Being a business owner or an administrator of an online store, you know all about the benefits of technology. Technology enables to compete with the key players in a way that was unthinkable just a few years ago. But it is equally fair to tell that technology has its downside – a need for constant upgrades.
Why should I need to upgrade? Am I going to lose my changes? Will the upgrade crash my site? Those are the questions the entrepreneurs often ask us. The truth is that the updating process never stops. Every moment software becomes less up to date. Consumers demand new features, changes to comply with other software environment go on and the desire for things to run faster drive businesses’ upgrades.
Needless to say that upgrades are here to stay. The key is not to ignore them as a nuisance, but to admit. Investing in the upgrade, you benefit your business. So, now when we’ve come up to a conclusion that upgrading is an undeniable thing, let’s figure out why to upgrade and what you get from this!
WHY#1. Improved productivity
Today, we have faster CPUs, faster hard drives, more processors – and these sources mean the workload processing is quicker. Basically, older systems are just not as fast as the new ones.
WHY#2. Greater efficiency
Contemporain technologies do things we couldn’t in the past. For example, remote access via mobile devices means sales reps can take quickly the orders while on the road, knowing exactly what timeframe they can deliver in.
Starting from version 4.1.4, the CS-Cart software is delivered with responsive design out of the box, meaning that your online store will equally render on desktop and on mobile. It will boost your website usability and satisfaction with your internal (like sales reps) and external (clients) customers. Isn’t it a convincing reason to push your selling platform to a higher level?
WHY#3. Higher security
Because aging systems are not actively security-proven and are vulnerable to having information stolen or compromised. Today’s cybercriminals are far more organized than alone hackers of the past and employ highly trained developers who are constantly innovating online attacks. Newer technology has better cybersecurity as it caters for emerging threats. To know more what the open default ports, production site development and old software set on stake, just read this.
WHY#4. Reduced cost
Upgrading sounds pricey, but the truth is that older systems have more issues – and consequently more costs. The cost of disruption caused by unstable systems and software can very quickly become more than it would invest in an upgraded system.
If something new appears on the market, existing systems and software may not be compatible with it. For instance, the next update may have some features removed and some functionality added. Those innovations wouldn’t work with an older environment.
WHY#6. Tech support
This goes hand-in-hand with the preceding point. IT specialists’ support will cost more if technology got too old.
WHY#7. More features out of the box
The latest operating systems coming packed with new features provide enhancements that weren’t possible in older systems. This means that using older technology is refusing a competitive functionality if only you are not a petroleum tycoon!
WHY#8. Better KPI
Employees become frequently frustrated with outdated systems and software. They become so irritated that they could leave your company, and you would lose your most advanced personnel. Well, it’s not great for your company growth.
WHY#9. Loyal customers
Like employees, customers can become annoyed while engaging with a website that uses out-of-date technology. It may worsen your business with the acquired reputation of being ‘behind the times’. Making the investment in technology, you pay for a better UX and demonstrate that you are there for the long haul.
WHY#10. Business growth
Any start-up begins with a limited client base. But times go on and you need to grow. Haven’t you think what happens if you upscale? It won’t take long before the system that’s designed to support five people evolves into a larger platform serving +1k users. And you would have to struggle with increased orders and other interactions. A timely upgrade of IT solution will support your current needs and allow for future business growth.
How to Upgrade
Methods of upgrade depend on what is upgraded. Basically, two sorts of upgrade may be there: upgrade on the server and/or the website sites.
Server Site Upgrade
Read about reasons why to upgrade server site here.
Server upgrades touch the following:
- PHP. Running the latest version of PHP, which is 7.3 now, ensures that your website is protected against DoS, code execution, SQL injection, XSS, and many other types of exploits.
- TTFB. The time-to-first-byte metric is telling how fast your website starts loading. It should exceed 900ms.
- HTTPS. HTTP/2.0 is better. It has the same high-level syntax as in 1.1 but data is framed and transported between the client and the server in a more effective way.
