<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1639164799743833&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Diagram Views

Should You Upgrade Your Website to Umbraco 14?

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#CMS, #Industry Insights, #Umbraco
Published on May 31, 2024

Umbraco 14 offers significant enhancements for organizations that need robust, client-side capabilities - but here's how to tell if it's right for your website...

Today, more than ever, technology is constantly evolving, and so are the Content Management Systems (CMS) powered by it. Umbraco, a popular CMS known for its flexibility and user-friendly interface, has recently released version 14. This release represents a significant shift in how Umbraco handles the editor experience and the potential for integrations. While previous upgrades focused heavily on server-side enhancements with .NET Core, the release of Umbraco 14 introduces a more client-side-focused approach, aiming to enhance the speed and extensibility of the editing experience. This begs the question: should your organization upgrade its website to Umbraco 14? 

Understanding Umbraco 14 

Umbraco 14 brings a fundamental shift in how the CMS operates, especially from the perspective of the editors who use it daily. The primary focus of this version is to create a faster, more extensible editing experience, facilitating deeper and custom integrations within the new back office. This approach ensures that these integrations are less likely to be disrupted by future upgrades, making it a compelling option for organizations seeking a robust and adaptable CMS. 

Key Features of Umbraco 14 

Umbraco 14 introduces several key features that make it a powerful choice for modern content management needs. 

  • Enhanced Editor Experience: A client-side focus results in a more responsive and faster interface for content editors, significantly boosting productivity. 
  • Extensibility: Umbraco 14 offers improved support for custom integrations, enabling developers to: 
    • Create tailored content management workflows, content previews, etc. 
    • Integrate third-party tools and services seamlessly. 
    • Develop custom back-office applications. 
    • Implement advanced automation processes. 
  • Futureproofing: The architecture of Umbraco 14 is designed to support continuous enhancements, ensuring CMS functionality remains up to date with minimal effort and is resilient against future updates. 

Long-Term Support vs. Short-Term Support Considerations 

Before deciding whether to upgrade to Umbraco 14, it is important to understand the differences between Long-Term Support (LTS) and Short-Term Support (STS) versions of software. 

Long-Term Support (LTS) 

LTS versions are tailored for organizations that require a dependable and stable software environment. They ensure long-term reliability with regular updates and critical fixes. Key aspects of LTS include: 

  • Stability: LTS versions are designed to be stable and reliable over an extended period, typically three years. They receive regular security updates and critical bug fixes. 
  • Suitability: Ideal for organizations that prioritize stability and minimal disruptions. LTS versions are especially suitable for enterprise environments where consistent performance is critical. 

Short-Term Support (STS) 

STS versions prioritize rapid innovation and frequent updates, making them ideal for organizations that can adapt quickly to new changes. Key aspects of STS include: 

  • Innovation: STS versions are released more frequently, often introducing new features and improvements at a faster pace. 
  • Maintenance: These versions are supported for a shorter duration, usually around twelve to eighteen months. They receive regular updates but are primarily focused on introducing new capabilities rather than long-term stability. 
  • Suitability: Best for organizations that are agile, have the capacity to adapt quickly to new changes, and do not rely heavily on long-term stability for their operations. 

Umbraco 13 (LTS) vs. Umbraco 14 (STS) 

With a shared understanding of LTS vs. STS, it is important to understand that Umbraco 13 is the current LTS version of the platform, providing a stable and reliable environment with regular security patches and updates until the next LTS version is released (currently slated for November 2025). On the other hand, Umbraco 14, being an STS version, offers innovative features and enhancements but with a shorter support lifecycle.

Understanding your organization's requirements around LTS vs. STS software will help set the foundation for the decision on whether to upgrade to Umbraco 14 or stay on Umbraco 13. 

Strategic Recommendation 

While Umbraco 14 brings many exciting improvements, the decision to upgrade should be based on your organization's specific needs and priorities. 

For Existing Umbraco Sites 

If your organization is already running its website on Umbraco 13, consider the following: 

  • LTS Requirement: If your organization mandates the use of LTS versions, it is advisable to stick with Umbraco 13. Ensure you continue to apply quality upgrades and security patches to maintain site integrity. 
  • Feature-Driven Decision: If the features of Umbraco 14 can drive immediate business impact and you have the capacity to handle more frequent updates, consider upgrading. However, be prepared for the shorter support cycle and the need to plan for future upgrades more frequently. 

For New Umbraco Projects 

If your organization is getting ready to start a new Umbraco CMS project, consider the following:  

  • LTS Preference: If long-term stability is crucial, starting with Umbraco 13 is a safer bet. This approach ensures a stable foundation while waiting for the next LTS release. 
  • Agility and Innovation: If your organization is agile and works with an agency partner on a retainer, starting with Umbraco 14 can save time and effort overall. The faster editing experience and improved extensibility can lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) by reducing the need for a major upgrade later. 


Deciding whether to upgrade to Umbraco 14 depends on your organization's specific needs and strategic priorities. Umbraco 14 offers significant enhancements that can make the editing experience faster and more customizable, benefiting organizations that need robust, client-side capabilities. However, the short-term support nature of Umbraco 14 means that it may not be the best choice for all. When evaluating whether to upgrade, consider the following key factors: 

  1. Business Needs and Goals: Assess whether the new features in the latest version of Umbraco align with your organization's immediate and long-term business goals. If the enhancements can drive significant improvements in productivity, user experience, or operational efficiency, an upgrade may be justified. 
  2. Support and Maintenance: Determine your organization’s tolerance for frequent updates and the ability to manage them. If your IT infrastructure and resources can handle the pace of STS updates, Umbraco 14 might be a viable option. 
  3. Budget and Resources: Evaluate the financial and human resources required for an upgrade. Upgrading to a new major CMS version can involve costs related to development, testing, training, and potential downtime. Ensure that the benefits outweigh these costs. 
  4. Futureproofing: Consider the long-term implications of staying with an LTS version versus adopting an STS version. While Umbraco 13 provides stability, adopting Umbraco 14 could position your organization to leverage future innovations more effectively. 
  5. Custom Integrations and Extensibility: If your website relies heavily on custom integrations, Umbraco 14's enhanced extensibility could provide significant advantages. Evaluate how these features might improve your existing workflows and systems. 

The decision to upgrade to Umbraco 14 should be driven by a clear understanding of your organization’s needs, the benefits of the new features, and the resources available to manage the transition. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your strategic goals and positions your organization for future success.