Published Date: 25 August 2023
Umbraco 7 reaches its end of life on 30th September 2023 - get in touch with us today to plan your move to a supported version of Umbraco.
Your website is an important asset and one that should be maintained to keep your customers secure when they access your website. If you're still unsure of the options available or unsure of what decisions need to be made then please get in touch with our team of Umbraco experts.
With Umbraco 7 end of life date officially September 30th 2023, this article reviews what it means and what you need to do. Umbraco is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) used for designing and building websites. It provides an easy to use back office for non-technical people to manage content updates. Although open-source Umbraco securely govern how new capability is introduced on their platform where there are no forced software updates. Umbraco CMS is a highly flexible, and customisable platform that enables our web agency to create performant and custom websites. The platform provides core capabilities and principles needed to build engaging, secure and search optimised websites of all sizes and complexities.
History of Umbraco
The first release of Umbraco with version 1 dates back to 2005 and by 2009, Umbraco had a dedicated developer community actively building on its CMS. Over the years they have continued to develop their platform with releasing new capabilities within current releases and releasing completely new versions. With all technology products they either evolve over time with incremental updates or they become legacy/obsolete and are replaced with newer versions. The same applies to Umbraco CMS, they continue to add new capability as technology matures, user needs evolve, and market demands change – sometimes this means new capability cannot work with previous technology frameworks, tools, and versions.
Umbraco 7 was first released in 2013, making it 9 years old and in technology terms this is extremely old. If we look at where Umbraco is currently, Version 10 is the major version that launched in June 2022 and December 1st, 2022, saw the first early release of version 11. Technology advances quickly therefore it’s important for platforms to remain competitive with providing cutting edge technology, remaining compliant and secure to protect against evolving cyber security threats.
Umbraco 7 has been announced as being end-of-life which means it will no longer be supported by Umbraco HQ, this version has become legacy software therefore continuing support for it is no longer feasible.
Key dates for Umbraco 7:
- July 2021 Umbraco 7 became security only phase – this is when a product stops receiving feature updates, enhancements, or bug fixes, instead changes are only introduced to fix security issues.
- July 2021 Umbraco 7 was no longer available to create new website solutions on, all development had to be done on a supported major version.
- September 30th 2023 is when Umbraco 7 will officially become end-of-life – Umbraco will no longer provide security updates. Support for this version will stop and this version reaches the end of its product life cycle.
Since Umbraco 7 there have been other major versions of Umbraco with 8, 9 and 10 where version 10 is the current major version.
Umbraco 7 becoming end-of-life will be due to several factors:
- The version can no longer provide the latest or fastest features and capability
- It’s not possible or cost effective to introduce new technology or make new technology work with old
- Technology landscape changes rapidly which means Umbraco can’t support all versions indefinitely
Can you use Umbraco 7 after the end of life date?
If you have a website built on Umbraco Version 7, technically you can continue keeping your website on this version. However, even though you can it is not the recommended path by Umbraco, and you won’t find any reputable web agency advising you to stay on this version.
Often your website is the first validation point for your customers where they come to learn more about you and how they buy your services/products. Therefore, an important asset to a business that should be maintained to keep your customers secure when they access your website.
If you decided to remain on Umbraco Version 7 it will leave you with a website:
- that is at risk of security issues
- with outdated features or lack of new features
- that won’t be as performant as websites built on current versions
- that won’t be continually optimised for search
- that won’t be as reliable and secure as you are used too
- that cannot be supported should a new issue arise
Risks associated with Umbraco 7 end of life
It is important to consider the risks of remaining on an unsupported CMS version for your website:
- Risk of security issues – this version will no longer receive security updates, fixes or patches therefore it becomes vulnerable to new cyber threats which places your compliance requirements at risk
- Providing a website with outdated features or a lack of new features - your competitors may become the preferred choice if their websites deliver capability that is not available on yours
- Consider what it means to be on a legacy product, you are on a slower version, each new version brings significant gains in speed, performance, and reliability which you won’t be able to capitalise upon
The updates that come with each version are typically focused on developers to provide flexibility and the latest technology frameworks to bring significant performance and security benefits.
Provided new capability with user groups, improved user management and increased security facilities at the time of release.
Launched in Feb 2019 and delivered 18 minor releases, it has now entered into its phase of Long-Term Support until February 2024. It will continue to receive security updates until February 2025. This version was written using older Microsoft technologies with its use of .Net Framework.
