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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.

About Composr CMS

About Composr CMS

Hello all,

We have been asked a few times to summarise why to upgrade to Composr, so I've quickly put together this article that summarises what you need to know. It's not a marketing piece, just some simple raw facts.

What is Composr to ocPortal?

Composr CMS builds on, and streamlines, ocPortal. It has been significantly improved and upgraded to make it a better product inside and out. Improvements made tidy up a 10 year legacy of an evolved product, and set it up for the next 10 years.

Composr CMS is not a rewrite of ocPortal, it is a rebrand, very major new version, and enormous cleanup. In other words, Composr CMS 10 can be considered the next version of ocPortal from a technical point of view. There are a few features and addons we removed, but essentially only ones that were completely broken, dated, or extraneous.

When to upgrade

Users may upgrade at any time. We are being very conservative with getting out of release candidate phase, but the current release candidates are much more stable than early gold releases of ocPortal major versions were. We're just being more cautious and stringent with Composr release management, so it has been in release candidate for a very long time until we prove to ourselves it is solid enough to ramp up the marketing.

Reasons to upgrade

Reasons to upgrade to Composr CMS 10 from ocPortal 8 or ocPortal 9 include...

  1. At some point in 2017 we will stop maintaining ocPortal with security and compatibility fixes. This will mean it will become incompatible with new versions of PHP and MySQL, incompatible with newer web browsers, and insecure, as all software ultimately will if not upgraded. This is the most boring reason but is perhaps the most important.

  2. Generally as technology evolves we will make small changes to accommodate this. For example, Composr CMS is Unicode so supports emojis typed on smartphones.

  3. Easier to use administration system.

  4. Many design improvements in general – almost everything has been improved in some way. We literally had a designer review every screen in the system, then went through making what seemed like endless improvements.

  5. A redesigned “social network” style header that can be used for checking notifications and private topics.

  6. New Sitemap system that allows auto-generated menus covering all dynamic content. The default v10 menu is Sitemap-based, but also can be changed into a hand-edited menu.

  7. Vastly improved documentation.

  8. Massive performance improvements

  9. Page templates

  10. Privacy controls for member content

  11. Infinite scrolling support

  12. Support ticket system email integration

  13. Content meta-data editing (e.g. edit submission dates for articles)

  14. Over 100 new config options

  15. Significant catalogue field improvements

  16. Media API (e.g. paste links to Google maps to get an embedded map) – anything that supports oEmbed or OpenGraph can be embedded

  17. Improved security:

    1. Stronger master password control

    2. Better session key complexity

    3. “Kid gloves” developer mode

  18. Improved translations. We've moved from Launchpad to Transifex and created a whole new translation architecture that is far more efficient to work with.

  19. Significantly improved WYSIWYG editing for setting up block structure and Comcode.

  20. New enterprise features:

    1. Aggregate content types

    2. Support for integration with Composr Mobile SDK, for developing native mobile apps

    3. WebDAV support

    4. Temporary passwords and enhanced password rule management

    5. Content reviews

There will be around 10,000 changes, so it's impossible to list them all. The above are just the main ones.

Also see:

… for more detail on much of the above.


We are currently working hard on Composr v11 which will focus on what we consider most important – extreme security, spam control, usability of themeing, and modern web design. It is our policy to not give release dates so we can't say when it will be finished. Our private plans are always subject to unexpected changes and staff availability.

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