5 Main Reasons You Need to Promptly Update or Upgrade Your CMS

The majority of websites today are built on a content management system (CMS) that runs the site’s backend. A CMS ensures any changes that need to made can be applied quickly and without the need for one to have a background in information technology.

Most website owners understand the need to post fresh content on their site on a regular basis. Many however forget to similarly update their CMS whenever new updates are available. An outdated or unsupported CMS presents a substantial risk to your website.

The following are the main reasons your WordPress CMS should be current at all times.

  1. Saves You Unnecessary Expense

Except for very simple websites, there’s always a cost associated with website maintenance. Whether it’s the staff assigned to the routine maintenance tasks or it’s the external consultant contracted to resolve the more complex problems, you have to set aside some money for website maintenance each year.

Whereas ignoring a CMS update may feel convenient and cost-free at the time, it can be expensive in the long run. Think of a CMS in the same way as a car — failure to adhere to the recommended frequency of servicing the car takes away months and years from the car’s useful lifespan.

  1. Enhanced Functionality and New Features

If you aren’t updating your website as frequently as you should, you are selling yourself short. Updates enhance functionality and add new features. Updates are not created equal though. While there may be minor updates from time, major updates are usually released once every couple of years.

As far as functionality is concerned, it is these major updates that you should install most promptly. They boost the front-end and back-end capabilities that are necessary for the site’s expansion and growth. The updates are based on more efficient code that ensures faster execution and a more responsive website.

  1. More Insecurity

CMS updates help improve functionality and add new features. However, the updates have an equally important security element too. Making sure your site has all the latest patches applied significantly lowers its vulnerability to hacking and malware.

Remember, hackers don’t have an infinite amount of time on their hands. As opposed to doing the laborious legwork needed to identify previously unknown loopholes, attackers will search the internet for lists of the most recently discovered vulnerabilities. They’ll then scan the web for sites that haven’t applied the security updates required to seal these gaps.

  1. The Longer You Leave It, the More Time It Takes

Like most other software, WordPress and other CMS systems are built with the current technological environment in mind. As the operating environment changes in terms of browser updates, server capacity and Active Directory management software, new CMS versions are necessary to ensure continued compatibility and support as well as to take advantage of the opportunities created by the new environment.

Each new CMS version has improvements and changes that make it different from its predecessor. Updating from one version to the immediate next one is usually fairly straightforward. It’s a whole different ballgame though when skipping several versions in order to upgrade an outdated CMS to the latest release. It takes considerable time, is more complex and there may be problems ensuring the website retains its structure and form.

  1. User Experience

Your website exists for its users’ benefit. The better the experience visitors to your website have, the more likely you are to achieve your site’s goals. Ensuring your CMS is always current is a positive for your users thanks to the addition of new features, mobile compatibility and enhanced security.

Using an outdated version of WordPress is like a voyage aboard a leaking ship. You may try your best to repair the holes or get rid of the water faster than it’s getting in but ultimately, the ship will sink.

It’s only natural for one to be comfortable in the familiar and apprehensive about trying something new but the changes that come with promptly updating and upgrading your CMS are too important to let pass.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at 85ideas is a team of WordPress experts led by Brian Harris. Here to share amazing tuts, guides and collections.

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