Migrate from Umbraco 7 to Umbraco 8 on Umbraco Cloud

This article will provide detailed steps on how to migrate a Umbraco 7 Cloud project to Umbraco 8.

Taking your Umbraco CMS project from Umbraco 7 to 8 is called a migration as it requires that the data is migrated in the process. This article covers each step involved in this process.

Read the general article about Content migration to learn more about limitations and other things related to migrating your Umbraco site from 7 to 8.

Video tutorial

You can find the full playlist here: Migrate an Umbraco Cloud project from 7 to 8


  • A Umbraco 7 Cloud project running the latest version of Umbraco 7.

  • Make sure Umbraco Forms data is not handled as content.

  • A clean Cloud project running the latest version of Umbraco 8 with at least 2 environments.

We strongly recommend having at least 2 environments on the Umbraco 8 project.

Should something fail during the migration, the Development environment can always be removed and re-added in order to start over on a clean slate.

Step 1: Content migration

  1. Clone down the Umbraco 7 Cloud project.

  2. Run the project locally and restore Content and Media.

  3. Clone down the Development environment from the Umbraco 8 Cloud project.

We recommend setting up the Umbraco 8 Cloud portal locally in Visual Studio.

This can be done after cloning down the Cloud environment or by using the UaaS cloning tool.

To use the cloning tool, place it and run it in the local directory you want to clone the Cloud project into.

  1. Install the ProWorks Umbraco 8 Migrations community package on the cloned Umbraco 8 site.

  2. Copy ~/App_Data/Umbraco.sdf or ~/App_Data/Umbraco.mdf from the cloned Umbraco 7 project.

  3. Paste the file into ~/App_Data on the clone of the Umbraco 8 project.

  4. Open web.config from the Umbraco 8 project.

  5. Locate the Umbraco.Core.ConfigurationStatus key.

  6. Replace the value with the version your Umbraco 7 project is running.

  7. Run the Umbraco 8 project locally

  8. Authorize the migration - Cloud credentials are used for this.

  1. Click Continue to start the migration.

  2. Log in to the backoffice and verify that everything is there once the migration is complete.

If your login does not work, try the following approach:

Copy the UsersMembershipProvider attributes from your Umbraco 7 web.config file to the Umbraco 8 web.config file. Once you've done this, try to login again.

Below is an example of how the attribute can look:

<add name="UsersMembershipProvider" 
     type="Umbraco.Web.Security.Providers.UsersMembershipProvider, Umbraco" 
     passwordFormat="Hashed" />

Please be aware that this is only a content migration.

The database will be migrated, but updating view files, custom code, and implementation is a manual process.

See Step 3 of this guide, for more detail on this.

Step 2: Files migration

Before moving on to the next step, make sure that the Umbraco 8 project is no longer running.

The following files/folders need to be copied into the Umbraco 8 project:

  • ~/Views - do not overwrite the default Macro and Partial View Macro files, unless changes have been made to these.

  • ~/Media

  • Any files/folders related to Stylesheets and JavaScripts.

  • Any custom files/folders the Umbraco 7 project uses, that aren't in the ~/Config or ~/bin.

  • ~/App_Data/UmbracoForms - in the case Umbraco Forms was used on the Umbraco 7 site.

Merge the configuration files carefully to ensure any custom settings are migrated while none of the default configurations for Umbraco 8 is overwritten.

Generating UDA files

  1. Run the Umbraco 8 project locally

    • It will give you an error on the frontend as none of the Template files have been updated yet.

  2. Open the command line tool in the ~/data folder on the Umbraco 8 project.

  3. Generate UDA files by running the following command: echo > deploy-export.

    • Once a deploy-complete marker is added to the ~/data folder, it is done.

  4. Check ~/data/revision to ensure all the UDA files have been generated.

  5. Run echo > deploy in the ~/data folder to make sure everything checks out with the UDA files that were generated.

Running the echo > deploy command will generate a new marker. Move forward with the migration based on the marker:

  • deploy-failed

    • Something failed during the check

    • Run echo > deploy-clearsignatures followed by echo > deploy to clear up the error

  • deploy-complete

    • Everything checks out: Move on to the next step

Step 3: Setup custom code for Umbraco 8

Umbraco 8 is different from Umbraco 7 in many ways. This means that in this step, all custom code, controllers, and models need to be reviewed and rewritten for Umbraco 8.

Example of changes that need to be made

One of the changes made, is how published content is rendered through Template files. Due to this, it will be necessary to update all Template files (.cshtml) to reflect these changes.

Read more about these changes in the IPublishedContent section of the Documentation.

  • Template files need to inherit from Umbraco.Web.Mvc.UmbracoViewPage<ContentModels.HomePage> instead of Umbraco.Web.Mvc.UmbracoTemplatePage<ContentModels.HomePage>.

  • Template files need to use ContentModels = Umbraco.Web.PublishedModels instead of ContentModels = Umbraco.Web.PublishedContentModels.

  • @Model.Value("propertyAlias") replaces @Umbraco.Field("propertyAlias").

  • @Model.PropertyAlias replaces @Model.Content.PropertyAlias.

  • @Model.Value<IPublishedContent>("propertyAlias") replaces Model.Content.GetPropertyValue<IPublishedContent>("propertyAlias").

Depending on the size of the project and the amount of custom code and implementations, this step is going to require a lot of work.

Step 4: Deploy and test on Umbraco Cloud

Once the Umbraco 8 project runs without errors on the local setup, the next step is to deploy and test on the Cloud Development environment.

  1. Push the migration and changes to the Umbraco Cloud Development environment

The deployment might take a bit longer than normal.

To track the process, keep an eye on the deploy markers in site/wwwroot/data using KUDU.

  1. Progress through the steps based on the deployment result:

    • deploy-failed: Run echo > deploy-clearsignatures followed by echo > deploy to clear up the error.

    • deploy-complete: The Development environment has been upgraded.

  2. Transfer Content and Media from the local clone to the Development environment.

  3. Test everything on the Development environment.

  4. Deploy to the Live environment.

Step 5: Going live

Once the migration is complete, and the Live environment is running without errors, the site is almost ready for launch.

  1. Setup rewrites on the Umbraco 8 site.

  2. Assign hostnames to the project.

    • Hostnames are unique, and can only be added to one Cloud project at a time.

Last updated