A client enlightened me to something a few days ago. They’re a leader in strategic asset management (think commercial infrastructure, not investment portfolios), and a huge part of their job includes studying the life cycle of big, large-scale pieces of machinery. They understand exactly how long these machines are most likely to last, what components will deteriorate as well as when, and what really needs to be done to keep all of it in working order. They understand how much money they’ll require to maintain spending to ensure the wheels (quite literally) keep turning.
Vital stuff, right?
They also revealed to me that not everyone thinks like that; some organisations simply roll along, wishing that these big, intricate machines that are the pumping heart of their company will always keep functioning the same way they constantly did. That thinking is great, up until they don’t work.
I thought that was really interesting … until I became aware that’s just how a lot of people think about their websites. Sometimes business owners really struggle with seeing their website as an asset.
Your web presence is a vital part of your organisation. It’s the best way customers discover you, it’s a huge avenue in how they work out how to contact you, and (if you’re doing it correctly) it’s a core piece of the puzzle in promoting your business. Depending on what industry niche you’re in, it might also be the only front facing customer contact you have.
That’s why you need to look after it. You need its content to be up-to-date, and also visually appealing. But much more importantly, you need to keep the software behind all that content up to date, also.
Let your mind wander and think about what happens if you don’t…
So what happens if I DON’T maintain my website software up to date?
Old software will stop working
Nothing really lasts forever, which includes sites. Internet web browsers also evolve or go out of fashion and are never seen again (who remembers Internet Explorer?!), and a site that looked good on a particular version of a particular browser will not always look the exact same after you upgrade. Hardware changes is another thing to think about. A website that looked great on a desktop computer in the early 2000s isn’t going to be so swish on an iPhone X.
The hardware that websites operate on develops as well, implying that if you leave it long enough, a web site will ultimately wind up entirely incompatible with current website hosting systems. It’ll be like trying to play a cassette tape in a Blu-Ray player.
Old software is prone to have more security holes than update / maintained software.
Hackers don’t sit around trying to get into web sites anymore, they write programs to do it for them. Even worse, as soon as a hacker locates a weakness the world soon knows about it which leaves you vulnerable
That’s why web developers collaborate. We apply security patches as soon they’re recognised in the community. In some cases a given item of software will go months in between needing a patch, yet in some cases it’s days.
If you care, sign up for a Care Plan
Securing your site against obsolescence and breaches is a consistent fight, or a constant race, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you don’t, you’re leaving your site to the mercy of hackers. If your insecure site is discovered by software, it will certainly be hacked; there’s no question about it.
We’re currently offering a range of WordPress Care Plans to anyone whose website works on the WordPress content management system. We provide daily back-ups, minute-by-minute security checks, and a month-to-month report describing every software application patch we’ve executed.
In the past, we’ve just provided this service for websites we constructed, however we’ve had many requests that we chose to open it up to anybody out there that understands exactly how important their web site is to their success.
Discover more about our WordPress Care Program
Need assistance for various other systems?