Upgrading Umbraco

(The loneliness of an Umbraco upgrader)

Thomas Morris

Drink Um Bongo,

TALK Umbraco


The Task

Upgrade an existing site (v4) onto

the latest version of Umbraco (v7)


  • Designs needs to stay the same.
  • Content needs to stay the same.
  • Code can change as much as required!



  • Do a completely new site
    • Need to import content
    • Need to rebuild doc types
    • Need to build site from scratch
  • Upgrade the existing site
    • Can maintain content
    • Can maintain Umbraco structure
    • Still likely to rebuild elements

Why Upgrade?

The HQ team (and others within the community)

have been implementing and making lots of stuff.


  • Complete redesign
  • Works in mobile formats
  • Better editing experience
  • New service layer
  • Better performance
  • Greater support for latest technology
  • Packages!
  • etc.



What's the issue?

The tech world can change quite a lot in 

a relatively short space of time.

  • Web forms
  • XSLT
  • .NET framework
  • Umbraco
  • Packages!
  • MVC
  • Razor
  • .NET framework
  • Umbraco
  • Packages!

What's the issue?

Oh, and it's also likely to take some effort

and require a bit of money in terms of resources.

How to do it

For the most part a simple Nuget install

is all that is required. ;)


  • Install-Package UmbracoCms (-Version 7.4.3)
  • Overwrite files (take backups)
  • Install screen -> continue
  • Say hello to the new back-office


Note: your site / umbraco may still not work.


Since Umbraco 7.3, these will now run and

update your database accordingly



Note: if you find issues, then report them and get them fixed!


But what if that didn't work?! Here's just 

a few things that might not work out.


  • Database issues (report to Umbraco)
  • Incompatible data types
  • Incompatible packages
  • Missing files
  • Incorrect configuration
  • Code no longer valid



THE Rebuild

Hate to break it to you, but some of that

old stuff just won't work anymore.


  • Webforms -> MVC
  • XSLT -> Razor
  • Macros -> Partials
  • New service layer
  • Updated doc types (e.g. MNTP)
  • Updated packages (e.g. Nested Content)


Inconsistent data

Not everything is stored the same way and

some data types won't be compatible


  • Legacy MNTP to MNTP (issue)
    • XML to CSV
  • uComponents: URL Picker to v7 URL Picker
    • XML to JSON
  • We can convert this data


Note: Be careful when doing this and remove version history

Import tool

Content Migration

The rebuild might take a while, so you'll need to

upgrade again with the new code


  • Export configuration data using uSync
  • Get latest live database
  • Point code to new backup and run installer
  • Apply uSync for configuration data
  • Apply any data conversions required
  • Voila.


THE Result

An up to date and solid foundation to build

upon, ensuring the website lasts another few years.



Embrace the change and enjoy the new world

of Umbraco that you find yourself in.

  • Updates from HQ
  • Updates from the community
  • A consistent experience for all


Any questions?

Upgrading Umbraco

By Thomas Morris

Upgrading Umbraco

A rundown of some of the reasons for upgrading Umbraco and the challenges faced.

  • 2,144