Just like cars, websites require maintenance to operate properly. Properly maintaining your site helps to ensure site security, increase the number of new visitors, boost returning traffic, and more.
Most websites nowadays are build using a CMS (Content Management System) like Wordpress, Drupal, Craft,... They are used to provide features like writing blog articles, e-commerce, creating new pages. A database will be used to store all this data and you don't want hackers to be able to have access to this data. Technology is constantly evolving and this can lead to security vulnerabilities. Updates for these CMS's provide security patches, but sometimes require additional work by a developer to make sure these patches don't break other things on your website.
Boost site traffic (SEO)
In order to provide searchers with the best quality content, search engines such as Google raise rankings for websites that are updated regularly. A higher ranking increases your site’s visibility, which increases the likelihood that your content appears when your target audiences search for relevant keywords. Updating your site with valuable information, fixing broken links, removing duplicate pages, and keeping your content updated will help drive both new and returning visitors.
Better user experience
Some features on your website are probably build using a third party library that provides some code to more easily build things like an image gallery, contact form, pop-ups. It's possible that these features can break because they also rely on other code. By updating these libraries you can prevent that certain features on your website break and that users won't leave because these features stopped working.
It will save you money in the long run
If a website isn't maintained regularly, that also means no new content, it can start performing poorly on search engines (Google). Like described above, features can start acting weird or break. Maybe the design isn't up to date no more and can impact the user experience. Skipping updates (like 3.0 to 5.0) is a big no-no because eventually, some day you’ll be forced into the new updates. And that one day, your risk is much higher because other modules will be out of date.
When you fail to make updates when they become available, but then need to go back and make them later, it turns into a much larger development and Q/A effort. The developer will need to spend much more time making the updates because the impact to the site is greater due to the increased number of updates and module changes over time. More time is also needed for QA because of the increased functionality on the site affected. Implementing the update when it becomes available provides you with the latest and greatest functionality right away, overall improving your site.
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