Surreal CMS 7.0


I should have been more open about my progress with the new version. The last year involved having a second child, moving across the country, and a lot of related distractions — but I’m happy to report that things have stabilized and I’ve been making great progress lately. :tada:

The big news is that 6.0 has been scrapped. It’s gone through too many iterations, stack changes, and rebuilds that the number has been soured. Much like PHP skipped version 6, I’ve decided to move the next release of Surreal CMS up to version 7.

The 7.0 stack is powered by Vue and Node.js. There were delays caused by experimenting and mastering new technologies, fully redesigning an established interface, and rewriting 10 year old legacy code in a different language. As you can imagine, this is a huge undertaking — but it’s worth it.

Using a component-based front-end makes the app much more maintainable and easier to test. This means we’ll be able to roll out new features faster and more confidently with the new version.

The backend has been split into its own project and consists of a RESTful API. This lets us scale the backend independently from the front-end and, again, makes adding new features and testing things much easier.

Here’s a more realistic roadmap for 7.0:

7.0 - Initial Release

  • ETA: beta by end of 2018 (update)
  • A fresh, modern interface :nail_care:
  • New features such as content boundaries and static includes (these are game changers!) :star2:
  • A redesigned editor that’s even more intuitive than before
    • Beautiful editable guides :dart:
    • Contextual toolbars :hammer:
  • Longer revision history (potentially up to 5 or 10 years)
  • Support for FTPS, both implicit and explicit
  • Support for WebDAV
  • Support for custom CNAMEs with SSL
    • Customizable app name
    • Customizable logo for login
  • An upgrade tool for current users
  • Lots of behind-the-scenes improvements

And here’s what I’ll be working on after the initial release:

7.1 - Goals

  • Blogging :pencil2:
  • API version 2.0 :computer:
  • Webhooks :fishing_pole_and_fish:
  • SSH key-based auth (SFTP) :lock:

7.2 - More Goals

  • Two-factor auth (for logging in) :lock: :lock:
  • Spotlight-style search :mag:
  • Ability to restore updates after publishing via RapidWeaver, DreamWeaver, etc. :recycle:
  • A Surreal-powered search solution for your websites :books:
  • A widget you can add to your sites to let authenticated users edit pages without having to go through the admin panel first

More ideas (not critical, but nice to have)

  • A built-in backup services that securely clones your entire home folder with one-click restores
  • A website monitoring service that lets you know if a website goes down (before your clients notice!)

*Many of these ideas have come directly from users, so if you think of something great that’s not on this list, I’d love to hear it below!


Hang in there. 7.0 is well on its way. In the meantime, here are some screenshots of the new interface so far. (Subject to change, feedback appreciated!)

Sites View

  • A contextual sidebar has been added to provide more options in a less obtrusive way
  • Screenshots of each site are generated automatically
  • Pagination has been replaced with infinite scrolling
  • Search is super fast now

Edit Site View

  • Forms are familiar, clean, and easy to use
  • Breadcrumbs are sticky so you don’t get lost when scrolling through long pages

Users View

  • Users can have a profile picture and bio

Edit Profile View

  • Users can edit their own profile


  • Analytics is familiar
  • New open source charts library

6.0: What's To Come

Support for custom CNAMEs with SSL

SSH key-based auth (SFTP) :lock:

:heart: :heart:

Thanks for the update Cory, and congrats on the baby! I’m happy to see that you’re feeling better about Surreal’s future. :smiley:


That would be amazing!!!


So looking forward to this :smiley:

How about allocating an upload folder as per the user rather than just the site: that way, two or more users/editors of the same site can keep their uploaded docs and images separate and private/invisible from each other.

Joe’s uploads would be in his restricted area, while Jane’s can be in hers. He then can’t confuse his similarly named files in the “Manage Files” dialogue.


In my experience, files are best shared at the site level. If it’s something you need you can always use appropriately named subfolders.

It’s not a restriction but given an obvious convention, I’m sure users will have no trouble with it :slight_smile: