In 2015, we kicked off the new year with a week-long company retreat in Orlando, where we began work on Craft 3.0. The original plan was to port Craft to Yii 2, and spruce up the Control Panel UI a bit. We estimated we’d have it released by that September.
Three years and three months, 7,700 commits, three pre-release phases, a few scope creeps, a new e-commerce platform, 6 new hires and 3 new kids later, we’re thrilled and a little relieved to say we’ve finally reached the end of that effort.
It took longer than we expected, but for the right reasons. Craft 3 is significantly faster and more scalable, and it’s a modern, forward-facing platform that we’ll be able to build on for years to come.
What’s New, and What’s Coming
There are literally hundreds of new features and improvements packed into this release, but we’re particularly excited about a few of them:
- Multi-Site. Craft’s localization features are all grown up.
- Image Editor. Crop, rotate, flip, and set focal points on your images.
- Asset Preview. Quickly view your assets everywhere by pressing Shift + Spacebar.
- Debug Toolbar. Learn everything there is to know about how your requests are being processed.
- Element Queries. Fetch the exact content you need.
- PostgreSQL. Like MySQL, but way better in every way.
- Plugin Store. Discover, try, and buy Craft plugins right in the Control Panel.
Just as importantly as user-facing features, Craft 3 is a dream to develop and extend. It requires PHP 7 and takes advantage of all the performance and language-level features that come with that. It’s available as a Composer package. It’s built on Yii 2 and adheres to Yii conventions much more closely than before, so Yii’s documentation is more relevant. It follows PSR 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 standards recommendations, and uses widely adopted packages like Swiftmailer, Flysystem, Guzzle 6 and Twig 2, so the code feels familiar even if you’re new to Craft. And it lives in a public GitHub repo now, so it’s got public issue tracking, pull requests, and all the rest.
Thanks to all that foundational work, the most exciting part about Craft 3 is its future. There are lots of features and enhancements we can’t wait to start working on, mostly related to author experience and administrative stuff. In fact, we’ve already started planning Craft 3.1, which will improve workflows for collaborating and maintaining Craft projects across multiple environments.
Editions and Pricing
Craft 2 introduced the concept of “editions”, which were designed around three distinct use cases (Personal for personal sites, Client for small client sites, and Pro for everything else), and they were differentiated by features that we felt made sense for those use cases. The problem was, there were plenty of times where an edition’s feature set didn’t quite match up with the project’s requirements, forcing the developer to make a choice between buying an edition that wasn’t really suited for their project, or more often, contorting the edition’s features to get the job done.
We started to fix this in Craft 2.5 by making most of the content features available across all editions, and for Craft 3 we are pushing it even further by merging Personal and Client together into a new edition called Solo.
Feature-wise, Solo and Pro are almost identical:
- Both can have unlimited sections, category groups, asset volumes, etc.
- Both now have multi-site and localization capabilities.
- Both can now be connected to cloud storage services like Amazon S3.
- User management, user groups, and user permissions are still exclusive to the Pro edition.
- Developer support is still exclusive to the Pro edition.
Solo licenses are free, just like Personal was, and Pro is still $299 (plus $59/year for updates). We want the decision to be crystal clear: use the Solo edition when you’re building something for yourself (or a friend); and use the Pro edition when you’re building something professionally for a client or team.
If you’ve purchased any Craft Client licenses, we’ve gone ahead and upgraded them to Pro!