Four Reasons to Keep Your Frameworks Updated

Most sophisticated software is comprised of open source frameworks, common code libraries and commands that lay the foundation for custom programming. If an app or website was a cruise ship, the open source frameworks would be the steel skeleton of the boat, without which all cosmetic elements of the cruise ship would sink into the ocean. In other words, frameworks are integral to the functionality of custom software and they are updated on a regular clip.

Though frameworks are notoriously fluid, most companies bypass framework changes because they can introduce API changes, require new information architecture, and often require developers to follow the library’s development closely. While this can be true, what so many companies forget is that not implementing new tools can hinder user experience by not meeting user expectations and causing software to break on newer devices and operating systems.

Still not convinced? Here are four reasons to seriously consider updating your libraries and  frameworks:

Framework Improvements

Updates are often made for two reasons: improving development and end-user experiences. Drastic changes in user behavior over the past two years have caused frameworks to undergo significant updates to accommodate end-user functionality.

For developers, updated frameworks offer new integrations, expanded code libraries, and new APIs—all of which streamline and simplify methods of analytics tagging and code writing that old software frameworks either couldn’t or wouldn’t support.

These developer updates usually lead to end-user improvements, which can mean anything from improved page load times to decreased memory requirements on end-user devices. Regardless, framework improvements lead to a zippier experience and tempt users to return to your company’s application.   

Better Support and Stability

A lapse in updates provides easy access for malicious hackers to collect end-user information and software built with older frameworks are sought-out.

All frameworks have a defined lifespan. Just like iPhones, frameworks are only supported for 6-24 months before updates are no longer provided or strain functionality. Without these updates, older frameworks are subject to serious security threats.

A lapse in updates provides easy access for malicious hackers to collect end-user information and software built with older frameworks are sought-out.

Ease of Bootstrapping New Development

The older the framework, the more difficult it is for developers to edit or add to existing software. Keeping frameworks up-to-date promotes evergreen software, which can grow and iterate with time.

The cost of updating, re-launching, or adding to a project that hasn’t had an upgrade in years is far more expensive than periodically updating the code base.

Customer Expectation

Because our society has gone mobile, users now expect companies to have a responsive website and mobile application. Push notifications must have a purpose and at least one of the apps on any end-users phone has the latest and greatest technology.

Updating your frameworks allows your software to compete with the masses. Improving load times, increasing visual appeal, and implementing better UX will improve your bounce rate, increase search engine performance, and retain users.

In Conclusion

The ROI of updating your frameworks is hard to identify, especially since a new code base doesn’t always mean new features, but the cost of not maintaining your company’s software will cause your development budget to severely bloat. Wouldn’t it be better to use that extra budget to develop exciting, new features that compete within the mobile and digital landscape?