Website Do-Over: Waiting to Upgrade

Don’t Wait Too Long to Upgrade Your Website.

So far this year we are seeing a lot of business owners re-invest in their websites.  For some of these website owners,  they may have waited too long.

Some of the projects we are seeing involve websites that were built on a software platform, like an e-commerce store or a content management system, and before we can doing anything to the site,  the underlying software needs to be upgraded.  The problem is, the website owners have waited to long and now the software has missed several upgrades. What could have been a quick maintenance activity a couple of years ago, now is a major overhaul to get the website up-to-speed.

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Website

Here are some of the problems we have encountered with websites that are over-do for a software upgrade:

1. Software is no longer supported – we have encountered systems where the software is no longer supported,  because other content management systems came into vogue or the company released another product.  The only course at this point is to convert the website to another platform.

2. Plugins/Add-ons are not compatible – a client came to us late December with a content management system that had not been updated in 6 years.  They needed additional functionality added to their site and there were plugins available to do it.  This should have been an easy project, but since their site used a software version that had not been supported by developers for at least 3 years,  none of the plugin would run on the site.

3. Theme or Template is no longer supported – so far 100% of the upgrade projects we have been asked to do in the past 6 months have had this problem.  To give you an example,  one sites had been setup using the default template of the content management systems,  with just a few style modifications.  They had also waited about 5 years to update the site so in the meantime,  the software developers had release a new version of the default template at lease 5 times.  Once the update was in place,  the site looked completely different and there was no going back.

4. Web Host Cannot Run the Website – This is the big one and usually the reason why people called us to finally do the upgrade.  Your web host is constantly updating the software on their servers, this is important for the security of your site.  When you have an old site,  it runs on old code.   There will come a day when your web host performs their usual upgrade and all the sudden, your website will go down.  At that point, not only are you starting over,  but you are trying to relaunch in a hurry and trying to find help fast.  Not to mention, it may not be possible to recover all of the content from your old site. And yes, when you see phases like “start over” and “relaunch in a hurry”, that means things could get expensive.

Your Users Will Thank You

The most important reason to keep your website up to date is to make sure your website visitors have no trouble visiting the content on your website.  While your website ages,  your visitors update their web browsers and purchase new devices to use to visit your site.  An accessible website is a well visited website.  A little ongoing maintenance will make sure your website is easy to do business with.