Stick or Twist? What does Umbraco 7’s sunset mean for you?

Graham Carr, Lead .NET Developer,

Umbraco has announced that as of 31st September 2023, it will be sunsetting support for Umbraco 7 so further progress can be made on its core product roadmap. It has been more than 10 years since the first release of this version and it has served many businesses well to-date, but those that still have websites built and running on Umbraco 7 need to be considering their next steps if they’re not already. 

So, what is meant by “End-of-Life”? In simple terms, this means Umbraco no longer supports a certain major version: 

  • There is no further work on existing or new features which means that the website may no longer be as reliable, secure, and friendly to work with.  
  • There will also no longer be any fixes for bugs, regressions, or security issues. Some companies will have compliance policies which are at risk of being breached due to this. 

Many businesses and their marketing teams will be at a crossroads deciding if to stick with Umbraco and upgrade to a supported version, or twist and use it as an opportunity to replatform altogether. 

Here are some of the key considerations you should be thinking about when deciding on your next best move: 

  • Is your Umbraco CMS still serving your business well? Is it still helping you achieve your marketing and business goals? 
  • Are you and your users happy with the user experience or do you need to make significant changes to level-up? 
  • Have there been any significant changes in your website's digital environment and/or your marketing ecosystem? For example, are you now using additional experience platforms or services like marketing automation?  
  • Are you clear on your digital vision and do you have a roadmap to get there? What do you need from your website platform and tech stack to help you achieve it? 
  • How much budget do you have to work with to cover the cost of upgrading or replatforming? Think about the benefits to your organisation, teams and customers and consider building a business case.  

Stick: Upgrade to a new version of Umbraco 

Aside from the obvious benefit of avoiding increased security risk by upgrading, there are several other benefits to upgrading such as taking advantage of new features added since previous versions, embracing .Net Core, utilising the grid-block editor or exploring headless solutions – the list goes on… 

If you have evaluated your requirements and are looking to upgrade to another version of Umbraco, there are several options available to you that we would recommend:  

Upgrading to a current Long-Term Support (LTS) version 

  • Umbraco 10 is the current LTS version with the EOL for this version not expected until 2025. It runs on Microsoft’s latest framework .Net Core. It’s a mature framework that is cross-platform and open-source and benefits from vastly improved performance and increased security. 
  • Umbraco 13 is currently planned as the next LTS version and will fall in line with the Microsoft .Net LTS releases. .Net 8 is set to be released at the same time in late 2023.  

Shifting to a more active upgrade cycle 

If you’re looking to shift towards a more active upgrade cycle, Umbraco 12 is the current release you need to be looking at. This will allow you to start benefiting from the vastly improved performance, security and features.  

This move does require some additional planning and resources, such as developing a strategy for testing and implementing upgrades and ensuring that all stakeholders are informed and prepared for the changes. However, the benefits of a more proactive approach to software upgrades can outweigh the costs, resulting in a more secure, efficient, and effective technology infrastructure. 

As an Umbraco Gold Partner, we’ve got over a decade of experience delivering innovative, user-friendly, and high-performing websites on its CMS. If you’re looking for Umbraco support, get in touch for a no-obligation call with one of our team to discuss your requirements and options.  

Twist: Embark on a total replatforming project 

If you are starting to see the signs that your business is outgrowing your current website - perhaps updating content is painful, you are battling with clunky integrations and messy code and personalisation seem like an impossible dream - then it might be time for a platform review. 

For many businesses, Umbraco 7’s sunset is an opportunity to re-evaluate your current website and technology stack against your business and customer requirements, as well as your long-term goals. Investing and migrating to a new platform is an exciting opportunity to enhance both your digital presence and customer experience. 

Alongside working with Umbraco, we’re experts in integrated DXP and mesh architecture strategies. We are proud to be Optimizely’s Solution Partner of the Year (and an Optimizely Platinum Partner) and we are Advanced Partners too.  

Get in touch 

Our experienced team of solution specialists, digital strategists, experience designs and developers support some of the world’s biggest brands by delivering high-performance digital experience platforms, campaign sites and products. With the support of our DevOps experts, we can deploy at speed to a scalable cloud infrastructure - so nothing can stop you from growing. 

Want to discuss different platform strategies and options? Get in touch today

Graham Carr, Lead .NET Developer

Graham is an experienced Lead .Net Developer here at 26. With over 25 years’ experience in a wide range of products and technologies he has helped companies deliver their digital vision from concept all the way through to delivery. He has a particular passion for DXPs (Digital Experience Platforms) and is a certified developer for products such as Optimizely, Umbraco, and more.

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