Let’s be honest: sometimes developers enjoy technology for its own sake, without stopping to ask whether it is actually helpful to the business. The benefits of upgrading Umbraco may not be that obvious: we see many business owners stick to the version of Umbraco they have had for years: it’s well known and represents less risk. In the software development world, this can actually be flawed logic we believe you you should keep your Umbraco version upgraded. What benefits this will offer and why is this a worthwhile investment to your businesses infrastructure?
Security – You’ve probably already heard people discussing security, and this can be a big enough reason to upgrade in itself. All systems will have security risks, and each day, software like Umbraco is being used by a lot of people in different situations. Umbraco also employ independent auditors to review the code and site to look for security holes, and very occasionally all these activities will bring to light potential vulnerabilities. When this happens, the Umbraco community will quickly roll out updates: either an upgrade of Umbraco or sometimes, if the fix is needed more urgently, they produce a ‘hot fix’ which basically means they have fixed the particularly vulnerable files and these need copying to the server as soon as possible. You need to keep your data, your site and your users safe, and upgrading is a big part of this.
Access to new features – As Umbraco grows, it gets more complex and adapts to the changing web: more functionality is built in which helps manage the day to day running of the site. Some of these can seem quite small but make a big difference in ensuring your site runs smoothly and reduces the time you need when uploading and editing new content. Umbraco 7 also comes with better provisions for handling images and other media but a great number of other useful features, such as the Examine dashboard, which will help your developer be more productive and solve snags quicker, costing you less.
Improved dashboard and responsiveness – The newer Umbraco versions and above includes a new responsive interface which means you can make edits via the CMS on the move. This can also seem like a small benefit, until that one day you have a meeting at the other end of the country, and suddenly realise you also have that important edit that needs making asap! It also helps with uploading content as the it also means you can preview your responsive site properly and expect it to look as it should.
Lower cost development – As already hinted, one additional point to consider: if your site is built on older technology and an older version of Umbraco, it may not support many of the new packages, plugins and extra functionality available to Umbraco sites. This could mean the quickest, easiest and most modern solutions won’t be available to your site if it’s build on old foundations. This means your developer may need to look at less ideal solutions, or custom write (or retro-fit) something, and this will usually take a lot more time and need more planning and ultimately more cost.
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