All good things come to an end, especially in the world of software development.
Like your iPhone, CMS platforms are continually releasing upgrades designed to give you a more robust digital platform.
Whilst an iPhone 6 might still technically work, it’s glitchy and slow and insecure.
The same goes for older versions of CMS platforms. New versions offer better editing experiences, faster speed and enhanced functionality.
Is the latest CMS on its way to the software graveyard?
Umbraco 7 will reach the ‘end of life’ in September 2023. At which point it will be ten years old, which is like, really old (again, in the software world).
So if your business is currently on Umbraco V7, don’t panic (maybe a little) and read on to find out what you need to know about its End of Life period and why you need to move on in 2023…
- What does End of Life for software mean?
- Why using Umbraco V7 after EOL is a Major Security Risk
- Platform updates and improvements
- What does EOL mean for websites currently on V7
- Next steps
What does End of Life for software mean?
End of Life (commonly referred to as EOL) means that the product or software will no longer be supported by the manufacturer. This is a common process in software product lifecycles, enabling the vendor to shift focus to newer versions. Generally, EOL means there’ll be no more firmware updates, patches or bug fixes.
Why is Umbraco V7 at End of its Life?
“We can’t support all Umbraco versions forever.”
Umbraco V7 entered into the security-only phase in 2021, which means only security issues and updates are being processed, so already websites running this version are missing out on full support.
Moving forwards, Umbraco has introduced a new release cadence from Version 9, with a new major upgrade released twice a year, meaning breaking changes will only occur twice. You can learn more about Umbraco versioning and release cadence here.
It is not recommended that you continue to use Umbraco V7 after it has reached EOL.
Why using Umbraco V7 after EOL is a major security risk
EOL software poses huge security risks for businesses.
Whilst technically you can still use the software, it is not recommended, either by us or Umbraco.
With no security patches or updates, your website is at risk of threat actors using these vulnerabilities as gateways to attack your systems and network.
This is one of the most common weaknesses targeted by hackers as it’s an easy entry point – it’s like leaving the front door of your house unlocked.
Some important stats to consider when weighing up whether you’re willing to take the risk:
- A successful data breach costs UK enterprises, on average, £3.88million (IBM)
- 32% of businesses suffer a security breach every single week due to their CMS (Storyblok)
- There are 65,000 hacking attempts on SMBs in the UK every day
- Every 19 seconds a small business is successfully hacked in the UK
The associated costs are huge, not just from the potential reputational damage and downtime, but also if you’re handling public data there are hefty regulatory fines for businesses that breach GDPR and data handling guidelines.
Can you afford to take the risk?
You’ll also miss out on platform updates and improvements
Another important element to consider is that your CMS will be out-of-date, meaning your website simply won’t perform as well as it could (or should!).
Umbraco is constantly striving to improve the platform, which is why it’s encouraged that you continue to upgrade to the latest version so that you can take full advantage. The most recent version will always be the fastest and best version available.
So when it comes to making sure your website is helping you generate new leads, promote your brand and connect with customers, it just makes sense to put it on the best platform possible.
What does this mean for websites currently on Umbraco V7
Come September 2023, your website won’t literally stop working from this date, however, it will be at serious risk.
There is no upgrade path for Umbraco 7 to the latest version, Umbraco 10. This is because Umbraco 10 is the first LTS major version supporting the Microsoft .NET 6 framework.
The process can take up to 12 months, so we’re strongly advising that you start planning your upgrade sooner rather than later.
Things that can impact the time it takes to upgrade:
- Website size and scope
- System functionality
- Starting version
- Integrations and APIs
- Including a redesign
So whilst the 2023 EOL dates might seem like a while away, they’re giving you advance warning because you need to be planning your upgrade from Umbraco 7 right now.
On the last point, it’s worth considering now whether you simply move your existing website or take the opportunity to redesign it.
Ideally, you should be refreshing the look and feel of your website every couple of years, allowing you to update features and functionality as well as accessibility and usability. So this is a great time to consider a website refresh! But the even more, reason why you should take action now is to get the ball rolling, as this process would take longer to implement.
Whether you'd just like to lift and shift your current website to the latest version of Umbraco or overhaul the design as part of the process, we can help.
From brochure and eCommerce sites to complex custom requirements and API integrations, we've got extensive experience within the platform. Check out our Emirates Old Trafford case study for a taster.
If you've got a website build by a different agency, we can still help – we've worked with loads of companies to audit and rebuild pre-existing Umbraco websites.
Simply book in a consultancy call at a time that suits you to get started as soon as possible.