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Craft 5 First Impressions

Last week Pixel and Tonic released Craft 5 with an impressive list of changes and improvements. The most noticeable changes are with the author experience. The result is that Craft is even more flexible and powerful than before.

Another focus in this update is Security. Craft now comes with two factor authorization ((SFA) out of the box as well as passkey support (fingerprint or facial recognition). Additionally To-Step verification can be set to specific user groups. I can see making it required for site admins and content authors.

If this is not required users can enable 2FA by visiting their profile in the control panel and enabling it under the Password and Security settings.


2FA has support for the following authenticator apps - Duo Mobile, Google, Microsoft as well as password managers 1Password, Bitwarden. I have set up 2FA on my podcast site and it was simple and painless.

Card View

One of the best improvements is the Card View. On the listing page instead of a long table of entries it is now possible to switch to a card view. This view is further customizable by selecting colors and icons to represent the content type. Having the card view like this makes it super easy to to scan for specific types of content.

Card view

In the above screenshot from my podcast website We can see three types of content, podcast entries (green), guests (purple), and seasons (orange). Each content type can further more have an element thumbnail set.

When viewing that content type the thumbnail displays prominently as it does for the guests. When an element thumbnail is set for related content that is displayed in the card view the thumbnail displays smaller with a the background color of it's own type.

Additionally related content in the card view is linked to the edit screen for that entry. This is a really nice enhancement that makes scanning for content or types of content easy.

Sidebar toggle

Sidebar Toggle

A small improvement, but one of my favorites is the sidebar toggle at desktop sizes in the control panel. Now it's possible to reclaim screen real-estate by hiding the sidebar.

One thing I would like to see added to this is a hotkey so that I can toggle the sidebar with my keyboard rather than mousing down to the bottom left of the screen.

Other Features

There are several other enhancements to Craft 5 that I haven't had a chance to look at including:

  • Matrix blocks as entries
  • Icons and colors for all entry types (i.e. matrix blocks)
  • Nested matrix (matrix in matrix which will replace the super table plugin)
  • Inline entry creations and editing of related content
  • inline field creating and editing within field layouts
  • various accessibility improvements to the control panel


I'm looking forward to spending more time in Craft 5 and exploring all the changes and improvements. I am most excited about the new CKEditor that provides a better experience for long form content than using matrix content builders.

In the next few weeks I'll update my Craft CMS starter project so that it is ready to use Craft 5 on new builds. If you don't already use a boilerplate for your projects I recommend you listen to the Website 101 Podcast episode all about boilerplates.

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