Published on June 15, 2021 Last modified on August 26, 2021
When you operate a website or webshop, you have to upgrade your system to a new version from time to time to close security holes in your current version or to get newly released features and functionalities.
If you have a mobile app, you'll often need to make updates when Google or Apple launches a new version of their operating systems. This is primarily to ensure that your app can continue to work seamlessly on the latest Android or iOS versions, or to add new functionalities made possible by the new OS version.
In the perfect world, system upgrade would be as easy as pressing an UPDATE button and waiting for a few minutes for your system to update automatically. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. System upgrades can be time-consuming and complicated to implement, especially if you have many custom changes and/or modules installed in your system.
Things to consider before doing an upgrade
There are not many websites or webshops that are not customized in one way or another. Most of the time, the customizations that make a site unique also make it more complicated to be upgraded to a newer version. When planning for a system upgrade, here are the things we prepare in collaboration with you:
1. Third-party plugins or modules – Some modules that you’re currently using may be incompatible with the newer version of your CMS or e-commerce platform. Before the upgrade, your project manager reviews your current plugins to make sure that they’re supported in the latest version. If not, we help you look for suitable alternatives in the market or develop a custom module with the same functionality.
2. Current data – We make sure that your system (files and database) is fully backed up in case we run into any problems during the upgrade.
3. Updates to design and functionalities – When upgrading to a new version, most companies also take the opportunity to update the design or add new features. We discuss your new requirements and suggest improvements you can make, so that these updates can be deployed along with the upgraded version of your system.
If we’re new to your system i.e., taking over from a previous supplier to do the upgrade, we first start with a system review as described in our ad hoc support page.
If we made your system, then we already know it and can therefore move directly to planning the upgrade.
1. We always wait for the new system version to be stable first before we install updates, as newly released versions are often riddled with errors that still need to be fixed.
2. For mobile apps, when there are updates to iOS or Android, we test the updates based on the latest beta version of the operating system. Because we're both Apple and Android development partners, we have access to beta versions before others and can therefore do the upgrade well ahead of the official release of a new operating system.
3. Once we’re done with the planning and you’ve accepted our estimate, we start the upgrade process.
4. We make an exact copy of the live system and install it in a test environment. Once everything is in place (i.e., third-party modules, API, etc.), we do a test update.
5. After the test upgrade, the system is reviewed by a developer or tester (depending on the size and complexity of the system), then obvious errors are corrected.
6. If we’re also updating the design, we typically do it after the test upgrade, when we have an overview of how much work is needed for the job.
7. When we're finished, our testing department reviews the system from A to Z. Any errors are sent to the development team and fixed accordingly.
8. A stress test is also performed to ensure that everything runs smoothly when visitors access the system.
9. And finally, we give you access to the finished system. When everything is approved on your end, we install it on the live server.
Note: We normally install updates at night-time to avoid disruption during normal business hours.