In today's digital age, a website is often the first point of contact between a business and its audience. It serves as a virtual storefront, a communication hub, and a platform for sharing information.
Behind the scenes of every successful website lies a Content Management System (CMS) that powers and manages its content. But here's the catch: a CMS is only as effective as its latest version. Many different issues can arise if a CMS is not kept up to date. In this blog, we’ll explain some of the most important things to consider.
Cybersecurity threats have become a pervasive concern in the online world. Hackers are continually developing new techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in websites and their underlying systems. One of the most significant reasons for CMS updates is security. Outdated CMS versions are often riddled with known vulnerabilities that hackers can easily exploit.
Many content management systems have a product lifecycle that will state what product version of the CMS is at, and in association what level of support your version has and when this will end. You may hear terms like ‘extended support’ or ‘sustaining support’. It is important to look up these meanings on the various CMS knowledge hubs. Some of these lifecycle stages will mean you are not able to receive the latest security patches – making your site vulnerable to hackers.
By keeping your CMS up to date, you ensure that security patches are applied promptly. CMS developers work diligently to identify and fix security weaknesses, releasing updates and patches as soon as they are discovered. Failing to keep your CMS updated puts your website at risk of data breaches, malware infections, and other security breaches that can damage your reputation and could compromise your visitors' personal information if you are storing this.
Get the latest CMS features
Most CMS providers are in a constant race to add and improve features to make them successful in comparison, selection and procurement processes. The most famous CMS benchmarking process in the world being the periodical publishing of the Gartner Magic Quadrant, with current title being the Gartner Magic Quadrant for DXPs. They will also use the next version to mature and improve features in many cases, having rushed out their Minimum Viable Product for a feature in the previous version so that they can get it on their feature list!
So updating your CMS will gain you new features and better versions of the features you are currently using, which means you are getting the best of your investment in the license fee and solution. Better features means more efficiency, more capability and therefore ultimately more digital results for you, your team and your organisation.
Performance is another compelling reason to stay on top of CMS updates. As technology evolves, so do the ways in which websites are designed and developed. Newer CMS versions often include performance enhancements and optimizations that can significantly boost your website's speed and responsiveness.
Faster loading times can have a substantial impact on user experience.
Visitors tend to abandon slow-loading websites, and search engines take website speed into account when ranking search results. The most important ranking factor in this space is the set of Google Core Web Vitals metrics. By updating your CMS regularly, you can ensure that your website remains competitive and provides an excellent user experience, which, in turn, can lead to increased traffic and better conversion rates.
Compatibility with Modern
The internet is a dynamic environment, with new technologies and standards emerging all the time. Browsers, web servers, and other web ecosystem components constantly evolve. An outdated CMS may not be compatible with these modern technologies, leading to compatibility issues that can negatively affect your website's functionality.
Keeping your CMS up to date ensures that your website remains compatible with the latest web technologies and standards. This means that your site will work correctly on various devices and browsers, providing a consistent experience to all your visitors. It also allows you to take advantage of new features and capabilities that can enhance your website's functionality.
Compliance and Legal Requirements
Many industries and regions have specific legal requirements and regulations regarding websites and online data. These regulations often require websites to maintain a certain level of security and privacy protection. Failing to meet these requirements can result in legal consequences, including fines and legal action.
Staying up to date with your CMS is essential to ensuring compliance with these regulations.
Developers of CMS platforms often work to align their software with legal requirements, such as GDPR for data protection or WCAG or ADA for accessibility. By running the latest CMS version, you can demonstrate your commitment to compliance and reduce the risk of legal troubles.
In the fast-paced world of the internet, keeping your website CMS updated to the latest versions is not just an option, it's a necessity. Security, performance, compatibility, bug fixes, stability, community support, and legal compliance are all crucial aspects of maintaining a successful online presence. Neglecting CMS updates can lead to security breaches, poor user experiences, and legal troubles that can harm your business.
Regularly updating your CMS is an investment in the long-term success and integrity of your website. It demonstrates your commitment to providing a safe and efficient online experience for your visitors while ensuring that you can take advantage of the latest web technologies and standards. So, don't delay those updates!
As a Cyber Essentials accredited company, we at Appius pride ourselves on strategically working with our customers to ensure their CMS is kept up to date, allowing them to get the maximum benefits out of the CMS whilst remaining protected and secure from hackers.
Please get in touch via our Contact Us form to find out more about keeping up to date with your CMS. With an informal discussion, we can take stock of where you are at with your platform and work with you to ensure you are harnessing the maximum benefits.