When Should You Upgrade Your Website?

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If you own a smartphone, you probably have become accustomed to keeping your device up to date at all times. These patch-releases fix software bugs and prevent hackers from exploiting any vulnerability your phone may have.

Once a year, however, you receive a new version of your smartphone’s software, typically accompanied by a lot of marketing hype and frequent media reports. These big feature-releases, so-called upgrades, give you access to a range of new capabilities, including significant security enhancements.

Websites, in general, follow the same protocol. Your host, such as Squarespace or Shopify, typically handles the bug-fixing patch-releases without you noticing.

Big feature-upgrades are a different matter. On average, every 24 months, these host companies enhance their templates considerably, leveraging innovations they have made to improve the user experience for website visitors. Not every upgrade will help your business. However, after missing a couple of these upgrades, you may realize that your visitors could benefit from some of these new features, such as online ordering for restaurants, new security capabilities, or video integration.

If a web designer implemented your site, I would recommend reaching out to them annually to explore which improvements could be most beneficial for your business.

Should you have an online store, you may want to pay closer attention. Some upgrades include critical security enhancements. Delaying their implementation could pose a risk to sales, as customers could decide to shop elsewhere, or search engines could lower your site’s ranking. For example, non-secure websites are ranked lower than secure ones in search results.

Like with many things in life, staying informed, asking questions, and seeking answers is the best advice one could give.

Happy Holidays!

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