Top Reasons to Have a CMS Managed Service
I once worked with a Solutions Architect who compared a mobile application, or new website, to a newborn baby. Paraphrasing, he said, “You bring this thing into the world that you are so proud of, and sometimes they embarrass you… but that’s OK! You still love them and invest in them, so over time they mature and become everything you ever hoped!”
No matter which CMS your website was built in, it was carefully conceived through a design process, developed and launched into the world like a precious child. To continue this analogy, a CMS Managed Service plan is like a healthcare plan and education investment rolled into one!
CMS Managed Service, commonly referred to as website maintenance, is essential to the long-term functionality and security of your content managed website. CMS stands for Content Management System, which is a platform that allows non-developers to update site content without knowing anything about code. Popular Content Management Systems include WordPress, Drupal, Craft, and Magento, among many others. More likely than not, your website was built in a CMS.
Before we go much further, let’s have a quick overview of what makes up a website.
You start with your CMS platform. It comes with core functionality from which your site is built. You then shape your site through a theme, which supports how your site looks and behaves. You customize your theme through third-party Plugins, which add cool new features that the CMS does not offer “out of the box.” A developer uses code to make sure these features look and function the way you requested.
The important thing to note here is that your website is made up of external components (CMS Core and Plugins). On a regular basis, these external components are updated by their respective team of developers, in an effort to improve their security and functionality.
This is where the “healthcare plan” comes in.
When you do not maintain your website, it essentially remains the same as the day it launched while the world around it changes. Improvements are being delivered to its doorstep, in the form of CMS Core Updates and Plugin Updates, but no one is opening the packages. Meanwhile, the outdated CMS Core and Plugins form cracks (vulnerabilities) on your site, or quit working because they are no longer supported.
Unsupported Plugins will cause your site to have “bugs”, or broken functionality. Vulnerabilities become opportunities for intruders to add unwanted code to your site.
Some hackers are malicious, with the intent of taking sensitive information, while others are like graffiti artists who want to prove their abilities and leave their mark. Either way, you have an issue on your hands that needs to be addressed. Once a site has an intrusion, the crack becomes wider for other hackers to get in.
The number one reason to have a CMS Managed Service plan is to make sure your CMS Core and Plugins are regularly updated for the security and continued “health” of your website.
Bugs & Breakages
The second reason to have a CMS Managed Service plan is to fix bugs and breakages associated with the updates.
Wait, what? That doesn’t seem to make sense… does it?
Any time new code is added to a website – let me say that again – Any time new code is added to a website, there is a chance the new code will unintentionally impact something else on the site.
Each time the CMS Core and Plugins release an update, it introduces new code to the site. Updating Plugins means more than clicking the “update” button in your CMS Dashboard. It means clicking the button, then reviewing the site to make sure nothing broke. If a bug is found, it means spending time to fix those bugs caused by the new code from the update. Over time your CMS Managed Service team will get to intimately know your site, but no one will ultimately know your site as well as you. Finding bugs sometimes needs to be a joint effort.
When a significantly large update is released, your CMS Managed Service developer may choose to wait a few days or weeks to click that button. This allows them to monitor the developer forums and make sure there are no major issues with the update before adding it to your site.
The third reason to have a CMS Managed Service plan is to make sure your site is regularly backed up, in case an intrusion does occur. Having regular backups allows your development team to take down the infected site, and put up a previous version while they sanitize the current version of your site. This means your site will be down for a matter of minutes or hours, instead of days or weeks.
Once the current version of your site has been sanitized and secured, it can be put back up – in a healthier state. Most users will never know the difference.
The last major reason to have a CMS Managed Service plan is to enhance and improve your site in small ways over time. Perhaps you want to add a cool new feature, change the font, make a simple design change, add a new template, or change how an existing feature functions. The more you engage with your site, the more you realize its potential. These small enhancements allow your site to grow and mature.
So long as your site is secure and bug-free, you’ll often have room in the monthly plan budget to make some enhancements. These updates and enhancements ensure your site changes with the world around it, while continuing to meet your business needs – making you a proud parent!
fjorge has a dedicated CMS Managed Services team with several plan options available. Our priority is the security and sustained functionality of your site. Our Silver and Gold plans include extra hours for enhancements, along with other benefits like dedicated hosting and speed boosts. If you’re looking for a team to service your website, you’ve come to the right place!