Umbraco 13 or Straight to 14? LTS and STS versions explained


Only four months ago, we were thrilled by the new features introduced in Umbraco 13, prompting our partners to consider upgrading. Now, we are just a few weeks away from the release of Umbraco 14. While regular updates are a welcomed aspect of Umbraco, their frequency can sometimes perplex marketing managers or other stakeholders involved in digital projects. The key to understanding lies in distinguishing between the LTS and STS versions.


When is Umbraco 14 coming out

Umbraco's version 14.0.0 is about to be released on May 30, 2024, with the release candidate scheduled to come out in just two weeks. During the Umbraco Spark conference, we were given the opportunity to peek behind the curtain and glimpse what's in store for the upcoming iteration, which, as of the writing of this article, is approximately 80% complete

So, what's on the horizon? According to Umbraco itself, nothing seems visibly different at first glance, but beneath the surface, the entire back office is undergoing a transformation. We bid farewell to the outdated AngularJS and welcome a new management API boasting an extensive array of endpoints that can be seamlessly utilized from external applications.

Initially, these updates might only catch the attention of developers. However, they carry substantial implications for business functions, such as streamlining the process of creating new website integrations. So, should you swiftly adopt Umbraco 14 once it's released, irrespective of your current version? Well, it's imperative to grasp the support lifecycle in this scenario.

Umbraco 13 and 14's Support

Frequent major releases every six months are integral to Umbraco's strategy. However, to comprehend the roadmap of your Umbraco-based digital products, it's essential to discern between the two support options: Standard Term Support (STS), like the upcoming Umbraco 14, and Long Term Support (LTS), such as Umbraco 13.

So, what's the difference? Obviously, it hinges on the duration of support for a given version. The brand-new Umbraco 14 is set to debut in mid-2024. However, by the first half of 2025, it will transition into the security-only phase, receiving only critical safety patches and hotfixes. Furthermore, its end-of-life is planned before the end of the following year.

Conversely, the Umbraco 13 version, half a year older, will continue to receive support until the end of 2026. What does this entail, and why might you opt for a version with a shorter support period? Ultimately, it all comes down to the specifications and context of your project.

LTS and STS versions explained

What's essential to grasp is that LTS versions primarily prioritize the stability of your project. They serve as a dependable foundation for websites anticipated to remain operational for an extended period with minimal alterations. Cutting-edge versions of STS Umbraco are geared towards integrating the most recent solutions, addressing developmental requirements, and staying abreast of advancements in underlying technologies and their potential.

STS is tailored for settings where embracing the most recent trends is vital. It's ideal for endeavors characterized by experimental undertakings. LTS is crafted for initiatives such as enterprise-grade applications.


Which version of Umbraco should you be using right now?

If you've recently completed the upgrade to Umbraco 13 and are a little confused about the release of Umbraco 14, rest assured that your website is fully secured on the current version.

However, if you're gearing up to launch a promotional microsite in a few months, complete with several integrations with external marketing tools, and seek the ideal version of Umbraco, "fourteen" presents an excellent choice.

On the other hand, if your company operates a sizable e-commerce website currently running on, say, Umbraco 8, with its End-of-Life (EOL) looming and long-term security standing as a paramount concern, transitioning to Umbraco 13 may prove to be a highly viable solution.

Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, each digital project is unique and harbors distinct requirements. As a longstanding Silver Partner, we can guide you through the appropriate upgrade strategy. Reach out to us, and we'll be more than happy to assist you!


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