Clerk in 2023: A Year in Review


Wow! We had an incredible year in 2023, here is a list of everything we shipped...

This was a exciting year for Clerk, packed with new features and a growing community around Clerk’s user authentication platform. Let's rewind and celebrate some of the milestones that marked our journey!


Enhanced DX & Security

As part of Clerk’s mission to revolutionize DX, the focus was on removing roadblocks and streamlining workflows. To enhance security, Clerk implemented several key improvements, including eliminating third-party cookies, which can be used for malicious acts such as cross site scripting. Additionally, Clerk improved API key management for stronger access control; all of this means developers can build more secure applications with ease, using Clerk.

Upgraded Dashboard & Documentation

Clerk made it easier for developers to find answers and manage their Clerk integrations with a more intuitive interface and comprehensive documentation.

Gatsby SDK & Community RedwoodJS SDK

Expanded Clerk's compatibility with popular web development frameworks, making it even easier for developers to integrate user authentication into their projects. The major thing to highlight here is Clerk’s growing community and passion for enabling Clerk to work with the tools they love! Learn more in this changelog post.

This open-source template showcases the power of Clerk for building web and mobile apps with robust authentication.


Improved Next.js Middleware Integration

Clerk’s new Middleware allowed for seamless integration with the popular Next.js framework, allowing developers to easily add user authentication to their Next.js applications.

Fastify & RedwoodJS v4 Integrations

Further broadened Clerk's reach by offering official integrations with Fastify and RedwoodJS frameworks, empowering developers to choose the tools they love.

Documentation Overhaul

Revamped Clerk's documentation with better organization, search functionality, performance, and authoring experience, making it easier for developers of all levels to learn and use Clerk.


$15M Series A Led by Madrona & Domain!

This significant investment and domain move solidified Clerk's position as a leading authentication provider and fueled Clerk’s continued growth. Read more about our Series A in this announcement post.

SDK Performance Boost through Lazy Loading

Optimized performance by ensuring Clerk's pre-built components only load when needed, preventing initial render time delays and ensuring a smooth user experience.

Dedicated Chrome Extensions SDK

Opened up possibilities for secure user authentication in the booming Chrome extension market. Check out the starter repo on GitHub.

T3 Stack Tutorial by Theo Browne Showcases Clerk, Vercel & PlanetScale

The T3 Stack Tutorial highlighted the seamless integration of Clerk with other popular tools like Vercel and PlanetScale, demonstrating how developers can build powerful and scalable applications with a unified tech stack.


Clerk Becomes an Identity Provider

Clerk IdP enables large enterprise companies juggling Authentication between all their vendors to create a nexus through Clerk for Single Sign-On functionality.

Improved Phone & Email Input, Customizable Hosted Pages through Dashboard

Enhanced the user experience with more intuitive input fields and the ability to personalize the look and feel of login and signup pages, boosting brand consistency.

Full Expo 48 Support

Made Clerk a perfect fit for mobile developers using Expo, a popular framework for building cross-platform apps, and streamlined the creation of custom login flows within Expo apps. Learn more in this changelog entry.


Next.js 13.4 & App Router Support

Clerk swiftly followed the release of Next.js 13.4 and App Router stable by offering full support on May 5th. This made Clerk one of the first development tools and the first authentication provider to fully leverage the power of Next.js, React Server Components, and Edge middleware.

Enhanced Password Security & UX

May saw a significant upgrade to password functionalities in Clerk applications. Setting and resetting passwords became smooth and user-friendly, while breach detection and complexity tests ensured stronger security.

Developers gained complete control over password security through the Dashboard, allowing them to tailor password policies and requirements to their specific needs.

Stepping into the Public Spotlight

Clerk's presence in the community exploded in May. We transitioned from sporadic YouTube mentions to sponsoring and presenting at major conferences.

CEO Colin Sidoti's keynote at Reactathon, advocating for the power of well-designed components, and VP of Engineering Sokratis Vidros's talk at CityJS on building for JavaScript edge runtimes, solidified Clerk's position as a thought leader in the industry.

"How We Roll" Launch

May also marked the launch of the "How We Roll" blog series, offering a behind-the-scenes look at Clerk's technology and how it delivers a seamless user experience.

UX Tweaks & Optimization

Recognizing the power of well-crafted UI components, Clerk focused on subtle but impactful UX improvements. Highly customizable user avatars with hover effects and subsequent image size optimizations are prime examples of this dedication to user experience.



In June, SAML support was released to public beta, allowing companies to leverage Clerk to seamlessly integrate their internal tools and frontends with their SAML services. Just a few projects leveraging Clerk’s SAML offering include, Airflip a modern tool for procurement teams, Lawhive a powerful platform for finding litigators in the U.K., and Casa a LLM specialized in usage in Spanish.

