Aarhus University

We provided over 500 Aarhus University websites with a TYPO3 CMS 10 upgrade. The websites are part of 20 TYPO3 multisite installations.
Click here for the Dutch version of this article.


About Aarhus University

Aarhus University is located in the city of Aarhus in Denmark. The university is one of Denmark's largest institutions of higher education and was founded in 1928. Aarhus University is the second oldest university in Denmark.


The TYPO3 CMS6 platform of Aarhus has been upgraded by MaxServ and the old code has been completely cleaned up. This was necessary because when a platform is not updated for a while, the code becomes increasingly outdated. In addition, unused extensions and deprecated content were removed.

All installations are kept as uniform as possible in terms of codebase, to make sure periodic updates of all platforms are as easy as possible.


All code is updated with the new techniques of TYPO3 CMS 10. This brings more than 120 new features that make website management easier, more compatible and also more secure.


An up-to-date platform

Aarhus has approximately 20 active TYPO3 installations. Each installation consists of an average of 20-30 websites, all of which are multilingual. This is a serious amount of websites. These installations were running on version 6 of TYPO3. This version is not supported with updates and patches since april 2017. This causes security risks and makes the platform more vulnerable to cyber attacks. An upgrade was therefore necessary.

The decision was made to upgrade all installations to TYPO3 CMS 10. A big project, which like any other upgrade requires a clear plan of action with a clear distribution of the tasks. That is something MaxServ has a lot of expertise in.

The platform is hosted in-house by Aarhus. Therefore, a good collaboration with the operational branch of Aarhus was of great importance. The communication between the departments and people who worked on the upgrade was good and efficient. The Aarhus team consisted of the operational team, the project manager and the technical lead. The MaxServ team consisted of 5 TYPO3 core and back-end experts.

The process

The project was divided into several phases.

Phase 1 - Inventory and plan of action

The goal in this phase was to give Aarhus University insight into the available scenarios to make the right choices together.

To create the scenarios, we started with mapping the situation. Based on what we found, two well-founded scenarios were presented. 

Scenario 1: all websites in one installation.
This scenario had the advantage that a few custom extensions that are focused on TYPO3 CMS 6 did not need to be upgraded. The disadvantage was the performance of the page tree.

Scenario 2: leave the installations and update all.
The advantage of this scenario was the better performance of the individual installations because they remain smaller. The disadvantage is that there is more customization required for the extensions that were based on TYPO3 CMS 6.

The second scenario was selected. Based on this decision, a plan of action was created. We decided to start with the multi-installation environment (an installation that consists of multiple websites) with the most extensions. 

Phase 2 - The extensions

In this phase the focus was on the extensions that were used in all the different installations. We ensured that the extensions that worked on CMS 6 were made compatible with TYPO3 CMS 10. Through this approach, potential bugs were discovered earlier so the upgrade should go smoother. 

Phase 3 - Testing and fixing bugs

After all extensions were made compatible with TYPO3 CMS 10 we started testing the migration.

During the test migrations, the up-to-date database was made compatible and merged with the new version of TYPO3 and the modified extensions. By automated testing this process several times, the team could detect and fix any bugs. These bug fixes were then applicable to almost all installations because many extensions on this installation also appeared on other installations. In total, three test migrations were done.

Phase 4 - Going live

By doing several test migrations, it was possible to go live with the first upgraded installations without any risk. Any bugs should have been discovered during the test migrations. When going live, the DNS of the domain name was migrated to the new environment. This prevented any downtime.

The going live phase consisted of several periods/sprints of 1 to 2 weeks. During this period MaxServ performed the migration and Aarhus tested the upgraded platform. To manage this intensive cooperation, good communication was of great importance. Therefore, daily stand-ups (daily's), evaluations (retrospectives) and review meetings were held.

The result

A platform that received an upgrade of 4 major versions to TYPO3 CMS 10 where outdated code and content was cleaned up. Also all extensions were now compatible for the new CMS version.

What is done?

The following tasks were performed:

  • Upgrading / refactoring custom extensions;
  • Cleaning up code, content and extensions;
  • All code brought up to date with the latest TYPO3 CMS 10 techniques;
  • All installations are kept as uniform as possible in terms of codebase so that periodic updates of all platforms are as easy as possible.

Business benefits

  • Access to the latest features and techniques of the TYPO3 CMS;
  • The platform is scalable and secure;
  • Maintenance and further development is now in reliable hands;
  • Back-end integrations with their own systems such as 'PURE training options'.

We have used these products and services for Aarhus

Continuous team
System integrations

Want to learn more about MaxServ?

Here should be a form, apparently your browser blocks our forms.

Do you use an adblocker? If so, please try turning it off and reload this page.