Launched in September 2021 with 5 minor releases that followed initial launch, in this version Umbraco moved away from .Net to ASP.NET and .Net 5. This was a move away from the decisions made for version 8, it provided a more stable and supportable path with Microsoft technologies.
Released June 2022 with the framework updated to the latest .Net 6 for improved performance and cross platform support for both Windows and Unix- based platforms, along with a new version of Umbraco Forms. Umbraco 10 remains as the current major version, however December 2022 saw the release of version 11.
Umbraco 7 upgrade to 8, 9 or 10
There is no direct upgrade path from Umbraco 7 to 8, you can’t simply download the new version. Content can be migrated, but they fundamentally have different code bases. Umbraco version 7 contains outdated code and technology that cannot be upgraded to version 8.
An upgrade from Umbraco 8 to 9 requires work, where all custom code for the website will need to be rewritten and tested. The codebase between these versions differ as the underlying web framework has been updated from APS.NET to ASP.Net core.
There is a simpler process to upgrade from Umbraco 9 to 10 as there are no major framework or architectural changes, the update involves moving to the latest version of ASP.Net core 6 and .Net 6 frameworks. However, there are often breaking changes that will need to be fixed as you move from one version to the next, if anything breaks during the upgrade it requires development resource to fix and test.
Umbraco 7 to 10 is not an upgrade as the code bases and frameworks are totally different, with version 7 being built on older technology frameworks and version 10 is using the latest frameworks and tools therefore it is a re-build.
If you’re on Umbraco version 7 our only recommended approach is to re-build your website on the current major version which is Umbraco 10.
An Umbraco re-build means building your website again the same way we would approach building a new website, the re-build of your Version 7 Umbraco website would involve:
- Content architecture – there is an opportunity here to consolidate and tidy up how your content is architected
- Back-office implementation to support content editors
- Site navigation, URL hierarchy and structure
- Re-build all custom website features and functionality e.g. onsite search, contact forms, sign up, member areas etc.
- Third party system integrations such as payment providers, CRM, newsletter sign ups etc.
- Implementing fully mobile responsive page designs with improvements or a redesign if required
- Search Engine Optimisation ensuring alt tags, meta descriptions, performance i.e. page speed
- End to end testing includes mobile, cross browser, accessibility, and performance testing
- Technical elements to implement such as sitemap, robots, URL mapping from old site to new to retain existing search presence, implementing Google Analytics (ensuring new version GA4 is also implemented)
- Manage deployment to production/live include new security certificate implementation
Migrate Umbraco 7 to 8, 9 or 10
If you’re on Version 7 the recommended approach is to move to the current major version which is 10, a few reasons why:
- Building on the latest platform means your website will benefit from security, performance, features
- It’s not cost effective moving to 8 or 9 from 7 as it’s not an upgrade, it would be a re-build onto versions that will be entering into support phases
- Re-build is the only option – there is no upgrade or migrate from version 7 the code bases are different therefore requires your website to be re-built again
Although Version 11 has just been released, the move from 10 to 11 will be a simpler upgrade therefore re-building from version 7 to 10 would be the recommended approach. the upgrade to 11 will be similar from moving to a minor upgrade, for example 7.4 to 7.12.
How to plan for the re-building of your Umbraco Version 7 website to Umbraco 10:
- Talk to our Umbraco experts today who will guide and plan the whole process for you
- It is important to allow for sufficient time so we can plan the re-build ahead of time before version 7 becomes end of life and it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate the current website
- Early engagement enables discussions around improving user experience, benefiting from new features and capability to improve website performance, search engine optimisation and security
- Review existing functionality and assess potential improvements or removing features are not user friendly
- Secure time in the project plan for testing with end users of the website (User Acceptance Testing)
- Opportunity to optimise content including multi-media assets such as images and videos
The re-build is a significant piece of work however manageable with a planned project plan to track all moving parts, how much of a project it is in terms of time and cost will require an assessment of the existing site. The following factors will impact the time and cost involved in the re-build:
- Size of the current website in terms of number of pages, templates, components
- Functionality that needs either replicating or improving
- Required integrations with 3rd party systems that may be new or re-implementing or improving
- Website design if it is to remain as is or if it requires improvements or a re-design
Our advice is to start the process as soon as you can to ensure your website undergoes the right level of due diligence for a successful re-build and ideally launched ahead of version 7 becoming end-of-life in September 2023.
