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31 March 2019

Taking Umbraco Down Under - Umbraco Down Under Festival 2019

The Umbraco Down Under Festival (UDUF) is a 3-day event of training, keynote speeches, and unveilings of new features. To say team zeroseven was excited would be an understatement.

Umbraco is an open-source content management platform for websites and one we love to use. Zeroseven just happens to be one of only 2 Umbraco Gold partners in Australia, and we’re proud of it. We also host the Umbraco events in Brisbane, so drop us an email if you want to subscribe to updates.

Back to UDUF. Our team attended the pre-party as well as the main event day. So first let’s talk about the pre-party.


The pre-party was awesome. It was a great opportunity to network with tech-lovers from across Australia, and we even had a few international guests. The food was incredible, and it was a great way to get to know different developers and project managers without having to do the awkward “find someone in the room you don’t know”. Luckily we didn’t have to do that - phew! It was a great evening with great conversation. We were happy to be sponsors of the night.

Main Event 

Over to the main festival day. We were at the QT Gold Coast, so our expectations were high, especially from the food the QT served the night before. There were no sad faces in the zeroseven team. With a great venue, and award-winning food we started off the day with coffee and pastries (is there any other way to start the day?) and got into the jam-packed day of expert speakers.


Speaker: Elizabeth from Zeroseven

Our very own Director of Client Services, Elizabeth Gibbons gave a great presentation on the power of persuasion and creating powerful pitches. Elizabeth spoke about the value of finding the right balance of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos:

Ethos: (ethical appeal) to convince an audience of the author’s credibility or character.

Pathos: (emotion) to persuade an audience by appealing to their emotions.

Logos: (logic) to convince an audience by use of logic or reason.

In client presentations or pitches, it can be tempting to spend far too much time on Ethos and telling them why you’re great.  But we also need logos to communicate things like costs, operations, technical offerings, as well as pathos to connect with them personally and abate their fears etc. Overall a great presentation by Elizabeth and everyone walked away with notes on how to improve their own powers of persuasion.


Streetfighter challenge

Amidst the excitement and knowledge of the keynote speakers, a challenge emerged. A challenge that could only be surmounted by one talented being at UDUF. That human being was our very own developer Haydon Gunn who took home the trophy of ultimate street-fighting champion. Of course, we mean the arcade game Street-fighter (no developers were harmed in the making of this festival).

Perhaps the most exciting part of the day (sorry Elizabeth and Haydon) was the announcement of Umbraco v8 (version 8) and all of the new features that come with it. It looked like Christmas had come early for our developers. 

There’s a bunch of new features in v8 and a few things to keep an eye on. Here are the top things you need to know about Umbraco version 8.


Feature: Multi-lingual out-of-the-box

Impact: Develop multilingual websites faster.

This will make it easier to build multilingual websites and makes Umbraco even more desirable for clients with language-diverse target audiences. In the past, Umbraco users had to rely on community-built packages, but we’re happy to say this is now built-in to Umbraco 8.


Feature: New content-caching model

Impact: Faster website loading!

Umbraco has completely rebuilt the caching engine from the ground up. Look forward to notable performance increases and an increase to scalability.


Feature: Infinite editing

Impact: Shortened initial development time of websites thanks to the new workflow model.

This new UI feature allows users and developers to change content structures, data-types, and model definitions from the context of where the user is at the time. Though it does provide a limited benefit to back-office content editors and does offer a significant advantage for developers and the initial website development.


Feature: Content apps

Impact: Build custom content apps to integrate with Umbraco

There’s a new API for developers to extend Umbraco’s capabilities in whole new ways by allowing for the creation of content apps. Content apps are contained applications that exist in the tabbed interface of the page editing screen. These apps can be built completely custom to provide any type of information the user desires. E.g. Direct integration with Google Analytics, to see real-time statistics on a page all from the context of the Umbraco page. These can be tailored to suit most of a business’ needs.


Notes for anyone on Umbraco 7

While we are very excited about Umbraco 8, we do need to make sure everyone on Umbraco 8 knows how it will impact their existing site.

  • There is NO upgrade path. Currently there is no upgrade path from Umbraco 7 to 8. While a method of content-migration is currently in development, we do need to be realistic on our expectations of upgrading an existing site from 7 to 8. Umbraco has confirmed that they will keep supporting version 7 until Umbraco 9 is released.
  • Packages are NOT compatible. Community developed packages from Umbraco 7 are not compatible with Umbraco 8. Umbraco has confirmed that these incompatibilities are easily rectifiable, but will need to be done by the developers of the packages. This should be carefully considered as many community packages that have been deprecated or abandoned.

If you’re thinking about changing to Umbraco 8, or are looking to build your website on Umbraco, get in touch and our team will talk you through the best options for you.


Keep Your Eye On These Packages

Nathan Woulfe’s Plumber and Preflight are currently in development for Umbraco 8. While these packages are community developed, they’re heavily endorsed by the Umbraco team.

  • Plumber: A package for creating advanced and straightforward content workflows. Extremely useful for large scale websites with many content editors
  • Preflight: A pluggable framework for content quality assurance. Out of the box, Preflight tests general readability (including Flesch reading level; sentence length; and word length and complexity), checks links, and provides a text replacement mechanism


What team Zeroseven had to say

This year we had a few members of team Zeroseven attend UDUF, and we had a ball. Here’s what the team had to say:




“UDUF was fantastic! It was great to catch up with Niels - Chief Unicorn of Umbraco who came all the way from Denmark for the occasion (and also to deliver some danish liquorice). I really enjoyed the pre-party and seeing Australia’s  Umbraco community come together”.

Elizabeth Gibbons - Director of Client Services 




“I really enjoyed UDUF 2019, especially with the release of v8. It will be interesting to see how this upgrade impacts our websites moving forward. We’re hoping for faster website speeds and reduced time for development which will only make things easier for our customers. I can’t wait for next year.”

Haydon Gunn - UI Development Manager




“This was my first time at UDUF and I loved it. Besides having a great venue (QT Gold Coast) and amazing food (the donuts were delicious), it was fantastic to connect with the wider Umbraco community and share experiences. My favourite keynote speaker was from Kris Deminick with ‘Burnout is a b*itch’ and reminding us to stop overthinking things and focus on getting sh*t done”.

Katie Mcdonnell - Project Coordinator


What's Next?

So what’s next? Elizabeth and Haydon will be heading off to Denmark for another Umbraco event soon, and we’ll be talking to our customers about Umbraco v8. Make sure that you’re subscribed to our emails (check the footer below) so you’ll be the first to know when our next Umbraco event is on in Brisbane!



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