Skip to main content

Upgrading the Chamber of Commerce website from Umbraco 7 to 10

Insight Published on 21 March 2024

PDMS recently supported the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce to transition their website from Umbraco 7 to Umbraco 10. 

The Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce ('Chamber') prides itself on being a leading advocate and champion for business, with a focus on creating a climate of growth and success in the community.  As part of a renewed strategic partnership with PDMS, the Chamber recently enlisted our expertise in upgrading its current website from Umbraco version 7 to Umbraco 10.  

About Umbraco

Originally launching in 2000, multiple versions of Umbraco have been adopted by hundreds of thousands of organisations worldwide due to its security and robust functionality. It’s a powerful tool for building and managing enterprise and public sector websites efficiently and provides a user-friendly interface for fast editing and publishing content.  

After over a decade, Umbraco 7, which was originally released in 2013, is now unsupported with no security updates, patches or new features forthcoming. Websites will still technically function using Umbraco 7. However, doing so brings increased security risks and this was a risk the Chamber, like most organisations, wasn’t willing to take. 

The project

As the upgrade from version 7 requires quite a bit of template rewriting, it often makes sense to carry out cosmetic and other improvements at the same time. Working with our team, the Chamber explained what they were aiming for by upgrading their website, which included new and more flexible components, with a light design refresh in line with new branding. They also wanted to add an online application form for new and renewing members, and introduced a photo gallery, highlighting Chamber events. 

Our Head of UX & Design, Jim Rawson, was involved in the project from the outset. To find out more, we asked him some questions about the process over the last few months.  

What were the key features or improvements in Umbraco 10 that influenced the Chamber of Commerce’s decision to upgrade? 

Essentially Umbraco 7 was out of support, so the decision was made to rebuild the website in 10 as there isn’t a single upgrade path from 7 to 10.  This incorporated a slight design refresh, with changes to the homepage. Also, some of the components were altered to make them a little bit more flexible for anything that is posted. A brand new membership application form was introduced, which now enables companies and organisations to join more easily, using a fully electronic process.  

There are currently around 200 members on the Island, who are very active on the website, and can now easily source news, member directories and events.  There is also a new homepage banner which reflects real local businesses.  

How complex was the process of rebuilding? And did you experience any unexpected challenges? 

The calendar had to be redesigned, as it was an impossible task to copy and paste due to the differences in templating language between the two versions of 7 and 10.  However, one of our developers wrote some script to allow the members details to be migrated over to the new website quicker than manually transferring each one, which obviously saved a significant amount of time. 

How was the user experience impacted by the upgrade, were there any significant changes in the website's interface or functionality?   

We conducted a light design refresh to improve user experience and improved the appearance of the photo galleries, in addition to some adjustments and tweaks made to improve the search experience. We’ve also significantly improved accessibility of the website. 

How was the testing process managed to ensure the functionality and performance of the website after the upgrade?  

We’ve got a robust approach to testing at PDMS and although there were a few issues initially with the members application form, we got that sorted pretty quickly, and with the new version of Umbraco, the sites are stable and secure. 

Transforming the Chamber website  

With the new and improved website now live, Jim explained the website is visually more attractive than their previous version, functions better on tablets and mobile devices. It offers improvements for membership applications to be carried out digitally and is a much better showcase for the Chamber via the photo galleries. 

Jessica Kitchin, Business Support Lead at the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce, commented:

Chamber has once again worked with PDMS on the development and launch of our new look and enhanced website. As always, the process has been seamless, the friendly and approachable team are on hand every step of the way ensuring we have full understanding and can use the system effectively, utilising its full potential. As a not-for-profit organisation Chamber can only operate with the support of our members, PDMS are an evaluable part of our extended team, and we thank them wholeheartedly for this ongoing and essential resource.” 

To find out more about our website services, visit our webpage here.


  • Umbraco
  • Website
  • Isle of Man