I-Finity is an Umbraco Registered Partner with over 10 years expertise during this time our expertise has involved building, upgrading, migrating, and re-building Umbraco websites across all versions. Our Umbraco experts have supported website projects across a range of requirements:
- New Umbraco website design and development
- Website upgrades / migrations / rebuilds to newer or current versions including minor and major releases
- Inherited Umbraco websites that have been built by other agencies and delivered improvements in terms of performance, code, features, functionality, integrations
- Migration of existing websites from other platforms such as WordPress to Umbraco CMS
- Delivered simple brochure websites to fully integrated Ecommerce websites
Everything we do is fully customised to meet the unique needs of our customers to deliver website experiences that are on brand for our customers. Connect with our team today and we will guide, plan and support your website re-build. You don’t need to be an existing customer of ours, if you require a new umbraco web agency please get in touch.
FAQs for Umbraco 7
September 2023 is when Umbraco Version 7 becomes unsupported by Umbraco, it will no longer receive any security updates or maintenance.
Once the date for Umbraco 7 end of life has past, your website will be using an unsupported version that Umbraco will no longer provide any support for which also makes it unsupportable for any web agency to continue support for it. Therefore, you need to plan for your website to be re-built onto the latest Umbraco version.
It is not recommended to remain on unsupported version as it will become vulnerable to security risks, should something occur without the support from Umbraco HQ web agencies may not be able to find a fix or resolution. Therefore, your website could become comprised which will impact your business operations and the experience for your customers.
Umbraco 7’s first release dates back to 2013 in technology terms it has now become legacy software therefore it isn’t feasible to continue supporting old technology when technology has significantly moved on.
Your website will continue to work however it becomes more vulnerable to security risks so you should consider if any data security risks impacted your website what it would mean for your business and customers. Also consider performance and cost of maintaining a website built on legacy software.
You cannot guarantee the security and safety of your website if you remain on an unsupported version that does not receive security updates. The world of cyber security evolves everyday and new online threats continue to emerge your version 7 website won’t be protected. Continuing to stay on an unsupported version means you won’t be able to provide your customers with improved functionality, capability, or user-friendly features. You will no longer be able to continuously improve your website solution.
There is no migrate or upgrade path from version to the current major version 10, it is not possible as the code bases are fundamentally different. Therefore, requires version 7 websites to be re-built using latest technology frameworks and tools.
The short answer is no - there is no direct upgrade path from Version 7 to 8, content can be migrated, but Version 7 contains outdated code and technology that cannot be upgraded to version 8. You would need to re-build your website for version 8 and it doesn’t make sense to do this on a version that enters into support phases in 2024.
Umbraco’s current major version is 10, you should be on version 10 and version 11 has seen it’s early release in December 2022, however version 10 is still the major version, there will be an easier transition from 10 to 11.
A re-build means building your website again the same way we would approach building a new website, all your front-end page templates, features, functionality, 3rd party integrations and back-office components will all require building and implementing again. This also means testing for mobile responsive, cross browser, accessibility, content uploading, managing URLs and SEO presence. There is opportunity with the re-build to streamline, optimise and improve user experience, SEO, performance and functionality.
Yes you can, it’s a good time to consider how the user interface and user experience can be improved. Use this opportunity to either make improvements to existing design or consider a redesign if your website no longer meets your branding needs or lacks visual engagement. A redesign can deliver significant benefits such as improved user engagement and increased conversion rates if it is considered alongside making functionality easy to use and performant.
The move is a re-build therefore it would be the optimal time to assess what works well and what doesn’t with your current site. In order to get the most out of your investment in the re-build we recommend you assess if your website delivers on what you need and if it doesn’t then a redevelopment project would be justified versus replicating and only making small improvements.
You should always consider and plan for keeping your website up to date with platform upgrades as ongoing maintenance so you can keep accessing new capability and ensure your site remains complaint, secure and performant. If your website is on version 8 you need to go straight to version 10, this will give you all the benefits that come with being on current technology such as security, compliance, performance, and user experience.
As a general practise a content management system should be regularly maintained each year as part of routine support and maintenance work. Upgrading incrementally keeps the CMS current, performant and reliable.
There should be a review each year to assess the benefits from an upgrade, if within that the year there are no real platform benefits then it should be done by year two as a maximum – anything longer than this starts presenting challenges.
Finally, it is cost effective to upgrade incrementally to avoid the need for a more complex migration, restructuring and re-architecture to bridge the gap between different versions.
Yes, you can move your website from version 7 at any time however waiting until after the version becomes end of life exposes your website to security risks.