Your CMS (Content Management System) is the engine that drives your website. Many small business owners think that once their website is developed and launched that they are done. That nothing else needs to happen.
In fact, we have had clients tell us “Nothing has changed since my website was created so I don’t need to update it” - nothing can be further from the truth!
We want to give you 5 important reasons your CMS needs to updated regularly.
Security: A CMS is a digital system, and like all digital systems it can be hacked. As it gets older – a version of your CMS becomes more exposed to security risks. One of the biggest reasons that makers of a CMS release updates is to address these risks.
Many smaller sites and organizations think that they are immune from this. They feel that because their website or company is small that they are safe. This is wrong! In some ways they are more vulnerable. Medium.com has a great article on this – so I will defer you to them. The point here is that these small organizations and websites are more dependent on the security protocols of their CMS – this comes through keeping it up to date.
As a final thought to this point – Website security company Securi released a report which stated that of over 11,000 infected WordPress sites that they have dealt with – over 56% of them had out of date software which increased its risk of attack.
Functionality: One of the benefits of keeping your CMS up to date is that in many updates new features are added or turned on. A major update to a CMS is normally done every year or two. These updates can improve load time and improve your overall visitor experience. There are always newly created standards and sometimes developers want to develop their product further in order to give their customers or users more functions and features.
Technical Issues & Bugs: Not even the best computer programers and software developers are perfect. Unforeseen issues and glitches that don’t get fixed during testing and development get fixed later 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.
Quicker to perform maintenance than repairs: Just like your car, your home, your computer or other items you own, it is far quicker and easier to update your website regularly than it is to fix it after it crashes. We have had this happen to several clients where their websites became too old and to incompatible with the plugins that ran it and they just stopped working. This is never fast to fix. The older the CMS the longer it takes to update. Update often and take less time to do so is always our advice.
The other aspect of this is cost. It is normally much easier and cheaper to regularly keep your CMS updated than to deal with the fallout that would happen in the event of successful hack on your website, which could lead to you needing to completely remake your website or online shop. The cost to pay your supplier or developer to repair or restore a broken site can run very high, the cost to put regular maintenance into your site can bring lots of savings with it.
Protects your reputation: Nothing ruins your online credibility more than when someone tries to visit your site and it is not working. Right, wrong or indifferent – we live in a society where people gain their first impression of your organization by its website. As the old adage goes – you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
So there you have it. One other thought we should include is that many service providers provide plans for ongoing web maintenance. To view our plans visit our maintenance services here.
If you have not updated the infrastructure that runs your site – get it done right away. You can save yourself much time, money and aggravation down the road.