"A great business has to have a conscience. You have to know who you are and who you are not." - Howard Schultz
How do you define who you are? How do you differentiate yourself from whom you are not? How do you show who you are to others and what do you want others to learn from you and your business?
In every business relationship, a connection is formed. The reason may be related to similarities of backgrounds and interests. Or differences in skills that allow both parties to mutually benefit from each other.
If who you are is not clearly defined, how do you expect others to understand you and what you have to offer? Does your company website communicate and reflect who you truly are? Your website encourages the growth of your personal branding and help create the perception of your business for your ideal customers.
From your perspective, do you like what you are currently seeing, listening and learning from your website? Is your business personality clearly coming through and are those the values you want others to remember about your company? Is it memorable enough? If not, why not improve your website and upgrade?
When Should You Update/Upgrade Your Website?
Some ask what the general rule is when to upgrade their website. My answer is “you can update anytime, but upgrade when there is a new version of the Content Management System (CMS), or want to rebrand your business.” What follows are confused looks and questions related to the differences between update and upgrade.
In software terms, an update happens more often than an upgrade and is usually free. Updates are patches (code) that fixes small issues in the current software. For example, running Windows Update to fix known problems in your Windows PC.
On the other hand, upgrades happen when you purchase a new version of a product or completely replace the hardware. For instance, buying Iphone 6 to upgrade from Iphone 4. Thus, upgrades are more expensive than updates, but offers greater improvements.
In website terms, an update happens when:
- Adding new contents like Blog posts, editing the About Us page, uploading new images to the Photo Gallery or changing any texts of your existing contents (for SEO and marketing)
- Updating Drupal modules or WordPress plugins to latest (for improved security and bug/error fixes of the add-ons), that changes the module version from 7.x-1.9 to 7.x-2.0 (# after “-“ is increased)
- Mini-updates to Drupal or WP core (better security for CMS system, but not overhaul new version). Example: WP 4.4.1 to 4.4.2 (only changes the # on far right)
- Feature updates that add new functionality to current CMS website (may require multiple phases if new feature is more complicated)
An upgrade for websites happen when:
- Upgrade the design or Front-end of your website for re-branding or making it responsive so it's compatible for mobile devices (requires a Graphic/UX designer to create mockups and new design while Developer uses it to theme your existing CMS)
- For WP, upgrade the core from 3.2.0 to 4.0.0 (process similar to WP core updates, changes the far left #)
- For Drupal, upgrade from 6.x to 7.x requires rebuilding entire website structure and contents are migrated using Migrate module or custom MySQL queries with Feeds
- Moving from a static HTML website or from one platform to another CMS requires following all parts of the process from beginning till end
From the lists above, website upgrades take more time and are more expensive than updates because it requires many phases from planning, design, development, Q & A, testing, adding contents and training. Updates are much easier and faster to do than upgrades, especially with a consistent process. As outlined in my process diagram, upgrades do have a consistent big picture, but the sub-categories for each phase changes depending on the client requirements.
If you are wondering why you should upgrade, ask yourself why is there a new Playstation system or a new version of your Iphone if the current one still works? The answer is because it is new and different, yet the same product, ex. Iphone 6 is Iphone. Or better yet, what happens with every new technology released?
The new reveals innovation and performance enhancements that the old version is not capable of. New brings excitement and a fresh feeling. But in all these changes, there is still consistency and that is the new you!
"Don't get too comfortable with who you are at any given time - you may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be." - Jon Bon Jovi
- Design and Theming
- Web Development
- Performance, Security and Simplicity
- Search Engine Optimization