If you want to run a successful website, think of it as a car. No, I’m not talking about your dad’s Buick, but more like one of those super cool transformer cars in the movies.
Our high-performance, transformer car site is going to be made up hundreds of individual parts, or components, that all need to work together in order for your site to function properly. But unlike a traditional car, this new futuristic car is designed differently. In order to keep it running at peak performance, the parts are designed to be continuously updated and occasionally swapped out with new and improved parts.
The vendors of these new parts are not stodgy old brick and mortar companies, but rather quick and nimble internet companies that are continuously innovating and improving their parts by releasing fixes, enhancements, and new features.
It’s also important to note that the parts for this new high-performance transformer car have a relatively short shelf life for support. While the vendors are very supportive of their products, they’re constantly on the move drinking lots of Red Bull, and as such don’t really dwell in the past. If you don’t update their parts regularly, they may break or not work with other new and improved parts, or even worse they may get broken into and defaced by the ever-growing number of transformer car hackers.
In our new advanced world, the process of upgrading your transformer car is different too. While the parts need to get swapped out often, instead of having a slow, costly team of car mechanics diagnose and test your upgrade, you now can hook your car up to a cloud-based, automated upgrade testing tool and have it tested in no time flat.
Ok, while transformer cars like these may not be showing up at your local car dealer soon, if you plan out your website maintenance, in the same way, you will be much better off.
Here are some things to consider for your website maintenance plan.
Your website CMS, libraries, plugins, and frameworks need to be updated regularly to a supported version. This allows you to:
Take advantage of new capabilities and bug fixes
Reduce security risks
Achieve better performance, reliability, and usability
But to do this you need to streamline your Upgrade process and tools too so that you can still ensure that your site keeps running smoothly. Concentrate on these top three items.
Strategically Review and Plan Your Upgrade
Take the time to review all of the website components, both front-end and back-end. Understand what’s been released by each vendor, what their support timeline is, any dependencies, and if there are known security vulnerabilities. Then map out your timetable and steps for upgrading each component.
Modernize Your Upgrade Environment
If your website is not already running under a virtualized server environment, with a source control system and build process, invest in this infrastructure to make your life easier down the road. It’s like having a great garage to work in.
Streamline Your Upgrade Testing
Performing the actual software upgrades is not typically an issue for organizations. The big killer is that your testing process is too slow and burdensome, or not robust enough to test your entire site. Replace as much of your manual testing with an automated visual testing tool. We recommend our tool WebsiteUpgradeTester.com. By streamlining your testing you will:
save tons of time,
get significantly more accurate results,
eliminate the embarrassment of uncaught issues,
utilize your resources better, and
be able to upgrade more often
For more in-depth information about transforming your website maintenance process, see The Ultimate Guide to Upgrading and Patching your Website.
WebsiteUpgradeTester.com is the only cloud-based, automated visual testing tool designed to help you efficiently and affordably test your website upgrade. Whether it’s a major version upgrade, service pack or security patch, you can quickly test your entire site, no matter how large, to uncover any lurking issues due to the upgrade.
Don't waste time manually testing your next Website upgrade. Visit WebsiteUpgradeTester.com and sign up for a free trial.
In this Ultimate Guide to Upgrading and Patching Your Website, we’ll walk you through all of the terms, concepts, ideas, and best practices around upgrading a medium to large scale website. We’ll impart our experiences of helping customers perform and test their website upgrades over the past 20 years, so that you can upgrade faster, more efficiently, more often and with better results. Read More
ESAB leveraged a new cloud-based visual testing tool designed specifically for website upgrades to automate and streamline their testing efforts. Using the tool saved an estimated three weeks of manual testing time, increased accuracy significantly, and gave the team peace of mind that there were no lurking surprises. Read More