Umbraco 8 End-of-Life Upgrade Guide

Web Development
Digital Strategy

Umbraco 8 End of Life: What You Need to Know

As Umbraco 8 nears its security-only phase and subsequent end-of-life (EoL) date, understanding and preparing for these changes becomes critical. This blog serves as your essential guide to navigating the upcoming transitions and ensuring your digital assets continue to thrive.

What Does 'End of Life' Mean for Umbraco 8?

The term 'End of Life' refers to the phase when Umbraco 8 will no longer receive updates, enhancements, or security patches from the development team. This phase is crucial as it marks a shift from active development and support to a period where the software receives minimal to no official updates.

Umbraco 8 End of Life Timeline

February 24th, 2024: Umbraco 8 enters its security-only phase.

February 24th, 2025: The official Umbraco 8 end-of-life date, after which no new security patches will be released for the platform.

Understanding these dates is essential for planning and executing your transition strategy effectively.

Can We Use Umbraco 8 After Its EoL and What Are the Risks?

While staying on Umbraco 8 is technically possible (meaning no, your website won’t stop working), continuing to use Umbraco 8 post-EoL comes with significant risks:

Security Vulnerabilities:

Post-EoL, Umbraco 8 will no longer receive security updates, leaving your site potentially exposed to unpatched security threats. Note that this may have implications for your insurance policies too.

Lack of Support:

The absence of official support from Umbraco means any emerging issues or bugs will not be addressed, potentially impacting your website's functionality.

Poor Website Performance:

Using an outdated CMS like Umbraco 8 post-EoL can lead to slower load times and reduced compatibility, affecting both user experience and website performance.

The Upgrade Process

Which version of Umbraco should we upgrade to?

As a general rule, the “best” version will be the most recent version. At the time of writing, that means that you will be looking to upgrade from Umbraco 8 to Umbraco 13. Umbraco 13 is the newest long-term supported (LTS) version of Umbraco built in alignment with the latest LTS versions of Microsoft .Net 8 and C# 12 which guarantees a secure and forward-compatible platform for your website until December 2026.

How Difficult is it to Upgrade?

Upgrading from Umbraco 8 to a newer version varies in complexity. The key factors that determine this complexity include the current state of your site, custom functionalities, and integrations used. With the release of Umbraco 9, the codebase was moved to ASP.NET Core and this means that an upgrade from Umbraco 8 to 13 must be completed in stages. Whilst your existing content can be migrated from your existing database, any templates you have will need to be adjusted and all custom code will need to be rewritten.

When Should We Start Our Umbraco Upgrade?

We recommend starting the upgrade process as soon as possible. This allows sufficient time to assess your current website, allocate resource to your project, run thorough testing and ensure everything is ready for a seamless deployment.

Should We Consider a Website Re-Design When Upgrading?

Coupling an upgrade with a website redesign can be advantageous. It allows for a holistic approach to improving both the back-end and the front-end user experience. Note that this is likely to extend the overall length of the project so the sooner we get started, the better. 

How Cantarus Can Help with Your Umbraco 8 Upgrade:

While you can continue using Umbraco 8 post-EoL, the risks and potential performance issues make upgrading a necessity. We sincerely encourage you to be proactive in your approach to the Umbraco 8 end of life.

As Umbraco Platinum partners in both the UK and US, we specialise in facilitating smooth Umbraco upgrades. Whether you're an existing client or new to our services, our team is equipped to guide you through every step of the upgrade process.

Looking to upgrade your Umbraco 8 website? Contact us today and speak to one of our consultants who are on hand to ensure your digital transition is successful and secure.