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The Umbraco Upgrade Myth Buster

Published March 1, 2023 By Anders Holt

Are you considering updating your website solution from Umbraco 7 to version 10 or 11? And would you like to know what’s new and how it can work for your business? In the below text, we will bust some myths, talk through what you should pay attention to and discuss whether to upgrade.

Let’s begin.

To upgrade or not to upgrade

Updating to a newer version means new features, fixes, improved security and performance. It raises the opportunity to fix broken processes and functionalities and allows revamping and restructuring content to align with the business and marketing goals. Furthermore, it will make it possible to align with modern software architecture and policies, e.g., the MACH principles, join the composable solutions and integrate with other tools much easier.

Regarding the end-of-life version 7, it’s important to consider GDPR compliance and restriction to not process data through the end-of-life software, as security will be at risk after the lack of maintenance of the version.

Now, we will continue to present a couple of myths about updating and answer them based on explanations and solutions.

Myth #1 – Umbraco in version 7 will stop working after the due date on September 30, 2023

  1. It won’t! It’ll stop being officially supported and may need to be swapped in case of compliance reasons or GDPR data processing rules, but it won’t “blow up” and stop working.

  2. Some companies might have a 3rd party vendor flagging the issues with the software landscape they use, and Umbraco will be flagged as “red” in some of the checks as it’ll be marked as outdated and not supported.

Myth #2 – Umbraco upgrade is problematic and costs a lot

  1. It depends! There are multiple ways to approach the process – upgrade, rebuild, migration – and with each solution, there might be another way to get there faster and more efficiently. Basing it on the solution analysis, long-term goals, and business ambitions should result in the most efficient approach chosen, which is not always the longest and most expensive.

Myth #3 – I’ll upgrade now and need to upgrade again in the next x months

  1. Yes and no. The upgrade from version 7 or 8 is more demanding and challenging than updating from version 9 to 10, 11 and onwards. Smaller updates are easier and faster to be applied, and it’s always good to stay up to date, but it’s not another big rebuild to be happening soon, as the underlying technology won’t change that drastically now.

  2. There are LTS (Long Term Support) versions of Umbraco that are more interesting for big organisations, that want to stick with the longer supported releases and change them less frequently. However, nothing stops most of the solutions from choosing the most up to date one and upgrading to LTS when needed. This is all related to the project length, needs and ambitions too.

  3. Solution architecture, especially modern, should allow upgrading and changing the puzzles within it independently, hence the upgrade of the CMS itself shouldn’t be considered as anything “big” these days.

To sum it up, there is no one-to-rule-them-all solution, unfortunately. There are multiple ways of approaching the update: Upgrade, partial upgrade plus migration, complete rebuild etc. The update gives massive benefits already upfront, thanks to the new great features of the platform and performance improvements in the framework itself. Upgrading might be a great chance to partially address the issues and challenges underlying the system, and hard to address due to the system's legacy.