How Much an Out-of-Date Website Costs You
Adding “2.0” to indicate an upgraded product is a common cliché these days, so we all understand the concept of “versioning.” But folks continue to resist upgrading their websites not realizing the costs and dangers they are risking.
If you were the village blacksmith a few hundred years ago, you might invest in a nice anvil that would last your lifetime. As a business owner today, however, your digital tools have a much shorter lifespan and you really need to stay up-to-date with your website version. Here are the two major reasons why:
It’s a given that hackers break into websites. Sometimes it’s to steal the data you have stored. Sometimes it’s to make you pay a ransom to regain control of your website. Sometimes it’s just because they can. Only last month the city of New Orleans’ website was shut down by hackers.
How does this happen? Because websites are extremely complicated strings of code and there are bound to be little errors. Hackers look for those errors to gain access. Certainly those who write the code are constantly working to fix the errors, if not before the hackers get in, then certainly right after. Once the error is fixed, the coders issue a new, improved version of the code – which should then be used in place of the old code.
The longer you keep using the old code, the more vulnerable you are to hackers because not only have you not fixed the known errors, but you’ve allowed the hackers extra time to find new errors.
If you have ever worked on an old house or old car, you have no doubt experienced the frustration of trying to match a broken or missing piece. Back when your house or car was new, it was easy enough to find a replacement, but nobody is making that piece anymore.
It’s the same for old websites. Technology is all about the cutting edge and coders are not interested in maintaining archaic software. Finding someone who can work on your antique website will be expensive if it is possible at all.
If you want to fix a problem or add a new feature, you will have to upgrade your web platform to the newest version for the fix or feature to work properly. That cost is an addition to your request. Going from version 3.2 to version 3.5 is a relatively straightforward move, but if you are going from version 3.9 to version 4.2, it is much more complicated even though the number of point increases are similar. A change in version number indicates a more radical modification and that translates into more work for your tech expert at a greater cost to you.
As of this writing, DNN, the platform on which we do much of our work, released version 9.4.4 a couple weeks ago. We also work in WordPress which released their latest version, 5.3.2 in December. Do you know what version your website is currently running? If not, give us a call. We’ll help you assess where you are now and propose a plan for your future.