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Upgrading your Joomla or WordPress website

This article is about the need and necessity to update / upgrade your website(s).  If your website is of the CMS (Content Management System –  Joomla or WordPress) type this will be of importance to you.  These sites offer a number of advantages over the traditional HTML websites, the most significant being the built-in ability for anyone with sufficient knowledge and access rights to edit them.

Software vulnerabilities continue to be one of the leading reasons why websites are being compromised. Because CMS sites are structured around a database which holds all the data / content, these sites are much more complex.  Software without bugs or security holes doesn’t exist and with complex CMS sites there is a greater potential for these issues.  To address these, WordPress.org and Joomla.org  issue regular security updates and CanadaWeb Inc. in turn updates your website several times per year to keep it up-to-date and safe.

Most of these updates are minor and fairly easily implemented but whenever there is a major version upgrade (Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2 or 3 for example) it requires a more substantial effort.  To do a major version upgrade (as compared to minor version updates) we have to use a current version of the original template or if that’s not available then a current version of a different (but maybe similar) template and copy and reformat all content to this new template.

For our clients there is a little bit of bad news and a lot of good news.

  • First the bad news: there is a cost attached to this – as a very rough rule of thumb a major version upgrade is roughly half the cost of the original site.  However, it’s a very rough estimate and cost can vary quite a bit depending on the site.
  • Now the good news:  because the new site is a complete rebuild, it comes with several benefits such as:
    – the site is secure
    – if a different template is used it will have a brand new look and feel
    – we often incorporate new features  (there may be additional cost)
    – the content usually gets a major update
    – the client essentially gets a new site for half (or less) the price of the original site

So to recap, while it is a bit of a pain and there is a cost involved, it is very worthwhile to engage in these upgrades from time to time to keep your site secure, fresh and dynamic .  The benefit to you, the client, is security and increased traffic.

There is another option to keep your site safe from hacking.  we can put your site on a proxy server with a Web Application Firewall (WAF) designed to function as a protective layer sitting between your website and it’s visitors.  The site will be secure there until you decide to go ahead with a major upgrade.

Contact us for more information.

Written by Frank B.

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