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Why Your Website Needs Maintenance

Would you drive a car that hasn't had an oil change in 5 years?

Jul 11, 2019

Technology is constantly changing, this means that the day after your website is released its already out of date. New bugs are discovered, existing bugs are fixed, and technologies get version updates and more. Your website needs constant maintenance, this doesn’t have to be big changes but it needs constant attention. If you’re running a custom website or web based application you should be running weekly updates for security purposes alone. Think of it like a car. Car’s without oil changes may run, but they don’t run well, and they’re at a higher risk of breaking. Code maintenance is very similar.

Laravel which is our general framework of choice has a minor release every six months which requires changes, we always encourage our clients to adapt to these quickly. The changes are generally minimal and don’t require too much time to write and test. However, some do take a while. We believe it’s better to take the time now than to push it off, because pushing it off only means it will take more time in the future.

Open source technologies are constantly being evaluated, improved, repaired, and abandoned, allowing your code to be several versions behind means you’re at risk of running code that is no longer supported by anyone. So any bugs or security issues go unnoticed, and you’re vulnerable. This becomes a time sink when the plugin your site was using is no longer supported and so old the documentation no longer exists.

You may have heard terms like future-proof when talking with software development teams. We’re going to break the news to you and tell you that as far as we’re concerned there is no such thing as future proofing your code. There is no way to prevent general code maintenance. The only way to prevent your site from requiring updates in the future is to never use your site, and never make it live. Simply deploying it to a server means you now have to update the server. This is exactly why services SquareSpace and Shopify have become as big as they are. Your monthly payment is handling the general maintenance of all the servers and the code base running them.

So what does all this mean? If you’re running a custom website on a custom hosting solution you should be able to talk to your provider and get the latest information about updates that have been done, and what updates your code likely needs. If you cannot get this information then its time to find a new technology partner who is there to support you and help maintain your code.

We're always happy to talk with new potential partners who we can help expand and maintain their digital assets. Connect with us if you'd like to learn more.

By: Matt Lantz