17 May 2021 | 5 Minute(s) to read
If your website is on Silverstripe 3, then your website needs attention in 2021.
This article discusses the changes in Silverstripe 3 support ending on 30th September, it is a significant and important change that you will need to address, so let’s talk about what end-of-life support for Silverstripe 3 actually means for your website.
As technology advances, your core business assets need upgrading to keep up with it, like a car that needs to be maintained and certified to continue to run well, your website also needs upgrading to be able to run in harmony with the latest tech advances.
Remind me, what is Silverstripe?
Basically, it’s the foundation framework your website has been built on to allow you to make changes.
Silverstripe is an open-source content management system (CMS) which website agencies use to build sites. This allows you to make content-related updates yourself for day-to-day management.
What does end-of-life (EOL) mean in Silverstripe 3?
It is important to firstly realise that from 30th September, your website will still run as it is currently, until technology changes start breaking some functions.
What won’t happen after September 2021 are things like:
- Security fixes - if there is a compromised security issue on the underlying framework, the Silverstripe community won’t have a fix for it.
- Critical and non-critical bug fixes will no longer be available.
- Many website development agencies will not support the ongoing management of a Silverstripe 3 website.
How do I know what version of Silverstripe I am on?
There are a few ways to find out what version of Silverstripe you are currently using. The easiest way is to log into the admin section of your website and on the top left you will either see the Silverstripe logo, or your own branding depending on your web development.
Just hover over this with your mouse and the ‘CMS recipe version number’ will come up. Make a note of it so when you reach out to a web agency, you’ll be able to answer one of the first questions we’ll ask.
You can also contact us today and we’ll help you establish what version you are on. Best practice right now is to have a Silverstripe website running on Version 4.7 or greater.
Seven key reasons to upgrade your Silverstripe website.
These are just some of the reasons why you should take action immediately:
- To protect your valuable asset from potential security breaches which are costly to your business.
- To keep up with the changes in technology - Impacts speed of website, and other search engine optimisation (SEO) related factors that help you rank in the search results.
- Providing a better customer experience (CX) to your customers.
- Improved self-administration and efficiency.
- Ability to integrate third party apps to improve internal business process.
- Costly to fix (if even possible) the non-supported version 3 platform.
- And finally, few agencies will want to help to resolve any issues, causing business disruption and potential income loss. No one wants that, especially not us. We won’t leave you in the lurch, so we are taking a proactive approach to stabilise your business asset.
Your Silverstripe website requires an upgrade.
It is worth noting that a website upgrade requirement is not just a Silverstripe ‘thing’. Technology changes so quickly that any software must evolve to keep up and this will never change.
Think of it as a car that needs regular maintenance, otherwise it doesn’t run efficiently or safely and it is costly to run.
Browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and others are constantly updating and so all website owners should expect to upgrade their website as often as every 18 months to 2 years (depending on business case).
PHP, the main programming language Silverstripe and many other popular content management systems were built on, have had a few major releases over the last 2 years, and now is at its 8th major release. PHP 5 was discontinued from 10th Jan 2019.
MYSQL 5.6 reached its EOL in February 2021. Both of these technologies have been active, and used at the time Silverstripe 3 was first released.
As website designers and developers we are simply the conduit to keep your business as up-to-date as we can when the big guns like Google and Microsoft bring out new technology.
How long does it take to upgrade a website?
We love this one, it really is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. The size and complexity of your website will dictate the actual length of time it will take to complete.
For example a custom Silverstripe build could be anywhere from six weeks to more than a year - even if we were working exclusively on your project. Currently there are more than 10,000 Silverstripe websites operating within New Zealand alone and the majority of them are medium-to-large organisations.
All good web development agencies have a wait time, so the sooner we can start talking about your project expectations with you, the faster your build will be completed. There is a lot of background information, design and planning we can work on together before we get to the actual build phase.
Check out how we like to operate and what our process looks like...
Click to view a larger version of our website workflow here.
Your current website will run until the new one is developed, notwithstanding any major security issues.
What do I need to do?
As mentioned, website upgrades are not unique to Silverstripe, every website platform (Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress…) should be regularly maintained to minimise risk to your business or organisation.
Book a meeting with your agency or with Smokeylemon to discuss a plan of action.