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Why It’s Important to Keep Your Site Up-to-Date

Website developer in a coffee shop

Keeping your website secure and up-to-date is a crucial component to ensuring online success with your business.

The Security Risks of Outdated Website Software

One of the top reasons for keeping your site updated is to ensure your site is secure and protected from outside hackers who manage to find loopholes in website software. If your site is not updated at the very least on a monthly basis, you run a greater risk of having your website compromised or hacked. This is especially concerning if you run an online e-commerce business with customer accounts and personal data in the back-end of your website. Not to mention any legal issues that could potentially follow from a data breach!

The Benefits of Regular Updates for User Experience

No Error Messages Being Displayed

In addition to protecting your site for security reasons, keeping your website up-to-date also ensures a consistent user experience for your website’s visitors. The reason being is that, with updated software, your website won’t be displaying any error messages on the front-end of the website. If users see error messages or PHP warnings being displayed, they might think the site is broken and will most likely leave your website to look for a better website such as one of your competitors!

If you have a lot of third-party plugins installed on your website, these will need to be updated on a regular basis. Plugin developers are constantly releasing new updates and patches to their software to resolve security issues with their software or make speed improvements. While it’s possible to utilize an “auto-update” feature to keep these plugins updated, it’s always best to have a human perform the updates manually so that they can make a full site backup before performing the updates and be able to quickly restore the website in case anything breaks.

Quicker Load Times & Less Visitor Drop-offs

Similarly, with updated website software, this will ensure your website is more performant, leading to much quicker page load times which will also help visitors stay on your website. As plugin developers release new code updates to their software, they usually include performance optimizations and tweaks to make the code load quicker on your website.

Did you know there are studies that indicate how long a website should load before a visitor decides to drop off? Listed below are the recommended website load times (in seconds):

  • Under 2 Seconds: Ideally, a website should load within 2 seconds. Research shows that around 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 2 to 3 Seconds: While slightly slower, most users will tolerate load times in this range, although the drop-off rate begins to increase.
  • Over 3 Seconds: Significant drop-off rates start to occur. Studies indicate that 40% of visitors will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • Over 5 Seconds: At this point, the majority of visitors are likely to leave, resulting in very high bounce rates. Conversion rates also drop substantially with every additional second of loading time.
Website user making an online purchase on their mobile phone

How Keeping Your Site Updated can Give You a Competitive Edge

With all that being said, having an up-to-date website will give your business more of a competitive advantage and help visitors stay on your site. The last thing you want is for a potential customer to leave your website and make a purchase elsewhere because they weren’t able to complete the check-out process on your e-commerce website due to a glitch with a plugin or an error message.

At Vantage Creative, we offer on-going monthly website maintenance services to keep your website in tip-top shape and prevent errors from displaying on your website.

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