Why upgrading your CMS is important?
Most websites are built on a content management system, commonly known as a CMS. As with all software, such as operating systems or gaming software, these all require updates at some point. There are several reasons for the updates, this may be due to product enhancements, security releases etc etc.
If you do not upgrade your site, you risk losing your site!
A website needs to be maintained
A website is not a once off cost, where the site is developed and you forget about it. The site needs to be maintained. Ignoring updates on a website could result in more unnecessary expenses, such as, fixing hacked scripts, removing malicious scripts placed by hackers, hackers accessing user databases, the list goes on.
A compromised site is like a car engine that hasn't had oil changes for 100,000 miles. Sure, you might find someone who can kind of fix it. But it will almost always be faster, cheaper, and safer to get a new one.
And that will be much more expensive than the maintenance ever would have been.
What you as the client needs to do
- Set a monthly/quarterly budget for upgrades.
- When notifications are sent out about upgrades, ask the developer if this is needed urgently or can it wait.
- Let the developers perform the upgrades, as they will understand how the site was put together.
- Do not ignore update notification!
- Always hire a professional to do the upgrades! It will be cheaper in the long run.
Remember, with a CMS, we're talking about the ability to add new articles with a few clicks. Upgrading is a small price to pay.
Two Big Reasons why upgrades are important
Security fixes/upgrades should always be performed. Security upgrades, also called 'security releases,' fix a vulnerability that's recently been discovered. Once a vulnerability is published, skipping the fix is like leaving your front door open, and announcing it on Facebook.
Upgrading major version changes should always be done by the person who put the site together. The following could affect an upgrade: PHP versions, MYSQL versions, Major CMS version upgrades influencing installed plugins. Developers should know these before an upgrade is performed.
Some potential things that your attacker could do include:
- Deleting all content
- Defacing the site by posting questionable and offensive material
- Spamming the site with links
- Changing passwords to block you from accessing the admin area
By updating your CMS, you will have the most secure version of the software, minimizing the possibility of any hacking.
Important: Always, always backup
2. Improvements & Features
Another great thing about upgrades is that they often contain more efficient code and features.
This may help to save time as you manage your website content. But even better, the efficient code may enable the website to run faster while putting less strain on a web server and help to minimize bandwidth. Perhaps this isn’t an issue now, but as your website grows, you will see why efficiency is extremely important.
The more specific you are about your goals the better!