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Latest update on the Silverstripe CMS support timeline

On the second anniversary of the Silverstripe CMS 4 release, we’re announcing some changes to our commercial support timelines to give website owners and digital agencies a longer range view, by extending support for Silverstripe CMS versions 3 and 4.

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On the second anniversary of the Silverstripe CMS 4 release, we’re announcing some changes to our commercial support timelines to give website owners and digital agencies a longer range view. 

  • Both Silverstripe CMS versions 3 and 4 have extended support, and;
  • CMS 4 will remain in active development for a longer period.

Below, we unpack the decision to extend support and development, describe in more detail what this means for websites on Silverstripe CMS versions 3 and 4, and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

Silverstripe CEO, Sam Minnée recently spoke about these changes at the annual StripeCon EU conference. You can watch his talk here.

The decision to extend support and development

Silverstripe CMS 4 was an exciting leap forward and we wanted to bring everyone along with us. Of course, this required an upgrade and at the time, we were confident that the effort and investment would be worth it. But over this period, it’s become evident that many website owners aren’t ready to add cost to their existing investment.

We’ve also upgraded a number of our own clients’ sites, supported other digital agencies and Partners upgrading their clients’ sites, and dedicated many months of product development to improving upgrade tooling. Through this, we’ve learned about the lifetime that website owners put on their investment, and their expectations before an upgrade or rebuild is required.

We want website owners and digital agencies to have confidence in their digital investment. So, we’ve made the following changes to our commercial support timelines to provide a longer range view and more certainty when it comes to planning a move to Silverstripe CMS 4.

View the new support timeline 

Extended support for Silverstripe CMS 3 

Support for Silverstripe CMS 3 has been extended approximately nine months to June 2021. 

Taking into consideration what we’ve learned about the lifetime of a site, this extension to mid-2021 allows between three and five years before an upgrade or rebuild is required. And for sites intending to take action in mid-2021, they’ll find CMS 4 still in full support.

Extended support and development for Silverstripe CMS 4

Active development for Silverstripe CMS 4 has been extended for an additional year, until the end of 2020. Correspondingly, full support for CMS 4 has been extended until the end of 2021.

Active development has been extended to more closely align with support ending for CMS 3. Lagging sites should still see CMS 4 as a viable option for an upgrade or a rebuild in 2020 and 2021.

The end of support for CMS 4 has been pushed out considerably, until at least the end of 2023. This takes into account the effort and investment to upgrade to CMS 4 and makes an effort to consolidate customers to a single version line—streamlining the level of commercial support that we can offer to the Silverstripe CMS community. 

Frequently asked questions

Why has CMS 3 support been extended? 

We’ve come to learn from website owners and digital agencies that the expected lifetime of a site is in the range of three to five years, which is reflected in the approximately nine month extension to June 2021. Website owners on Silverstripe CMS 3 now have a more generous window to plan their future digital investment and move to CMS 4. 

Why should I upgrade to CMS 4 now? 

Silverstripe CMS 4 is a more modern content management system than CMS 3. An upgrade will give you immediate access to security, performance, and functionality gains which you can read more about in this guide to upgrading to Silverstripe CMS 4.

As subsequent minor versions of Silverstripe CMS 4 are released, the gap between CMS 3 and CMS 4 increases. If you think that your website will require an upgrade rather than a rebuild in the future, we recommend you talk to your developer or agency as soon as possible to understand what could be involved.

What do the different support types mean? 

At any point in time, Silverstripe commercially supports CMS versions to one of three levels: active development, full support, or limited support.   

  • A version in active development will see new features, enhancements, and APIs introduced. While a version is under active development, minor versions are released approximately every three months to make these changes available.
  • A version in full support will see all security vulnerabilities resolved as well as non-critical bug fixes. No new features are promised at this stage, while we work on a new major version.
  • A version in limited support will see critical security vulnerabilities resolved and critical bugs fixed, ensuring your website stays stable and reliable.

At the end of limited support, the version in question goes end of life and will no longer receive commercial support from Silverstripe.

Where to go for more information

Check out the CMS roadmap page. If you have any questions, talk to your agency or developer, or get in touch with Silverstripe. Keep up-to-date by subscribing to Silverstripe CMS Release Announcements and Security Releases.

About the author
Bryn Whyman

Bryn is one of SilverStripe's Product Owners. He's here to make sure our users are given a megaphone to have their ideas heard and ensure our products allow them to excel and enrich their communities.

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