To know more about the upgrade touch points and be sure your website is on the safe side, try our free check service!
Hints: It’s best practice to upgrade your development site first before upgrading your production site, just to be on the safe site and ensure there are no problems with your live store.
Once you’ve tested your site for compatibility and you’ve run a backup, you’re ready to upgrade your server software.
HOW#1. Upgrading PHP with cPanel
If you’re with a host that provides cPanel access to your site, you can log in and change your PHP version there.
HOW#2. Upgrading on Your Own Server
If you administer your own server, you can upgrade yourself using the migration guides provided in the documentation. It’s important that you pay close attention to new features and functions, as well as any deprecated features that might impact your site. But if server site upgrade is too tricky, you can release this burden and entrust it to the Simtech DevOps engineers. They are always happy to assist in providing a server environment level-up independently of the host. Simply ask by submitting a ticket.
HOW#3. Asking Your Web Host to Upgrade
You can upgrade your AWS-hosted server environment with the help of our DevOps experts. This is the best fit for CS-Cart-based and AWS Cloud-hosted projects. You take care of anything and get a qualified revamp with all configuration and compliance issues taken into account.
The store upgrade is revamping from the old platform version to the newer one. CS-Cart is constantly evolving: new versions, new features come out, and bugs are fixed.
When buying a license, access is granted to new versions for 1 year. This means that during this period, CS-Cart may release new versions, and a website owner will have access to the files of these new versions. After the first year passes, you will have to purchase a subscription.
Self-upgrading of an online shop is not a big issue using the standard Upgrade Center mechanism.
Upgrade Center is located in the Administration menu and consists of 2 pages. The first is the available upgrades, and the second is the installed upgrades.
Available upgrades will NOT show updates that came out later than the time of the end of the upgrade subscription. For example, if a website has version 4.5.2.SP2, and the subscription has ended on 4.6.1, then upgrading only to 4.6.1 will be possible, and the latest versions (for example, 4.9.1) will not be available until the website manager prolongs subscription on https://www.cs-cart.com/.
To view files that have conflicts with the new version files, click on the Local modifications button. The list of these files indicates that there are changes in them compared to the standard files of the current version. During the upgrade, these files will be overwritten by the new version files and the modifications that were made in them will be erased.
HOW#4. Self-upgrade with the Upgrade Center.
It is important to note that when upgrading, NOT all CS-Cart files are updated, but only those that have changed in the new version. Therefore, even if a website owner has modifications in some files, but these files rarely change in new versions, there is a chance that when upgraded, these modifications will not be erased. Before overwriting old files with new ones, the system automatically backs up old files and puts them in a separate archive. This is done so that the owner can roll back to the old version if something suddenly went wrong during the upgrade.
A good practice is to create a developer copy of the store where you can run the update without consequences for the live store.
HOW#5. Expert-assisted upgrade.
Upgrading with Simtech Development is much safer and more comprehensive. It is strongly recommended upgrade CS-Cart software with the native experts. Such upgrade includes Backend and Frontend developer work. Developers cannot work on upgrades in parallel and perform them one after another. Backend-developer starts first. He creates a copy of the client store, updates the database and add-ons. Then the frontend developer fixes the look. After demonstrating the results to the website owner, the Backend-developer transfers the new store to the server and performs the update. While updating the database and add-ons, the experts create a copy of the store and transfer it to the test server, where they continue the work. This is done to allow the live store smooth operation without interruption. However, after the tech specs have made a copy, the website manager must stop active operations on the live store. Exceptions are operations with the new orders, customers, and products. It is prohibited to work with banners, promotions, change methods of payment and delivery, add or edit the characteristics of goods, etc.
The upgrade is a challenging process. Although it is possible to self-upgrade both on the server and the webshop sites, it is better to entrust this job to experts. By doing so, you save time and avoid any incompatibilities with pieces of software you already have. To get all the advantages from the upgrade, outsource this task to professionals.