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This is the last chance to update your website to SilverStripe 4.x

This is the last chance to update your website to SilverStripe 4.x

Just like bread is to butter similarly software also has a very close relationship with the word ‘update’. The strength of this relationship is so much that software is incomplete without updates & vice versa. But, having too many updates within short intervals can be extremely annoying, and realistically it does not add much value to the software as well.

From a business sense, going for a major update can be costly and take a lot of time as well. ‘Yes,’ it is important for software to continuously update because as customers we expect seamless performance but it is always not necessary to go for a major update to shine brightly and make an impression, but that is not the case always, instead,  minor updates can be rolled out to make the software have a buttery smooth performance.

However, if your business is having an extremely old version of software then it's high time that you go for that update because the old version will not be able to match your expectations as earlier since the new version will have a lot of performance and security enhancements.

SilverStripe also went from SilverStripe CMS 3.x to SilverStripe CMS 4.x and now SilverStripe CMS 4.x is nearing its 4th year in November 2021. Many users of 

SilverStripe have shifted from SilverStripe CMS 3.x to SilverStripe CMS 4.X but some are stubborn to go ahead with this update.

Many of us are afraid to go ahead with change because we fear the unknown and let the ‘What if's' take over our minds. Through our analysis, we were able to understand why you are not moving forward with this update. Therefore, we have compiled a few obvious questions that are most probably running wild on your head.

Why do you have to think of updating to SilverStripe 4.x more than before?

Forget about the update for a moment and let’s try to change your view about this question so that you can have a clear idea of why you need to go for an update. You are already aware that the fundamental framework of your website is based on the SilverStripe CMS 3.x and this version is about to reach its end of life in November 2021

So whether you like it or not you have to go for the update very soon. Don’t think of this situation as a ticking time bomb, instead think of it as a sweet dessert which you deserve to receive.

Also, there are a lot of performance enhancements in SilverStripe 4.x and it is a complete redevelopment of the SilverStripe 3,x framework. It's a tasty chocolate mousse that is heading your way instead of a sour dish, which is something that you can look forward to.

What’s new in SilverStripe 4.x and how stable it is?

For now, will stick to features that truly stand out rather than tiring your eyes with a whole list of features.

SilverStripe has come up with some interesting features for SilverStripe 4.x.X that are worth your attention.

  1. File permissions :

This feature will provide you with more privacy or security for your files & folders. You may wonder how it is done. Certain permissions can be applied to your files & folders hence giving restricted access to other users. 

Don’t overthink & complicate what this feature means.

Campaigns: 

What’s cool about this feature is that it allows a set of content types on your website to be viewed and published as a collection.

Campaigns allow:

  • Individuals or teams to have a clear view of their collection of content that is in work-in-progress or needs to be maintained.
  • To review a collection of content as a draft.
  • Content to be published at the same time.
  1. Versioning:

This feature is all about the concept of ownership and as a result, the new Ownership API was introduced. This API allows dataobjects to be published repeatedly. Therefore, now you have more refined control over what gets published.

  1. Content blocks:

Content blocks are a fundamental set of building blocks for your pages. So you can have a mixture of various blocks to make your web page. These blocks can be shared among multiple pages as well. SilverStripe 4.x is the only version that has fully functional content blocks

For a house to be strong it needs to have a solid foundation. Similarly, SilverStripe 4.x  has a solid foundation on its own because it has robust features that act as pillars. Therefore, you don’t need to have second thoughts about the stability of SilverStripe 4.x.

Will the new update be costly?

When going for a new update we always think about whether the update will scrape us of money or not. If the upgrade costs you a thumping amount of money then definitely most of us will take a huge backward leap, which is natural. 

Before getting to know the cost of the update you need to know how big your website is. Knowing that will help you to understand if the cost is reasonable. 

Honestly, you don't need to have a gigantic budget to upgrade from SilverStripe 3.x to SilverStripe 4.x because you are not re-engineering your entire framework, instead it’s only a change of versions. 

In terms of cost, it won’t charge you hefty prices but upgrading from SilverStripe 3.x to SilverStripe 4.x requires a lot of work and it depends on: 

  1.  How many page types do you have?
  2. Are there a lot of forms, and data types to collect?
  3. How many pages do you have on your website?
  4. Are there any e-commerce functionalities involved?
  5. Do you have complex business logic?

Can SilverStripe 4.x deliver better than its predecessor?

‘Yes,’ it can. SilverStripe 4.x is a remake of SilverStripe 3.x with a lot of optimization. There are a few reasons that make it more promising.

  1. It has a well-re-engineered data model that helps faster database transactions and queries. 
  2. It supports PHP 7.4 & PHP 8. PHP is the fundamental programming language Silverstripe is written on and these latest versions have significant performance improvements. 
  3. Files and assets are better managed using Flysystem. It helps you manage your protected files with restricted access, have multiple versions of the file records, and even connect your files with other data types which then automatically publish when the owner is published.
  4. Elemental blocks, Elemental blocks is one of the biggest updates which took place with Silverstripe. 
  5. New look for the CMS, and lots of react based front ends which makes the CMS faster. 
  6. GraphQL support and GraphQL is a query language introduced by Facebook. It lets you create APIs for your systems that can be customized.

Will I need the same effort when SilverStripe 5.x is released?

We are all hyped up when we hear SilverStripe 5.x. Because we want to know when it will be released. No official date has been informed as of yet. There is a possibility that SilverStripe 5.x will be released towards the end of 2023 as the support for SilverStripe 4.x could end in the latter half of 2023. Keep in mind that the release of SilverStripe 5.x is a longshot and no official release date has been mentioned as of yet. 

However, as users we expect an upgrade to be smooth but upgrading from SilverStripe 3.x to SilverStripe 4.x was a lot of work.  None of us wants to go through that same hassle again. In the Stripecon forum held last year October, Sam Minnie mentioned that transitioning from SilverStripe 4.x to SilverStripe 5.x is most likely to be seamless. 

When it comes to upgrades, we have done a lot of upgrades for larger and smaller websites and we are fully capable of assisting any business with upgrades. Out of the many upgrades we have done SKOPE is the most recent and memorable upgrade we have done.