You've contracted your favourite web development company to build you a beautiful website using Drupal, complete with all the bells and whistles. Your website has launched and everything is functioning exactly the way you want it to. You've had your website optimized for search engines, and you've marketed your website on social media. So what's next?
Now that your website is out there for the world to see, it is important to perform regular, routine maintenance to keep your website in tip top shape and functioning the way it was designed. Like any kind of software, no website is ever going to be 100% bug free. However, one of the major benefits of having a Drupal-powered website is the Drupal Security Team.
The Drupal Security Team works constantly with developers and other members of the Drupal community to identify and fix security vulnerabilities in Drupal and community contributed modules¹ in a timely manner. Once a security vulnerability has been identified and fixed, the Drupal Security Team will release a new version of Drupal or the community contributed module that was affected.
When security updates are released by the Drupal Security Team it is very important to apply these updates to your Drupal website on a regular basis to protect your website against all of the security vulnerabilities that have been identified.
In addition to updates which deal with security vulnerabilities, from time to time regular updates are released for Drupal and community contributed modules. These updates typically contain bug fixes and/or new features and functionality. It is recommended to apply these regular updates to your Drupal website as well, as they will often improve the stability of a Drupal website, however they are not considered to be as critical as security related updates, and are considered to be 'optional' updates.
Keeping your Drupal site and it's community contributed modules updated on a regular basis typically takes just a few hours, but being proactive about maintaining your Drupal website will ultimately save you considerably more, not just in terms of time, but also damage to the reputation of your website should it ever become compromised by a malicious user because of a known security vulnerability that could have been fixed.
¹ A 'module' is a piece of functionality that can be added to a Drupal website to extend it's capabilities in a useful way.