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New in Craft CMS 1.3

Teaser to the article "What's new in Craft CMS 1.3?"
For a long time, the community demanded Pixel & Tonic integrate the popular ExpressionEngine 2 plugin "Matrix" into Craft. Today is the day when exactly this happened.

However, the plugin's functions were not simply inserted; the concept was usefully extended. So each Matrix can have different blocks of content types and fields. And to top it all off, Matrix is not sold as a paid extension - as initially intended - but is a core part of Craft 1.3.


Matrix fields consist of user-definable content blocks. Each block can contain as many fields as you want, according to the content you want to display. Within the matrix field, any number of blocks can be added, arranged, or deleted.

Matrix makes it possible to create articles like the one at Verge, which consist of texts, quotes, galleries, or tweets, without the order of these elements being predefined. Or a food blog that includes recipes as well as standard texts.

The advantage of this blog solution compared to the shortcodes of WordPress is that the operation is simple and understandable for the editor. Add a block with the click of a button, fill it and then drag and drop to change the order. Developers will live in control of the source code, as the markup for each block can be specified in the template.

As with all the other field types, matrix fields can be pinned to anything wanted: entries, assets, tags, users, or globals. Each matrix field in the database will have a contents table, but it will otherwise be stored the same way as the other field types.


I was puzzled by the statement that Pixel & Tonic needed only a few weeks to integrate the features of their Matrix plugin into Craft. Especially since the main work is said to have gone into the excellent UI. In the end, Matrix was the most requested feature from the community from the first day of the beta, and we had to wait until November for it.

So I'm all the happier that after five months of Craft, we finally have Matrix. For me, it's the missing puzzle to finally be able to use Craft in customer projects.

In September, when entry types and section types found their way into the CMS, I thought, "not much is missing now." But as of version 1.3, I can finally recommend Craft almost without hesitation.

Photo from  Thomas Sausen<

Self-employed web developer from Germany who started with WordPress websites in 2005, then moved to ExpressionEngine and lost his heart to Craft CMS in 2013. As the founder of Craftentries, he has been covering the Craft ecosystem since 2015.

Thomas Sausen Web Developer