Blogs from the team

When is it time to upgrade your CMS website?

There are lot of advantages to having a CMS website. CMS websites account for 32.2% of all websites. That is a pretty big share. Some of the advantages of using a CMS for your website include:

  1. End-users can manage the website: Gone are the days when you have to call your developer to make a content change or to add a new menu to your site. With CMS it is absolutely easy to manage your website.
  2. Security: With a CMS, security is built-in. There is a community of CMS developers who are watching your back. When new vulnerabilities are spotted, you can download a security patch to keep your site secure.
  3. WYSIWYG editor: Most Content Management Systems feature a built in WYSIWYG editor; this means that is no longer necessary to have someone with HTML/CSS expertise make style changes to your site content.
  4. Extensions: When you use a CMS, you are not limited to using only the out-of-the-box features that come with the CMS platform core. There are a wide variety of ready-made extensions available that can add new features, enhance existing features, and customize the way that a site looks, feels, and functions. Extensions for most common, and some not-so-common, functionalities are readily available, and if there is not an extension that suites your needs; one can be custom developed for you.

In today’s ever changing technological environment it is an on-going necessity to change and adapt to newer technologies. Relying on a stable CMS solves most of this problem as the CMS itself can be regularly updated; keeping your site current and secure. CMS core development teams strive to stay ahead of trends and to cater the changing needs of their loyal users. In order for you to take advantage of these developments, it is important to upgrade your CMS based website to the newest version of your platform. Some Content Management Systems have a pre-defined release cycle, and others are more ad hoc. When the release cycle is predefined, it is easy for the customers to plan accordingly for things like new features, changes in business requirements, and to plan an upgrade budget. For a lot of site owners, one of the biggest questions is when to upgrade. Here are few points that will help you decide if it’s time to have your CMS platform upgraded. Of course, this applies to the core version upgrade, as sub-version version upgrades are almost always mandatory. Examples of core upgrades would be things like Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5 or 3.x, or Drupal 5.x to Drupal 6.x or Drupal 7.x etc. Whereas a sub-version upgrade will be iterations within the same code version, which will include bug fixes and security patches. In most cases, these sub-version upgrades are compulsory. So here are few scenarios in which core upgrades are necessary:

  1. When the current version is no longer supported: This is like staying in an un-guarded territory. With bandits having the roadmap to find your treasure. You are left to fend for yourself. In this case the CMS provider will not be able to provide any security upgrades, even the known vulnerabilities that are found after your platform version is no longer supported. Although we see websites that function well every day, that are built on CMS versions that are no longer being supported and are vulnerable to attack, this is only the illusion of security. You can consider yourself safe only until the bandit comes knocking at your door. In some cases change is the only option as many hosting companies will not continue to host sites that are built on outdated platform versions.
  2. When new extensions are no longer available for the current version: Because new technologies, online business practices, and user experiences redefined day by day, we rely on new features to be made available for us to keep up with the market. This will be a particular problem for CMS versions that are at the end of their life cycle because, naturally, extensions developers will be building for the newest version. In this case, there are only two options left, either you can have the new feature custom built, which can take sometimes be costly, or simply upgrade to a more current version of your CMS and have the new features added.
  3. When the next version already has the features you are looking to add to your current version: This is another important deciding factor. When you find that the features you are trying to build onto your existing version are part of the newer version core it is probably more economical to upgrade. In this case, it is obvious that upgrading is the way to move forward. You get the new feature added to your site and also you get a new shiny engine running your online presence
  4. Industry Compliance: Occasionally, industry standards dictate that it is necessary to use the latest version of the CMS to be compliant. Utilizing a CMS platform can help you to keep up with changes to constantly evolving standards. Often, these mandates do merely impact the CMS version, but also apply to the environment in which the CMS site is hosted. Therefore, upgrading to the newer version will help to keep you current with industry standards.

If you have more questions, or would like our geeks to take a peek in to your engine compartment to see if it’s time for an upgrade, click here.

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