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As an Umbraco Platinum Partner, we're committed to keeping you informed about crucial updates in the Umbraco ecosystem. In this article, we will answer some key questions that our clients have been asking and provide our recommendation for upgrading your Umbraco 8 website.

After more than five years of service, Umbraco 8 reaches the end of life on 24th February 2025. This means Umbraco will no longer support this version with security patches, and any sites that remain on Umbraco 8 will become open to security vulnerabilities. It is also worth noting that from 24th February 2024, Umbraco 8 enters the security phase, meaning that only security issues will be fixed.

Umbraco 8 end of life blog

When is Umbraco 8 End of Life?

24th February 2024 - Umbraco 8 will enter the security-only phase meaning only security issues will be fixed.

24th February 2025 - Umbraco 8 will reach the official end of life, meaning Umbraco will no longer support this version with security patches, and any sites that remain on Umbraco 8 will have security vulnerabilities.


Can I use Umbraco 8 after its end of life?

Technically, yes - but we no longer recommend using Umbraco 8 after it reaches the EOL phase. If you decide to continue using Umbraco 8, you may run into some issues, for example: 

Risk of Security Issues

With a major out of the security phase, Umbraco no longer provides fixes for security issues that may pop up. While the software will still work, we can't guarantee it will remain as secure as possible after the EOL date.

Compliance risks

Your company may have a policy regarding end-of-life software. Not upgrading may mean you breach your internal policies.

Lack of new features

if you don't upgrade, you will miss out on the new features available in the later versions of Umbraco. For instance, Umbraco 13 has a content delivery API that allows you to syndicate your content to other sources, i.e. websites, apps or intranet.

Compatibility issues

These may arise when older versions of Umbraco do not align with newer systems, browsers, or plugins, resulting in functional limitations and complications in software integration.

Poor website performance

Remaining on Umbraco 8 post-EoL can slow site speed load times and reduce compatibility, negatively impacting SEO and user experience. Skipping upgrades means missing out on performance improvements. Upgrading ensures better UX and SEO.

What version of Umbraco should I move to?

We recommend building your website using Umbraco's latest stable long-term support (LTS) version. This is Umbraco version 13. Some features of Umbraco 13:

WebP support (images) - Providing page speed improvements to strengthen SEO.

Block grid editor - This is a new and fantastic content editor. It introduces drag-and-drop editing with components and content. Giving you creative freedom for your marketing campaigns and reducing time for content management.

Umbraco forms improvements - Making creating forms easier and with new functionality to offer more flexibility of what you can do with the forms.

Security enhancements - Improved protection against cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks and other vulnerabilities.

Headless capabilities - The content and media delivery API, meaning you can push your content to multiple places.

Speed improvements - Overall, a much better and faster website experience for users.

What are the options to upgrade to Umbraco 13?

There are two distinct routes to migrate to Umbraco 13:

Follow the upgrade path

This option depends on the complexity of your website. If you have custom features and integrations, these must be rewritten. The upgrade path would be to move to Umbraco 10 and then ascertain the breaking changes through Umbraco 11,12, and then finally finish on Umbraco 13. This is a suitable option if you do not have changes to the content or the design of your website.

Rebuild the site on Umbraco 13 

Several of our clients are taking the opportunity to review content, information architecture and the UX and design of their website. If this is something you are considering, then rebuilding the site in Umbraco 13 should be considered. With an updated design, you will almost certainly have new content components and page layouts, meaning that your document types in Umbraco need to be recreated. A rebuild is your most cost-effective option.

How can you help me rebuild my site on Umbraco 13?

The starting point is an audit of your Umbraco 8 CMS. One of our Umbraco-certified developers will carry out the audit. This will help us understand your current website and provide you with the information to decide whether to treat this as an upgrade or rebuild. At this point, we will be able to provide you with an indicative budget based on either approach.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

Your Umbraco 8 website will have fixed templates for your page content. Umbraco 13 moves to a component-based approach to managing your content. Giving you a high level of flexibility. You may wish to consider:

Design update - This is an excellent opportunity to update your website. We have a team of UX designers that can help you give your website a modern look. This is the rebuild approach, as detailed above.

Pattern library - With the component-based approach for Umbraco 13, we highly recommend creating a pattern library. A pattern library shows all of the styles, colours and components that make up your website. It allows you to make quick style updates to your website in the future. You can also use the pattern library to keep your brand consistent across other digital channels, i.e. apps, intranet, etc.

Review Plugins - Compatibility and Customisations: Assess existing customisations and plugins to your Umbraco website. Confirm compatibility with the latest iteration or explore alternative solutions. Additionally, review your website's design and functionality for potential improvements.

Content - This is an opportunity to review the content on the website. We can help you analyse your website analytics to highlight your most engaging content and which content could be removed. We also have content strategists who can help you structure your content.

Content migration - Do you want to manually copy your content into the Umbraco CMS, or do you want a scripted content migration? We can discuss this with you and agree on the best approach to content migration.

In Summary

Moving your website to Umbraco 13 puts your website and wider digital state in an excellent position enabling you to maximise its potential by improving website performance, enhancing security and meeting the evolving user needs effectively ultimately ensuring the growth of your website.


How we can help?

Elevate your website's performance and security with our experienced team's guidance, and unlock the full potential of your Umbraco website with our Platinum Umbraco partner expertise. Experience seamless end-of-life migration and upgrade solutions for a secure and sustainable online presence.

Ready to upgrade your Umbraco 8 website? Contact our Umbraco team now for a smooth and secure transition, or to find out more about our Umbraco experience, check out our Umbraco case studies where we've helped the likes of Mind Charity, Balfour Beatty, Merlin Entertainments and STADA.

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