Most websites nowadays run on a content management system, or CMS, that powers the backend of the site and enables any of us to make changes to the content quickly and without any prior knowledge.
Just like website content requiring regular updates to stay fresh, CMS updates are an essential part of website maintenance. While sticking with the current and familiar CMS might seem like the easier option, remaining with an unsupported or out-dated CMS poses significant risks.
Here are just 5 reasons CMS updates and upgrades should not be ignored:
Upgrading or updating your CMS avoids unnecessary expense
With the design and build of a website representing a sizable investment, website maintenance can easily be overlooked if support contracts or internal resource allocation is not considered from the outset. While the avoidance of a CMS upgrade to the vendor’s latest release might be a financially led decision, using an out-dated CMS and fixing issues as they arise can actually incur more costs in the long run. Akin to holding on to an old car that is prone to breakdowns rather than purchasing a new one, it makes more sense to use foresight and invest in the more reliable solution, especially when you considered new and updated CMS platforms are likely to also deliver improved functionality.
If you are using an out-dated CMS, your website is simply not secure
As is the nature of any digital offering, guaranteeing 100% security against cyber attacks is almost impossible, unless you want to invest a disproportionally large amount of money to achieve it. With that said, keeping your CMS up to date significantly reduces the vulnerability of your site. Security updates, sometimes referred to as security releases, are especially important in ensuring your CMS is kept robust. An out-dated CMS system opens itself up to potential attackers who can be merciless in discovering a website’s weak spots and is the number one cause of cyber attacks. These kinds of breaches, while unwarranted, compromise sensitive data and can in turn impact on your online credibility. With 22% of the top million websites reported to have out-dated infrastructures (Menlo Security), a considerable number of businesses are leaving themselves susceptible to attacks, perhaps demonstrating the scope of the issue.
An update will fix technical issues and bugs
Technical issues and bugs that are discovered with previous versions of a CMS are often resolved through updates. These fixes address common problems such as coding errors, bugs and incompatibility of plugins, all of which can lead to broken functionality on the site which is generally a painstaking issue for web editors and users alike.
The benefit of new features and enhanced functionality
As mentioned above, perhaps the most exciting reason to make an upgrade your CMS framework is the additional features and enhanced functionality it often provides. On average a major upgrade of a CMS is released every few years and implements newly created standards that boost the back-end interface and front-end capabilities – essential for a website’s growth and expansion. The latest version of a CMS has often been developed with more efficient code that enables faster running and a more responsive site. The migration to an upgraded CMS can be a lengthy and complicated process however, this can be significantly improved by working with experienced web developers.
The longer you leave it, the longer the process
CMS systems, like most software, are developed in tandem with technological advancements such as browser updates making new versions necessary to support and remain compatible with these developments. Each version produced implements changes and improvements that make it increasingly different to the original. While upgrading from the previous update is a relatively simple task, making the jump from much earlier versions presents certain challenges meaning the process can take considerably longer and cost considerably more.