Upgrading Umbraco v7 to Umbraco v8

Description

We discuss the upgrading path from Umbraco v7 and Umbraco v8 and how your website can benefit from the many features introduced with v8

Published

Monday, July 19, 2021

Migrating content to Umbraco 8

Unfortunately there isn't a straight upgrade path from v7 to v8 whilst keeping everything intact. There's a lot of fundamental changes in v8, many of these being breaking changes. 

Fortunately v8 comes with a content migration tool, which is a quick and easy tool that can migrate your content across to a clean v8 installation.

At Blackbeard Solutions, we can offer Umbraco 8 migrations as a service and get you up and running on the latest version of Umbraco 8.

Key notes

A few key notes before this upgrade path can be done.

  • Your current Umbraco CMS must be running on a minimum version of 7.14.0. This is due to the migration tool being based on the database schema for 7.14.0, so first steps with this is to upgrade your Umbraco version to this.
  • Umbraco 8 doesn't support MySQL databases unlike Umbraco 7. The database types supported are SQL Server and SQL CE.
  • Some databases can be hard to migrate due to numerous reasons. A pre-migration health check is available to highlight any reasons why it may fail
  • Third party property editors will migrate stored content "as is". If any property editor has updated it's data format for Umbraco 8, then this will break any content.
  • As a service, Blackbeard Solutions takes all precautionary steps prior to such tasks. Adequate backups are taken, so if anything goes wrong the site can be restored and rolled back. We will also setup a staging environment first to test run such tasks away from the production environment. This will help us catch any issues and pitfalls in a closed environment without risk of breaking anything on your current website.

Migration Steps

Step 1: Upgrade your site to 7.14.0+

If your site isn't already on this version, the first step will be upgrading to this ready for the migration. Necessary backups of your site and database will be taken, and vigorous testing performed to make sure the site is still running and performing as expected. 

Once we're happy with the upgrade, we will install the pre-migration health checks plugin. This will help highlight any issues with the content, and try to resolve them.

Step 2: Migrate your content to Umbraco 8

A new site instance with Umbraco 8 installed needs to be setup. This is a clean database installation with no content. This will be setup to at least version 8.5 for the migration itself. 

Necessary backups will be taken again at this point prior to the migration and then the configuration changes to your site's web.config will be done to trigger the content migration.

The migration tool will now run, migrating content across to the new version 8 database. Site structure and page content will appear there as it is on your version 7 build.

Step 3: Post-migration testing

Whilst the content is now in the database, the page templates will need to be setup so the content can be viewed on the front end. 

Configuration files and settings will also be checked. Umbraco 8 comes with a lot of new settings. Full testing will be carried out to ensure the site runs and performs smoothly, and no areas of the site have broken as a result of the upgrade.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Enjoy a whole new experience with Umbraco 8, but still the same friendly CMS as before! Version 8 can breathe a new lease of life in to your website. New features in the CMS can improve your content management and editing experience, under-the-hood changes improve CMS and overall site performance to name a couple.

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