Recent events have brought to light the importance of keeping your application software up to date.
Web applications are typically include content management systems such as Joomla or WordPress. While old applications may continue to work OK for you, there are two constantly progressing factors that impact on the continued use of superseded software;
- Compatibility with systems software which is continuously upgraded to maintain security and, performance.
- The longer software has been around the more susceptible it is to hackers exploiting any security holes it may have. All software is breakable, but newer software plugs known security holes and takes longer for hackers to find new ones.
Regular maintenance and upgrades of application software are an essential part of maintaining website reliability, security and performance and must be allowed for in ongoing planning and budgeting.
All applications have there advantages and disadvantages when viewed in comparison. Given the importance of updating and upgrading in the long term provision of a reliable and secure website, high priority should be given to applications that are easily updated over minor and major versions.
Version updating can be complicated where there are numerous add-on components and plug-ins. All parts of the software solution need to be compliant with each other to provide a proper service. Development cycles for different software components are rarely in sync and this can raise problems in some instances.
To minimise upgrade/update risk with application software;
- Look for suppliers that have a history of timely upgrades an simplicity in their upgrade procedures.
- Minimise the number of add-on components that are essential to your application suite.
- Budget for regular update/upgrade procedures and allow to review software compatibility when major system upgrades are undertaken.