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  • Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford


  • Umbraco v7 Upgrade and Migration

What we did:

  • Upgrade from v7 Umbraco to latest LTS
  • Migration of 30k+ content nodes, 200+ editors and 35gb media to Umbraco Cloud
  • A range of functional enhancements 


  • .NET Core, C#, Razor, SQL
  • Umbraco Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure

Engineering a Solution to a Complex Upgrade

The University of Oxford is the oldest and one of the greatest in the world, with the Department of Engineering Science conducting ground breaking research and first class teaching, with global reach. Their website is their external face to the world – showcasing the extraordinary work and people working across the Department and its five institutions – Oxford Robotics Institute, Oxford Thermofluids Institute, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the Oxford e-Research Centre and the Oxford-Man Institute.

The brief

The Department of Engineering Science at The University of Oxford were stuck on a v7 version of Umbraco with no official upgrade path available and a looming End of Life date of September 2023. The task was to move 5 institute sites and over 70 subsites to the latest LTS (long term support) version which at the time was v10.  The sites see a huge amount of traffic and with over 200 site editors, the move needed to create as little disruption as possible and overshooting the deadline was not an option.

Universal enhancements were also called for due to multiple workarounds and individual styles being adopted over recent years as well as taking advantage of the new functionality and features that v10 and .Net Core offer.

The solution

We started from a position of risk and split the project into two discrete projects - first upgrade to V10 and migrate to Umbraco Cloud to ensure the site was safe and secure.  Then take stock and approach the enhancements through the eyes of the user, be it backend editors and front end users.

As long time Umbraco developers, although there is no official v7 > v10+ upgrade path, we knew it was possible. Due to the amount of existing content on the site, media, users and bespoke integrations, as well as the fast approaching v7 EOL date, we suggested this approach over a rebuild and content migration.

We spent time documenting and proving various parts of the process offline so that we were confident when the final database backup was taken that we could run through the process for real as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Data types needed migrating, packages needed to be fixed, some views needed rewriting entirely and syntax updated throughout but eventually we had a fully upgraded v10 site ready to move to the cloud.

Umbraco Cloud was chosen as the hosting provider for many reasons but two of the main selling points were the ease with which updates are managed once on the platform, and also the ability to move content between environments which wasn't possible with their previous UAT environments. Read more about Umbraco Cloud here


"We knew we needed an experienced and expert supplier for this complicated website migration project involving many different integrated sites, with multiple enhancements and functionality added over the past five years. The website is an important part of how we communicate our research impact to the wider world, as well as recruiting the best academic and professional staff and a diverse future student body."

Julie Meikle, Communications, Events and Marketing Manager

The results


Sites Migrated


Reduction in slow loading pages


Content Editors Migrated

"Digital Wonderlab understood our concerns, made the process as stress-free and collaborative as possible, resolved any complications encountered along the way and made useful suggestions for improving our sites in terms of the user and editor experience. The team are a pleasure to work with.”

Julie Meikle, Communications, Events and Marketing Manager

Need our help?

If you've got a project which needs to be upgraded, or are thinking of moving to the cloud, let's talk.



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