End-of-life (EOL) is a term used when a company or creator will no longer support their current product version. EOL can be used to refer to website platforms, software, apps, or even a physical product. For web platforms like Drupal, Magento, or WordPress, an EOL announcement is typically made when the organization decides to focus its energy and attention on a newer version of its product.
EOL is a natural occurrence in the technology world and makes room for continuous innovation and improvements. For example, consider your smartphone’s operating system. We’ve seen many iterations of smartphone software come and go, and each version supports the latest technology advancements. As new capabilities become available, smartphone creators begin building new operating software that capitalizes on these new advancements. You’ll continue to see support on older smartphones for some time, but eventually, the old phones stop supporting new software. The same is true with website platforms. As technology continues to evolve, platforms must change with it.
EOL dates are announced well in advance to allow businesses to upgrade to the newest version. Leading up to the official EOL date, your site will continue to receive support. However, once the date passes, your site won’t receive platform updates or security patches. Not only does this open your site up to more security risks, but as time passes, it may become more and more difficult to maintain functionality. When an EOL is announced, it’s in your business’s (and your customers!) best interest to upgrade by following these steps:
Before you make more decisions, make sure you know your platform’s EOL date. Depending on the complexity of your site, migrating to a newer version could take several months, so don’t wait until the last minute to find a developer or agency that can perform the migration for you.
Before you immediately decide to migrate to a newer version of the same platform, take some time to evaluate what’s best for your site. Is your site meeting your current and projected needs? Are you planning on doubling down on more complex functions, like online scheduling, eCommerce, or eLearning? An EOL deadline is a great time to re-evaluate the effectiveness of your site and determine what future capabilities it should be prepared to handle.
A migration is a good time to make much-needed improvements to your site. Dig into heat mapping or Google Analytics data to see how users are currently interacting with your site. If you notice trends, like a high bounce rate or that visitors aren’t following your ideal user flow, it may be a good idea to redesign all or part of your site.
Once you develop your wish list for your new site, prioritize each functionality. What do you need right now, and what can you wait on? Having a prioritized list will help your team understand which features they should spend the most time on now and which can wait until after the initial launch.
Now that you have an idea of what you want out of your new site, evaluate your development plan. Do you need to pull in additional resources to complete the project on time? If so, you’ll need to start your research early to find the right partner for you. When evaluating potential development partners, be sure to look at:
Hearing that your website’s platform is reaching end-of-life can be overwhelming, but with the right team, migrating to a new version (or new platform) can breathe new life into your business’s online presence. If you have questions or concerns about your current platform or an upcoming EOL date, we can help! With experts in design, development, and marketing, we can transform your new site into a user-friendly, lead generation machine.
Chance Carlin is the Technical Sales Engineer at Fruition. Chance’s career has varied from working in hospitality and sales to owning a video production and web development company. He’s captured live concert footage of Papdosio and The Dendrites, built his first website for a local Denver restaurant called City O’ City, and put together animations for some of Fruition’s largest clients. Now the Technical Sales Engineer at Fruition, Chance is looking forward to being a part of the team that is responsible for keeping the company growing. In his free time, Chance enjoys hiking, skiing, golfing and going to concerts.
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