At this point it’s almost redundant to say that we live in a connected world because we see evidence of that on a daily basis. The current digital situation involves a plethora of devices, secure and extensive internet connectivity, and forward-thinking companies striving to leverage these elements effectively with their virtual channels and websites.
These digital elements allow businesses to drive up their sales, boost results, and deliver on promises they make to their consumers. Ultimately, allowing for a superior customer experience. However, not all businesses are able to leverage their desired results and one of the potential causes of this is a lack of technical expertise when it comes to creating and managing online pages and content.
That’s where a Content Management System (CMS) steps onto the scene. To break it down, a CMS is a tool that gives you the ability to create, publish, organise, edit, and delete content on a website, making it an ideal solution for permanent yet non-static websites. Basically, it’s the engine that drives your website.
Just like the operating system on your phone needs upgrading to provide you with the best experience or the content of your website needs to be updated to reflect your innovations, so too does your CMS. Typically, updates are pretty regular throughout the year. Two of the major CMS platforms we use; WordPress releases two to three major updates a year with smaller bug fixes and security patches released sporadically monthly and SilverStripe releases one major update each year with patches and bug fixes released monthly. It might seem like the easy option to just stick it out with your current CMS the way it is, however, operating on an outdated or unsupported CMS system presents significant risks.
Don’t believe us? Well, here are just a few reasons why staying on top of your CMS is vital:
If you’ve gone to the effort of having a custom website designed and built specifically for your business then you’ve likely made a fair investment into it. However, getting yourself a slick new website isn’t a one and done process, you need to also keep on top of its maintenance. You may be hesitant to upgrade your CMS due to financial considerations, yet using an out of date CMS and fixing issues as they pop up can end up being pricier in the long run.
Think of it like holding onto an old car, it may have sentimental value but if it’s constantly breaking down and you’re making frequent (and expensive) trips to the mechanic it could make more sense to use foresight and invest in a new, more dependable car. An upgraded CMS system is a reliable solution and newer iterations are also likely to deliver better functionality.
Your CMS is a digital system and like any digital system there’s a chance it could get hacked. As the system gets older, your CMS becomes more susceptible to security risks which is one of the key reasons CMS providers release updates.
You may feel that your website will be immune from a cyber attack because of its size but keep in mind that banks and multinationals aren’t the only organisations that get targeted. In some ways smaller businesses are more vulnerable because they are more reliant on the security provided by their CMS. Plus, falling victim to a cyber breach can compromise sensitive customer data which will ultimately impact your credibility. Therefore, keeping your system up to date gives you the best shot at being secure.
No one’s perfect, not even the software programmers and developers that work for CMS platforms. Glitches and bugs that don’t get picked up on during testing and development are often resolved through later releases and updates. These fixes address common problems such as bugs, coding errors, and incompatibility of plugins which decreases functionality for users and web editors alike.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression and nothing will take a bigger blow to your online credibility than when someone tries to visit your website and it isn’t working. Whether you agree or not – in the current digital age people will gain their first impression of your business based on your website. So, keeping your CMS up to date is vital.
Like most software, CMS systems are developed in tandem with technological developments such as browser updates making newer versions vital to support and be compatible with these advancements. While upgrading from the previous version is a relatively straightforward task, making the jump from a much earlier update can pose certain challenges, meaning that the process could cost considerably more, and take a lot longer.