What kind of car do you drive? Do you change to a new model immediately after a new one is out or do you drive your old junker for a few years and have it serviced regularly? Well, most people will probably choose the second option. You don't necessarily have to change to the latest model if you are satisfied with its performance. It is pretty much the same as the content management systems (CMS) you are using.
In the past, many companies used to commission a relaunch of their website every five years. By then, technology and design were usually so outdated that it was cheaper to redo everything. But the times have changed. These days companies will rarely invest in a complete relaunch.
Websites have become more durable, more functional, bigger, and also more intelligent. Once you have invested a lot of money in setting up a sophisticated CMS, you don't even need a relaunch. It is enough to update your CMS on a regular basis.
What are the advantages of content management system updates?
The most important reason for updates is security. All software providers, including open-source systems, plug their security gaps with updates. Not only hackers are getting smarter, but bots are also too. Since the CMS is the heart of your website, often linked to other systems, it must not become vulnerable. Every company wants to avoid being hacked. It is also obliged by the GDPR to manage customer data securely.
Security gaps arise for several reasons. Sometimes it is many generations of coders who – unconsciously and without intention – create errors over time. Or they arise from the latest developments in the software. After all, technology is constantly evolving. Content management systems are often connected to other systems through Application Programming Interfaces (API). If those are too old, they become incompatible.
Many security gaps result from incompatibility. For security reasons, hosters must offer their customers the latest PHP version on their servers. But if you manage your website with an outdated Typo3 as CMS, the hoster may switch off these old versions – or only keep them for an extra fee.
This creates not only technical but also financial dependencies for users.
2. Open Source does not mean free of charge
When you hear open source, you are probably happy about free software at first. But open-source products have to be updated as well! Just as you have running costs after buying a car, it is the same with a CMS. Maintenance costs money. Whether it is carried out in-house by your IT department or by an external service provider: as a company, you cannot afford to save these costs!
A professional IT team installs all updates on a test system to avoid the risk of crashing the running CMS. Not only is the stability of the system tested, but also the functionality of all customized changes in your CMS.
Updates affect the entire functionality of the CMS.
Browsers for example change the rules of display with every update. Outdated plug-ins then lose their functionality depending on the browser. Like hosters, browsers no longer support old CMS functions. These can then no longer be displayed.
3. work faster and more efficiently
Returning to our car metaphor: If you take care of your car, there will be fewer breakdowns. After the inspection, it will immediately roll much smoother over the road. It is the same with your CMS. If your CMS is up to date, your employees will be happy about a fast and efficient backend.
Every update improves the functionality.
CMS systems evolve and become better, and easier to use. A new CMS version can already offer extensions as a separate, system-optimized feature. A CMS is not a project with a start and end point, but a product that lives from further development. You should therefore invest time and money to keep it up to date.
Developing a website from scratch is usually much more cost-intensive than maintaining it. For companies, it is therefore a matter of finding a break-even point: If you have missed three important updates, your maintenance will most likely become so costly that it will hardly be cheaper than a complete relaunch.
4. Technical SEO: your site is found
If your website is slow, it will be penalized by search engines by simply remaining invisible. Performance, the page speed, also plays a big role in technical search engine optimization (SEO). An up-to-date CMS can have a positive effect on your technical SEO.
It is mainly because content management systems display the website as already code-optimized. An up-to-date CMS, therefore, achieves better SEO results. There are also technical developments in this area, such as the best possible compression for images or an event list for scrolling, which does not load the content directly when scrolling, but instead passively displays it.
Finally, the CMS also optimizes your content for all end devices. Regardless of whether users are surfing on a smartphone, tablet, or PC, the CMS ensures that your content is presented in the best possible way.
5. don't lose money with a Relaunch – Make a Redesign instead
The best comes last: If you have always kept your car technically in good shape, then it does not matter if it has some scratches. After a makeover, your old used car will shine in new splendor. You can do the same with your website – provided your CMS is up to date.
Then, instead of a complete relaunch, you can simply redesign your website using the existing CMS structure. This is far more cost-effective and you can be sure that your new website will not only be fast and secure. The redesign will hardly affect your backend tasks at all!
Would you like to have your old CMS checked and updated by our IT professionals?