When you come to the end of a Kentico build, or any project for that matter, naturally your primary focus is to get it live and start using it in the real world. Once you become familiar with how the system works you find that you can do things, which once seemed to take forever, with ease. You tweak the system to your liking, and it becomes part of your everyday routine. It is habitual.
It's doing a job for you, and it's doing it well.
This is also known as complacency. It is now 6 or 12 or 18 months since the project went live, and the system is still doing its thing, sitting there waiting for you to place your hands on it once again. It can just carry on working like this, forever right? RIGHT?
This is where the problems start.
In this article our Head of Development, Ben Franklin explores the advantages of maintaining an up-to-date version of Kentico, and the problems that can occur if it isn't upgraded regularly.
Not everyone uses the internet for the good of humankind; new threats are appearing all the time.
It is rare for a day to go by without hearing about a high-profile hack on the news, and you may think that hackers only go after large organisations. However, this is somewhat of a myth. Large companies will generally invest more in security (not always!) and therefore it is harder to compromise their systems.
Smaller clients on the other hand can be an “easy win” for a hacker and can also provider somewhere for them to cut their teeth.
It is therefore important that your web presence has the most up to date security measures possible.
Software development is ever evolving, and what was once the pinnacle is now legacy.
From a CMS perspective this can relate to many things:
- Better database utilization
- More efficient memory usage
- Improved caching of data
- Enhanced load balancing
By upgrading to the latest version of Kentico, you will benefit from having a site that is not only quicker for users to browse but will also have SEO ranking advantages.
All CMS platforms bring out new elements with each new release, and Kentico is no different. Upgrading affords you the benefit of being able to use all manner of new features and ultimately improve your site.
As an example, Kentico version 11 included a new module for GDPR as a response to the upcoming change in the law.
A history of changes can be found at https://www.kentico.com/product/version-history
Time and money
There is another reason to keep on top of updates; it is much simpler. When performing an upgrade, it is necessary to run a Kentico upgrade tool, perform some manual changes and then fix any issues that arise (e.g. API changes can cause custom code to require amends).
This is mostly straightforward if you are only upgrading one version, for example version 10 to 11.
However, if you are further behind on the versions then there are more steps to do, which inevitably requires more time and money. As an example, if a site is on version 7 the upgrade steps are:
- 7.0 -> 8.0
- 8.0 -> 8.1
- 8.1 -> 8.2
- 8.2 -> 9.0
- 9.0 -> 10.0
- 10.0 -> 11.0
As you can see, it's a lot of steps! By doing it periodically you save on the pain of a bulk upgrade.
For all the items mentioned above, it is important to have the latest Kentico patches installed. Kentico release patches regularly (as well as grouping them into major releases). They are committed to not only creating new features, but also fixing bugs and reacting to security concerns.
A list of updates can be found at https://devnet.kentico.com/download/hotfixes
As a proactive Kentico partner, we will always open a dialogue with our clients when we believe an upgrade is required. We want you to be using the best version of Kentico that you can; after all, you chose Kentico because it is a world leading system, so we should keep it that way.
If you are looking to upgrade your Kentico installation, or just need advice, drop us a line.
We'd love to hear from you.