When hiring a digital marketing agency to develop and maintain your website, most believe they need the agency to be responsible for 1) developing the site, 2) managing the content, and 3) administering users and configuration. However, some fail to realize it’s also extremely important to have a long-term site maintenance plan.
Whether it’s Drupal, Wordpress or another open source CMS, many don’t realize the importance of enforcing regular security updates and a long-term site maintenance plan. While the most obvious risk is having your site hacked, there are smaller scale problems that could arise if you fail to, or even just wait too long, to make site updates. To help you understand, we’ve outlined below our top 5 pitfalls that could happen if you don’t run your sites security updates.
1. Getting Hacked
Our top reason is the most evident one: security. Many people think it can’t happen to them because their site is too small –why on earth would anyone want to hack it? While there’s a variety of reasons your site could get hacked, such as mining Bitcoin, stealing bandwith, drive by downloads, or Blackhat SEO spam campaigns, there’s usually one common denominator: an older site. The likelihood of an older site getting hacked is a lot greater due to it having less secure coding and modules that are not up to date. All they have to do is click ‘view page source’ to see what Wordpress version you are running. It’s that simple for the hackers to target outdated sites.
2. Risk of Damage to the Integrity of Your Site
The longer you wait, the more risk you have that you will encounter a problem when you finally update your site. The more often you update, the less likely problems will arise. Skipping updates (like 3.0 to 5.0), is a big no-no because eventually, some day you’ll be forced into the new updates. And that one day, your risk is much higher because other modules will be out of date.
3. Wasted Time and Money
When you fail to make updates when they become available, but then need to go back and make them later, it turns into a much larger development and Q/A effort. The developer will need to spend much more time making the updates because the impact to the site is greater due to the increased number of updates and module changes over time. More time is also needed for QA because of the increased functionality on the site affected. Implementing the update when it becomes available provides you with the latest and greatest functionality right away, overall improving your site.
4. Unusable Features & Poor User Experience
Site updates provide new features and functionality to your website. Why wouldn’t you want new features for your WordPress or Drupal site? The sooner you implement the update, the sooner you get that new functionality. Think of why you always are updating your phone. That is, if you’re using an older version of WordPress, your overall experience is a lot different and often slower than someone using the latest version.
5. Decreased Speed
There’s a reason for new releases. Each release comes with various performance improvements that make your website more efficient. When you visit a site, and it takes too long to load – do you get impatient and navigate off? Website performance goes hand-in-hand with conversions and site results. Speed also has an impact on SEO. For this reason, utilize tools like YSlow, or Google Page Speed Insights to review your site speed and determine what is causing the slower load.
While there’s more than just five reasons to update your site, we’re listing the ones that we believe are the most valuable. Making these regular updates will help you avoid potential downfalls, save you time and money, and make your site secure as possible. If it seems like an overwhelming and intimidating process to handle on your own, don’t worry, that’s why we’re here.
Our goal at Traktek Partners is to leverage the latest in web technologies and best practices for search engine optimization, web design and deploy brand rich experiences that will bring your company, products, and services to life. If you’d like to learn more about our website design development, please contact us.