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Migrating from Umbraco 8 to Umbraco 9

What will migrating your existing site from Umbraco 8 to Umbraco 9 mean for you?

Umbraco 9 has reached EOL (End-of-Life). We recommend upgrading to a supported version. If you want to learn more about upgrading your existing Umbraco solution please reach out on a discovery call to hear more about your options.

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Umbraco 9 came with a lot of exciting news and change - after all, it is the first Umbraco major version to move into the ASP.NET Core world! 🚀

At the same time, it brings a lot of curiosity and questions. Especially from those who would like to wave goodbye to the Umbraco 8 they knew and loved and migrate their existing site to Umbraco 9 so they can get to know and love it, too.

Let us take you through the migration process from version 8 to version 9 - and everything else you need to know about the transition!

How do I upgrade from Umbraco 8 to Umbraco 9?

There’s no way to directly upgrade your site from Umbraco 8 to Umbraco 9 - but you can migrate.

This is because with the transition to version 9, Umbraco is also moving from the ASP.NET framework to ASP.NET Core. Plus, the codebase has been significantly updated in the latest major version. These exciting changes make a direct upgrade button impossible.

But that doesn’t mean you will have to start from scratch! We didn’t build the new major from the ground up - bit by bit, we migrated it to .NET Core. You can migrate the content of your version 8 sites running on the .NET framework to Umbraco 9 running on .NET 5. This also applies to your projects on Umbraco Cloud.

If you are working with Umbraco Heartcore and Umbraco Uno, we’ll automatically upgrade your projects later on.

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How do I migrate my existing site to the latest Umbraco?

The rule of thumb is that you can migrate all of your projects to the new major. However, the difficulty of the migration depends on the complexity of your v8 site and how tightly it is coupled with the .NET framework.

You can migrate your content by making a backup of the database from your version 8 project, and then restoring it into a new database on a newly-created Umbraco 9 site. Your content will work on version 9. This is possible because the database schema hasn’t changed significantly between the versions.

We have created a basic migration guide for your projects on Umbraco Cloud and Umbraco CMS. Some of the terminology in the guide is Cloud-specific, but the overall approach applies to non-cloud sites, as well.

See the migration guide

Psst... What happens to my packages?

You need to make sure your packages and other dependencies you used on your Umbraco 8 site work with Umbraco 9 - and .NET 5.

All Umbraco HQ packages are ready for Umbraco 9, and many external packages are already available, too. But you should check their status case by case.

It may be necessary to look for alternatives that are compatible with .NET 5 - an example being Nuget packages for specific .NET features.

You can also reach out to the package creator directly for their plan to upgrade to version 9 and later.

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Should I migrate my site from Umbraco 8 to a newer version?

Yes! We would recommend you migrate if it’s something that’s possible for you.

Why? Umbraco 9 and later is better than the previous major versions. Migrating to the .NET Core framework brings better runtime performance, more powerful scalability, and cleaner architecture, among other things that you can look forward to.

It is also the start of a new release cadence for major versions. Going forward we plan to ship two major versions of Umbraco each year. The releases will be aligned with Microsoft’s release cadence for .NET ensuring that you’re always running on the latest, fastest, and most secure version of both Umbraco and the underlying framework.

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Can I still use Umbraco 8?


We will eventually stop supporting the previous major version, but that won’t happen for a while - if you decide to stay on Umbraco 8, you will be supported and safe for quite some time going forward. This is because we’ve decided to consider the last minor release of Umbraco 8 as LTS (long-term support).

That means the final minor version of version 8 will be supported for 24 months after release (the date is TBD - we’ll let you know about this in our future Product Update blog posts). After that, it will enter an additional year of security-only, and at the end of it, Umbraco 8 will be considered end of life.

What’s new in Umbraco 9?

.NET 5

Of course, the biggest change in the transition from Umbraco 8 to Umbraco 9 is the move from ASP.NET to ASP.NET Core. We’re proud to say that Umbraco 9 is running 100% on the ASP.NET Core framework and .NET 5, Microsoft’s latest major release!

But we did not want to change the friendly CMS you know and love too much. So especially for content editors, logging into the version 9 backoffice will be just like coming home as the focus with Umbraco 9 remained on friendly editing experience.

Cross-platform capabilities

Umbraco is no longer only available for Windows users for development or hosting. ASP.NET Core and .NET 5 are cross-platform compatible with MacOs and Linux, too! This opens Umbraco to two entirely new developer bases.

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Improved Cloud projects

Good news: even with Umbraco’s move to .NET Core, the cool features that you are used to - such as one-click installs, multiple environments with built-in schema and content synchronization, or automatic upgrades - are staying.

Better news: you’ll get all the perks of a CMS with better performance. Plus, we took the migration as an opportunity to improve Umbraco Cloud projects! So what’s new on Cloud?

  • Access to using .NET 5 command line tools to manage, build and run your project locally
  • Easier set up of a Visual Studio solution - and easier collaboration with your colleagues
  • Deployments relying on .NET build steps and NuGet for a better and safer experience

Take a look at everything you can look forward to with Umbraco 9 on Cloud in this blog post.

Would you like to dip your feet in the latest version of Umbraco before migrating your site? Then you can test the waters by booking a discovery call to learn more - completely for free!

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Need help?

Do you have more questions about how to migrate from Umbraco 8 to a supported version? 

Fill out the form below with the questions you have and we will get back to you. 


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