CMS Maintenance: Who Cares?

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  • 3/20/2017
    thunder::tech cares and there are a lot of reasons you should too when it comes to your website’s CMS. The CMS is the backbone of your website, the engine that keeps everything running. An out-of-date CMS platform can be slow, buggy and even a danger to your business. Here are a few examples of what areas are of most concerns and how to keep everything in top shape.

    Security

    It seems like every day we read a news headline about a website or data breach in a major company (Target, Yahoo and Home Depot). Your business might not be a “tech giant,” nor have a dedicated security team, but that doesn’t mean you have to be defenseless. Keeping an updated CMS is crucial to keeping your website secure. WordPress, for example, has released two major security fixes just this year. Once a single vulnerability has been found it spreads like wildfire online and unpatched websites are targeted. If you are curious about what security patches and updates have been made, you can read more about it on your CMS provider’s website.

    Our Recommendations:

    1. If your website hasn’t been updated in a year or so, talk to thunder::tech about updating or upgrading your CMS.
    2. Make sure old user accounts are disabled or removed.
    3. Choose difficult passwords and change them regularly.

    Features and Updates

    Not all updates made to software specifically affect security. Even after you go through all the hoops of ensuring the ultimate security, software companies spend a lot of time improving product performance and fixing bugs as well. This means even more updates that your team needs to be prepared and ready for.

    Does saving a page take longer than it used to? This could be due to a lot of unused data (old pages, images etc.) that are no longer used. It could also be outdated code that has since been updated in newer versions. Have you ever had to reload the entire page because something wasn’t working correctly? This was probably fixed in a patch too.

    In addition to performance and general bug fixes, new product versions can include a lot of upgrades or new features. For example in the newest Umbraco version, they released a 301 redirect management tool and a health check dashboard. If you’re curious what features have been added or bugs have been fixed since your system’s last version, check out these links below:

    Our Recommendations:

    1. Let us know if you are experiencing issues with your CMS. We will follow up with our recommendations specific to your website.
    2. Take some time to audit pages and media on your site. Deleting files and old pages will not only increase the CMS load time, but it will also help with organization and make it easier to use.
    3. Check out news and updates from your CMS providers website, because you just might see a cool new feature that catches your interest.

    How to Check Your CMS Version

    Below we’ve listed the products that the thunder::tech team uses primarily, Kentico, UmbracoWordPress and Sitecore. In order to determine which version of these four CMS products that your team uses, follow these step-by-step instructions. 

    Kentico 8, 9, 10

    In the top right corner of your dashboard, there is a question mark icon, as seen below.

    After clicking on the icon, it will open a blue bar that has links to documentation, community Q&A and on the far right-hand side, the version number. For example, “v9.0.49" is the verison pictured below. 

    Umbraco

    After logging into Umbraco, you will see a question mark icon with “Help” under it in the bottom left-hand corner of the page.

    Clicking this opens the help window. This window displays the version number and links to helpful information.

    WordPress

    After logging onto your WordPress administration page, click on the “W” icon in the top left-hand corner of the page. 

    This will take you to the about page that shows your version of WordPress. There is an update button, but we do not recommend updating without contacting thunder::tech first.

    The about page, pictured below, also has information and links to newer versions.

    Sitecore

    To find your version in Sitecore, select the Control Panel from your dashboard. Once in the control panel, you can find the licensing details in the Administration section, highlighted below. 



    Once the licensing details window opens, you can find the version at the top of the window, as highlighted below.



    All in all, your CMS is really important. It protects data and your website. It also runs your applications and is an integral part of your company's IT infrastructure. Updating and upgrading your CMS is the best way to keeping your web assets protected and running like a well-oiled machine. Contact us today to get more maintenance recommendations and CMS tips!  
    About the author::  Nolan Vance is an Application Developer at thunder::tech. He designs, builds and supports software applications to keep businesses running like a well-oiled machine. You can find him online playing video games or theorizing about the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
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