Bot Detection

Clerk’s ownership of the authentication flows allows enhanced bot detection. Clerk’s hosted pages were retrofitted with layers of bot detection capabilities in June. Clerk also enabled self-service user delete, an important user privacy feature that every app collecting user data should implement.


Bot Detection in the JavaScript SDK

Clerk’s bot detection capabilities were quickly brought to the JavaScript SDK, including the pre-built components and hooks, ensuring that you can be much more confident about your users not being bots. This capability is a must-have for applications providing free trial or usage credits, user generated content, or social interactions, and comes with Clerk out-of-the-box with no additional configuration required.

API Improvements for Sorting Users & Organizations

The ownership of user management also comes with a responsibility - user data being stored with Clerk should not become a bottleneck when developing applications, and developers should be able to query the data however they want. July saw improvements to the APIs for querying users and organizations with advanced filtering and sorting capabilities, and better customization of the session token with custom user data.


Detection for Disposable Emails & Subaddressing

The defenses put in place to fight the bots got even better in August, when Clerk added detection for disposable emails and subaddressing. These capabilities make Clerk especially useful to AI products for which bots can be very costly.

Reverse Proxy Support

Another key infrastructure upgrade quickly followed - support for proxying the requests to Clerk’s Frontend API through a reverse proxy server!

The reverse proxy support unlocked an entire realm of capabilities, since your application can now be deployed on any domain (preview, staging, tenant subdomains etc) and have full access to authentication, as well as synchronization of signed in sessions.

“How We Roll” Conclusion

The blog series “How We Roll” closed out with its 10th chapter, rounding up prior chapters and summarizing how Clerk maximizes developer experience, application security, and user experience. The community made some amazing contributions to Clerk’s integrations ecosystem through a Vue, Elysia, and Rust integration, fully open source like all of Clerk’s integrations.


Account Portal

September saw the release of Clerk’s Account Portal, which replaced hosted pages as the fastest way to authenticate any application, by eliminating the need for the developer to build any authentication related UI at all. The Account Portal was a fresh redesign of the entire user experience, along with better control over the look and feel.

Custom Domain Registration

Clerk’s B2B offerings continue to get crucial upgrades, like custom domain registration for organizations, allowing users to automatically join organization based on their work email instead of requiring an invite from the admins.

Form Pre-Fill Ability

The pre-built components for sign in and sign up also received the ability to pre-fill the form, making them a lot more flexible and elevating the user experience.


Changelog & Roadmap

This is getting to be a lot to keep track of, right? We agree, and in October we addressed this through the new changelog and roadmap.

The new changelog page on provides a one stop hub for all the important releases and announcements, while the roadmap provides a lot of insight into the ongoing efforts of our product teams and provide any feedback for a new feature or improvements.

Custom Pages

We also want to make sure as developers scale their products and require user management capabilities that Clerk doesn’t provide, they don’t have to opt out of the pre built components and build completely new UI. Custom pages in user and organization profile take their extensibility to the next level.


Pricing Overhaul

We want the experience of Clerk to be available to everyone, including developers who don’t have paying users. We solidified our dedication towards the affordability of Clerk with a massive pricing overhaul, which came with 10,000 free MAUs for everyone, with the user’s first day free, and paid add-ons for the advanced authentication, administration, and B2B features. Read our announcement post for further details.

Hono Adapter

Applications built using Hono, a powerful and lightweight web server known for its compatibility with edge runtimes, also got access to Clerk’s authentication features with an official adapter!


Account Lockout

Account Lockout is a Clerk feature that enables you to protect your users from brute-force attacks on static credentials such as passwords or backup codes. When enabled it tracks all the attempts and locks down the account after 100, the default attempts, it’s locked for an hour!

Custom Roles & Permissions

One of our most sought after features of the year, custom roles and permissions, dropped in December, just in time for the holidays. Companies were able to simplify and improve their UX around roles, permissions and access provided to their end users.

As a part of this addition, we've added helper functions and components – has(), protect() and <Protect />. To learn more, read our announcement post.

FAPI Reference Docs

Our Frontend API documentation is back and better than ever!

Fetch User By Activity

Another drop was a new endpoint that allows insight into when a user was last active, this is great for all kinds of UX or admin dashboard implementations! Check out the changelog entry to learn more.

That's A Wrap!

Let's reach new heights in 2024 with Clerk, don't stop the auth conversation! Dive into the nitty-gritty with our technical wizards on Discord. Share your ideas, get expert advice, and join the Clerk community building the future of User Management. Plus, stay in the know with @ClerkDev on Twitter for all the latest releases and sneak peeks. Your seamless journey starts here!

Jacob Evans