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Umbraco 7 All Good Things Come To An End

Umbraco 7: All good things come to an end

“Your website is nearing End-Of-Life status”. It sounds a pretty scary prospect doesn’t it?

If you’re running version 7 of Umbraco CMS (first released in 2013), unfortunately, it just got real. Like most Content Management Systems and other types of software, Umbraco releases regular versions of its platform to keep up-to-date with security and technical advances. Each Umbraco website will be built using a numbered version of the system. Unfortunately, with older versions of the CMS, there comes a time when it’s not practical or feasible to provide ongoing support and security patches (if you’re old enough to remember Internet Explorer 7, you’ll know the story!).

Since July 2021, Umbraco 7 has been in the “security only” phase of development, meaning that it’s not being actively improved; only issues relating to security are addressed. In September 2023 it’ll enter End-Of-Life (EOL) status (10 years after first release). At this point, Umbraco will no longer provide support for any vulnerabilities found in the software and it’ll mean that any websites operating Umbraco 7 will be at risk.

There’s no migration path from version 7 to the newer versions of Umbraco as the database infrastructure changed dramatically between version 7 and 8 and the code base has changed in version 9 and version 10 (due to be released in the next couple of months). Basically, this means that it’s not possible to simply upgrade the CMS to the newest version and, to get things up-to-date, the back-end will need to be rebuilt.

But my site will still work, yeah?

Sort of. The likelihood is that Umbraco 7 sites will continue to work as normal after September 2023. But, like any old car that hasn’t been serviced in a while, you’ll probably start to experience problems with safety performance. If there are any security or performance vulnerabilities exposed, there won’t be a fix put in place by Umbraco. It means they’ll be left unresolved which could have a serious impact on things like data security and would leave your site open to being compromised.

Going back to the car analogy, it’s the equivalent of getting a fault in the engine then discovering that they don’t make the part you need any more.

What can I do?

The good news is that, at the time of writing, you’ve got just over a year to get a plan of action in place. You’ve probably got a few options:

  1. Rebuild the CMS using the latest version of Umbraco (version 10), leaving the majority of the design and front-end codebase the same (where possible).
  2. Keep the design the same but rebuild the CMS using Umbraco 10 and bring the front-end codebase as up-to-date as possible with newer frameworks and best practice.
  3. Create a brand-new website, with new designs, up to date frameworks and best practice, again using the latest version of Umbraco. You could also take this opportunity to revisit your audience and user journeys, with a refreshed user-focused approach.

I’ve got so many questions!

Fear not, our in-house Umbraco experts are here to help. We know that this is a tricky time for a lot of web managers so please get in touch if we can support in any way. We’re currently offering free, no obligation advice sessions – just contact or if you’d like to pick our brains.

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About the author

LEWIS is a highly regarded, experienced digital marketing business. It focuses on digital marketing and delivery, including design, strategic planning services, build of online tools and websites, security, hosting and data, and the production of multichannel campaigns.

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