The Negatives of Not Upgrading
Security – increased risk of being hacked:
This is by far the biggest reason for upgrading. After September 2012, security releases for 1.5 will no longer be available. This leaves your clients’ websites vulnerable to newly discovered security exploits. Downtime, reputation, data loss or many of the other negatives associated with security breaches are major concerns for most people and should be discussed with your client.
Stagnation – harder / more expensive to add new features:
As each new version of Joomla! becomes available, extension developers focus their programming efforts on newer versions and phase out support for older versions. This means that extensions will become harder to find or may not be available at all. So, the addition of a needed feature may require custom development, which can be expensive.
Server and browser technology is continually being changed and improved. As newer versions of PHP and MySQL phase in older versions will begin to phase out. Hosting providers will begin migrating to the improved platforms possibly leaving older installs in the dust.
As end-user technology such as computers, mobile devices, and browsers improve and change, they focus on the newer technology and web standards. Websites built on older technology cannot take advantage of these newer features and in some instances may not be accessible to them. Your client may lose part of their audience and may give their competitors an advantage. Mobile is a great example of this.
Investments in an older version may not transfer during upgrades
If your client is making investments in their current 1.0 / 1.5 site it may not easily update and they may have to redo some of that work after upgrading to 2.5.
The Positives of Upgrading
Improved Search Engine Optimization
Joomla! has come a long way in terms of its out-of-the-box SEO features. It allows you greater control over many behind-the-scenes SEO factors.
Better SEO means it is easier for prospects to find your client and more revenue for their business.
Easier management of content and productivity improvements
There have been a number of improvements in the management side of the website. If you are managing the site yourself, it can save you valuable time. If you are paying someone to manage it for you, it can save you money because changes can be made quicker.
Easier “One-Click” upgrades with update notification
The Joomla! update process has been greatly improved in 2.5 and offers numerous benefits for your client including better security, saved time and saved expenses.
Access to the latest improvements and newest features
Joomla! 2.5 allows access to all of the most recent improvements and features. This is an invaluable selling point and a major benefit of the upgrade.
Do your clients have to upgrade immediately?
No. Even as the versions of Joomla! reach “End-of-life,” the websites will continue to function just as they did before. There are certain risks associated with not upgrading or with delaying the upgrade, but you do not have to upgrade.
Join us next month as we look at the risks associated with not upgrading and some the major cost factors involved in the upgrade process.
What are some other positive or negative selling points you see for Joomla! 2.5? Leave your comments below and add to the discussion on upgrading to Joomla! 2.5.