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Learn how to improve your nonprofit's online presence.

Is it Really Critical to Update my CMS?

After paying a sizable up-front cost to have your website built, you may be wondering if it's really necessary to install regular CMS updates as they become available. Many nonprofit professionals mistakenly assume that websites are a one-time expense, when in reality, they should become a line item in your organization's annual budget. So why is it so critical to update your CMS? Here are the top reasons to regularly update your content management system.

1. Security
The first and most important reason to keep your CMS up to date is to protect your site from security vulnerabilities. While you may think your site is too small to be a target for hackers, there is still reason for concern if your CMS is not current. According to opensourcecms.com, more than 4 million websites are currently powered by Wordpress, while more than 600,000 are powered by Joomla. Judging by these statistics, even though your website may not be the most popular one out there, the CMS running it could be well known by hackers. Furthermore, because Wordpress and Joomla are open source systems, the code that powers them can be viewed by anyone, allowing hackers to study the code and look for loopholes. If your website is running an outdated version of your CMS, hackers will be able to find your site and target its vulnerabilities. In order to find and remove these vulnerabilities, open source developers release security patches in new releases.

2. Bug Fixes
While open source content management systems are heavily tested before they're released to the public, there is always the possibility that bugs can be overlooked. If a bug is introduced in a given version of the CMS, subsequent releases will often include a fix.

3. Performance and Feature Enhancements
As CMS developers constantly seek ways to make their software faster and more efficient, subsequent releases of the software will often include performance enhancements. Likewise, CMS updates can also include features that were previously unavailable. Many times, upon completing an update, you'll notice subtle differences in the user interface that make the overall system more intuitive and easy to use.

While it is critical to keep your site up to date, it's also possible that updating the CMS can cause conflicts with outdated plugins and components. If you need assistance with a Wordpress or Joomla update, feel free to drop us a line on our contact form. Our team would be happy to help.

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5 Free Responsive Wordpress Themes from around the Web

If you're a Wordpress user, you know that this CMS is much more than a blogging platform. Wordpress can be a great fit for all kinds of websites, and if you're a nonprofit professional considering a redesign, you may want to check out a few of these free, responsive Wordpress templates, especially if your current site is not responsive. Last month, Google announced changes to their algorithm that will go into effect April 21, 2015, which will penalize sites that are not mobile-friendly. Learn more about Google's announcement here.

So what are you waiting for? Check out these free mobile-friendly themes, and get started on your responsive design today!


1. Amplify

Amplify includes a full-width parallax header image, with the ability to customize all fonts using Google's webfonts. The design is crisp, and the developer guides you through the theme customizer and several other features in a variety of tutorial videos. This theme also has built in color and page options. Learn more about Amplify.


2. Swell Lite

Swell Lite is a minimalistic theme, which boasts lightweight code for fast performance. It includes a parallax banner image, and is an ideal option for an image-driven blog. It also has a premium version for a fee, which offers additional options. Learn more about Swell Lite.


3. Honma

Honma is an SEO optimized, responsive theme that was released last month. It offers a two-column layout built on HTML5/CSS3. Honma also offers a Pro version with more features for a fee. Learn more about Honma.


4. fCorpo

fCorpo utilizes Google webfonts as well as FontAwesome icons. It's fully responsive, and maintains the height of the homepage slider when resized for mobile, making the image and headline easier to read via mobile. fCorpo is also optimized for SEO, and offers custom post formats. Learn more about fCorpo.


5. RestImpo

Restimpo is an easily customizable, responsive theme, which includes six built-in color themes, options for single posts and page displays, and much more. This theme has plenty of built-in options out of the box, with a lot of flexibility if you want to make the design your own. Learn more about RestImpo.

Need help? If you're a nonprofit organization looking for help installing a new theme or making customizations, contact us today at 845-218-7180 to learn how we can help.

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