Monday, April 29, 2013

Keeping a CMS Website up to Date

A CMS or content management system is a great way to organize your website. If you are not sure what I am talking about, you might know this type of website as a Wordpress (WordPress Maintenance) or Joomla site, as those are both examples of a CMS. A CMS can be built into your website so that the user can make edits to the site, change pictures, text and other content in a user friendly way. They can also make customizations easily by using option tabs and widgets.

Yes there are many advantages of running a CMS on your website beyond just blogging. You can modify and customize your website with minimal use of CSS or HTML code. However, with many advantages of a CMS there are also a few things to keep in mind while running a CMS website. It is very important that you keep up with your CMS management.

Keeping Plugins up to Date

Many websites use plugins that offer extra benefits like site optimization, security and adding custom code automatically to your CMS site. If you do not update these plugins you will be missing out on the latest and greatest features that the developer has to offer. Also when a developer releases an update it could be because there are bugs or problems that need to be addressed.

Another reason to update your plugins is that running an old version could place your site in danger or even make it un-accessible for visitors. Plugins can update and change code within your website. Sometimes this new code is not compatible and causes issues in your website. This can make your site vulnerable to attacks from identity thieves or cause you to lose business. It is best to put your updates on manual so you can make sure your site is properly backed-up before you perform any software updates.

Keeping Your CMS Theme up to Date

Similar to plugins themes have embedded code that customizes your website. If you run a version that is too old you will also put your site at risk. Old themes can cause problems with outdated coding and may not work in all web browsers. In order to make sure your visitors have the best possible experience on your website, make sure your themes are up to date. If you have auto upgrades enabled your CMS will automatically update to the latest version, sometimes this new version is not compatible with your current theme and your website could go offline.

If you are maintaining your own website you might not know this has happened for several days or more if no one reports it. This can be devastating to your business. If you run an e-commerce website you will feel the effects of such downtime immediately. Your sales will plummet if this occurs.

Keeping Your CMS Version up to Date

It is also important to have the latest version of your CMS software. Like themes and plugins, by having the latest version of software you will be getting the latest and greatest that your CMS has to offer. WordPress is by far the most popular CMS these days. If you are using WordPress it is easy to update the WordPress software so there is no excuse to not do so. Before updating your CMS version software you should be sure to make a backup of your site in case you need to revert back to the older version.

What if my CMS is not up to Date?

If you do not update your CMS, its theme or your plugins you risk having downtime. This means you will lose sales, business leads and set your website up for even more loss in the future. Search engines like Google use total uptime as a factor in deciding search results. If your site is not online you can lose your rankings that you worked hard to obtain. The reason this is so important to search engines is because they want to give their users the best possible experience. If the site they are trying to visit is not online that that obviously is not considered a good experience.

The management and maintenance of your website will make sure your site is operating smoothly and continuously in order to generate optimal uptime and provide a good experience for your users. Your site is an important part of your business and making sure it is online to work for you is essential. Outsourcing your business website maintenance makes a lot of sense and leaves you to handle other aspects of your business.

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