security, Design, and Performance

Before we get into the new content administration features, it's worth noting that this new version of Sitefinity comes packed with an array of advanced web security features, an updated approach to user interface design, and a significant boost in performance, making the system not only look modern but feel new as well. Let's take a look at some of the mentionable improvements below.

NEW administration interface (UI)

Sitefinity 13 introduces a new administration area UI for many of the common screens used to manage web content. This new admin UI will be activated for all users but can be toggled on and off per user preference. This can be helpful for an initial acclimation phase or to compare for yourself what has changed, but we highly recommend against permanent reversion, as all of the key changes and benefits documented here are dependent on the new administration UI.

That being said, the new admin UI can be toggled ON/OFF by going to Administration > Switch new interface ON/OFF.


*Optional Personal Guided Tour

Sitefinity 13 now offers a guided tour to explain what's new for the new administration screens that have the new UI applied.

You can choose to either take the tour by clicking the Next tip link in the bottom right of the blue dialog box or opt-out by clicking the Skip this tutorial link in the bottom right.


Repositioning of key action buttons

The new interface offers a lighter footprint, improved performance, modern typography, better use of whitespace, and a more thoughtful overall user experience. As part of this, key action buttons have been moved from the top left side of the screen over to the top right. You'll see this reflected across all new admin screens.


Centralized Search

The admin content search functionality was previously hidden behind a button alongside the key action buttons, easily lost and underutilized. The new Sitefinity administration screens have the search field expanded and ready for use at the top of the screen. *When dealing with a site of any size, searching rather than digging can greatly increase productivity.


Collapsed Filters and Settings

The content filters and settings options have now been collapsed to help declutter the workspace, but can be accessed at any time by clicking the icons in the top right to expand the sidebar as seen in the images below.


New Process: Setting Home Page

The process for setting the site's homepage has changed with this new release. Previously, you would click the actions button next to the title on the list of Pages screen and choose to set the homepage right there in the dropdown menu. However, in Sitefinity 13, you will now click on the Settings ( gear ) icon, which opens up the sidebar panel. You will then click on the Set Homepage link which then opens up a distraction-free page selection screen. Simply select your homepage and click the Use selected button.


New Process: Creating Child Pages

The process for creating child pages has changed as well. Previously, you would check the parent page checkbox from the list of Pages, and the green Create a child of selected pages button would appear. In Sitefinity 13, you have two options. You will still check the parent page checkbox next to its title, but now you can either click the ellipses icon [ ... ] on the same line or click the Actions button above the list of Pages. Either option will present a dropdown menu where you can choose to then create a child page as well as other operations such as deleting the page or changing its template.


Newly Imagined Page Editing Experience

Small Changes = Big Improvements

Repositioning of key action buttons

The page editing experience has been updated as well and like the core admin area screens, the key page editing action buttons - i.e. the Publish and Save as draft buttons - have been relocated to the right side of the screen.


Publish without redirect (continue editing)

Another significant change related to publishing is that you are no longer automatically redirected back to the list of pages upon clicking the Publish button. Instead, you will remain in the page editor until you are ready to leave.

So now, once you've completed editing the page, click either the Publish or Save as draft button respectively to save your changes, and then click the back arrow [ < ] button in the top right-hand corner of the screen to leave the page editor.


Centralized Preview

The Preview button can now be found in the top center of the screen next to the document title.


More Actions Repositioned

The More actions button and its corresponding dropdown menu of options have also been moved over to the right side of the screen next to the Save as draft button with it's label changed to the ellipses [ ... ] icon.


Distraction-Free Content Block Widget Editor

Sitefinity 13 offers a new, distraction-free approach for content widgets. Previously, when editing the content of a page widget, an overlay modal box pops up to reveal the editing experience. Sitefinity 13 launches a full-screen, distraction-free content editor. Note the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML content editor is now displayed in a 'sticky header' toolbar at the top of the screen for formatting typography, inserting links and images, etc. with Save and Cancel buttons at the bottom.

In addition to design, the new Content block widget contains a few new bells and whistles, such as the ability to insert HTML tables. We are still working on incorporating our own brand-specific CSS styles into this new editor to better enhance the experience, so stay tuned for more on that.


New Process: Adding Wrapper CSS Classes to Content Block

There is a new process for adding wrapper CSS classes to the Content Block widget. Prior to this release, you would click the Advanced button in the bottom right of the WYSIWYG editor to launch the advanced options where you could then add CSS class names to the WrapperCssClasses field at the bottom. In Sitefinity 13, you click the settings icon ( gear ) in the top right corner which opens up the Advanced settings for content block screen where you can add your CSS.


HTML/Code View Syntax Highlighting

Sitefinity 13 introduces a dramatic improvement for code editing with the new syntax highlighting and code formatting abilities baked into the new full-screen WYSIWYG editor.


Dynamic Content-Type Editors

Cleaner, distraction-free approach

All of the main dynamic content administration has been updated as well. We'll use the News content type here to demonstrate the new UI updates, but these changes apply to all major content types including News, Blogs, Events, Images, Forms, Lists, Content blocksFeaturebox, and Classification of content

Repositioning of key action buttons, Search, Settings, and Filters

Just like with the new Pages admin UI, the key action buttons, search field, settings, and filters have all been repositioned to flow with the new content administration experience.


Distraction-Free Content Editing Environment

The administration screens for dynamic content types have been completely reimagined with a fresh, distraction-free approach to managing content. New typography and plenty of whitespace really aid in creating a friendlier work environment. You can see that the buttons have been similarly repositioned as with the Page editor and the save without redirection approach has carried over as well.

Once you've published changes, you must click the back arrow [ < ] in the top left corner to return to the main content type list - i.e. the list of News articles in this example.


New WYSIWYG Editor for Content Formatting

When focusing on a particular text field, the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML content editor — which was previously directly above the text field — now appears as a 'sticky header' bar at the top of the screen. This is where you can format typography, add links and images, work in code (HTML markup) view, and more. 


All Additional Fields Collapsed

All the additional content fields, such as Categories, Author, Custom fields, and so on are now collapsed by default, adding to the overall cleaner, distraction-free editing experience. Simply click on the group title or its corresponding arrow icon ( > ) to expand that group and reveal any additional fields.


As previously mentioned, these new interface changes apply to all of the main dynamic content types including News, Blogs, Events, Images, Forms, Lists, Content blocksFeaturebox, and Classification of content and we're confident that the migration to this new content editing experience will not only be easy, but enjoyable.

Better Image Handling

Cleaner layout and full-image thumbnails

Modern Layout for Image Galleries

A nice improvement with Sitefinity 13 is a more modern and overall better approach to the image galleries area.


Full-size Image Thumbnails

A long-awaited improvement to image handling in Sitefinity 13 is the move from cropped thumbnail images to full-size thumbnails, making it considerably easier to find the image you're looking for.


In closing

Change of the technical variety is rarely fun, but we're confident that the acclimation phase to this new content editing experience will not only be intuitive and easy but also enjoyable.

Please see our online Sitefinity Training for more specific information on using the system and if you get stuck, reach out to the IS Help Desk and they will route your questions appropriately.

Thank you for using the UTMB Sitefinity Web Content Management System (CMS), we look forward to building a better UTMB Web together.

Design, Tools & Training