Do you have an in-house tech team that monitors, updates, and supports your website? It’s okay if the answer is no. You’re not alone.

But if you are lacking these vital team members, then you need a trusted partner who can understand things like:

  • Security updates
  • Module updates
  • And platform updates

This article goes over the most important updates that need to be made to your website if you use Drupal, WordPress, Shopify, or Magento. You can skip ahead to the platform that applies to your website by clicking the appropriate section from the links below:

Importance of Regular Website Maintenance and Support
Why should you update your website?
Drupal developer updates
WordPress developer updates
Shopify developer updates
Magento developer updates

Let’s start with the reasons why you need to update your website in the first place. It may not seem like a big deal, but neglecting updates can actually cause you serious problems…

Why should you update your website?

You may think to yourself, everything is working fine on my website, so I don’t need to update anything. After all, if I change something, I risk breaking it.

That’s completely understandable, and lots of people in your position think the same thing. Unfortunately, that’s not how it really works. Worrying about messing something up when you update your website, and thus avoiding updating it altogether, actually causes more problems more often than the potential issues that could occur during an update.

In fact, most of the time updates go completely smoothly and nothing goes wrong at all. Especially if you hire a professional to take care of your updates for you.

If you use a platform like WordPress, for instance, you probably get asked to update things a lot when you go into your dashboard. You have to update the primary software; you have to update plug-ins; yet update themes. And if you don’t know why those things need updates, it’s easy to just ignore the notifications.

But when you do that you’re asking for trouble. Here are some of the biggest problems that can happen because your website or its components didn’t get updated:

You become more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Security is one of the most important reasons for updating your website. The most popular hosting platforms, such as Drupal, WordPress, Shopify, Magento, are unfortunately more susceptible to being hacked. It’s simply a result of being popular.

For a hacker, learning how to hack into one site on one of these platforms means you have a better idea of how to get into the others on the same platform. Does that mean it is more dangerous for you to host your website on one of the popular platforms? No, you’re actually perfectly safe as long as you update regularly.

You see, all of the most common types of attacks are found quickly and prevented by the platforms’ and plug-ins’ security updates.

You miss out on exciting new features.

Now, this may not seem like the biggest reason for keeping up with your updates. But technology and digital marketing change all the time, and your company should have access to all the latest stuff. You don’t want to miss out on something that could make a big difference in the way your website is presented to the world.

And if you do updates regularly, then you can get introduced to the new features a little out of time as they’re added. If you wait a long time and then have to add lots of updates and new features, it can be difficult to learn all of them and what they do, and thus easy to not use them or benefit from them at all.

You bog down your load times.

Your web pages' loading times should be extremely important to you. Studies have shown consistently that loading times make or break whether visitors stay on your website. In fact, how long it takes your site to load is so important to users, that Google now makes load times a part of their algorithm.

What that means is that your website will place higher in search results if it loads faster than your competitors. But you know what slows down load times? Not updating your site.

You make things much more complicated for yourself when you finally do update (and eventually you will have to).

Put simply, you could spend a few minutes right now updating, or you could potentially spend hours — or pay someone else thousands of dollars for dozens of hours of their time — trying to save your outdated features and data.

Drupal developer updates

Drupal is an open-source CMS for building websites. It’s popular for websites in many industries. And Drupal tries to set themselves apart from the competition by showcasing their unique websites rather than utilizing themes.

With Drupal maintenance there a couple of updates you need to make. The first is updates to the core software. No matter which primary version of Drupal you are using, it’s going to get regular updates that include mostly minor changes. For instance you update from version 7.1 to version 7.2 or version 8.0.02 version 8.1.3.

Less often, you’ll need to make a full Drupal upgrade of your core version, such as from version 7 to version 8. These are major changes to the core software.

In addition the version changes, Drupal uses modules, and you’ll need to keep your modules updated as part of Drupal support. Correctly updating your modules is necessary to the stability of your website. It involves checking for module-specific update instructions, backing up your database and files, putting your site into maintenance mode, and then replacing the module code with the updated version.

Click here to view and download the latest version of Drupal.

WordPress developer updates

WordPress is another popular open-source CMS. In fact, it’s currently the most popular website platform in the world. Like Drupal, WordPress maintenance involves version updates as well. They constantly make minor version changes in order to ensure the stability and security of your site, as well as adding new features to keep your site current.

Occasionally, you’ll also see a major WordPress upgrade for the core software version. So far all of this sounds about the same as procedures for Drupal developer updates. But WordPress support has a few unique things.

For instance, WordPress sites can use many plug-ins. And each of those plug-ins needs to be updated separately on its own timeline. That’s because the plug-ins are often created by third-party developers, although some of them are provided directly by WordPress.

You should get notifications on your WordPress dashboard when plug-ins need updating. If you don’t update the plug-ins, your website can become susceptible to any malicious attacks that have been designed specifically for particular plug-ins. Trust us; it happens.

In addition to versions and plug-ins, you’ll need to update whatever WordPress theme you currently use, and any additional themes you plan to use in the future. Just as with plug-ins, themes are also susceptible to hacking attempts.

Click here to view and download the latest version of WordPress.

Shopify developer updates

Although it is specifically an e-commerce platform rather than a content platform, Shopify maintenance also includes theme updates. (You may be noticing that a lot of these platforms have similar maintenance demands.)

Shopify is designed to be simple for users. Thus, Shopify support is not too difficult, and much of it happens automatically. But they do utilize third-party theme designers, and that means you may occasionally need to make version updates to your theme.

Depending on the theme these may not happen very often or may happen regularly with minor changes in each update.

If you’re just running a basic Shopify store, Shopify upgrades are not going to be much of a problem for you. But if you’re more established store using sophisticated tools with your Shopify account, you are definitely going to need a development team available for providing maintenance and support assistance.

Click here to view the latest changes to Shopify.

Magento developer updates

Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform. Like the other platforms listed here, Magento updates include minor version changes as well as bigger Magento upgrades to the core software.

As with all the platforms, it is highly suggested that you backup your database before making any updates or changes.

Where Magento maintenance differs is that the platform is much more flexible, but much more difficult to set up and support. It is highly customizable through API integrations. Magento support definitely requires a team of developers in order for your retail shop to run properly.

Click here to view and download the latest version of Magento.

Get Peace of Mind for Your Website with August Ash

August Ash offers a service plan called “Peace of Mind”. With the service plan, we provide website monitoring, website maintenance, and website support. To get help keeping your website stable and secure, click here.